Sunday, April 1, 2012

Summary of letters and emails from the MTC

March 14th - "I really enjoyed my first day here! The spirit is everywhere and everyone is a missionary so it is really cool!  My companion is from Minnesota, he is really smart and we already get along well.  I loved getting my nametag, Elder Blackburn, we aren't allowed to call anyone dude or just their lastname, everything is Elder and Sister.  I have zero time on my own which is fine but the schedule is pretty strict.  The food is stop Oklahoma.  PS read 1 Cor 13:11"

March 15th -  "Day two is now over and I have already grown soooo much!  I have literally gone from a boy to a man overnight.  I love my comp and my district - I am excited to learn everything!  My Branch Pres had us promise to never have our hands in our pockets and to obey with exactness.  I love obeying."

March 20th - email - Today is my first P-day so I finally get to email you all. Wow a week has already gone by although it feels like I have been in here a year already. We do all sorts of stuff here, class like all day long, teach investigators, go to devotionals, etc. I have already learned so much here it is amazing! I feel like I have learned more about myself and the gospel then my whole life up to my mission. It is like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant haha waking up @ 6:30 is the only hard part about this place. We pray like 50 times a day and sing a million hymns and it's awesome! I think the reason I have learned so much is because he is always teaching me. I want to go out and preach soooo bad now. I love to teach people. The doctrine of Christ is amazing, check out 2 Nephi 31. Our purpose as missionaries is 'to invite others to come unto Christ by recieving the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end'. The Book of Mormon helps convert members and is the keystone to our religion because if you read it and feel the spirit then it proves Joseph Smith was a prophet and has the authority that prophets of old had which means the Church is true and people can be baptized by the same authority Christ was baptized by. It is so awesome!!!! the gospel rocks!

March 24th - "I love the MTC if you can't tell already.  I love being a missionary and the gospel is amazing - we went to the Provo Temple yesterday, very pretty!"  D&C 112: 10-11

March 27th - email - you would be proud! On the pants of my gray suit one of the legs were not hemmed so I hemmed them myself and took pictures so you can see for yourself. Last Tuesday night was pretty cool, Dallin H. Oaks came and talked to us about the Sacrament and how we need and can have the spirit to be with us. It was awesome, the spirit was so strong. The days here are all starting to morph together it's weird time is so different it seems. It goes so slow at times (we have 6 hours of class in the same room) and fast. Class is actually pretty fun and I'm learning like crazy! I keep everyone laughing with my fake crying and different goofy things I do. We teach a lot of "investigators" during the day and I put investigators in quotations because some are fake and some are real. I love teaching them. Back in the day (like dad's day) they had to memorize the discussions but now it is preach the gospel by the spirit so we really learn how to find their needs and then teach them accordingly. We're like spiritual Sherlock Holmes in a sense haha. We teach them the lesson we feel can connect to them the most and hopefully can get them to have a spiritual experience of their own where they can have the Spirit testify of the truthfulness of our message. Here is a quote I'll leave ya with "if it is an honor to do something for an Earthly King why is it a sacrifice to do something for our Heavenly King?"

March 28th - "Big news...I was chosen to be the travel leader for the group of us Elders flying to Tulsa - there are eight of us.  We leave at 4AM Wed morning then our flight to Dallas is at 7:50AM.  We get to Dallas at 11:30AM and have 2 hours to hang out there so we are gonna preach!!!  I love going up to random people and giving them a message of the restored gospel.  I am also Zone Leader for my Zone here at the MTC so I help to train the new Elders that come in and talk with the Branch Pres, that sort of stuff.
Read, Read, Read the scriptures!
Love you all."

March 30th - "I'm almost outta this place...Elder David Archuleta is here now, whoop-dee-doo ha ha. So I see him around - it's a little weird seeing him but no one really cares, pretty neat that he chose to serve; he is really short
Anyways, love you all!"

April 3rd - email - Good bye MTC...

"Wasn't General Conference amazing?
I loved watching it here at the MTC, nothing like sitting in uncomfortable chairs for 10 hours! Ha the messages overall seemed to have a family theme to them. I really enjoyed Uchtdorf's talk on the spirit of contention and to just STOP IT if we have those negative feelings. I also thought Russell M. Nelson's and Ronald A. Rasband's talks were so wonderful on families and how we can learn so many important lessons from those that have to go through this life with imperfect bodies. I loved the Scottish Elder's talk (David S. Baxter) he had some good quotes "In God's kingdom there are no second class citizens" it's true we are all important to our Heavenly Father and all have the capability to be exalted so we must not judge. After conference we had a fireside and Vai Sikahema came! He is the BYU football star who served a mission and went to the NFL and is a sports broadcaster for NBC. He gave an awesome talk on how he taught this husband and wife who were baptized and because of that their little kids were baptized and sealed in the temple to their spouses when they grew up and how it just keeps on blessing that family. It was a spiritual/inspiring packed weekend!
I came a boy with a testimony and am leaving a man truly converted! I am going to talk to everyone at the airport, I love spreading the gospel!"
Elder Blackburn

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