Tuesday, July 10, 2012

MTC Letter #3

Hello Family!
Wow. What a week. There were some crazy happenings this week.
First off, I said goodbye to Elder Walters this last Monday. That was hard to say goodbye, but I know he will be a great missionary and he will be doing the Lord proud. He's awesome.
My companion and I are teaching two quasi-investigators. What I mean by this is they are our two Polish teachers posing as investigators they taught. The MTC is huge into role-play and it is a great way to help us learn to teach effectively. My companion and I (you're welcome Heather) are teaching with Sister Packard. This week we taught Ola about how to pray effectively and what type of answer she will get. This lesson was really cool, because we went into the lesson with a lesson plan, but didn't follow it at all. We went "off the cuff" and were able not only to understand all that she was saying, but we could respond to her questions and concerns in good Polish and teach her what she needed to hear! It was a huge blessing and a great testimony builder of the gift of tongues. Our other investigator, PaweĊ‚, is very interested in solving his problems and being freed from his sins. We explained to him that we can gain the fulness of the blessings from the atonement through baptism. We were even gutsy enough to ask him if he would be baptized, albeit after he prayed and got an answer that the Church is true. He said he liked the idea, but he would have to think about it. We are having a hard time getting him to recognize the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is going to be our big focus the next lesson we teach him.
Hannah, how did your baptism go? Were you able to feel the Spirit? I'm so proud of you for being baptized. The Lord is very proud of you too. I know He loves you and is happy that you are choosing to follow his example. I think mom said she would tell me all about it in her letter today, so I am excited to read it and find out.
I wanted to say thanks for the packages family. I really appreciate them. It's fun to have a taste of home even here in the MTC.
The fourth of July here was incredible. It was a normal day all day, until 9 at night. We had a special program where an ex-judge from the Utah State Court came and talked to us about the opportunity the Gospel had to start in the United States. It was awesome. We then talked about Joseph Smith a little bit, then got to go watch the fireworks. It was a lot of fun, but it was a bit sad not to be with the family on the fourth of July. It's ok though, I know I'm doing the right thing.
Tuesday night we had a great devotional. Elder Kikuchi of the 70 spoke to us. He's an emeritus 70, but still has a very strong spirit about him. He did a nice hands on lesson with the missionaries. He had us all stand up. We then made an "O" with our arms, then a "Y," and finally an "M." He told us that we would now never forget, if all else fails, to Open Your Mouth. It was a funny exercise, but the lesson stuck. It's been a huge impact as well. Even if I don't know the Polish I need, I've found by opening my mouth and just going for it, things often turn out better than I had planned. It's amazing to see the Lord step in and help me do His work.
I'm a little bit sick. I've got a bit of a cold. Mom, they have hand sanitizer at every door and I've been sanitizing all the time, so don't worry, I'm going to be fine. My voice is gone, so my Polish is quite hoarse, but I'm still able to speak and teach.
Thursday night we had something called TRC (Teaching Resource Center) where we go and teach members in the language we are learning. The member we taught had been back from his mission for 13 days. Talk about getting in and helping the work go forth even after the mission. He was awesome. He said we were doing a great job. He brought a friend along with him who enters the MTC on August 22nd and is going to, you guessed it, Poland. He went to Timpanogos High School. Funny story time. When we played against Timpanogos my junior year in lacrosse, he was on their team. I actually injured him badly enough on a check that went sour that he had to sit out the rest of the game. I won't say what I did to him, but let's just say he has worn a cup to every game he's played in after that one. Well, the story came up after we taught, and we had a good laugh about it. He said there's no harm done, and he's excited to get out and serve.
This week, Elder Austin Waddoups and Elder Gavin Jones came into the MTC. I've had the chance to see both of them. I saw Elder Jones for the first time today. He's doing great. Elder Waddoups is actually in my zone here at the MTC. He's adjusting very well. I had a good chance to talk with him today during laundry. He's going to be an awesome missionary. 
Another funny story. Today my companion and I locked ourselves out of our room. We had to go all the way to the front desk to get a key to let ourselves back in. It wasn't too bad of a hassle, but it was still a bit annoying. Our room is for 4, but we haven't had roommates for two weeks. Our roommates when we first got here, Elder Hewitt (from England and yes, had a cool British accent) and Elder Smith (from Canada, we caught him saying eh? at the end of his sentences a few times), were shippped off to Canada right after we came in and we haven't had anyone else living with us since. It's been nice, but I think I'm ready to have someone move in. Hopefully we get new roommates on Wednesday!
Mom, to answer your question, I can pull up pictures on the email fairly easily, but I only have a half hour to do any emailing I need to each P-day. I would prefer to get pictures by mail. I'd love to see a bunch from Hannah's baptism, from tour, and of you and Emma now that you have your braces off! Please, send them my way.
I love you all and miss you a lot. I hope you had a lot of fun at the reunion and on the Fourth of July. Tell Grandma Fern I love her and miss her too, as well as Grandma Honey, Grandpa Ted, and Grandma Helen. How is Grandma Helen doing anyway?
I'll write another letter tonight after I get all your dear elders and send it by hand.
Mom, I found a scripture today I thought you'd like. John 16:22. Read it and tell me what you think. I think it goes well with the blessing I gave you.
Dad, thanks so much for the tips about studying. They're helping a ton. I'm looking forward to more.
I wish I had time to write more, but as with everything in the MTC, there's never enough time to do all I want to.
I love you! The Church is true!
Elder Vernon

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