Thanks. I am doing well. We are moving forward and things are really going good here at home. We love you and want you to focus on your mission. Stay in the zone and blessings will come to you and to us. "We're all in this together", to quote High School Musical. :) Sure love you!!!
I'm glad that you enjoyed the email. It was amazing having Pres Nelson there with us and I could feel the love of our Savior as he spoke that blessing. I have faith that things will get better. We just have to believe in Christ and his plan for us. I keep you in my prayers and put your name in the temple every week. Even people here in Manchester England are praying for you in the temple. I know that things will improve, just don't loose faith dad.
Lots of love
Wow!!! What a wonderful email. We are so proud of you and excited about all of the goings on there in the MTC. We love looking at the pictures you are posting on Drive as well. What a neat experience you are having. President Nelson too!!! You made me cry as I read that. I felt the strength come to me through your comments. I know I will find something better. I just need to rely on the Lord more for help. Thanks for passing that on.
I hope and pray you will have a great week. You are rockin it!!! Love you my wonderful son!!!
Mom and Dad:
For starters, this week has been so much more beautiful than anything back home. Sorry, but I don't think I ever want to move back. :)
But for real, this week has been really great. The spirit has been unrestrained and I have definitely felt the guiding light of Jesus Christ everyday. It all started Saturday when the Presiding Bishop came to inspect the MTC. We didn't physically see him walk in the building, but rather when they opened the doors the air was filled with a warm and peaceful aura. It was so cool to walk past him in the hallways and shake his hand. He's a really nice guy in person and it was so cool to hear his French accent not over the TV. After that, we had a devotional by Elder Nelson, and as a part of that, we were all able to meet him in person! I shook his hand and everything! The funniest part is, for a guy his age, he has extremely soft hands! The devotional included every missionary in the MTC and all the missionaries in the England Manchester mission; there were around 2 hundred of us total and we all got to meet him.
I took notes through the entire devotional up until Pres Nelson, and all I could do was just sit there and listen as he spoke. The part that I really wanted to share with you was the blessing he gave us at the end of his talk. He gave a blessing that started off by blessing our families. He said that because of their faith and love for the gospel, the Lord will bless them with the guidance they need in their lives, also that any sick or ill were blessed that they would recieve their strength again. Dad, the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, indirectly, that you would find a job! He then blessed us, that because of our perseverance and diligence in doing the Lord's work we would be blessed to speak with the power of angels and touch the hearts of the people we teach. It was so incredible to hear his words as he spoke to us. He called us the miracle of the gospel, that we as missionaries were the greatest thing about this gospel.
Aside from that, we had a devotional by Elder Holland on the divine companionship. It was a lesson on how there should always be three members of our companionship, us as missionaries and the Holy Ghost. It was an incredible devotional and the spirit was so strong. He was right, and I had felt that already that week which just coupled the experience. We had been doing an investigator discussion and I don't know what happened, but all of the sudden we were saying things that we hadn't planned before. The lesson stayed relatively the same, but I began to say sentences and think of words that I didn't realize I knew. Now, it wasn't like I was suddenly speaking perfect german, but I was saying things that weren't really mine. Elder Holland spoke that the key to having deep and moving discussions is that when the spirit prompts you, that you listen and follow it's guidance, because it is telling you the things that it knows the investigator needs to hear.
Also to add to the spiritual overload, was the fact that we had a district testimony meeting. We have time scheduled daily to read the Book of Mormon as a district, but instead we spent the time having a testimony meeting. It was absolutely incredible how the guys opened up and shared things about themselves that were extremely personal and close to their hearts. We all shared our reasons for being on a mission and the events that prompted us to serve. We really dug deep and the spirit was so strong that by the end we were all in tears and couldn't really talk anymore. There were things said there that I really needed to hear and other things that helped strengthen my testimony about certain gospel points. It was definitely something that was recorded in my journal.
Today we lost all the Greek missionaries and about half of the England bound missionaries, so the MTC is really quite and pretty empty. The second half of the England missionaries leave tomorrow, but at the same time we are gaining about the same that we lost as well. It was hard because we had a final testimony meeting as a zone, and a lot of people really expressed their feelings and once again I could feel the spirit as if it was sitting right next to me. At the close of the meeting, we all sang God be with you till we meet again. The Greeks sang the first verse in Greek, then we joined in on the last two. By the end of the song we were all crying and having a difficult time. Even though I only got to know them a little, they really bolstered my testimony and I grew to love them like friends. I won't see most of them until the afterlife, but I'm glad that they were here while I was. I know that God placed them here for a specific reason, and I'm staring to learn how the Lord likes to drop little pick me ups in just the right places.
Sorry mom about not telling you about my companion last week, it just sort of slipped my mind. He's a great guy and a fun companion. There are just things about him that I have a hard time with. A lot of that might be my fault because I'm just not used to things not being the way that I like them all the time, but he has a tendency to get on my nerves just a little bit. Learning wise, he is improving and starting to have that fire in der his belly, which has been great. It'll take time, but he's slowly getting there, which a big improvement from before. It's just that he is kind of an attention seeker and likes to be in the middle of things, which often times means that he does really dumb things and will act in ways that aren't easy to work with just because he knows that it will get attention. He also like to think that he is right in everything, and so everything is try to correct him it's like talking to trystan, he just doesn't listen and just goes with his way of thinking, even though the things he's saying aren't true. It's been a lesson in patience and understanding for me, and I would say that given my disposition and character, I am doing really well and not getting angered easy, and if I am angered, then not letting it show.
The pictures from my field trip were from a church history trip we took. It was a lot of how the church started up in England. The first missionaries and such as that. The most prominent of all the spots was the little white house that doesn't seem too special. It was a house where the missionaries were attack by a host of demons. They tried to scare the missionaries into thinking they were inadequate and wanted to leave. However they were not swayed and cast the demons out by the power of the priesthood. It reaffirmed my faith that we are stronger than the devil, and that nothing can stop the power of the Lord's Holy priesthood. I don't plan on having any experiences like that, but I know that if I were to have something of the same natural happen, then I will be able to overcome it through the power of the Lord.
I'm so excited to hear that you have restarted your family history. To be brutally honest, it's about time. I know that you will find all kinds of cool people and stories to share. Especially when you take them through the temple, I know that you will feel the love of your ancestors there beside you. I did family names for one of my teachers and even though we aren't directly related, I could feel the love of these people. The temple is the one place where the veil between us and our ancestors is thin enough where they can cross over and touch us in ways that they couldn't otherwise, especially when we are doing their work. Every time I go through the temple, while we wait in the chapel I pray to God and ask that the person I'm doing the work for will be able to sit with me and go through with me. It may sound cheesy, but I really feel like they are there with me and that we are going through together. I think I feel like how dad did when he escorted me through. It's a great feeling amend I'm going to miss it while on my mission.
Well, this email has been crazy long already and I need to go so I can finish my pday before classes start back up. I love you guys and want you to know that I am doing wonderful here. I know that it's hard without me, but I know that you will feel me whenever you guys do your missionary work. You have been keeping up on that right? You promised me that you guys would try to share the gospel more, and I'm holding you to that. I love you all so much and hope that you all have a wonderful week. Thanks for all you guys have done and I'll talk with you later.