August 6, 2016


Missionary Training Center


Elder Alvey

The MTC week #1

Hey everyone!!!

This is your favorite Elder speaking. The MTC has been a little challenging. The first day wasn't bad at all. We got ourselves organized and met our district. We met our teacher who only will speak Spanish to us so the first day I was relearning Spanish. The very cool thing was that I realized the gift of tongues that I have been given. As that day progressed almost all of my high school Spanish came back to me!! I couldn't understand it very well but I could speak it. Later that day they had us go into a room with many new missionaries and they had an investigator that was being taught. They opened the floor to us to respond to her questions or to teach her. She talked about how her son joined the church against his father's will and much opposition from his brothers. I stood up and told her that I was from South Carolina and I had spent my high school career facing opposition with my religion. I discussed and debated with coaches, students, friends, and more about my religion. I told her that her son would have not joined our church, going against his father's will if he did not feel the love God has for him. I started to tear up and so did she. I felt the love God had for her and her son and her concern she had for her son. It was powerful.
The next day we began going to classes and learning Spanish. I felt that I had a good base so I helped many of the Elders with words they needed help with. Later that day we met our Branch Presidency. They are all former mission presidents and are very caring and concerned about us. They chose the district leader to be Elder Peterson who is going to Argentina. He is a very good guy. He is very obedient and follows with exactness. Not much else happened this day.
Yesterday we taught a single investigator one on one in Spanish in the morning. It was difficult. I was able to feel the spirit as I told him about the purpose of life and the love God has for his children and so did he. I eventually went off script talking about the atonement in Spanish. He knew my Spanish was not perfect but I knew that Christ suffered for his and my sins. Later I began teaching the Elders in my district Spanish while my teacher wasn't there. I was able to recall very much Spanish from high school and help them understand the language. That was another testament of the gift of tongues. Yesterday I also realized some things about my companion. He is very homesick and not happy to be here. He also has stomach issues that make him very sick if he is stressed. Let's just say he always feels sick. This makes him apathetic and disinterested in learning the language and helping me prepare the lessons. It was very hard to realize that I am going to have to love him instead of criticize him. I kept on thinking "wo is me" because I can't get him to do much or carry a conversation with me. He won't workout or do anything for exercise time either. He wandered off and I had to spend my time looking for him. I kept on thinking, why is this so hard and why am I set up to fail. I tried to get his input but he wouldn't give much.
I love my district so far. They are very awesome!! I don't have any sisters in mine. Most of the elders are going to Argentina on their missions. So far, there is no one that I know that is going to mine. They are a good group of guys.
Today was probably the best. The first part wasn't. My patience was running thin with mi companero and I was about to break down. I had prayed last night to know that this was what my Heavenly Father wanted me to be doing because I just feel like I waste a lot of time getting him to learn or do something so we can't get anything we need to do done. We walked to the temple and go to go inside today. When we were listening to the prayer in the temple and when they said to bless the missionaries, I thought back to what mom said. She said that every temple in the world, every lds family, my ward, and my family are praying for me. It made me realize that God wants me to succeed. He has put an obstacle in my path but he will bless me and strengthen me through it. He wants me to serve a mission so that he may be able to bless me more than he already has. He also wants me to be a blessing in others lives while I serve. He loves me dearly and personally. The most comforting feelings overcame me and I started to break down in tears. I was overcome with the joy that was not Earthly. After the session, I prayed in the celestial room thanking my Heavenly Father for love and mercy he gives so liberally. Even though I don't always deserve it, he blesses me anyways because of his unconditional love. I wept again because the same feelings overcame me. I now know that the temple is a place of comfort and a place of refuge.
As we were leaving the temple I made sure to put my companion on the prayer roll because I know the power of prayer is real.
I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and wants what is best for me. He wants to bless me greatly. He wants me on a mission to help others find joy and come unto Christ. I know that the temple is a sacred place where we can come to escape the world and gain strength. I know that God answers prayers.

Signing off

Your Favorite Elder,

Elder Smith

P.S. I have seen Cougar, Alex, Brandon Bennett, a guy I met in the Logan temple, and a guy from my AFY group!!


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