Seriously, I'm starting to realize how little I know about the outside world while I'm in here. I think the apocalypse could happen out there, and we'd have no clue. If North Korea finally open's fire and starts WWIII, I hope you'll let me know. Or, if BYU has another good game. Tell me about that too.
Also, I finally saw CJ walking around but it took me until freaking Saturday. Four days of checking the face of every elder that I passed. I swear I was about to go nuts. God answers prayers :) Anyway, Mitch and Tallon, I'm looking forward to hearing from you guys now. I know we won't see each other for a while, but you guys are going to do great things.
Hayden, I'm glad that you finally decided that maybe girls don't have cooties. I do get dessert up here, although I don't usually eat it. It tastes good for about 5 minutes, and then you quickly regret your decision :) Basically, this has been my schedule: Wake up, gym time, get ready, study, lunch, study, dinner, study, bed. Sometimes they switch that first study with the third study just to mix things up. Then on Tuesday, we get a devotional from someone awesome, and Sundays are pretty different.
Hadley, thank you so much. I've been wondering what that was for a week now. Maybe now, I can finally focus on being a missionary ;) We finally got 30 new missionaries in our zone this week, and one of them is going to Toronto, and he's the first guy I've met going there. I don't know why, but Toronto basically gets mentioned in every talk and devotional. We've counted, and out of the last 12 talks people have given, 9 of them have either been given by a former president of the Toronto mission, talked about a former president of it (only once was it President Monson), or told a story from that mission. One of them was even about a guy named Elder Toronto, and apparently he later became president of that mission. The vibe I'm getting is that it's pretty much the best mission ever. I'll make sure to watch for Garret :)
Ellie, that might just be the best team name created since the beginning of time. I can see the name up in lights. The Royal Blueberries. Just kind of rolls off the tongue. Haha :) I don't have to wear a suit every day (only Sundays and Tuesdays), and I've worn the short sleeved shirts a few times, but to be honest, it feels super weird. I'm glad to hear you like math, but I'm also a little concerned that we might not be related. I'm not sure I could be related to someone that likes math :)
Ashleigh, just know that the picture went to a really good cause. Basically he's making a dozen photocopies today because he loved it so much, and he's going to give them out as gifts. He loved it. If anyone asks, just tell them that it was critical in furthering the work of the Lord. Also, isn't Pacific Rim such a dope movie?! Like that scene, where the monster thing is like "BLAAUGHGHGGHG" and then that guy is like "AHHHHRRRRGHGHG!" AND THEN HE PUNCHES THE GIANT MONSTER WITH HIS GIANT ROBOT FIST!!! It's pretty much one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of our time. They should remake that movie, but instead of giant robots and monsters, they should have a panda and a koala bear fighting. Maybe there could be a red panda involved. Idk. We should make this happen.
Haha, now that the Spirit's been invited into this letter... hi mom! I'm glad to hear that my letters are being read back home :) Tell Hayden that bearing his testimony is the equivalent of punching Satan in the mouth. I heard that from the pulpit this week. The MTC is an interesting place :) I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your spiritual thoughts every week. They're all so good, and I look forward to hearing from you. It astounds me how easily a scripture can be interpreted into 100 different meanings. Every time I read over a scripture that answers a question I had or helps me with something, I just remember that I've already read that scripture several times, and it never had that meaning for me. Like the other day I was reading in D&C 6:23, which says "Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning this matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?". At the time, me and Elder Stowell were trying to help out this Elder in our zone who was having a hard time, and during personal study, I decided to read in D&C. I didn't know why, but I found that scripture and thought "Wow, maybe this could help him a lot." I've read that scripture and heard it a bunch before, but until I had that situation at that time, it didn't have meaning to me. Then it got crazier. We had companionship study right after that, and when Elder Stowell and I started talking about what we'd studied he brought up that exact scripture, and said that he thought it could really help that Elder. At this point I just said to myself "Wow, we totally have to share that scripture." We ended up doing it, and that Elder said it helped him a ton. It just really helped my testimony that, no matter how many times you've read the scripture or how well you know the stories, there is always something in there for you right here and right now. Later that day, that Elder came up to me, and told me that he had read that section some more. Later on in that section, it says "Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you." and he told me that he was so grateful we'd shared that with him.
Dad, same thing goes for you. I love all the thought that you send me every week. Keep them coming. So, at the devotional on Tuesday, we had this guy speak named Charles Dalquist, and he did an amazing job. I think he's the guy that wrote that "Fourth Missionary" talk that you sent me, and he's a very powerful speaker. One of my favorite quotes from him was "Service is not an act. It's a way of life." I just hope that when I get back from my mission I'll still be able to take that to heart. He also shared a story about the Olympics a few year back, and how the first runner crossed at about the 2 hour mark. An hour later, they were about to have the medal ceremony, and the press got word that there was still a runner about to come in. 3 hours is super fast for a normal marathon, but for the Olympics that's pretty slow. This guy (His name was something Stevens I think. John?) had come all the way from Tanzania, and he was having a pretty rough day as far as running goes. When he got back to the stadium the press, having finished covering the ceremony decided to interview him. They asked why he had finished the race. What kept him going when he knew he wasn't going to be first and when he knew he wasn't keeping pace with everyone else. He responded by saying "My country did not send me 5000 miles to start a race. They sent me 5000 miles to finish it." I think in some way we can relate to that. Most of us aren't Olympic athletes and most of us aren't from Tanzania, but we're all in a "country" where we don't belong. We've all been sent here to, in a way, run a marathon, and we're all trying our best to keep pace with the rest of the group. But I don't think that's all that important. God sent us a long way to do this, and he doesn't care how fast we finish our work. Some of us aren't born marathon runners. We don't start out with the tools that we need or the skills that we want, but all God asks of us is that we finish the work that he sent us here to do. For some people it takes a lifetime to figure it out. For others, it only takes 4 short months. We don't all run at the same speed or work at the same pace or come from the same background, but we do all have something in common. We come from the same God, and we were sent to build the same kingdom. Do what you were called to do.