Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day three at the MTC

What a great day we had today! We had a brief morning devotional, then we had our mock investigator contact today. Where a volunteer comes and Ron and I visit with him/her/them as if they were investigating the Church and we were visiting in their home. We practiced answering any questions she might have about the Church. And really, they could ask anything. So there is no "script" to go off of, just our knowledge of the Gospel, and what is taught in Preach My Gospel. It is simple and pretty awesome. All day long there have been new (junior) missionaries coming in. It's kinda fun to not be the "greenies" after only three days. After lunch we had a longer group meeting with all the districts to discuss our morning teaching experiences. Then afternoon classes to prepare us for teaching tomorrow. Our afternoon teacher is Sister Thomas. She is so sweet. She's from St. Louis, and she knows Gary and Debbie Gessel and Danny Gessel, from when they were the Mission President in St. Louis. Small world, huh?
Sister Thomas, Kathy and Ron in our afternoon class.
Tonight we started our Spanish classes again. My MTC Spanish teacher was super funny in making me laugh at my own mistakes. He was very helpful in giving me tips to remember some of the stuff I will need to remember.
Me and Brother Collier, my night MTC Spanish teacher
And this is Hermana Fernandez, our MTC skype tutor we've had for over two months. She's great! Ron had her for his teacher tonight (because he is so much more advanced than I am...smarty pants!)
Wendy, Kathy and Ron at our evening class.
So there ya have it. Our day in a nutshell. I am exhausted, but a good kind of exhausted. How awesome would it be to work at this place and feel this spirit all day, every day?? I asked one of the directors here if they get their training from Disney Land, because they obviously see new missionaries every. single. week. And they greet us and teach us like we are the first people to ever come through their doors! It's just amazing! We love it here. We are so blessed!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day two at the MTC

What a day we've had! The only way to describe it is Spiritual Euphoria. We started off the morning with a group meeting right after breakfast. Then we broke into our classes with our districts. We studied Preach My Gospel. Since Ron is the D.L. we made little notes with the scripture from Matt. 4:19, "...follow me and I will make you fishers of men.." and attached them to little bags of goldfish crackers and gave them to our class. We are getting to know the couples in our district better. They are from all over the U.S. and are going to places from Florida to California to Tonga. Very nice people. Here is a picture of our district:
Front row: Sister and Elder Johnson, Sister and Elder Brown.
Back row: Kathy and Ron, Sister and Elder Clayton.

Tonight we had an amazing fireside, which I will let Ron tell you about in his post. Take it away Ron!  Of course you will  notice Kathy's considerate hand in the above post as it was her idea to make a nice little thought and gift for the members of our district.  I may be the District Leader, but we are clearly a team and she is the heart of our team.    There is nothing like meeting with a large group of missionaries.   Tonight was our devotional and we had Elder Don Clarke of the 70 speak to us.    But before he spoke we of course sang all together "Called to Serve".  Words cannot describe the spirit which accompanies such a group singing that rousing hymn.  Kathy and I were both choked with emotion and had trouble getting the words out of the 2nd verse.  The devotional was likewise filled with the spirit with many personal impressions flooding into our hearts and minds of the things we need to do personally as missionaries.   There is nothing like being a missionary.  My memories of being a young 19 year old in my MTC (then called the LTM for "Language Training Mission) come flooding back.  We are on such a spiritual high.   We know we are in the right place at the right time in our lives doing what the Lord wants us to do.   We just feel so good!  And I am so very blessed to be sharing this experience with my sweet wife.    She is there every step of the way with me feeling the same things.   We did some roll playing as teachers today and she is a wonderful teacher who will have a sweet powerful impact on those she meets on our mission.  We  are so anxious for all of our grandkids to someday get this experience.   I was even asked to administer to one of the other senior missionaries and of course the Spirit was very strong accompanying that blessing.   We absolutely love being missionaries!! We are blessed!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day one at the MTC

We arrived here this morning just after 10:00. A group of nice young Elders picked up our suitcases and took them and us to our room. Our room is lovely. It's in the new building and it has everything a nice hotel would have (lucky us!).  I think I was expecting a dorm-like setting. We went to check-in and got our name tags (we were as excited as school kids getting our first box of new crayons!), then to orientation, then to lunch....and look who we ran into in the lunchroom!
Cute Elder Nhem and his two companions!
After lunch we were on our way to another meeting, and who should we pass by outside?
Cute Elder Brown (his companion took the picture)
I know we are kinda nerdy, but all our missionary kids have done it.... we stood at the giant map and pointed to where we will be going.
Ron was made a District Leader today. We are the youngest couple here. At check-in they were asking me about one of my immunizations and said "wow, you are young!" I think I'll just hang around the MTC for a little self-esteem boost! We are having a great time! We are blessed.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tomorrow morning...the MTC

...and I'll admit, I'm a little nervous. The big benefit for me is I'll have the most amazing companion a girl could ask for! I am blessed.

Friday, October 26, 2012

On our Way!

We left Tacoma Thursday morning, October 25th and drove the long drive to Ogden Utah.   We got reports of snow all along the way, but we found bare and dry roads the whole way.  It was as if we were in this protective bubble for our whole trip.   We are staying at Shannon's house for a couple of days then on to Erin's house for another couple of days and then we report for duty on Monday October 29th.   We were formally set apart as full time missionaries by our Stake President, Gary Gessel on the Wednesday night before we left.  We are so excited and can't wait to get started.   We will  miss all our family and friends but know the time will pass quickly and also know we are involved in a great work.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Our family starts coming into town tomorrow...

...and we couldn't be more excited!

This is our entire group that was here this weekend. A big thank  you to Becki Blackner for taking our family pictures at Chambers Creek Property.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A shot in the arm

Yep, it hurts.
Logan and Landon came to watch us get our second in the series of twinrix (Hep A&B) shots.  Landon put his little hands on grandpa's cheeks and said "be brave".

Tenemos dieciocho nietos!

Friday, October 5, 2012

His sacrifice is the motivation

Today, in my Spanish lesson with my MTC trainer on Skype I was  having a bit of a come-apart.  (for my non-LDS friends, MTC stands for Missionary Training Center) (for my LDS friends, a come-apart is a pity party one throws for herself when she's feeling overwhelmed) Then Hermana Fernandez gave me this to watch:  It takes a few minutes to watch, but it's powerful. It is my testimony that Heavenly Father is very mindful of each of his children (me). He hears our prayers (mine) and will give to us exactly what is needed at exactly the time that we need it, just as he did for me today. Thanks for reading.