WOOT! Well, today is my last day in the MTC. I fly out of SLC Airport around 8ish (which means I have to get up around 3ish to get ready...ugh), have a two hour lay-over in Atlanta then off to Richmond! I'll be proselyting bright and early Thursday mornin. And so it begins...GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA so stoked. As much as the MTC has been great, I absolutely CAN'T wait to get out of here. It's like a prison. Spiritual, but a prison. It's the Spirit Prison! (no pun intended...ok maybe a little) Yesterday was a fantastic day. Sad in some parts but overall a good day. My two teachers, Bro. Snyder and Bro. Pack have been AWESOME. I've learned so much from them. Although at times it's seemed to be hard, I am truely grateful for my companion. None of us are perfect and he's helped me realize that. I'm grateful to the Lord for having him as my first companion. I don't know how to put everything in words...ah! it's been good. Today will be my last day to go to the temple for TWO years. I'm definitely looking for to it and will make the most of it. I'm going to miss my district here. there were 10 of us and 6 of us (the elders) are going to Virginia, whereas, the sisters are all going to Temple Square. They have been amazing and I'm going to miss them. I didn't realize how much writing i would be doing, and all the writing that I'd WANT to do while on my mission. I swear I'm going to have arthritis due to writing so much. The highlights of the MTC have probably been the firesides and devotionals. Everytime there has been an amazing speaker. This last fireside (on sunday) we sung Called To Serve (one of the most oversung songs here) in a way different way. IT WAS AWESOME. We started out the first verse very very quietly. We had to imagine ourselves as an army (the Army of Helamen since there were 2000 of them and about 2000 of us) marching, just about ready to climb over a final hill towards the battlefield and the quiet start was supposed to represent what it sounds like to those on the other side whom we were marching toward. the second verse was "medium loud" representing we had just walked over the peak of the hill and our voices are much more audible. At the end of the second verse chorus we all stood. It went like this "God our strength will be, press forward ever called to serve our [STAND] King!". After that we repeated the chorus as loudly as possible and with over 2000 voices....wow....it was amazing. anyways. I have plenty of pictures, plenty of journal entries, plenty of writings in my study journal. I'll probably publish a book when i get back.
I want to share one thing that i learned about here regarding prayer and why we need to pray with Real Intent. God won't reveal anything to us unless we are willing to act according to His will with the knowledge He would give. Have you ever wondered why? There are probably a couple reasons but this is the insight that came to me as i was pondering this. God knows that we must be judged according to the knowledge we have. Those with greater light (knowledge) have a greater responsibility and thus, greater condemnation if we do not act and do our best. God knows the hearts of all of us. If there is an investigator who truely wants to know but who would not act (be baptized and follow Christ), God will most likely not reveal to that person the truthfullness of this message. He knows they would only bring upon themselves greater condemnation and only damn themselves. As much as He is a God of perfect justice, He is always a God a love and MERCY. This is why Christ taught in parables. If the people who didn't believe understood the message He was trying to tell them, they would only be bringing about their own condemnation. I've gained several insights about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ while my stay here at the MTC and I've truely gained a great insight into his in infinite mercy and love he has for us. He will give us EVERY POSSIBLE chance and opportunity to come unto Him. He wants us back.
I'm really really looking forward to these next two years. "Dear Elder" letters only go to the MTC so now it's time to write hand letters or emails. Emails are reserved for family members so for everyone else: start sending letters and what-not to the misson home until I find out my new area address.
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful two years without me (i know it won't be hard)
P.S. Special thanks to Blee (Brenda Shepherd Henry) for being the ONLY person to send me a PACKAGE *COUGH COUGH* hint *COUGH* just kidding...maybe...