Thursday, August 25, 2016

Week 2

Well, I've survived another week. It's crazy being at the MTC because I feel like I had P-Day just yesterday. On Friday our new missionary, Elder Alvey, went home. He was super sick and had some stomach ulcers so they released him and sent him home. So now Elder Swain is back with me and Elder Nichols.

At the start of the week we got two new TRC investigators. But I'll only talk about one, his name is John. John is this old dude who has had a lot of terrible things in his life. When he was 8 he watched his dad get in a NASCAR (it wasn't nascar back then but you know what I mean) accident and die. Then later in life both his mom and wife died of breast cancer. So needless to say he's had a hard life. He told us all this by laying out a ton of laminated pictures and talking about each one. Right off the bat he had a lot of questions.

1. Is there life after death?
2. Why would God take his loved ones away 
3. How do I get answers to prayer
4. Can I see my family again

In our first lesson we talked a lot about prayer and at the end challenged him to read a couple chapters in 1 Nephi. Then next day we met with him again. Not only had he read all of 1 Nephi, but he had highlighted verses he didn't quite understand. We went through  a lot of those questions. By then end of the lesson the spirit was super strong. So I asked him if he would give us a closing prayer, and after he said amen if he would just sit with us in silence and pay attention to what he was feeling. He agreed and said the closing prayer. After he said amen we all sat there arms folded eyes closed for a solid minute. Then I opened my eyes and I could see John crying. Finally he spoke up and said " okay, I'm okay". He then wiped the tears from his eyes, shook our hands, and left. Needless to say it was a super big spiritual moment and a real reminder of the power of the Holy Ghost. 

Our next lesson however, got even crazier. We met with John for the last time, and he had lots of questions about 2 Nephi, which of course we answered. However, near the end, when I was answering a question, he raised his hand and interrupted me. He said "Last night I had two dreams and I typed them up, so I want you (pointing at Elder Nichols) to read one of them, and I want you (pointing at Elder Swain) to read the other." I was feeling a little bummed I didn't get to read a dream but a few seconds later he pointed at me and said "and I want you to interpret the dreams"


I was super nervous haha, I thought that it would be some obscure thing where he talks to a giant snake and he has to fight of monsters or something. But in the end It was his mom and dad telling him that they had received the gospel of Jesus Christ and wanted him to be baptized and then do ordinances for his parents. We ended the lesson still in shock and told John that it was a pleasure teaching him.
Now here is the thing about TRCs. Some of the investigators are members and some aren't. All of them however, are real. All of their stories and experiences actually happened to them. So weather or not John is a member. He actually had those dreams at one point in his life, and we actually helped him feel the spirit to the point of tears. So it was a really cool experience.

After everything that happened with John nothing has seemed that cool. But I can't wait to leave for Virginia this Monday!!!

Thanks for all the letters and junk food, I've gained a solid six pounds in the MTC haha.

Provo Temple

District Temple Trip

Drawings of District

Sleeping in class

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Week 1

Okay holy cow, 8 days in the MTC and it feels like I have been here for an eternity. The first couple of days were really rough, but after Thursday things got a lot better.

I'm the District Leader for my District, Which pretty much means I pick up the mail and authorize splits (a change of companions) for special cases. Thanks to everyone for all the packages and letters, I loved them.

Everyone tells you that all you have to do in the MTC is make it until Sunday, and while I can say that I was definitely skeptical at first, its actually true. Sunday is just super spiritual and you are able to watch "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. It totally changes your whole outlook on missionary work and makes you excited to serve. 

I started out with 2 companions, Elder Nichols, who is a literal tree standing at 6'7" and Elder swain who is exactly a foot shorter at 5'7" and then there's me somewhere in the middle. However, on Tuesday our District got a new missionary that switched from spanish to english so he is Elder Swains new compainion and now it is just me and Elder Nichols. 

Monday we started teaching TRC investigators. Some of them are just members but others are actual non-members. I love teaching them. Elder Nichols and I commited one of our investigators to baptism on Wednesday, the spirit was super strong, and while at first he was unsure, by the end of the lesson he was ready.

Okay now for the crazy stuff. On Tuesday My right leg was giving me some problems, it hurt to walk so eventually I went to the MTC doctor the next day on Wednesday. He told me to go get some X-Rays. So Elder Nicholas and I walked out of the MTC and down the street to the student health care center where I got some X-Rays of my knee. The first two X-rays that showed up were good. But on the last one the guy taking the X-Ray said "oh that's not too hot". so yeah not a good sign. I walked back over to the MTC and went to the doctor again and he said that while I do have some problem where my kneecap gets pushed over and that I probably shouldn't kneel, that it wasn't what was causing my pain and that he wanted me to go see an orthopedic specialist off campus.

Fast forward to today, Thursday. I took a shuttle in the morning over to the specialist. He checked me out and didn't really know what was going on, but he wants me to do physical therapy and come back next week. The problem is that I received a blessing from an Elder and no I'm totally fine, so hopefully I can get out of physical therapy.

So far the MTC has been a very challenging but rewarding experience. I've grown a ton spiritually and I can't wait to go out and serve. 

If you are planning on writing me try using Dear Elder, they come in the mail the same day and they difficult days so much easier.

I would probably share a cool scripture but I don't have any on me right now, so just remember that Heavenly Father loves us and he has created a plan for us to get back to him.

Peace out

Elders Swain, Critchfield, & Nichols

MTC Class

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