Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tyler's last week in the MTC


It's P-day once more and it has been a remarkably busy week in the MTC. The first few days we were here they told us that if we made it till the first Sunday then the days would fly, and I can testify that's SO true. The days just melt and fly by here! The only reason I can tell the days apart is that I've been writing in my journal still faithfully every night. *High Five*

I don't remember if i mentioned last time, but last Tuesday we had D. Todd Christofferson from the Quorum of the Twelve come and speak to us. Actually I think I DID tell you that. Well, on thanksgiving day, we got to have a special devotional from Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve and it was just fantastic. The most amazing thing about the devotionals that the Apostles give is that literally, they have NO remarks planned, and they talk for 40+ minutes meaningfully and with the Spirit. They get up to the podium with no teleprompter or notes, only a set of scriptures, and they just tell it how it is. It's amazing!

Oh! By a similar note: Last night's devotional was given by Kazuhiko Yamashita of the Quorum of the Seventy. He just got called as a general authority last April so he's still pretty new, but his remarks on missionary work and how key our role is in eternal progression were just astounding. In the Book of Mormon it talks about the gate to the kingdom of heaven being narrow, and that gate is baptism. Like threading a needle, our main role as missionaries is to get them to that gate not just as a baptismal statistic, but as a Brother or Sister as children of God. Missionary work is starting to make sense more and more as the days go by. Haha! BUT! Sister Yamashita also gave a talk before she did, and she's only been speaking English (or should i say, ENGRISH) for 4 months! They moved to Salt Lake City 4 months ago and her English exposure is very primary to say the least. But she got right up in front of 2000 missionaries and told of her conversion story and testimony and it was just awesome! And quite possibly the most broken English I've ever heard, but she was laughing at herself talking the entire time! It was impossible not to love her and feel the strength of her testimony.

I didn't mention Thanksgiving dinner! Well normally the food is good.. But... That had to be THE PINKEST, SLIMIEST turkey I have EVER eaten. It made me really appreciate blessing the food before we ate it... It was strange being away from home, but the Elders in my district are so crazy awesome that it's hard to feel homesick. I guess I'm over it.

I've been singing a lot since I've been here! We sing hymns before and after every class, but the most meaningful Hymn's we've sung were last night at the devotional. We opened with "Called To Serve" which is always a fuel-injected Hallelujah from all of the Elders and Sisters singing at full blast. For intermediate hymn I got to sing with the MTC Choir with a special arrangement of "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" that was just.. moving. The part where God and Jesus Christ appear to him in the song is where it goes A Cappella in 6 part harmony and its almost like a whisper that grows and grows and grows. The Spirit just exploded and it was incredible. To top it off, the devotional ended with us singing "Praise to the Man" which, I  admit, I teared up a little bit. :)

I'm back! Sorry. I had to go turn in my suit to dry cleaning and get my hair shaped up a bit. Such is the life of a missionary. Umm... I don't remember what my thought processes were, so I'll try to think of a new one... And i forgot to bring all your letters with questions on them so I don't have your questions. What a drag...

Uhh... Sooner or later I'll send you my memory card. I've actually been taking pictures AND journaling. I know, right? Who is this kid??

My next e-mail to you guys will be from the mission field, as this is my last P-Day in the MTC. We're shipping out to Ogden early next Tuesday!! I can't believe it's almost that time. Its crazy. Also - can you send me Andrew Olson's address in a DearElder maybe? If you send it to me in a letter that'd be fine but i wouldn't get it for a while and if you send me an e-mail then i won't be able to check till my next P-day, which I don't know when its gonna be.

And YES! I'm getting your DearElders and they're really neat. :P I think they start costing a bit once I'm not in the MTC, like 44 cents or something? They just forward it to the mission home and they print it off and mail it to me from there, so you're just paying for the stamp and a few cents. Its still quicker than a letter, but snail-mails are always appreciated too :). By the way - my selection of ties? Comparatively to almost every other missionary here, my ties are drab and dreary. I would appreciate if you'd send me some neat-o new ties in the future, but I'm willing to wait until Christmas! Then again, a great quote I've heard here:

"Obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles."

So not some snazzy-wazzy ties, but a few more to add some variety to my repertoire would be nice!

Well I should probably get going. I still have to go do laundry and write a letter to one of my friends. Have you put up the link to DearElder and/or my mission blog on my facebook so that all that miss me may rejoice once more? Thanks for all the help. AND thanks for the package! I was craving some of DE LORDS CHEEEEEEEEEEEEPS... and NACHOOOOOOOOO cheese. :) I don't know if you picked out what was in it, but I appreciate the thought!

Well I love you all! I'm still learning as much as I can, and the church is still true! Its strange how little time i have to actually dig in and read the Book of Mormon with all the technical teaching skills that are .. uhh .. taught. That sounds silly. But hey. I'm not learning a language here. I can screw up English if i want!!


Elder Tyler Grant

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tyler's first email from the MTC

Hi family!

As I'm sure you now realize, I actually DO have a missionary email account! And the information will be sent to you with this message, so neat! But realize I can only open and send mail on Wednesdays here, so don't freak out if I'm not responding. I'm alive, I'm in the MTC, and I'm being fed more than you guys ever fed me, so HA!

ANYWAY! I DID end up leaving Sioux City! Eventually. I sat in the airport for 3 hours because they couldn't get a cargo door open. Noobs. From Minneapolis I was able to make a SUPER tight connection (landed at 11:08, boarded at 11:14, flight left at 11:15) to Salt Lake so that was a blessing. I even got to talk to a lady on the 3 hour flight about what I was doing as a missionary, so that was cool! And it was really difficult to fight the temptation to watch the in flight movie when i had nothing to do but read Preach my Gospel and sleep. But the movie was Larry Crowne and there was no sound, so I'm over it.

Hey! I LOVE the MTC! I've learned so much in the past week that its incredible. My companion is Elder James from Florida (if you haven't already gotten my letter i sent o.O) and he's a swell guy. And also the most polite guy i've ever met! Polite.. Elder. THAT is a hard habit to break. We aren't guys. We're Elders. And honestly, I'm starting to feel like one!

The MTC is LOADED with teaching opportunities. I've already taught like 8 or 9 lessons to both our teachers and ACTUAL investigators to the church! Yesterday we taught a lady named Laura Morrin who joined the church 15 years ago and fell away, but volunteered to come to the MTC to learn a little more about the church and hear what the missionaries have to say. We committed her to pray and to pick up the Book of Mormon, and she even specifically asked to be taught the Restoration by us next week! It was awesome.

The Spirit here is incredible. As are the teachers! Our teachers we sit with in class for 6 hours a day are Brother Thacker and Brother Medeiros, and they're just incredible. I've started to learn some Gospel truths and concepts that I've thought I've known for my entire life finally start to click in my head, and I can actually teach! Its only been a week, but it feels like forever.

I'M GONNA BE FAT! The food here.. is all you can eat. 3 times a day. And it's waaaaay too good for me to just eat a little. BUT! A resolve I'm sure you'll be curious i have: I eat at least one healthy meal a day. THAT MEANS SALAD! The other day I stomached a good portion of a Greek Salad complete with black olives, regular olives, vinegar and oil, tomatoes, feta cheese, and other monstrosities. I don't want to sit here and eat like a cafeteria and get chubby. I eat sooo much and burn the calories by... well... sitting in class for 6 hours a day. Quite the workout plan. But during the hour of gym time we get every day I've taken up running! And i have a solemn resolve to do so!

Guess what!? I haven't missed a day of scripture study yet! And I've said more prayers here than anywhere else in my life. I pray like... 10 times a day. Literally. Companionship prayer, meals, every class, before teaching, and so many other times. I've truly learned the power that prayer has to bless us in our daily activities, no matter how small. AND! I've been taking pictures! AND! I've written in a journal I bought every single night since I got here. When my journal fills up I'll probably mail it home so that you guys can read it.

OOH! I joined the MTC Choir! Its nothing like All-State and the director is kind of a .. Non-Tollefson, but i love it anyway. Singing during firesides and devotionals is really powerful and a huge outpouring of the Spirit. Singing with 1500+ missionaries at full blast singing "High on the Mountaintop" was just... incredible. Indescribable.

SPEAKING OF DEVOTIONALS!! Guess who came to speak with us last night!? Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Uh huh. For real. He's an amazing speaker. And he even bestowed an Apostolic Blessing upon us! I don't remember specifically what it was, but it was something along the lines of "No matter how hard your trials, sorrows, and challenges on your mission are - they will be swallowed up in your joy of Christ." I may or may not have teared up a little bit. Oh! And another apostle is coming to the MTC tomorrow for Thanksgiving! We don't know which one it is, but at a GUESS I'm thinking President Eyring or Elder Bednar. Best guesses :)
Well I got to go to the temple today to go do endowments! It was also amazing. The spirit is so strong in the temple. The Provo Temple is HUGE! But guess what? It doesn't have a Terrestrial Room like the Winter Quarters temple does. But the Celestial room is just amazing and a half. I love the temple.

Well I have to go eat/do laundry/study/whatever else i do around here! Wednesdays are my P-Days, bee tee dubs, and its the only day I can check e-mail. BUT! If you wanna send me a few snailmails i'd very much love to hear from you! ALSO!! Theres a service that the church provides called where you can send me an e-mail, and the MTC prints it off and gives it to me that day!! Its quicker than snail-mail and I'd love to hear from you :). ALSO! You can post a link to on my facebook because I'm allowed to receive letters from anyone who chooses to write to me. Just tell them that I need a return address so i can snail-mail them back!

But I'd best be off! Its time to shove more food down into my poor stomach.

The church is true! I love you all! I'm doing fine, I love it here, and I've never been more sure that what I'm doing is the right thing to do.


- Elder Tyler Grant :)

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG -
Version: 10.0.1411 / Virus Database: 2092/4034 - Release Date: 11/23/11

Monday, November 14, 2011

This is a post to show my mom how to post letters on this while I am away for 2 years :)