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 :)

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