Hey Mom, I had a wonderful flight. We landed safely and we just had orientation. My companion is named Elder Gunnel and he is a stud. I will get to email you next Monday evening so you will get it on Sunday evening. My area is named Mooroolbark.
We got a little bonus email from Stanton today. They gave them 20 minutes of email time since they are flying out to Australia tomorrow. He has met up with many friends from Pleasant View and made so many more. Looks like he's having the time of his life.
So this is my first and only email from the MTC. Can I just start out by saying that I really enjoy the MTC its crazy and busy but I love it. I love you guys so much thanks for all the notes that you hid in my luggage, I probably have not found them all but they were exactly what I needed.
So they take really good care of us here. They even have a celiac room for all of us gluten free weirdos. But the only problem with that is I get all I can eat...... and I have put on some weight. Sadly I already had to loosen my belt one hole :( but thank goodness they give us time to work out. Gym time is the best! All of my companions are basketball players . . . so I have been playing basketball and I have gotten really good. . . . yaaaa just kidding.... while they play basket ball I just run laps or we all head up to the field and play Frisbee or beach volleyball :)
So I think you already heard but my companion is Elder Albrechtsen!! (Our previous Bishop's nephew. We were able to have dinner with him and his family before we both entered the MTC on JULY 15th. He is from Logan Utah. His older Brother and Sterling Served in the same mission in England - they saw each other a couple of times at mission meetings. ) He is the man! we get along so well and we think a lot alike. We mostly hang out with another companionship that is in our district, Elder Oldham and Elder Tayler. Elder tayler is our district leader. they are such studs but they are going to Canada. (they are so funny, I will send some pictures of them. So in my room is Elder Albrechtsen and I and a kid named Elder Bennion, he is the district leader for the second district in our zone, and guess who his companion is . . . Elder Wheeler. ya Elder Bryce Wheeler from little Pleasant View is rooming with me. Then these two studs named Elders Chappell and Porter. I love every Elder in our room. We have a blast together. There are six of us in this tiny room, with three bunk beds and six closets. Its so small, and apparently we dont keep it very clean because we failed the room check. It was so dirty!
So I have a bunch of good news. Elder Albrechtsen and I are the zone leaders. we just have some extra meetings and stuff with the branch presidency and set up all of the Sunday meetings, oh and we get to welcome in the new elders tonight. so believe it or not im an old missionary already. We get to take all the greenies on a tour and teach them how to do companionship inventory and we get a flip phone that can only call the branch president and the front desk, its completely useless. Some more good news, we got our flight plans. We fly out Monday. I might be able to send a picture so that you can track my flight but I will also be copying mine and sending them home in a letter. And for some even better news . . . . . . . . . . MY VISA CAME it is here!!! that means I'm going straight to Aussie land :) I'm so excited 😄😀😁☺ in fact I was so excited when it came that me and Elder Albrechtsen were dancing and singing and I opened the door to leave the office and I did a big kick and a couple of punches and began dancing around like a dork and when I turned around there was some sister missionaries laughing at me . . . so that was awkward but I don't even care because MY VISA CAME. I'm so excited, I know I keep saying that but I'm so stoked!
I thought that every missionary in the MTC runs of the same schedule but they don't, I think the branch president makes our schedule. and our branch president . . President Callister loves study time. We study for 4 hours a day and then we have classroom study for six and then we teach lessons when we're free. Right now we are teaching an investigator named Carlos. We have had four lessons with Carlos, he won't commit to baptism but he prays every night and he reads the book of Mormon. we went over the plan of salvation and the restoration and he knows all about that stuff but he doesn't understand how to apply it, so we are helping him with that. We met with a guy named Dylan Lawter, He is from the east coast and is studying to become a principal. We only got to meet with him four 15 minutes and so we got to know him and then awnsered questions about eternal familys and temples and we are meeting again with him on Friday. We get to teach member lessons every day as well. Its pretty cool.
So we have three teachers and they take turns teaching the class. Brother Lim! he is such a stud he is all about being bold and following the spirit. He taught us a very good concept that the spirit is the teacher. The only job we have as missionaries is to invite the spirit so he can do the teaching, he gave a really good analogy. At the first, all of us were explaining Christ to get investigators to baptism and repentance and faith but really we should have been using all of those concepts to help explain Christ. To explain this to us he walked into class one morning and said, "ok everyone I want you to look at that picture on the wall" (it was a huge picture of Jesus) he said "look at the frame isn't it beautiful, notice the fine wood its made out of, look how the frame contrasts the color of the wall, and notice the fine carvings of the frame" and then he stopped and said "why would I be focusing on the frame so much that I miss the picture," he then said that faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost and enduring to the end is all the frame of the gospel but the big picture is of Jesus, the goal of a missionary is to bring others closer to Jesus, so use the framework to bring others to Jesus, not the other way around. It was so powerful. Then our other teacher Brother Holmquest is all about loving the investigators. and our other teacher Brother Norris doesn't teach lessons he just sits in and helps us study. I love my teachers so much and I am learning so much. I will try to send pictures but I am out of time. I love the MTC so much, even though I'm constantly dead tired, I am having such a good time. I love everyone in my zone, we have some elders from Tonga so I get to use the words that Ster taught me. I am honestly so blessed. I know that this church is true and I cannot wait to bear testimony to the people of Australia.