Hi good family!
I am supposed to be doing personal study right now but because I barely got to tell you about my first week I figured I would write a quick note. Anyway, I LOVE IT HERE! I am having the time of my life, I really am! I want to tell you a quick run down of my days since I arrived.
Wednesday-said goodbye to mom and dad and then it all began. It was like I just popped up through a glass tube into an unknown arena. I went in, got a name tag, and I was FIRED UP! I wanted to do a Shooter McGavin "double pistol, pop collar" but I refrained. I met the district. Elder Hendricks-super theatre dude, nice guy, gets super into the role plays. Elder Williams-nice quiet dude from Ohio. He looks a lot like Matt Weaver. Elder Sowards-District Leader which makes him a stickler but a really good dude who reminds me a lot of Dave Rustad. Elder Ellis-funny elder from Texas. Sister Freeman-the only person who has a sense of humor remotely close to mine. Sister Wagstaff-nice girl from Washington. Elder Thompson-my companion who wears his sunnies all the time so I feel like I am with a secret service agent. After we met the district we watched orientation videos and then went to a big introduction meeting.
Thursday-today was a typical MTC day. That night I was laying in bed, kind of asleep but not really, and I felt like I needed to pray for a friend of mine and her family. I was dead tired but I knew I needed to get my butt out of bed and kneel and pray. I don't know why, but I felt like I needed to. I've never really had an experience like that before.
Friday-I saw Walton at President Packer's funeral. After I saw him I saw Bethany and Karly at lunch. There is a sign on the Coke machine that says "obey your thirst". I need to get a photo in front of that machine for sure.
Saturday-Pretty basic day. I saw Elder Walton again. Good day.
Sunday-It was a Sunday, MTC style
Monday-I went to play Frisbee and saw Walton so he and I just sat and talked.
Tuesday-I got to play basketball! I was ballin like Steph.
Wednesday-Pday. It is so stressful to trying to email. I felt so bad not being able to say everything I wanted to. I can't even say everything in this letter. I was feeling bummed about going to the temple, not because of the temple itself, but I knew that at the end I wouldn't walk into the celestial room and see my family and that made me sad. I remember how happy mom and dad were in the SL temple and hugging them.. I knew that it wasn't going to happen this time, they weren't going to be there. I made it through the session and sat down and prayed. I prayed that you would all know how much I love you. How much I love being a son, little brother, big brother and being Uncle K. I love you guys so much, I just wish I could have had someone there with me. Lindsay talked about feeling someone at her side when she went to the temple on her wedding day. I felt that too after I prayed. I don't know who. Maybe it was Nana or my other grandparents. Maybe it was Uncle Dave. I was missing Z pretty bad so maybe it was his soon-to-be little sister/brother. Maybe it was my future kids. How cool would that be, being comforted by my kids on the journey that will shape me into their father? I've really gained a testimony of prayer this past week and I know I'm being blessed with strength. I used to get homesick flying to Michigan, Stanford, Oregon but I haven't felt that. I miss you, but I know what needs to be done. I already have a "go to" scripture for when I miss you, D&C 100:1-2. (I put the photo of Z and I holding hands on the page of that scripture).
Last night Elder Thompson asked me to give him a blessing. He and I are really different but I have learned a lot from him. I've learned a lot for myself. Last week he was struggling and he said he didn't know if he could do it. I took him aside and we went for a walk. We talked and I said things I didn't know that I knew how to say. I felt like I was Coach Shah before the team runs out of the tunnel. Pray "(play) like it MEEEEEEEEEEANS something to ya!" Well, I didn't word it quite like that but it was close. I told Elder T about Kasey and his mission story, Brady and Kurt too. I talked to him about what Grandpa Phil said, that someone in Montana needs him, only him, right now. Much more came out of my mouth and I know that it was the spirit talking, not me. When he asked me to give him a blessing I wasn't scared but I did have butterflies in my stomach. This was going to be my first blessing. Brother Bliss said we should use oil and we did. Elder Soward did the anointing and then I was up. I remember President Lundquist telling me to never think about what you want to say and to let the spirit guide you. That is what I did.
The words flowed out and once again the spirit spoke to Elder Thompson through me. This experience has made all of the hard work worth it.
That's it for now, barely even scratching the surface on the experiences I have had here in the MTC. When I'm off studying I look at the watch Annie got me and I listen to it tick. I know that I am running out of time. Before I know it the expiration date of my time in the mission field will be here and I must make every second count. I WILL make every second count. I love you all. Thanks again for all of the letter and emails. I really wish I could respond to everyone.