October 14, 2012
Thanks for all the birthday greetings! I can't think of a better way to spend a birthday than being here and basking in this marvelous experience.
This morning I was experiencing some nervousness, and other emotions, that only those who have been in this position could relate to. And then, as is always the case in the MTC, I was spiritually lifted by the Spirit through the talks, musical numbers, and testimonies. In our Sacrament Meeting, The Branch President told a heart-warming experience of one of his nephews, who, coming from a background of hard work on a family farm, served a mission in Russia. Here is his story: When he arrived to his mission, he was put with two Elders that were discouraged because of no success. He asked them what there goals were and they just stared at him, at which he then said they were going make 200 contacts that very day. As the day was drawing to a close, with no one interested in their message and only 4 more contacts to make to reach their goal, they saw a young teenager on a railway platform and approached him. As they proceeded to share their message they began to feel the intense interest this young man had in what they were sharing, and in time joined the church. Now go ahead five years. This nephew received a surprise phone call from this Russian convert, asking him to meet him at the Salt Lake Airport, as he was about to enter the MTC in Provo as a missionary going to serve in his own country. As he warmly greeted this young man, he saw that he had all of his belongings in a black trash bag and that the soles of his shoes had holes in them. He found that they wore the same size shoes and he insistently traded his own good shoes with the Elder. He later bought a suitcase, white shirts, ties, and another pair of shoes to be delivered to this Elder. You can image the emotion that he felt as he received this precious things that a missionary from five years ago gave to him.
Sister Linda Burton, Relief Society General President, spoke at our RS meeting. It was a delight to see what a 'down-to-earth' type of person she is. She had a Sister from the Philippines, going to the Cape Verda Mission, give her conversion story, which was amazing considering the opposition she had from her father. An senior sister missionary going to the same mission was able to share with this young sister that she was going to be her nurse, as she will be serving a medical mission in Cape Verda. It was a special connection to be able to see.
These are the missionaries that are in our computer class and our teachers. The couple in front in the first picture are going to Benin Africa, and the third couple back are going to Lagos Nigeria.
We will be leaving for the airport at 8:30 in the morning (Monday) and will board the plane at 11:30 flying for 6 hrs to New York and then two and a half hours later we should board our plane for a 11 hour flight to Ghana landing around 11:30 Tuesday morning.
I think we are in for an adventure that will last a life time!