|Remember the pic like this from Jay's blog???|
Holy cow, it's week five?! I cannot believe I've been here for this long! A very exciting week this one! First off, my flight plans are in! I'm leaving in exactly one week, at 4:30 in the morning (ugh) but the whole thing will take about 18 hours. We are flying from Salt Lake to San Francisco to Tokyo to Manila. We'll be driving to Baguio from Manila the next day. Very, very exciting stuff! I can't wait to get into the field!!!!
The MTC has been very good to me though. This is my usual day: wake up around 6:30am, shower, breakfast, class (progressing investigator, language skills, coaching) lunch, study block (personal, companion, and language study) gym time (the time in which I dominate four square) dinner, and depending on the day it might be evening classes or a devotional. The food here is SUPER good! It's been hard to keep healthy, actually. They try and fatten us up before sending us into the Philippines, I guess. The MTC choir sings for the devotional, but I haven't been singing with them very much. I still love singing, but it's not the kind of choir I participated in before I was called. You don't sign up or anything, everyone just kind of shows up. They do a good job, but the music (I'm not boasting or anything) isn't as difficult as I like, and there are just too many people.
The companionship's got reorganized by the branch presidency because someone had to go home, so I was actually in a tripanionship for a while, but my new companion is Elder Anderson who is great. He's from Utah. All in all, the MTC has been downright groovy. My favorite part, personally, is being able to attend the temple every week, being surrounded by people of your beliefs, and the Spirit that you get to feel ALL the TIME. Also, a great part of the MTC is all the nonsense the missionaries carry on throughout the years. We are, indeed, still in possession of the sword of Laban, (the blade forged of pure coat hangers by the mythical missionaries-that-had-way-too-much-time-on-their-hands-and-are-probably-home-early-now-ites). The stuffed rat who we named Scabbers is actually missing... it's my personal belief that it came to life and ran away. He's in a better place now though.
So, here's the really, really cool stuff that has transpired since last we spoke: I finished the Book of Mormon cover to cover! (Before my mission there was no part of it that was unfamiliar to me, but I had never read it from beginning to end on my own.) I have prayed to my Heavenly Father for the truth and have received a witness of the Spirit that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith was not only a magnificent man, but a prophet of God. Finally........ so about a week and a half ago, in a zone leadership meeting, my branch president mentioned he would be conducting a fireside and that he wanted someone to volunteer for a prayer. Not thinking a lot of it, I volunteered. I later found out that the "fireside" was the weekly MTC devotional with all the missionaries from both campuses of the MTC there.... no pressure.... then, early on the morning of that devotional we heard that the speaker was..... President Holland!!!! We all heard that and freaked out but found that it's actually Elder Holland's son, Matthew Holland, who is the president of UVU (who we found out is JUST as powerful a speaker as his father, if not better in some ways). Jeffery R. Holland isn't a president he's an elder... we were a tiny bit bummed, but it turned out that ELDER Holland came to see his son speak! So, I did indeed have to pray in front of every missionary in the MTC (around 3000), the MTC Presidency, AND about eight feet away from Elder Holland. Good thing I did theater. I really wasn't super nervous though, just very excited.
Usually when the speaker is a man, his wife will introduce him, but this time Elder Holland introduced his son, so he went to the pulpit directly after my prayer. .......when he did he kind of turned to me casually and said, over the microphone, "Thank you elder, you'll be a world class missionary." And then proceeded to introduce his son.
I'm taking that as a prophecy. It was talked about very much in my journal that night. So, I got to spend an hour an a half sharing the stand with Elder Holland. Yup. Enough said.
Love everyone!!!! Don't just have a testimony, be converted to the Lord!
Elder Mikesell III