Hey everybody!This week in the MTC has been abolutely awesome as usual...well.... mostly awesome... my companion came down with the plague of swine (swine flu) and then two days later, another elder in our district did too! They've put us all on antivirals which you DO NOT NEED TO PAY FOR, so if you get an invoice in the mail, just ignore it because the church is covering the cost of the regimen ok? I'm feeling fine, so no need to worry about me. This week has seemed like such a blur... I'm trying to think of some specific events that happened that were way exciting... The three kids from our district going to Peru are headed out this Wednesday, which is really sad because I've become close friends with one of them who has been sharing a room with myself, elder Jackson, and elder Rodahl. His name is elder Eggleston, but nobody can remember how to say his name correctly, so we've resorted to just calling him elder egg- followed by anything that comes to mind. Some examples would be elder Eggleschtein, elder Easter-bunny egg-basket, elder egg mcmuffin, etc.. Needless to say, we're going to miss good ol' elder egg salad sandwich and fries. I think from being in the MTC we're all starting to change our senses of humor (not necessarily a bad thing) just because we can't joke about...um.... well for lack of better terms, things we used to joke about haha. It is such a good time though that it's not a big deal. On a spiritual note, there's an awesome analogy hermano Keeton shared with us about Lehi's vision the other day in class and I wanted to share it with you... in Lehi's vision, it starts out with him being surrounded by darkness and getting lost. Immediately, he hits his knees and starts praying to The Father to help him. He is then shown the way to the iron rod and proceeds to the tree and partakes of the fruit and says that it is SWEET, brings JOY, is LIGHT, and he wants to SHARE it with other people. If you then look to alma the younger's conversion story, it talks about being struck if he were dead for three days and that he was racked with eternal torment for those three days. He finally caught hold of the thought of what his father taught about Christ. When he realized this, he cried out to him to save him. As soon as he did this, he was "harrowed up by the memory of [his] sins no more" and those feelings of pain and darkness were replaced by feelings of SWEET rejoicing, JOY, and the LIGHT. Afterwards, he spent the rest of his days trying to SHARE that "fruit" with all the people he could come in contact with. I hate to have to paraphrase, but I'm running short on time. That "fruit" that we are sharing with investigators of the gospel is the gift of the atonement of Jesus Christ. The tree of life which represents the love of God is Christ himself and the fruit that he bears and wants to give to us all is that gift of the atonement. I cried when I heard this analogy of these scriptures because it was so sweet to me... I absolutely love this gospel and the joy and happiness it can bring us. Although being a missionary is the hardest thing I've ever done, I would not want to be anywhere else than right here, right now. The Lord has a great work for all of us to do, and I feel priveleged to be able to contribute to a small part of it. I hope things are going well at home... Mom, Katie, travel safe back East ok? Dad, I love you and I hope you're traveling safe for business as well. I love you all, and I'll talk to you next week!
P.S. to anyone who is reading this blog, send me a letter or a package it means so much to feel some love in here!