Friday, November 1, 2013

Leaving the MTC

I finished my last day in the MTC!  I can’t believe it’s already over, but at the same time it really has felt like years.  I’m so sick of sitting for endless hours and not seeing the sun or having much time to run, but I have become almost addicted to the spiritual high I was constantly on.  As much as I hate admitting it, I was beginning to feel at home in the MTC.  I loved it.  And it will be an experience I’ll cherish all my life.

I’m writing this from the sky.  I’m finally flying!  This morning we woke at 2:30 and we were bussed from the MTC to the Salt Lake Airport.  I’ve never felt such excitement in my life.  My flight to Atlanta left at 7 a.m., just as the sun was beginning to break over the mountains.  My mountains.  I have literally never seen anything as beautiful as my Utah mountains, glowing in the dawn light, clouds a brilliant pink, but this time instead of being in my mountains, I was above them.  It was breathtaking, and in a small way, heartbreaking.  I am so lucky to call the Wasatch Front home, and I will miss it with everything that I am.  God has created such an incredible world, and although I’ll miss my little corner of it, I’m excited beyond words to see a new piece.

I’m already in love with West Virginia.  On our last day in the MTC we got to talk with an MTC teacher who had served in West Virginia.  She was describing the people there, how there really are backwoods people, how they are so humble, and how there is a week every fall that everyone takes off just to hunt.  I almost cried when she was describing them, because I knew like never before that I was meant to serve those people.  No one else.  I am going where I need to be, that I know for sure.
The last day in the MTC was probably one of the most incredible and spiritual days of my life.  Sister Reed and I got to share an amazing role-play together that ended in testimony and tears of love and joy, and my day ended with one of the most powerful blessings I have ever received.  My district ended our last night together with a prayer, kneeling in a circle in the classroom we had called home for the past two weeks.  I wish you could meet the elders and sisters of my district.  They are the most powerful young people I have ever met, and we have formed a bond like we are family.  Because we are.  We are brothers and sisters, and I’m almost positive I knew them in heaven.  God put us together because I needed them, because God know me, as he knows us all, and he knew that these elders and sisters would change my life.  After we prayed, my district leader offered the sisters blessings if they felt they needed or wanted one.  Of course we all took him up on the offer.  That’s when the magic happened.
I watched five boys lay their hands on the head of a sister and give what, for most of them, was their first blessing.  All of a sudden, these 18-year-old boys were no longer boys.  They spoke with the power and authority of people twice their age, and offered wisdom and comfort that was unbelievable.  I suddenly saw them as men.  Men that will change lives in the mission field, men that will become great leaders, and men that will become great husbands.  After my blessing, with tear-filled eyes, I got to shake the hands of those men I so desperately wanted to hug, and felt a blanket of comfort come over me like I’ve never felt before, and again the spirit testified to me that God loves us so much, and is more aware of our situation and feelings than we can ever comprehend.

The elders in the MTC have a way of making you forget they are only 18-year-old boys, but they also have a way of making you remember.  Word on the street is the MTC is basically a black market for trading ties (which is forbidden) and the jokes when I gave Elder Mason a candy kiss from a package from mom got pretty ridiculous.  #EldersWillBeElders.

I was extremely blessed to go through the MTC when I did.  I had the opportunity to spend conference weekend there, as well as attend an amazing fireside done by Vocal Point, a BYU acapella group.  I got more out of conference than I thought was possible.  The spirit in the MTC is just so amazing.  It was also pretty funny to hear people cheer when Elder Holland was announced to speak as well as when we all got to stand and sing “Called to Serve.”  Missionaries get excited about funny things!  My personal favorite quote from conference was, “Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.”  Or perhaps “Never look back.”  Both so relevant as a missionary.  Also, everyone should go look up Vocal Point!  They were so incredible!  All of them served missions and have amazing testimonies and amazing singing voices.


Sit, Study, Sit, Study, Repeat

P-Day Fun

My Beautiful Sister Reed

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