Wow, it has been a full and busy week! Everything is scheduled to the minute haha! Let me start from the beginning...So I safely arrived in Salt Lake, and didn't realize until after I landed that there was another Elder traveling as well. He is from Canada and heading to Las Vegas fro his mission. We had a nice chat as we waited for our express shuttle to take us to the MTC. For someone whos never visited the Motherland before, it was strange to see cars with Y stickers and huge mountains with letters signifying the schools in the Valley area. After a half hour tour of the Valley from Salt Lake to Provo, we reached the MTC, nestled snugly next to BYU's campus. Immediately after getting out of the shuttle, we were greeted by an elderly Brother on the curb who quickly asked us some questions before allowing us entrance to the Center. From there, it was a haze of walking around, getting our badges (so symbolic and exciting), moving our luggage, getting books, getting our ID cards, getting our residence keys, it was kinda stressful. Needless to say my first couple days were a little tiring, having not been used to such a strict schedule.
But now having endured a week here, I can truthfully say I am doing great and loving it here! Its incredible to feel the Spirit so many times a day, and multiple times during classes, study, devotionals, and district meetings.
So, the Swedish. Our teachers are amazing! All are returned missionaries from our mission, and they only speak Swedish to us! The first day when I walked in, I sort of blankly stared as Brother Whitworth (one of the teachers) greeted me in Swedish. But already my language is coming along this first week. We had to give a lesson the third day, only in Swedish by the way, but thats where you learn to trust that the Holy Ghost will convey the Spirit of the message across to the investigator. And our investigator is GREAT! Her name is Isabel, and she is following through with her commitments beautifully. I can't wait to teach her again with my companions tomorrow!
So to answer some general questions: I am actually in a trio with Elder Richards and Hainsworth. Two great men. We have been getting along very well, and have been doing our best to manage our schedule effectively . I think our room is the cleanest out of our whole zone haha. We received a commendable on our inspection. To answer rumors about the "Tree of Life": Debunked. Yes there are communal residence bathrooms, but the showers our divided, so thats comforting. Food: LOTS OF IT. I'm definitely eating more in meals than I would have ever consumed at home, mostly because I'm a snacker and I'm adjusting to 3 square meals a day. I had to go on a bit of a banana fast; lets just say I could feel the Spirit moving through me a bit too regularly :)
Gym is actually enjoyable! I spend my time playing four square with the other Elders in my district, then maybe some brisk jogging around the top of the gym to finish.
For everyones clarification, my P-Days will be on Wednesdays.
Also, Thank you for all the warm wishes and messages. I was surprised to receive so many just in my first week. The Lord has truly blessed me with wonderful family and friends. :D
I'd like to close with a few insights and spiritual nuggets that I have learned already in my short time here. The Doctrine of Christ is simple and beautiful. Through Faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, Baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, we can enjoy the love that our Father in Heaven and his son has for us. The truths of the Gospel are simple and plain. I know my faith has grown in bounds as I have studied and prayed for ways to help Isabel and teach by the Spirit. Its really not about me. Its not MY mission. Its the Lords mission. I am simply an extension of his ministry.
I love you all so much! Thank you again!