February 6, 2012
So, sometimes Missionaries have a lot of fun.
Today the older German missionaries left for their respective fields. We had 24 Elders leave today which leaves us with 20 left. Because they were leaving this meant that the last two nights had to be a party. Part of this MTC allowed partying consisted of the ceremony where the older Deutschers gave their "pass-down" gifts to the new Deutschers before they leave. All the Deutsch Missionaries recieved anywhere from 1-3 pass-down items. I received two. The first was given to me by Elder Johnson and it was the "Suit Jacket of Legends". It's this navy blue suit jacket with the word Legend inscribed in it. It supposedely goes to the most sharped dress missionary; the double-breasted suit I inherited from Dad kind of sealed the deal for me. The other pass-down I inherited was the "Edge sensitive skin shaving gel for the 'True Man'". We don't need to discuss that one.... Others included the "Sword of Southern Utah" "Pinecone of fertility" "the Partie Machen (Party Maker) box" "The Ugliest tie ever worn by a missionary" "Cheerleading pom-poms" "The egg of unknown age" "The bag of convience (which is basically the greatest survival kit ever made)" and much more. They are funnier if you get to explain the tradition but there are too many and not enough time for me to type them all. My favorite one though was the "And these elders dwelt in a shirt" shirt and pants. Part of the tradition for handing that down is the previous owner and the new owner have to work together to get in the shirt and pants back to back. It happened to be two larger missionaries this time and caused a lot of laughs. Elder Davies and I as new zone leaders also got one of the greatest pass-downs ever: the Bat Cave. The Bat Cave is this secret bathroom that only ZLs are allowed to know about it. It's a building in the middle of our residence hall building, cafeteria, and classroom building. Supposedly the last 5 pairs of Deutsch ZLs have been able to go there and not see another person ever. What makes it so great is the stalls are large enough to run, and they include a sink and automatic toilet paper dispensers, and it is surprisingly the best smelling room on campus.
Today Elder Davies and I had to wake up at 3:30 a.m. to check off the rooms of the departing missionaries. That wasn't quite so great. But we did get to go to the temple right after that and have a huge p-day in store for us.
Yes I remember that being a missionary is not just about having fun all the time, so here is a great experience I had this week. We had the 50th anniversary of the MTC on Tuesday. For this Elder Russel M. Nelson and Elder Jeffery R. Holland came to speak to us. After first being kicked into the overflow building to watch the devotional on the screen, by some miraculous occurence Elder Davies and I ended up being on the floor chairs about 25 feet away from the podium. That day had been my hardest day at the MTC. I had been really discouraged with the language that day and I didn't feel like I was being an adequate missionary at all. When Elder Holland got up to talk though the spirit came stronger to me than I had ever expereinced yet in the MTC. I felt so close to my Heavenly Father. I knew more strongly at that time than ever before that I was a missionary called of God. He did not call me to fail, but to perform miracles through his guidance. I have no doubt in my mind that this church is true. I have known this for a long time, but now my testimony burns more fervently than ever. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and are always there for us. I know that the greatest happiness we can ever experience comes through this gospel. I would exhort any who have not read through the Book of Mormon and sincerely prayed, with real intent, with faith that you can receive an answer to know that this church is true, should it do it now. If you do this, follow the commandments, repent, and endure to the end you'll never have any regrets. These things I say in the name of Jesus Christ.
For now I love you all and I hope everything is going well for you.
Gott sei mit euch bis auf wiedersehen (God be with you til we meet again)