Merry Christmas!! I didn't think that I'd have time to write but I guess since it's a special day I will!! I Hope you all have fun opening presents in about an hour or so. I've opened mine and I want to thank you so much for the presents! The gloves are perfect as well as the cold weather gear. I'm already wearing them!! They are very warm. Well an apostle of the Lord is coming at 9:30 today!!! OMG!!! haha I'm pretty excited. We have to wait in line for 2 hours for a decent seat but it's totally worth it. I'm doing laundry right now so I don't have to worry about it later because today is our P-Day but we have a total schedule planned out for us with a bunch of devotionals and such. It will be worth it. We had a bunch of Elders bring their mattresses into our room and sleep on the floor last night. It was a great party and a fun night in the MTC. Last night we watched the movie "A Christmas Carol". What a great movie!! I will tell you a little about Elder Gheen's and I's investigator Michael!! He is a great guy but lost. His wife was thrown out of another church because she was terribly sick. He doesn't believe in God and his wife kind of does. We went in and asked what he wanted to gain from us. He told us that he wanted to know just more about anything so that he might be able to gain a testimony and ask things of God. We both bore testimony of prayer and that he could actually speak with God if he had faith. At the beginning of the meeting he was very lethargic and closed off. At the end you could tell that he had felt the spirit of the Lord and was more lively to participate in our closing prayer. He didn't admit to feeling it but you could tell in his manner that he had felt better. It was amazing because I talked to him the whole time, asked him the questions I wanted to ask and gave him answers to his questions, all in German!! It was truly amazing. I was so excited the rest of the day. I hope you guys have a great day and I'm sure Kristin is already awake. I love all of you guys and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. You can email me back if you want or just write a letter. Whatever works for you best. I just won't be able to email you back until my next p-day but if I have time during the week I can write anytime. I ate the orange in my stocking immediately. It was delicious! Thank you so so much. Any ways I'd better let Elder Gheen use the computer. I love you!!
Hey family you will probably get this email before the letter I sent you yesterday but I will let you know what else is going on while I'm here!! We are allowed to email because it's Christmas Eve!! Boo Yaa!! We have a special devotional tomorrow and Elder Nelson is coming to speak! We are so excited! I can't wait to hear a great apostle speak. Last night we had a fireside and the speaker talked about repentance, more importantly holding grudges. He said that the repentance process is really important and all but once that is finished we need to be able to forgive ourselves!! This really impacted me as I have been holding a grudge against my selft for months about somthing that I had repented for long ago. I was instantly relieved and had the spirit of the Lord confirm that I had made that mistake. I'm so grateful for His love for us. After the fireside we went in and watched a re-run of Elder Holland's talk about loving your missions. He speaks so powerfully and with the spirit. He mentioned so many great quotes to us. I would like to share a poem with you that he told from his wife. (God speaking to two missionaries) "'Come to the edge,' 'no we will fall,' they said. 'Come to the edge,' He said. 'but we will fall' they said. 'COME TO THE EDGE' they went to the edge, He pushed them, and they flew." Such an amazing story that we can learn and apply every day to put all of our trust in God because he knows us much better then we know ourselves. 2 weeks down!! Woo!! Can't wait for Germany!!
Oh and before I forget to tell you mother, my coat is good but it's not as warm or as good as quality as we had previously thought...One button is almost off and I've used it 3 times...maybe we can arrange for the one we got at Calvin Klein again? I'm sorry but I just am cold here in it and I don't want to imagine what it would be like in Germany.
I hope all is well and I thank you for the many treats and presents! I loved all of them and can't wait to open the stocking on Christmas morning!! I sent my letter yesterday and I hope you get it. This Christmas we need to think of Christ's Atonement. I wrote a talk for Sacrament Meeting and I mentioned that it means "AT ONE". Since that fall, man has spiritually died. We need a mediator (The Savior) to be able to return to the presence of God. Jesus Christ is that mediator. He paid the debt that we owe to God and we somehow have to pay that back to Jesus Christ in everyway possible. In our love to our fellow men, our obedience to His commandments, follow the Spirit, and feasting on the words of Christ.
I challenge you all to read all of 3rd Nephi this Christmas. At this time, Christ visits the Nephites in the Americas right after his death. It's weird to think that at the time of Christ's birth, only a few in Bethlehem knew. Over in the Americas, Samuel the Lamanite foretold the birth of Christ so when these signs came to pass, the Nephites were astonished!! They fell to the Earth. I challenge you to read that and pray as a family to know of it's truth. Also a great passage is in John 3:5 about the Savior's Atonement.
Thank you for all of your love and support. I'm doing great here at the MTC and can't wait for Germany!!
Ich bin dankbar immer für das Sünopfer von Jesus Christus und ich liebe ihn.
I just want to let you know that first of I love all of you dearly and I'm doing very well! Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. We are only allowed to email on our P-Day which mine is every Tuesday. I can write letters throughout the week if I get time though so if you want, Dearelder.com is awesome! Or a hand written letter would be amazing as well every once in a while. How is everybody?! I'm loving it here! Week one was very very overwhelming and difficult but my amazing district and I powered through it. The second we got there we were put into a classroom and our teach Brüder Wright (who doesnt speak english) taught us German!! It was amazing. I can now bear my testimony, pray and teach a discussion all in German! We have an investigator named Stephan. He is from Freiburg Germany and we have been teaching him since day 2. I have taught lessons all in German!! Its truly our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ, blessing his missionaries. I love it here! After Sunday things started to pick up and get better. We have a set schedule from now until week 8. We are set to depart to German on Feb 12, 2013!! Im so very excited. Well how are all of you? I want to hear some stories!! My companions name is Elder Gheen. He is awesome!! Picture the Elder from The Best Two Years, the one from Texas and its him!! He is from Genola, UT. No idea where that is. I have some pictures for you! There are six Elders in my disrict, and they are all awesome. You will see them in the pictures I show you!! I have joined the choir and am performing at the Christmas devotional!! Where a member of the 12 will be speaking!! The food isn't so bad after all. You can create your own salad and that's what i've been doing. Just eating healthy still! Like always! They have a gym also but it's just a bunch of dumbbells so I go there everyonce in a while. I haven't gained any weight so far which is good.
Ich weiß dass das Buch Mormon ist Wahr und Joseph Smith ist Wahr. Ich geben Zeugnis das der Sohn von Gott lebt. Dis Evangelium Wahr ist. Ich leibe der Gott und diene Sohn.
Well that's my testimony in German! I actually love praying in German too! It's a lot of fun. I have to tell you about the elders in our Branch. Elder Hardy is this 6'6" 280 lb BEAST. He is like a little teddy bear but he loves you by whipping you or squishing you to death haha but he is totally awesome. I love it here but I can't wait to leave for Germany. I
I want to share an experience I've had already being here. Elder Gheen was called as the senior comp and I the junior. At first I was very envious. Then an overwhelming feeling of love and happiness came over me. I instantly was humbled by the spirit of the Lord and knew that I needed to be the one learning from Elder Gheen. I need to learn while I can and apply principles so I can be the best i can be when i get out into the field. I just started crying in the middle of the meeting and I couldn't stop.
I'm so grateful for the Lord and what he has done for me. He truly sacrificed for our sins and we can never repay him. But we have to try our best. "Walk forward in faith, for the Lord is walking along side you." inspiration by yours truly haha.
Well I love you all!!
I just found out I can't send pictures in the email but I will send them in the mail in a memory card? Sound good!
Sorry I've been speaking German for non stop (literaly) so my english isn't that good.
Erika-I love you. No boys till I get home.
Trevor-Hope you are doing well man! The Gospel is true! I can testify!
Kristin-I miss that sunshine of a face :) I can't wait to see it again!
Mom-I love you so very much and there is nothing I can do to ever repay you for all you've done.
Dad-Thanks so much for the letter!! I miss you so much and you are the exact replica of a man that I want to become someday. You are an example to me everyday of my life and always will be. I love you.
I am out of time!! I wish I had a few more minutes but we have a time limit!!