YEAH! Welcome aboard Elder! Man I have been especially excited for this Preparation Day to email you, and I've loved hearing about all that's going on and a snapshot into the MTC. I can't believe you've only got 3 weeks- soak up every minute because that time will go by like nothin! Elder Wilson and I would always joke around saying "What happened to this Elder or that Elder? (in the 3 week groups)" while we were zone leaders because they would unpack and then it seemed their plane tickets came. Ahhhhh..... I have a hundred things to say but don't know where to start. When's your preparation day? Thursday? I know that the time crunch when you email is intense in the MTC but give us a rundown of your companion and such. You're going to love it. In a month from now even being in a restroom alone will be super awkward- you'll have the companion mindset and all working for you. Remember that every companion you get is an assignment and opportunity from Heavenly Father, one to bless said Elder, and the other is to learn from his strengths. Look for that in each Elder you will serve with. How's the MTC food? Sweet ya? Ahhh the foods good there- with time and a little luck you could get your cheeks back!
I'm going to include most of this weeks details in the email but I want to share with you a cool scripture that I found again and loved reading/pondering/and sharing this week in my work. It's Luke 14. The whole chapter is incredible, but there is an especially powerful parable in verses 16-25. Many people wonder why we need the Gospel, or what the benefit is (a very sad perspective but nonetheless a start). But this is a great reply from the Savior and I have learned a lot from studying it. I loved getting your email this week. You're full of the missionary spirit and desire to serve God! That's the key factor in success! I'm now getting the "old missionary" feeling Elder- but more than anything I want to serve hard right until the end! Remember when we used to go running? As soon as you hit the last turn til home, or get in the neighborhood you start sprinting. That's the mode I am getting myself into for these last 8 months- I want to be dead tired and sure that I gave the Lord my best! It's been especially strange now that I have this double-duty in the office because it takes out my morning study time and such- but that's going to be improving this next transfer. Transfers! I forgot to tell you. I'll be still serving as assistant but am also going to be training a new American missionary! So that means you've already met my companion before I did. With that I will be able to get more study and more time to focus on training him better. I couldn't be more excited! Where at first I was worried about language with Elder Verdusco, my language fears are subsided and now I just want to get out and teach with him as much as possible. I've also got a baptism coming up this Friday! My first since being back in Sansar, but this investigator, Munkh-Orchlon, is incredible. Goes to Institute, attends choir, and is extremely committed to following the Savior. I love this work and I'm so excited to hear about your experiences as I share with you mine! Gotta go, Preparation Day is getting sucked away in the office and so we're going home to pack up- heading out to a new apartment this week. Love ya bud!