Yikes, what a crazy day. What a crazy week! I had p-day last thursday, and yesterday was supposed to be mine, buuuuut they had transfers, so we got lucky and have it today! I'm glad to be here in Portland! Well, Hillsboro... ok, more Aloha, so I'm pretty close to Jessica actually! I think she is just out of my zone, north, because on our map I cannot find where she lives. The MTC was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I didn't really want to leave, but I did. I'm like the guy in How to Train your Dragon "I believe in learning on the job!" speaking of which, somebody still needs to tell me that quote!!! "Something something the viking you ever were!" when peg-legged man says it to Stoick. Anyways, packing was terrible. I spent much much too long trying to balance out all of my suitcases to be underweight, and I lived on the fourth floor... so I would wheel it/carry it all the way to the scale to find out it was 1lb over, which is 80 bucks worth, so I had to take a pound out. It was crazy, but eventually my suitcases ended up at 47 and 49 pounds (the checked ones) my carry-on was 35 (max was 40), buuut my shoulder bag was 25... ssshhhh ;) So carrying them was terrible.
I don't know what you other missionaries did, but I took a bus to the Front Runner, then took that to Salt Lake where I caught another train that took me to the Airport. I got to call home, that was great! Everybody sounds practically the same! More or less.... yeah.
It's funny when I think about the MTC and how under NO OTHER circumstances would I have met the people I did. We practically had nothing in common, and lived nowhere near each other, but I still ended up loving them all, which is bizarre.
So I arrived in Portland yesterday, had meetings all day (only til four or so, so not bad at all) then had 3 appointments! Yikes, my companion's (Trainer) name is Elder Peterson. He is from Sandy, UT, and he is a really funny guy. We went and had dinner with a less-active family, but they were so loud and fun and crazy the whole time that we never got to share our message (oh well, I fellowshipped them a little bit and found a need) then we went to this other appointment with a family. That was when I had my worst case of Deja-Vu ever in my life. I recognized them ALL! What?! I didn't know names, but I had seen them all. And there were 3 members of the family, and two people came over. The oldest daughters "boyfriend" who is very active, went to camp Helaman. Her best friend, who's parents are VERY against the church :( and then the mom and son who is just older than kestra. It's funny because the two sons from both families have the same name, and both do not care for the church, in fact the kid who is just older than kestra left the room once we began to teach. But we have figured out what we need to do, and I learned that I can relate to the boys past experience, so hopefully that works out well! The daughter Crystal and the friend Michelle both like band a lot. Crystal marches, and Michelle broke her leg once upon a time, so she doesn't anymore, but she plays trumpet, so I got to tell her my horror stories of what has happened to my trumpet. Overall, a very good family and group. And I have the feeling that I knew them before this life, and hopefully there is something I can do (by being an instrument to the Lord) to reach out and help these people!
Our third appointment cancelled, so we went back so I could unpack, but a family from the ward came to visit. They were very fun. And unpacking was weird. Aaanyways, to start p-day off we did some good ole service up on rooftops cleaning out gutters at 7 a.m. reminds me of what Mom told me about Garrett. It was fun, and not too hard, but the dumpsters were heavy! And now here I am. Only four days since I last wrote, so not a lot has gone on.
Packing the candy was fun (yes I'm jumping around, deal with it). Packing the drinks was even easier, because I didn't bring em! We drank them all! Everybody in my class and my teacher had one, but we didn't get get halfway done with them, but after gym everybody was dying, so we finished them off. Everybody was SO grateful for them. So props to you, Mom and Rebekah, for getting those. Great idea! Having my temple bag shipped to me in the MTC made it difficult to pack things, but everything worked out. I'm only going to be able to go the temple 4 times a year. Ok, not ONLY, obviously some people its once in a lifetime or something like that, but I'm from Utah, so now that the opportunity to go whenever I wanted is gone, I miss it. We went to the Temple yesterday though! It was closed but we went to the visitor's center. This was with President Morby and the rest of the greenies. It was fun! We even had lunch. Ok, speaking of the visitors center, one of the people from my MTC district who came along had a "companion" for the day before we go here. But it feels like I've known her. AND! It's even worse! IT FEELS LIKE I KNEW EVERYBODY IN MY MTC DISTRICT WHEN I FIRST MET THEM! I'm telling you, either I am very good at becoming good friends with people SUPER fast, or I just knew them all before coming here. It is crazy. Impossible to describe, but there is definitely power, and purpose in this work. Don't you ever doubt it!
I'll keep you updated on the families and stuff, and I'm going shopping for food today, so don't worry about me starving :) I won't get a bike til next week though cuz we are booked today. Yes, we are in a bike area. OH! I listened to Lamb of God this morning on my CD player! Best thing ever. Because one of my biggest fears is singing in front of people, BUT somehow in the MTC I couldn't stop singing. I had cabin fever because of the severity of the music withdrawals I was having. I couldn't listen to any in the MTC, so I would sing instead. I sang at my service project last monday morning at 6 am when I cleaned the buildings (The song witness was repeated). And I sang everyday, anything! Heavens, this reminds me! Since last Thursday, while in the MTC we taught two last lessons on Saturday. One to a "less active" (TRC and one last one to our progressing investigator. We committed our P.I. to baptism, and FINALLY GOT HER TO PRAY! And guess how we started the lesson? Yup. Singing. We walked in the door and sang a medley of songs. Apparently the rest of the district snuck up on us and listened in, but anyways, Solomon and I sang Joseph Smith's First pray (first verse with last line changed) then we spoke about why, and then went into a child's prayer, then into I lived in heaven, then into when I am baptized, and lastly into a song that we wrote her. The purpose behind this was to bring the spirit in and to touch on all we had taught her, and summarize what we would talk about then. It sounded weird at the beginning, but once I missed a note it suddenly started sounding good. We were nervous so our tone wasn't good despite our accuracy. But once I missed a note, I smiled and almost laughed, and then I decided "what the heck" and went for it, and it sounded so good. For singing everyday, my voice has improved so much. Like seriously though. I can stand to hear myself now. IT'S AMAZING! Anyways, that wasn't to brag or anything, but we told her that we loved her and were there to support her and she ended up making decisions as we guided her. We asked her if she wanted to pray to close but she didn't feel like praying "in front of us" But then I just re-affirmed that we were there because we loved her and wanted to help her, and God wanted to speak to her. SO SHE PRAYED! It was miraculous! I got misty eyed. Even though it's not a real thing, you can still have a very real experience. The spirit was SO POWERFUL!!! It seems cheesy that it would be, because of the artificialness of the experience, but the truth was spoken and changes were made and commitments and all that jazz, and the spirit testifies of truth!
Ok, to start wrapping things up. I tried to listen to Rebekah's CD this morning. Apparently I grabbed the wrong one. I started playing it as I sat down to write her a letter when this country song comes on. Never heard it. So I skipped to the next one, and it starts blaring this bass and drums. I freaked out and turned it off, fearing my companion would think I was a heathen in the mission field, but thankfully he was in the shower. I took out a sharpie and wrote the word "NOT!!" next to the previously written "Rebekah's Reverence CD" Soooooooo, Rebekah, could you burn me another copy and send it out? Otherwise the CD is somewhere in my stuff. It's not funny btw, so whoever made the swap is in trouble.... lol, ok, it is hilarious, but still I WANT THAT CD!! :D
My address to write letters to for about the next 3 months is:
715 SW 206th Place
Aloha, OR 97006
We are in Quatama, and are actually living in a members home. So it is nothing like what I expected, but it will be so much fun. Speaking of "fun" the first thing I did this morning was exercise. Who in their right mind does that RIGHT after waking up? Idk, but my companion stretched for over half the time. He did crunches and some push-ups.... HA! I totes did a million things, and my triceps and abs want to kill me. (I had to show him up see ;))
Anyways, the hardest thing about leaving the MTC was the people. I'm going to miss them, and I'll probably never see over half of them again. But the MTC hasn't stopped yet. The MTC is the MTC for my mission, and my mission is the MTC for LIFE! Oh, speaking of people, I had talked about CS 240 to the people in my district on Sunday, and then at lunch Professor Woodfield was there (my teacher for that class) AAAHHH! Speak of the devil! Oh, Carly Schmutz is here, and she is Sister Heaton's trainer. Interesting. I'll write what Sister Jensen and Heaton kept asking her about in a different letter.....
Now to finally end this letter. It's been great, it will be great, and I can't wait to hasten the work. Here are just a couple pictures! Ok, I lied, this computer does not want to look at the pictures. So I will send the pictures at 4:30 ish my time tonight so that I can get a few more AND use the other computer. President Morby took a bunch of group pictures and all that yesterday, and they intend on sending them to the parents. So you'll be able to see the glorious pictures he took. Anyways, TTFN, ta ta for now!
I have nothing to say about not having a cool quote except that I have nothing to say about not having a cool quote. Ha.
ps, sorry this is whack-job, but this first week is whackjob, and I didn't get the chance to outline my letter before hand. But anyways, keep having good lives! I love hearing about yours! :)