The first day was pretty overwhelming and we jumped right into learning when I got there. There wasn't a whole lot of time to think about the fact I was beginning my mission. This was probably a good thing because I didn't have a lot of time to think about leaving so I wasn't super sad. I was assigned to be the district leader on my first day. I knew I would be though as soon as they said they would be assigning people the first day. I have an awesome district that makes my job easy though. My entire district is going to the same mission as me which is awesome! I obviously saw Nick since we came in together, but I also saw Sister Crystal Gardner, and Elder Spncer Call, my fall roommate. I also saw Elder Cam Christensen, a friend from BYU that I met the last few weeks of winter term, and he lives in my building.
Thursday morning was rough. Gym started at 6:25 in the morning. The combonation of lack of sleep, dehydration, and just having it be my first full day, made gym hard. Afterword I felt pretty sick from working to hard, which has happened before. When I got back to my residence hall I threw up which helped me feel better but I still felt pretty sick. I ending up falling asleep in a big group thing but after I felt better which was helpful. I finally saw Brayden which was awesome! I gave him a big hug. I also saw Nick again and also Sister McKenna Tracy, a friend from BYU. It was great seeing all of them. We all had a conversation while we watched the fireworks, or at least tried to. We watched a movie, 17 miracles, as celebration for the 4th of July. It is a great movie on the pioneers. It was hard watching the fireworks because I knew you were watching the same ones as me, but I was with friends which made it easier.
It rained a lot on Friday which made me feel a little closer to home. I saw Brayden while it was raining so we shared a little moment together like we were at home. I got a letter from Mom with all her questions. My companions name is Elder Lane. He is from Colorado Springs, but has moved all over because of military. We are pretty different but have found ways to get along even though we don't have a lot of similarities. My entire distric of 11 people is goinig to West Virginia. The 2 other elder in my dorm are awesome and always give me a good laugh. It is weird though because I am the oldest elder in my district. Only one other has been to college so it is sometimes rough for some of them to be away from home because they never have been before. Elder Staveley, one of my roommates, was feeling a little homesick and said a prayer. Later that day he got a letter from his mom which made him very happy. Prayers are answered.
We have 4 teachers. Brother Makahilahila, Brother Smith, Brother Hoffman, and Sister KaHawaii.
I have to get letters since I'm the district leader which is kind of hard because the lock is weird, but I'm getting the hang of it.
It has been 9 months since the accident!!!! WOWWWWW!!!!!
Today we taught our first "investigator." It was just our teacher role playing as a friend of his. His friends name is Ryan and is from Oregon which was weird, for a second I thought how do you know all this about me. But anyways, the spirit was so strong while we taught him, even though it was just a role play. At this point I have received 5 letter and 2 packages while others have received none so I feel bad and wish I could help. Keep sending them though, it makes my days way better and makes being away easier.
Also, we got our departure plans today!! We are scheduled to leave the MTC July 16th, at 3:30 am. Our flight leaves Salt Lake at 7:30am and we have an hour layover in Michigan around 11am. That would probably be around like 8 or 9 in Oregon so I will try to call home then. Just be home and ready around that time. Every time I call it wastes minutes off the calling card. If it is random number just answer.
I'm finally getting used to the schedule. I didn't fall asleep at all today which is saying a lot. We had mission conference in the morning, where the MTC President, President Nally, talked to us about all the new technology we will be getting which got me excited. Later we had testimony meeting in our zone and the spirit was so strong. During the meeting Elder Johnson, our zone leader, said a great quote about missionary work. He said "The mission isn't the best 2 years of your life, but the best 2 years for your life." What a great statement that made me so excited.
I finally saw Trevor which was great!! I also saw Kaeley Darby, another friend from BYU. I saw Brayden and Crystal again.
I am so glad I went to college before my mission! It makes it so much easier to be here and way less stressful to be away from home. I feel bad my companion was very sad today. I don't know why but at one point he was with a teacher out of the room so our district said a prayer for him. Later he got happier but it was a hard time. He has a different sense of humor than most of us which makes it hard but we are trying very hard to include him and help him fit in. My testimony of prayer has grown a lot especially when praying for investigators and others in my district. Everything continues to get easier and I learn and grow every day so much.
Tonight was hilarious. Elder Staveley is a funny character. He stubbed his toy then tried jumping over me. He is only like 5 foot 6, and by the end our entire floor was outside laughing on the floor.
What a great day! Even though it was not a real investigator, WE GOT A BAPTISIMAL COMMITMENT!!!! WOOOHOOO!!! It felt so great and both my companion and I were so happy. I have never seen him happier. The spirit was so strong. Later we met with an actual investigator which didn't go as well but we learned a lot from it and are meeting with him again on Thursday.
The devotional tonight was awesome especially our discussion with our district and branch president after! President Richards is an amazing man! I saw Trevor again and we had a great conversation on our way back from the Marriot Center. I also saw Kiley's roommate from winter term but can't remember her name right now.
Well that is kind of my week summarized a little bit. I have learned and grown so much. This work is amazing and I can't wait to be in the field. I'm not ready yet but am so excited to be out there.
Keep sending letters and emails. They help so much.
I love and miss you all!!!
Love Elder Ryan Carter