Friday, August 8, 2014

Week 5 August 7, 2014

There is only one word to describe the MTC. Crazy. Lets just say it has been an awakening experience haha. It has had its ups and downs but there is honestly no place like it!! You learn so much here, it is insane! It is really easy to get tired and drift off in class... but I have learned when I push myself to stay awake, alert, and happy that my days end up being so much better. I'm getting better at staying focused but it is hard sometimes haha. My frustration has showed a little when I dont understand something but I'm starting to get better at holding it in. In all reality here at the MTC, the best way to pick up a language is by listening to the spirit and doing all that you possibly can then leaving the rest in the Lord's hands. I'm at the point where I have realized I won't become even CLOSE to being fluent here at the MTC and for that very reason is why everyone always stresses. You never get fluent until you are in the field for quite sometime. The MTC will give me ENOUGH of a language background to get around and not be completely lost. I have kind of taken the liberty to embrace that fact and just do my best. You get so exhausted studying 24/7 so I can kind of get lazy sometimes. Like my Family said though, "I just gotta on my knees and pray then get up and do work!" I have tried to embrace that and the days I have prayed as much as I can I have really felt the difference. The Spirit is AMAZING you feel here especially at the devotionals. 

This morning I got up and lifted so that was nice. I came in like 210 and now I'm like 200, lets just say I have been trying to eat really healthy here and exercise as much as I can because I do not want to get fat here at the MTC. You eat so much here that it is REALLY hard not to!! Especially when EVERY single meal they have all of my favorite deserts and fatty foods. Satan is real and he tempts me on the daily with those stinkin cookies!! For exercise time throughout the week I play basketball, soccer, or I run around the track. Sometimes if I'm really feeling it I go over to the volleyball court and just go BEAST MODE!!! The nets are a little shorter than normal size so I can lay down some hard spikes and man does it feel like I'm flying!! I can't jump so if playing volleyball on short nets makes it so I feel like I can jump I'm going to do it. 

I can see why everyone says sometimes you have companions on your mission you just have to grow to love and get along with. They all weren't lying that's for sure. It is not like my companion is one of those that I absolutely don't like but we have kind of different personalities so it is hard to agree and get along sometimes. We have done a lot better and this week went great! We had an Elder go home for medical reasons so I might have another companion here soon, making it a 3 way companionship. So we will see how that goes. I have always been one to love everyone but for some reason I have been struggling more with that since I have been here. Like my Momma said I just have to develop Christlike charity and do all that I can to make everything work. My heart has been quick to harden at times here and feelings of discouragement come and go. So my goal for the rest of the MTC is to love everyone and try to keep my heart as soft as I possibly can. I'm a representative of Jesus Christ with his name on my chest so I must strive to be like him and make him proud of the missionary I am! After all this is NOT my mission but the LORD's, I am just an instrument in his hands. So in that case I have to be a working one not a faulty disobedient one. 

Every Wednesday and Saturday we do service around at different buildings so that is always a good way to start off your day. I'm starting to grow and love doing service so much!! You feel so good when you are serving others, it is great. On our P-Days we get to go to the temple so that is always a great thing to look forward to each week. Temples are amazing. I really wish I would of took the time like my Momma said and went more when I had the Temple 5 minutes from my house in Spokane! The Provo temple is so much bigger than Spokane, I was in shock when I went in haha. The Provo temple is a really pretty temple and it is so cool to see that like the whole endowment session is full of missionaries! It makes me so happy to know that so many people want to serve their Lord and leave their families for 2 years of their life so that others may be with theirs for eternity. Knowing that I am a missionary and that I am being prayed for in the Temple is pretty cool! 

Thank you SO much for the package!! I loved it! All of the jokes and saying made me laugh so hard hahaha lol. It was nice getting something like that and it really put a smile on my face. It has been rough but all those notes of encouragement and jerky will keep me going for sure. I also got some cookies from the William's Family and those were pretty yummy. So thank you to the Williams for sending me those because I loved them. It is always nice to get mail and stuff to reassure me how much I am loved just in case a ever forget haha. I love my family so much and will work hard so blessings are sent your way. EJ and Sara will find jobs and spouses because they are awesome. Hanna's baby girl is going to be sooo cute. I can't wait to see pictures of her!! Is Joey doing better? How is my old man? Is he loving his new TV? I guarantee he spends lots of time on the couch watching it and eating some popcorn because he loves that stuff!! I love all of Elizabeth's letters, they are hilarious lol. 

I really do need to work on listening instead of talking. Thanks Mom for that letter of advice, it really has helped me. There is always room for improvement like you send and God will bless me with strength to push on. I have took your advice and have looked for ways to serve my companion and the times I do my days go that much better. And yes I need to stop being silly because a mission isn't the place for that but it is HARD because I have always been the jokester. All of the quotes were right on the money of what I need to hear so way to pick the good ones. You are the best Mom ever and I am so happy to be your son!! I have gotten better with not getting frustrated easily but I am still working at it. I just need to do all I can and if other missionaries are doing something that bugs me I just can't let it bug me. Yes Mom you are correct I DON'T roll that way and I will not let Satan win! 

Last Friday at TRC I had an amazing experience! The first Sister we taught came in with an actual question that her friends had asked her but she couldn't answer. I was totally caught by surprise but the spirit was so strong and I was helped through it. She spoke some English and we are supposed to do as much Korean as we can in our lessons so I did the very best I could but had to use some English. Her question was reading the Book of Mormon sometimes gets boring and you feel like you are just reading and not understanding. She asked, "What can I tell my friends to help them as they read?" I answered that the very best thing you could do was have a question on your heart as you are reading because then you are reading with a purpose. Also that if she and her friends read in the faith, the Spirit would be in them and answer their questions. Even though the investigators here at the MTC are actors you never know if they really do have a question that needs to be answered. So I can't take it lightly and go in there like they aren't members and teach by the Spirit. This past fast Sunday I got up and bore my testimony in Korean!! It was so awesome and felt so good afterwards to hear that it actually made sense and that my pronunciation was on the money! Learning Korean is so awesome and being able to do all I can in just 5 weeks of being here is incredible. The gift of tongues is real for sure! 

Every fast Sunday they have mission conference which is like a devotional. The topic was that we need to go out there and find ALL of the lost sheep and bring them unto Christ. Also of the importance it is that I remain worthy all of the time so that I can bring the lost unto repentance. At the Sunday night devotional the President of BYU, Kevin Worthen, and his wife spoke. The main theme of their talks was to teach with the power I have been given. He said, "My calling gives me authority but keeping my covenants gives me power." That really hit me and I need to better keep all of my covenants. They said also not to compare yourself to others and to not get discouraged because the Lord is on your side. While you teach and throughout my mission they said I must be happy, friendly, and polite. On Sunday nights after the devotional we get to watch a movies or a talk that has been recorded so it is pretty awesome! I watched the Joseph Smith movie and it was a good one. I had a really cool experience while I was watching it. I had an overwhelming feeling of the truth of Joseph Smith  as a prophet and the Book of Mormon. The Spirit literally burned within me and I had chills all over my body!! I know without a doubt now that Joesph Smith was a true prophet of God and that he did translate the Book of Mormon with the power of God. Also that the Priesthood truly does have power far beyond any power here upon this earth. A power that can't even be fathomed until you experience it. Bruce C. Hafen spoke at the Tuesday night devotional. He and his wife talked on the importance of temples and living by your covenants. Then when you do that very thing it will give you strength. They also emphasized that this isn't my mission but the Lord's and that I won't be truly successful/happy until I give up myself and let the Lord take control!!  

I did laundry so that was fun. Oh yeah and I straight balled out in soccer! I had 4 goals. So yeah I guess I was born to play soccer or something. I will probably play in the Olympics! ;) Well that was my week! 
Only around 21 days until I head for Korea, it is crazy!! I can't wait :)

I love all my family so much!! You all truly are great. Thanks to everyone that believes in me and prays for me. Thanks to the Saltese ward for all you did for me and a special thanks to my main man Bishop Ballif, he truly is an amazing man and helped me so much! :)


Elder Daniel Jackson Picard
Elder Haskell

Elder Haskell and Elder Butterfield

Left to right. Me, Elder Dayley, Miller, Jensen, Cook, Schulz, Andersen, Cooper, Dent, Smith, Haskell, Butterfield 

My Temple walk on Sunday

Elder Johnson

Elder Cooper, had to leave for medical reasons :(


  1. Awesome! I can't believe he is this old!

  2. Just wait, you will be a missionary mom in no time!