MTC is serving in the New York Utica mission from June 2010 to June 2012. We hope to keep you updated with his latest letters, pictures and more.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Michael will be a trainer....

Michael reunited with his MTC roommates

Dear everyone,
So perhaps you were surprised to see an email from me today. Yes, normally transfer week Pday is on Tuesday and then we transfer on Wednesday but the Bullochs have a Mission President Conference or something like that they are flying to tomorrow so Pday is today and Transfer day is tomorrow. But holy cow, let me just say I have been reading such great and detailed emails that if my email isn't as long as I would prefer I apologize. It sounds like everyone is doing well and had a great week, that's wonderful! It's seriously so great to hear from you all, I say it every week but I mean it. That's awesome about the temple visit/coordination with Arizona and Utah relatives. I'm definitely jealous and wishing I could go to the temple, but I suppose I can wait. Nana, unfortunately I've been told from other missionaries we aren't allowed to wear hats, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness though. Also, thanks about the boots but we'll see how mine do I haven't had to break them in yet but I anticipate them being good. And way to go "Mormon" golfers for the Championship of the World! haha. It seemed like DC was a great time for Ben and Paige, that's awesome. I can think back and remember when we went there as a family like it just happened; wow how time flies and lives change. (it's actually really funny too because thinking back on that: a lot of people will talk about going to or seeing the Washington DC temple and how awesome it is. And I always say how I've seen it but not been there. Remember getting lost trying to find it through all the trees? haha). It's great to hear Jackson is doing well, hopefully he gets over his little sickness quick. Ha, that's classic sub-seminary taught. I'm learning about the whole early morning thing out here with all the youth doing it. haha, so grateful for release time. I generally get letters from Mom on Friday or Saturday. This week I got it Friday (as it seemed like you sent it off Tuesday?). But it, as always, was wonderful and I appreciate it a lot. You would have crazy ideas for Christmas already, ha. I have some things I've thought of that would be great to have that perhaps I can put on my "Christmas wish list." ha :). That's absolutely crazy about Nick Ferrin; so sad. I was never close with him at all, perhaps never even talked to him, but some of my friends were pretty close with him. To be honest I had no idea he was serving a mission, good for him; but wow about that. Sad. I'm so glad that Ben and Paige were able to meet/talk with the Bullochs! Are they not the most loving people in the world? How sweet, I love them so much! So so cool stuff like that can happen with you guys in Ithaca, still blows my mind.

So this week has been great, truly. In short (because I know everyone is more curious about transfers), we found 4 awesome new investigators this week. First is a guy that we talked to outside his house when we were around there trying to contact a Headquarter Referral that didn't exist a couple weeks prior. He is from Texas and has really close friends who are members and who served missions. We taught him the Restoration and it was really neat. He seems sincere to learn and try it out; Catholic background. Next was a woman that we ran into two completely different times and places just on the street. She, too, had had experiences with missionaries or knowing what we do in the past. Awesome first lesson with her as well; she is a little bit older and going through a tough time in her life right now, willing to experiment upon it. Third, last night we picked up a wife of a quasi less-active member. Oh how I love part-member families. Basically they are millionaires: literally as the term suggests and figuratively in the sense of ready to truly convert to the gospel. He is looking to become an Elder. And she has read the Book of Mormon before, is reading it again, and knows without a doubt it is true. We made the connections of what that truly means and she, herself, said she has the desire to be baptized. So legit. I'm hoping this can happen before they go down to FLORIDA for the winter starting around January; and it's likely because she really wants it low key. And then, finally, the son of Dawn. He is 13 and at first wasn't interested at all but he met with us this week and it went alright. I didn't think he seemed too intrigued from it, until we got a message the next morning saying how he told his mom it's something he would want to become a part of to help him make good choices in his life, etc. Awesome. We're hoping this week to set him with the same baptismal date of 12/4 that his mom and sister have. Anyway, the work is seriously going great. Our teaching pool is not only growing but being filled with people who I really feel are searching for the truth.

So transfers. Elder Daniels-Brown is heading off (ha, actually to Malone where E. Miller is leaving and becoming a ZL). And I'll be staying here training a new missionary. To be honest it's pretty ridiculous and crazy. I feel like I haven't been out here hardly at all (in the grand scheme of things), and for me to have a greenie who is looking to me to show him how to do all aspects of the work is unreal. I'm humbled. To fill you in more fully, though, let me back up. Two Mondays ago in my interview with President he brought it up that it was likely I would be called to train this transfer. (I was sworn to secrecy though, as you could understand. But, I was dying last email not saying anything when you were all supposing this or that). So for the past 2 weeks I've basically had this pressing on my mind. All the things that need to happen before then, how I need to improve, etc., etc. I'm grateful for the time, I guess, I had to somewhat prepare myself mentally and in every other aspect. So, if I don't seem as surprised as you may have guessed it's because this has since 2 Mondays ago been registered in my mind. Only being here 1 transfer and training will be intense. There are a lot of people in the ward I don't even know yet, let alone less-active members, etc. I feel like we have their support, though, which makes all the difference in the world. And it being a walk area, something new, as well as memorizing all the bus routes and times and stops is a lot. Ha, it's certainly going to be a big endeavor but I'm up for it. Especially with the Lord's help, we know that all is possible - he will make up all our inadequacies as we trust in Him and do ALL we can. Elder Daniels-Brown and I, to be honest, have had a good time together. We certainly are very different people in a lot of different ways, but I truly feel we were able to put those aside and become unified in allowing the work of the Lord to go forth unhindered. I'm grateful for the lessons I've learned with him and growth I've experienced. I really feel looking back, and already now, that the time I spent with him here will find a special place in my heart. I greatly look forward to the future for what is in store and the adventures that lie ahead. I've realized that as a missionary you definitely are subject to a lot of changes. I've found this with all of the different companions I've had as well as changing areas quickly. What I'm learning, though, through all of it is great. Simply, the only person you will always be with here is yourself. It's important to know who you truly are, or who you want to become. And with that, I am growing a personal relationship with my Father in Heaven and with my Savior that beforehand I never, or very slightly, had. It's something that I heard would happen or would be good to experience but it's something difficult to describe and something you truly do just need to go through to know. As you personally rely and trust in the Savior and our Heavenly Father's plan, it's miraculous what happens.

Well, I love you all and hope you have a great week! My heart is full at this time, and I can't really write the way I feel. It's awesome though, it's the Spirit of the Lord. Please continue to stay in touch.


Elder Christensen

Michael reunited with MTC friends at All Mission Conference

Michael and Elder Miller practicing the no teeth smile

The Badgers
Michael and Elder DB

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