Thursday, June 13, 2013

My first week at the MTC! :D

Date: June 13, 2013

Family!  Friends!  Loved ones!

Myfirst week at the MTC was amazing!  I'm not going to lie, the first couple of days were really hard, adjusting to the environment and everything.  I felt a little homesick at first, but the spirit has blessed me so much, more each day.  My companion's name is Elder Kingrey
(pronounced King-Ray) and he's from Anchorage, Alaska.  He's a fun-loving, really funny, really social butterfly.  We're total opposites in that regard.  He talks to everyone he sees, and I mean EVERYONE.  He's great. The other other Elders in my room are great too.
Elder Atkin is from St. George and he's really into economics and ballet/theatre.  He has an amazing singing voice, and he's a really spiritual guy.  His companion, the other elder, is Elder Welker.  He's from Star Valley, Wyoming and he's really into thinking deeply about everything.  While Elder Kingrey is out talking with everyone in the entire residence hall, the rest of us always get into spiritual discussions.  Elder Welker has this calm persona about him, and he's really been a great example to me.  I love them all to death.

I was called on my 2nd day in the MTC to be the District Leader!  In my district we have 6 sisters and 4 elders.  The other sisters are so strong in the Gospel, and all of my district supports me in everything we do.  I feel that all of us are very focused and dedicated to the Gospel, and there's a real urgency to the work which we have been given since we only have 12 days total in the MTC. 

Wow, this is my only P-day in the MTC.

Whoa, so many things to say in so little time.  I'm nearly half finished with my time...I only have 30 minutes for emailing.  I want to thank EVERYONE for the packages and mail, and thank you mom for the powerade and CHEESE!  I ate 5 slices as soon as I opened the roommates thought I was a little weird...oh well. 

As you heard, June 5th had record breaking numbers, with 917 missionaries arriving.  It's craaaaazy crouded here.  I've run into quite a few friends, Jon Wagstaff, Cade Parker, and I even saw Reid yesterday when he arrived.  I love the "Band of Brothers" that are here everywhere in the MTC.  I've been teaching a few investigators while I've been here.  I've been teaching an investigator named Fred who was a former Lutheran.  Yes, I said former.  We committed him to baptism!  I know it's not real, just actors, but it still feels good!  I've also been teaching another investigator, Alexandre.   He's supposed to be a political and governmental leader in the Bahamas, representing his people from Haiti, and guess what?  We committed him to baptism too!  It feels so great!   I love being a missionary.  On our first day we arrived in the MTC, we tried to teach investigators as a group.  It didn't go so well...We were so off-topic and not effective at all, and it was a really big eye-opener for all of us to see how horrible we really were at teaching and how much we need to learn.  It was a really humbling experience.  But, after being in the MTC a week, I have learned SOOO much about teaching others and focusing on the needs of the investigator. I believe these teaching skills were the difference maker in teaching our investigators. 

We had a couple of devotionals this week, and Elder Mervyn B. Arnold spoke to us in the Marriott Center, the first time in MTC history that we went there to have a devotional.  The spirit was so strong.

I'm sorry that I didn't have enough time to write to you personally.  I hope you got the letters I sent to a few of you.  I love the picture of my plaque!  It's amazing!  We went to the temple this morning as a district and I ran into Uncle Taylor!  It was cool to see him there.

I love you all.  The mail that I have received from all of you has been a real blessing.  I'll send out some letters throughout the week.  Question for you mom:  How much money do I have in my debit account?  I'm not sure how much I can really spend and I'm running out of cash.  Thank you for your love and support.  My 30 minutes are nearly up; NOT enough time to write an email...It's great to be a missionary.  Putting that name tag on in the morning is a huge blessing, but also a solemn responsibility.  Have a great week everyone!  

I love you all! 

Elder Harper

Elder Kingrey and Elder Harper

Elder Kingrey, Elder Welker, Elder Atkin, Elder Harper

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