Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"For behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."

Hello sweet friends of the earth!
My first week in the MTC has been wonderful! It feels like I've been here forever. The spirit is so strong here, and I love it. I've seen so many people I know from BYU and everywhere. When I checked in, it was one of the friendliest welcomings I've ever experienced. When I was dropped off, my "host" who helped me carry my bags was actually from Riverside! It was so crazy. He told me later that he wasn't the next host in line to help a new missionary, but something told him, "Hey, I think I'll help this Elder." It's things like this that make me positive that the "the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen" (1 Ne. 1:20).  Everyone is so kind and enthusiastic and tries to make you feel at home.
My district is the best, and so is my Zone. There are 12 missionaries in my district, 6 Elders, 6 Sisters going to Riverside. My companion is Elder Griffes (pronounced like Griffen but with an "s") from North Carolina. He's tall, goofy, and just an awesome guy. I room with him, Elder Taylor (from SLC), and Elder Lunt (also from Utah). They're so funny. Elder Taylor loves puns and he's so good at them. It's hilarious. He is also our district leader. The other Elders are Elder Berry and Elder Tyger. Elder Berry reminds me so much of Seth Johnson. In the other district in our zone, there are 4 more Elders and 6 more Sisters also going to Riverside. And there are 4 more Elders going to Riverside, but they're in a different zone. One of them in Elder McConkie, and Bruce R. McConkie is his great uncle! Crazy stuff. Also, today is my first and only Preparation Day at the MTC, so I probably won't be able to write again until Monday the 24th. We fly out to California next Tuesday! So pumped.
Basically, everyday we have 1-2 hours to study the scriptures in the morning, then we have classes and more study time later in the day. It's such a great experience to study so much of the word of God and to learn of His goodness.  The book of Mormon is true! :)
That's all the time I have, but I hope everyone is doing good! It's great to do well, but it's better to do good. :)
Elder Judd