Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Friday, December 20, 2013

2 Weeks Down ... 102 To Go?

So... Hopefully that math is right... I've never been very good at math... but... nonetheless..


I love love love P-day! Mostly because I get to sit around all day and not study for hours on end, but also because I love to talk to all of you! So, this week was pretty intense, but let me first start out by saying that last night was maybe the most epic night of my entire MTC experience. (I know, saying that after two weeks is quite the feat) However! Last night, in honor of P-day being the following morning, we decided to... bend some rules ;P. We put all three of our bed bunks together last night in our room, laid mattresses on the floor, covered the whole thing in sheets, and created the Ultimate K-Town Kastle! Hahaha. We fit 10 fellas (er.. Elders I mean..) in 6 beds, and had the raddest time! We told endless stories, shared paranormal experiences, and passed around my glowing-red headlamp while we spoke. It was pretty much your typical 12-year old sleepover/campout. Haha but it was so fun. It was so nice to have a chance to kick back and just have a good time. We had a bunch of snacks, and put Christmas lights and glow sticks all over inside! Needless to say, we felt like MTC kings.
Switching gears a little bit, let me tell you about my week! So, first off.. to all those entering or residing in the MTC for a long period of time.. watch what you eat. (Elder Grossgebauer is the coolest guy i know and he kicks my butt in basketball) My companion and I were sick for about four days this week and struggled really hard to focus and stay alive. I think we've really just been eating poorly these past few weeks (because I mean come on.. without your mom around, why would you eat anything green or healthy? ..And endless fries? Like.. count me in..) and it's really just gotten to us I think. Elder Shaver had to go to the Medical Clinic, and I completed a 150 piece puzzle while he was being evaluated (I know.. I'm a super genius). He was prescribed some meds, and we're both feeling a lot better now, but we've also made a resolve to eat a lot healthier. And might I say, some of the salads here are delicious!! So.. I guess you win some, you lose some! 

Also, Friday of last week was maybe the coolest experience ever. The older Elders from our area were leaving for Korea on Sunday, so, in honor of them (and as part of tradition) we held a "Pass-Down Ceremony" on Friday night. You see, in the Korean branch, many noteworthy and revered items are held on to for years, and passed down to worthy Elders in the Korean branch. So, let me give you some examples: There is a Korean bean-plant (relative to the tree of life, and cousin to the Burning Bush, given to the most responsible Elder in the younger group of Elders), A pair of hefty overalls (given to an Elder that can fit in them), An undecipherable Korean love song (given to an Elder at random, whom is then kissed on the cheek in the ceremony), A Safari Blanket (So hideous, and so funky smelling it's weird.. given to an Elder at absolute random), A pair of K-town basketball shoes (given to an Elder that deserves the gift of Athleticism), An Idaho Stuffed Cow (given to an Elder from Idaho), A statue of the Salt Lake City Temple made entirely out of Cactus Cooler Soda cans (given to an Elder who is diligent enough to finish it, and hide it somewhere in the ceiling of our residence hall -- Although not as cool as the Cactus Cooler Taj Mahal that the Mandarins possess), An elephant fan (given to an Elder that has injured the Elder possessing that pass down), and other silly things like that. It was seriously the funniest, coolest thing I've ever been a part of. After you are given a pass down, you must accept the pass down, and then be given the power to hold that pass down by the power and authority of the Elder who possesses the pass-down of the "Nerf Swords of Dubbing". Hahaha we truly are just all little kids still.

However, there is one last pass down I'd like to tell you about, and it is acclaimed to be the "Pass-down of all pass-downs"! They call it ... (drumroll please..) .. The K-TOWN CARDY. Stolen from an innocent unsuspecting girl who had left it on her chair in the cafeteria, this teal/blue/green/seafoam/girl colored cardigan is the ultimate pass down, and is given to the coolest, most respected younger Elder. ...And I received it! When asked, "Does it fit?" The answer is always most certainly, "No.". When asked, will it look good on you? The answer is always most certainly "It won't." Hahaha. I felt super honored to receive it, and was so stoked about it (even though it's total chick apparel). I'm the 6th Elder to receive it, I believe.
Alright, aside from that, Sunday was really stellar. The BYU Men's chorus came and sang to us, and they did a phenomenal job. That was pretty much everything on Sunday, it wasn't very eventful. However, this upcoming Sunday I will be performing with several Elders singing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" to the tune of "Come thou Fount". It should be really really cool! I've also been asked to conduct the music for Priesthood meeting, which should be a treat. Singing Hymns in Korean is a little harder than you'd think! Monday was just another day, and that's probably when all the illness started. 

Monday through... Wednesday we were really sick, but made some really incredible progress with our investigators. We are teaching Brother Kim (Old Brother Choi, who is now our teacher) and a student from our class. Yesterday was so incredible with our investigator. We went in, (second lesson, by the way) introduced ourselves again, talked all about his family, his job, his life, school, and then asked him what he knew about God. He didn't know much, so we explained God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, and went from pamphlet to scripture to testimony and everything! We had him read, we taught him how to pray, we testified to him, and even asked him to be baptized! ..Shocker, right?? The best part is that he told us he didn't know much about baptism, but from what we had told him, he knew that if we taught him about it, and if he prayed to know it was true and felt good about it, he would! How incredible!!!! Yesterday was truly a blessing. That, plus the fort? PLUS a five-page letter from the sweetest girl in the world, great drawings from my little brother, a letter from my sister, an incredible fort and no more illness, yesterday was the bomb! It is like we've died and gone to paradise, in a way!

We get to learn from the Spirit so clearly here. Being a missionary- learning directly by the spirit- gives us so much more advantage over our non-mission selves. It's truly incredible. In the words of Elder Watts' wise mother, "That is why it is hard. We are doing Super-human work because we are ‘set apart’ from the world for a time, to learn, grow, and progress. The tough part is simply our bodies & minds reminding us that we can't do this alone. We were not meant to do it alone. We become more humble, more submissive. We say, ‘What would you have me learn?’ Then we fly. ..Spiritually, we soar." This gospel is effecting my life in more ways I thought possible, and I am so grateful for the incredible amounts of love you have all shown me. My dear friend Thomas S. Monson once said, "Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heart-breaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were, more understanding than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before."
I love you all so much, and know with all my heart this church is true. This gospel is true. This work is true. And I can say all of that and more in Korean now, telling me that I know the gift of tongues and our dear friend the Holy Ghost are true. I love you all so much, and want you to keep pressing forward!! Stay true!

Elder True DeMille!

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