Wow! How time sure flies!
You see, I'm actually on my fifth week here... haha.. surprise! The MTC likes to pull this nasty trick and tell the missionaries that the little half-week we were here in the beginning counts as week one. ...So.. truthfully, I'm almost done with my fifth week! We've got just over 4 weeks left, and I couldn't be more excited. I absolutely CANNOT wait to get out to Korea! I've learned recently that the Seoul South mission is the smallest, richest, and most heavily populated mission in Korea. We will be eating well often, and will have some of the largest fashion industries and "Mega"s in our area,(picture... really, really, really giant malls, where everything costs less than in America) AND is at least twice as stylish. ...Because that's what the mission is about right? Being stylish? ...Hahaha maybe not. ..But I am pretty stoked about it regardless.
So, honestly and truly, this week's letter is going to be pretty lame. Not much has happened around here, and things are returning to normal here at the MTC. From last P-day, I forgot to mention we had the opportunity to clean the Provo Temple in the morning, as a double dose of service, and can I just say.. what an amazing opportunity that was! When we arrived at around 8am, the 'man in charge' said, "Alright, I need two Elders for hazardous duty. Who would like to volunteer?" Haha, of course mine and Elder Fowler's hands shot straight up into the air! Hazardous duty?! Count us in!! .... Turns out, our "Hazardous duty" was to be security guards for the temple and sit in a chair for three hours checking temple recommends for contractors entering the temple. It seemed super lame and disappointing at first, but turned out to be such a blessing. I was able to sit there and just think, in the stillness and quite of the temple for three solid hours. No companion, no other Elders, not anyone else but myself and the Lord. I flipped through Ensigns, read all of 1 Nephi, and drew six temples. Pretty impressive right? Seriously, it was some much needed quiet time, and I loved every second of it. (Not saying that being with people all the time is bad, quiet time is just reeallly nice). After the three hours were up, the staff took us on a tour of the Temple and it was absolutely wonderful. We saw the Celestial Room, Bride's Room, Sealing Room, and Chapel. All so stunning and absolutely incredible.
The rest of this week has been pretty mellow. New Year's Eve and New Year's were nothing special in the MTC, although we tried to make the best of it! We celebrated New Year's at 10pm with New York, and had a solid 30 minutes of confetti-throwing, face-stuffing, noise-making, silly-string-shooting, deep-cleaning (afterwards) celebration. Hahah it was a really good time, and Mom.. those summer sausages were divine. Thank you to all who sent so many goodies and treats! We thoroughly enjoyed them, and had quite the blowout for that 30 minutes or so.
I don't really have much else to say, although I would like to share with you a poem that I wrote last week when I was feeling pretty down. The MTC is a little rough if you focus too much on yourself, or those at home. There comes a time when you need to truly decide to give yourself to the Lord, and trust that He will take care of your loved ones, and make a more perfect instrument out of you so that you can better touch the hearts and lives of the people around you. Anyway, this one is without a title thus far (maybe someone can help me with it?) But really, truly explains my experience as best I can in my own poetic words, haha. I love you all, and wish you the happiest of New Years! Make the decision to change today, for each day afterward is the first day of the rest of your life.
Just as the clouds veil the midnight moon,
How restlessly, the light they sever
Enclosing me swiftly, night falling soon,
My light is lost, and gone forever.
Or like forgotten voices, whose dissonant tunes
Give various response to things of the past,
To thoughtful words - replaced by swoon,
No reminiscent thought to make it last.
We rest. -- A dream has power much more than sleep;
We rise. -- A wondering thought defines our day;
We feel. -- Hope and reason, laugh and weep,
Embrace the absence, and let it stay.
It is the same! Be it joy or sorrow
Of that lover lost or friend to be;
Our yesterday never like our morrow
Nought may endure but eternity.
To think that in life, you ever have stalled,
The time is now, was then and will be;
If you have any sense of why you were called,
You ought to feel the inadequacy.
This is the way, walk ye in it;
Whatever your struggle, we are as one;
In the abyss of both dark mind and spirit,
Dawn will break brightly as we welcome His Son.
We are infinitely more than our limitations foretell;
As we harvest thy souls all shadows will flee;
In the hands of the potter, a broken vessel
Shall be mended of all its inadequacy.
So hope on, journey on, for we are as one;
He is still with us, His promise kept safe;
What a thrilling moment that will surely become,
For the future is but as bright as your faith.