Howdy doody. What is up guys? I like saying guys because I can only say Elders nowadays. I hope all is going well outside the MTC prison walls. Haha. When I went for my temple walk last night I was thinking how easy it would be to hitch hike a ride home. It is really strange to walk around outside and know that just a little while ago I was a free man and could go anywhere in Provo. Saying that however, everything is going really great here in the MTC.
This last week we welcomed a new district to our zone. They are all really cool and for some reason they are all really tall. I could see in their eyes that they all felt like we were so old and experienced. Haha it is pretty funny because we have only been here for one week. I remember the feeling though that everyone was so old. It is strange to realize that we are all about the same age.
I am learning loads about teaching the gospel. Even though all of the investigators are fake you still gain a lot of practice from it. It is funny to go to the TRC and to teach people you know are members but they are making up this entire fake past. They also always throw lobs. Meaning that they will ask questions that lead you right to your next point or help you clarify some part of the lesson that you missed.
Last night we had a fireside where the administrative director of the MTC spoke. It was really powerful. He had about ten missionaries come up to the stage that had been baptized in the last two years. Then he asked them lots of questions about their conversion. It showed that what we are learning is what really converts people. Some of them talked about prayer, the Book of Mormon, and the spirit the missionaries brought with them. He talked about how we should teach the lessons in order but that we should show the investigator how each doctrine relates to their life. I have been kind of wondering about how exactly to address the needs of investigators through the lessons so it was a very timely message.
Elder Whelan in my district loves to try and scare the other Elders in my district. However I am somehow immune to his scaring power. His favorite tactic is to hide in your closet and jump out when you open the door. The first time he tried it on me it was at the same time that a member of our branch presidency walked in to our room to check on us. So when I opened the door he just got up out of my closet and walked out because he didn't want to do it in front of Brother Gray. It was really funny to just see him crouching in my closet and then to just get up and walk out. He tried to scare me again last night but I was just grabbing a towel from the top of the shelf and so I didn't really jump at all. I think my nerves have been steeled after all of the scaring we do at home. I am too used to people jumping out at me after using the bathroom or other things to be scared anymore.
I am loving the spirit that comes from being a missionary and talking about the gospel all day. My testimony has been strengthened in the simple concepts of our church. I understand the Restoration of the Church and The Plan of Salvation a whole lot better now. I have realized that I have been prepared my whole life for this opportunity and now I am ready to be a missionary and teach the gospel. The only thing that I still have to work on is just presenting the lessons more clearly and simply and to really connect with the investigators.
I love you all very much. I miss being around every one of you. Happy yester-Mother's Day, Mom!
Elder Matthew Arnold
PS There are eight elders in my district. Six of us are going to Anaheim and the other two are going to Little Rock, Arkansas. You are right that there are no sisters in my district. We didn't even have any in our zone until this last week.