These are Bryson’s first cards back to us. We were SO excited to hear from him!
I will cut and paste his words with very few edits – if any at all – and I will add a few notes in ( ). These first ones will have a lot so as to explain terms or thoughts unique to our church. As time goes on I won’t have to interject as much – at least I assume so.
This first one is a combination of three cards mailed to us from the first three days at the MTC.
I know why you said you are so jealous of me 😉 The MTC is incredible! (The Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, UT, where many missionaries go for just under two weeks to learn how to be a missionary) So many people here to serve the Lord. So many personalities and habits that would seem to cause problems don’t, because we aren’t here for that. We are here for the Lord and aren’t here to worry about what bugs us.
We had 3 mock investigators who are incredible. (It may be obvious, but an “investigator” is someone who is investigating the Church.) So realistic. About 70 of us in a room and we teach them like a companionship. Raising our hands and adding a thought, asking a question or bearing our testimonies.
I love you and miss you! Saying goodbye is so hard. But it is a good sort of Goodbye.
- There used to be 2 apostles who chose where missionaries go, like on the screen and stuff. Well, now there are 6! (We believe in modern-day prophets and apostles like it was in the time of Christ. It is the apostles who receive revelation for each missionary on where the Lord wants them to go. Their name, picture and other personal info are flashed up on one screen and another screen has a map of the world with all the missions on it. From there they learn where the missionary should go. For a wonderful firsthand explanation of this process, see this talk below.)
- 48% of missionaries at the MTC as of today are sisters. (In our church we call each other “Brother” and “Sister”. So I am called “Brother Jones.” Although as missionaries, the males are called “Elder” because of their ordination in the priesthood, the females are still called “Sisters”.)
Today I was asked to be District Leader. (A District Leader is usually the leader of 3-4 companionships of missionaries. Wherever Bryson goes, he will have another companion with him – usually it is done in pairs. The DL helps, teaches, serves and guides his district in their missionary duties.) There are 3 districts in our Zone. (Zone = approximately 4 districts) One headed to Kennewick, WA, in a week. The other 2 are all going to Tacoma! There are 12 missionaries in our district. 24 missionaries headed to Tacoma together. Training together. Hoorah! That’s unheard of. BTW, never more than 6 go together and districts are usually smaller.
The MTC in incredible. No time to do anything extra. 5 minutes till lights out. But the Lord definitely wants us doing this. Our minds are cleared and always focused. And you were right again. I was so selfish my whole life. Now I am doing something entirely for God and his children. And the love I have for everyone is overwhelming! I feel like Heavenly Father loving his own kids.
From what I heard I think I’m the youngest person here! My district is amazing. We are getting along great and do everything together. We have 2 districts flying out on the same plane on the 28th. 30 people! Can’t wait. I did my district’s first mock discussion and it is so real! We invited him (my comp) to pray about the Church with us and we all got an answer. The whole room felt it.
The Spirit is in everything.
Love and miss you all!
The whole talk is good, but the account starts at about 3:45