Thursday, June 23, 2011

Last email from MTC

Hey hey hey!
How are you family!
I've loved the packages (DONUTS!!!!), letters, cards, etc.  You guys rock!
Things have been crazy around here! I just sent a little package to y'all with some of my MTC schedules, instructions, etc along with some photos.  It should make it to Bountiful tomorrow. 
A question: Last week I got a package - NO IDEA FROM WHOM!  There was some trail mix, homeade cookies, and a Honduras T-shirt.  There was no note, card, anything...ideas?
So I got to play the piano on Sunday and then I'm also playing this week - two special musical numbers.  Last Sunday it was Nearer My God to Thee and this week it's combined sacrament meeting with several zones (the General Autorities are all here because it's mission president training week) and I'm playing A Child's Prayer.   In fact President Monson and the rest of the 12 and first presidency were here today.  I miss the piano.  It was great to get to practice for a little while this week. 
Security is so tight it's crazy.  I'm hoping to get to see them! Tomorrow we're getting to hear from one/more of them and I'll also get to meet my new mission president tomorrow night as well.
One of the things that I'm working on here as a missionary is making the gospel message personal to whoever I'm teaching.  We're of course only teaching each other and BYU student volunteers but everyone has a story and some special need - our mission is to apply the gospel specifically to them.  An amazing thing that I've noticed as well is that with our district (12 people - we lost Elder Sagal and Hermana Rivera - they went to Houston yesterday!) we all here the same talks, devotionals, etc. but when we talk about them and share our testimonies we all have something different to share.  There is so much to learn here and I can't wait to apply the knowledge I've gained out in the campo misional. 
Yesterday we got to be New Missionary Hosts.  We stood at the curb and unloaded bags and gave a brief orientation to the entering missionaries.  It was a great experience (Mitch, guess who got out of the car right in front of me - Ryan Powers.  Also I've seen Karl here).  It was pretty tough having to watch the families leave their son though.  But it was good to see more missionaries coming in! We got about 550 yesterday. 
Uncle Kenneth - Remember how we had that motto - "When the BYU cheerleaders are around the Church is a little more true" Well I've adapted that for the MTC - "When the Hermanas are around the Church is a lot more true - their beauty and testimonies rock and are super uplifiting"
Sunday we participated in the MTC choir singing at the devotional - we sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.  It was awesome.  The spirit of music is so strong.  I love participating and sharing music with people.   After the devotional we watched that Joseph Smith movie, the new one, and they've modified it since the last time we've seen it.  Family - go watch the updated version.  It's about 90 minutes as opposed to 70. 
Mom - At church on Sunday when I played the musical number our district leader, from the pulpit, said that I needed to thank my Mom for all the hard work she put into my piano talent.  So Mom, you rock.  Thanks for the encouragement.  It's helped bring the spirit here at the MTC.  Also Hermana Rivera wants me to thank my parents - she said I'm going to be a great missionary. 
I really really want you guys to meet up with Elder Sagal and Hermana Rivera - they are going to be awesome missionaries and I told them that they could come over for good home cooking if they wanted to.  They're amazing and look forward to meeting you guys.  They've got our address and phone number. 
The greatest gift we can give to our Heavenly Father is to give our agency back to him and be completely obedient and follow all of the commandments.  Check out Moses 6:26, 31-34. 
Tuesday while Elder Gonzalez and I were teaching a lesson we were talking about the Plan of Salvation and Elder Wade, playing investigator, asked a question about young children who die and what happens to them.  I thought of Ember.  I know she's with our Father in Heaven now - in a better place.  She was a strength to my testimony as I remembered hearing about here spiritual experiences during her short years here on this Earth. 
Dad - I'm leaving early because we're getting a new mission president and as a courtesy to the new guy the old mission president assigns all the new people coming in.  That's why Hermana Rivera and Elder Sagal left so early. 
Speaking Spanish is awesome.  I know I've mentioned this like everytime but my favorite thing to do is practice spanish with the beginners and intermidiates.  They all try so hard and I love speaking with them! 
Again, there are so many different kinds of people here that have come together to serve missions.   I am amazed by their strength.  Elder Tirado of my district has an amazing story.  He was converted at 13.  He was living in the hood with a drug dealer as a father.  He says that the gospel gave him a chance in life.  I know this gospel is powerful and can do amazing things.  I pray that I'll be made an instrument in the Lord's hands in Honduras. 
So this is going to be my last email, respond if you like but I don't know when/if I'll get to email.  I'll let you know from Honduras.  I'm leaving Sunday night - reporting to the MTC travel office Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. So I'll be at the airport waiting forever for my 1:10 a.m. flight.  If you're coming to the airport I'd get there around 10 or 10:30 to be safe - remember I don't have a cell phone....It'd be tough to coordinate but I'll keep my eyes open.  Also I'll be calling from Atlanta - It'll be in between 4:45 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Utah time.  Order of phones: Mom, Dad, G-ma's house. Be ready to answer.  It'll be an unknown number.
Mitch - Music and the Spoken word had a song from Fiddler on the Roof.  Also the MTC cafeteria served "the hamster" that we just loved so much from the CANC. Also you better write me loser.  I'm leaving the MTC so there better be something waiting in Honduras.  Also you better be doing something productive with your life.
Male Chris - I met some legit Australian people - awesome accents.  Also I've converted my roommates here to the three best kinds of you know what small mammal.  Also we've come up with some awesome approaches.  Sales?
The YW song to YBWM rocks.  How cool!
I got my shots today - thanks for the check mom!
Thanks for the letters - Dannee, Katri, Mommy, Katie, Shannon, Samantha, Britta, Nannie, Danielle.  You guys rock! 
Katri - EFY?
Here I come Honduras! Have lots of fun with all the family this weekend!
Aunt Temple - Queso Fountain?
All is well.. Talk soon. Miss you guys.
Lots of Love,
Elder Clay

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