It feels like I’ve been here longer than I really have. It is amazing how long these two weeks have felt….not in a particularly bad way, just in the sort of way where I feel oddly disconnected from my life just fourteen days ago. Simple things like driving a car, sleeping in, making food, reading Harry Potter feels like a distant memory even though it really isn’t. The MTC is in it’s own time stream, own world. Because of this, elders act like over excited homeschooled kids when they see normal people on walks to the temple. I was able to talk to a nonmember for an almost an hour at the temple on Sunday, which was probably the most impactful thing I did this week.
This year’s Thanksgiving was spiritually the best and physically the worst. It was physically the worst because our dinner was, as one would assume, depressing. What they claimed to be turkey, I am convinced was some grand scientific phenomenon of mixing left over chicken guts, melted tires, poly-saturated soybean oil, magical flavor potions and Tide bleach. (for coloring) Everything else clearly just came out of tubes and may or may not have made us innocently cannibals, for there are no promises as to what the ingredients are….. So I had rice and salad for Thanksgiving after a few bites of the mysterious food out of a moral-commentary sci-fi novel.
All that matters very little though because David A. Bednar and his wife came to the MTC on Thanksgiving. (fourth row this time). Sister Bednar was hilarious. She found it amusing to call her husband, an apostle, “babe” which was only more hilarious when Elder Bednar replied, “Thanks baby”. She highly encouraged for us to ask our families to pray for us to have the gift of tongues when learning a new language (nudge nudge wink wink) and one quote of hers I liked was, ”Remember that you represent yourself, your family, your church and your Savior.” Elder Bednar did something very unique; He handed out several hundred phones and had us text him questions for him to answer. Turns out he is very different at the MTC than at conference. He is much more lax, and humorous and can relate to us youngins’ quite well. When one missionary asked him how can we believe in something science can’t prove, he said “In science you never prove anything. You simply take away the things you know are false. Therefore, you are actually exercising faith to believe in science. You are putting your faith in a scientist’s integrity. You are putting faith in man. Science has given us enlightenment on many of God’s wonderful creations but science can never give an ultimate answer. It answers questions, but few of the questions that matter most.” He also said, “Nobody who reads the scriptures every night and prays meaningfully every morning and night can wander off the path of the gospel,” which is a pretty awesome promise. He gave many amazing insights which I don’t have time to write, but I will reread often. Then, when crossing the road to walk to the temple with my companions, Elder Bednar drove by and waved, which was pretty darn rootin tootin’ cool. After that, we did a service project of making meals for families in poverty.
The rest of the week, not much happened out of the regular schedule of sleep, eat, Swedish, eat, Swedish, eat, Swedish, sleep, every day; apart form the fact that Elder Ort and I may or may not have smuggled in a legit Christmas tree….. The Danish hipster zone leader who is going to Iceland, has a sister who works in the gym, who we befriended, which has advantages. We may try for a mini fridge next week… The sort of clean, unharmful tomfoolery that keeps our sanity.
Yesterday was the first discussion I had had with one of my mock-investigators completely off notes.Of course, it was lousy broken svenska but I was impressed with myself. (I even gave myself a gold star sticker). On Sunday night, Vocal Point performed which made all the sisters happy because it is pretty much Mormon One Direction, with one of the tenors looking just like Zack Afron.
Last night, our devotional was really good, by Elder David F. Evans of the Seventy, who I would not be surprised if he becomes an apostle. He gave an incredible talk on the gift of our Savior in light of Christmas. One quote I liked was, “Adam and Eve chose to fall because they knew Jesus Christ would come to the earth.” Another good thing about this week is an army of senior aged missionaries came in yesterday, which is awesome because it is pretty much like always having adopted grandparents at the MTC. Meal times are the best with senior couples. (forgot to mention last letter I talked to Brother Hedgepeth last week. He left on Monday I believe) That just about sums up my week. My testimony is growing tenfold here,