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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

12.21.10 MTC

. . This week has been great. I’m still more comfortable with the language, even though I know that I won’t understand everyone’s accent in Mexico, and the gospel study is still progressing. I just started the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon (but in Spanish, not English) a few days ago, and even though I’m obviously not the best teacher yet, I’m still better than I was. It’s just kind of frustrating to know that no matter what or how much I learn in the MTC, I’ll probably learn twice as much in the same amount of time out in the field. Man, I hope I get a good trainer. . . .

Another devotional (albeit recorded and played off of a tape) from Elder Holland will have to suffice. He is one funny man when he isn’t scary from calling people to repentance or seeming like his heart is going to burst out of his chest from all the emotion he puts into his talks. Elder Roberts, MacDonald, and I went to a recording playing in the administration building. His talk was titled “The Gift of Teaching,” and he was talking about the power and authority given to missionaries. He opened up his scriptures to Helaman 5:18, and called up the elder who had given the opening prayer to read it. He did, and halfway through reading the verse, when the phrase “power and authority” is repeated, Elder Holland stopped him and asked, “Did you just stutter? Read it again.”

The Elder looked up at him, seemed like he expected to be yelled at or something because he didn’t read it like it apparently should have, and read it again. This happened 3 more times, and the elder seemed like he would melt on the spot out of fear. The last time Elder Holland asked him if he stuttered, he opened his mouth and the words, “Uh, um, uh, maybe,” came out in a croaking kind of way. Elder Holland turned to the audience and started laughing, “He would agree to anything a member of the 12 would say.” He thanked the Elder, asked him to sit back down, and then proceeded to call himself and the MTC presidency a bunch of “crotchety old men” who drink pickle juice in the morning before coming up with new rules to put in the missionary handbook.

Ok, maybe that wasn’t incredibly funny, but it’s so weird to see a member of the 12 make fun of people. My sense of humor is already getting stranger. Oh well.

Also, the snow has come! We got a foot of it last night. It’s awesome, especially since I don’t have to worry about driving in it now. Or walk in it to get to class. In fact, I don’t have to really deal with it all, except for looking at it. Good stuff.

Tonight, we had Elder Shayne M. Bowen, of the 70, and it was great. But you know, I don’t really remember too much about what he talked about. Instead, I only remember what kind of thoughts were brought to my mind while listening. Here are a few of them. . . .

There have been a couple devotionals given by Elders Bednar and Holland about the effects of a mission, and how long they should last. I remember them saying something to the effect of if missionaries come back and become “normal” again within a few months, they didn’t get it. If they don’t have a lasting change, what was the point of going on a mission? And it’s okay if we’re seen as “weird” when we get back. It’s especially okay since I was weird to begin with.

That provoked another thought: it’s okay if I forget everything about what I was like at home. I obviously won’t forget about important things, like family and friendships, but all the other fun but unnecessary things are okay to forget. So, like videogames, books, sports (but that’s okay to remember a little), and other things are okay to forget. Because guess what? I’ll just be able to come back and rediscover everything again. It’ll be awesome. It’ll be like reading Lord of the Rings and watching Inception for the first time. It will just mean that much more. Awesome!

‘til later, oh, and Merry Christmas!

Elder Brok Humbert

P.S. Haven’t gotten my visa yet.

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