Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Zone of the Afflicted

Hey everyone! 

It has been a week full of crazy happenings here at the MTC. It seems that our whole zone is having medical issues. I'm fine, and my companions are fine however. So on Saturday Elder Garnet was having abdominal pains and went to the Hospital. Turns out that he had apendicitis and his appendix was about to rupture. So that was crazy. Also Elder Skalla figured out he had a Hernia so he had surgery yesterday to correct that. He will probably have to wait another couple weeks to leave though, so they will most likely put him in my trio! That will be great, because Elder Skalla is a great missionary and knows a ton of Spanish so he will definately help us out. I don't know if I mentioned it last email, but also 3 out of the 4 hermanas in our district went to the nurse for various reasons. There is also an elder in the district just below us,  that just had his wisdom teeth out and got an infection in one of the dry sockets or something. We also have a few missionaries that have colds. Basically we are all dying haha. We were saying the other day that Satan must really not want us out in the mission field because he is trying really hard on us. But everyone is alive and still working so it's all good.

I also was made a Zone Leader with Elder Dixon on Sunday. So we will probably be the zone leaders for the next couple of weeks until President Doman passes it off to the next District behind us. I also was able to give my first priesthood blessing to Elder Skalla on monday for his Surgery. It was a very cool experience that I am glad I had. It was cool to speak with the spirit and promise him health and the ability to serve his mission. I am also glad I had the chance to give a blessing here, in the MTC in English before I went out into the field. It was scary enough giving a blessing in English, it will be a real treat to have to give one in Spanish.

Elder Hartvigsen (right) and companion studying in their bedroom

This week has also been crazy with lessons. Right now we have 4 investigators that we are teaching and it is tough preparing for and giving all those lessons in Spanish. It is also really good practice because it's what we will actually be doing out in the field. We also had a very kind of funny and scary experience with our "investigator" Miguel. We were trying to talk to him about being married to his girlfriend who he lives with and has a daughter with because he doesn't think that having a marriage certificate would change anything. So while we were talking about it Elder Dixon asks him to turn to the ten commandments in exodus and reads "thou shalt not commit adultery." Then he straight up asked him why he wasn't keeping the commandments in kind of a provoking way. Me and Elder Wilkey just kind of went wide eyed and looked at each other for the moment of silence right after he said it. Then Miguel started yelling at us in spanish really fast for a minute or two, and none of understood really any of it except for that he was upset. Then after a moment of silence again, Elder Dixon asks if he could repeat it but slower because we didn't understand! So then Miguel yelled at us again faster. We kind of just looked at each other, then I bore my testimony about families and the Book of Mormon which really brought the spirit back then said a prayer and left. It was a crazy lesson. Later Hermano Sallisbury (who was the teacher acting as Miguel, who was a real investigator he taught) told us that the real Miguel would have thrown us out. Good times.

So yesterday on Tuesday Elder Wilkey and I with a couple of the Hermanas went to the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake. In order to get our visas we needed to make an appearance at a consulate so they could take our pictures and get our fingerprints. Sometimes they will also ask you some questions but they didn't question us because we went with a pretty big group. Elder Dixon went to the Las Vegas one today, so he is there as I am typing this. But the strange thing is that the Consulate is really close to our neighborhood. I don't know if you knew this, but the Mexican Consulate is literally just south of the Spring Mobile Ballpark on Main Street. So I could have walked home in like a few minutes and said hey to you guys! It was pretty strange being in our neighborhood as a missionary. Pretty weird. But yeah, they just threw us on frontrunner and trax to get there so I was on the train for a long time.

We also have had some really good devotionals this past week as always. Stephen B Allen, the head of the Missionary Dept. spoke to us Sunday, and Lowell M Snow, a former seventy spoke Tuesday night. Allen's talk was really entertaining. He used to work on those PSA commercials that the church did like in the 80s or something. They were super cheesy, but he related them to missonary work very well. Snow's talk was also great, he talked about how we need to be truly converted to the Lord and give ourselves completely to him. He said we need to find that thing that is keeping us from giving our whole selves to the Savior and get rid of that thing and totally become an instrument in his hands. It really impacted me and challenged me to come even closer to the Savior. The best part about Tuesday night devotionals is that afterwards we all go back to the class and just discuss it with the Branch Presidency. This week we met with Pres. Doman and his wife, our district and the older district. The spirit there was so strong, everyone bore great testimonies about missionary work and how we need to give ourselves completely and continually work on ourselves to become the best missionaries we can be. The Older District is also leaving this Monday, so Presidnent Doman also talked a lot to us, and told us and them how proud he was, and what a transformation he has seen. I don't know if I have talked about Pres. Doman much, but he is a truly inspired man. He really emanates the Savior's love for all of us, and you can tell he really cares about every single one of us. He also has a great understanding of the Gospel, and everytime he speaks he carries the spirit with him very strongly. I truly believe that we have the best Branch President in the MTC. 

Mexico Puebla North Missionaries at Provo Temple

So today for our P Day our district also had a chance to clean the temple. And by clean the temple I mean that the Sisters actually got to clean chandeliers which is awesome, but Elder Wilkey and I sat at the front and back entrance for 3 and a half hours and made sure any contractors that came in had current Temple recommends. It was actually pretty funny, when we got their the head of security gave us both legit like deputy badges with the Angel Moroni on them! So we were pretty legit security people. It was good though, I read a lot of the Ensign, and some of Jesus the Christ. There were also some other Missionaries there that we talked to that are going to Russia. Spanish is hard, and I feel like it's taking forever for me to get it, but everytime I see missionaries going to Russia, or Latvia, or speaking Korean it really humbles me. Spanish isn't that bad.

Well, I love all of you guys. The Church is true! Jesus loves you! Bye!

-Elder Hartvigsen

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