Well I've been in the MissionaryTrainingCenter a whopping 5 days now. I've 'taught' 3 lessons already and acted as investigator twice. The food isn't nearly as bad as people make it out to be. It is cafeteria style like the Cannon Center at BYU for those who have been there. After getting less than 3 hours of sleep each night for the last 3 nights before the MTC, it felt good being forced to sleep from 10:30 to 6:30. My companion is one Elder Olinger from Missouri, and he happened to become the district leader(the guy in charge of the 3 sets of elders and 2 sets of sisters). Our district is split in half with 3 elders and 2 sisters each going to either the Canada Halifax Mission or the Idaho Boise Mission.
Elder Lucas(someone from my ward/building at BYU) happens to live 2 doors down from me. It has been great seeing him and having the chance to have an experienced elder there to help me know how things run. He is of course not the only elder I've seen. I've actually ran into a lot of people, and I'm sure only half of the names will make sense to any one person. I'll list them all anyways: Elder Chambers(who left today for Guatemala), Elder Doxey, Elder Williams, Elder Chandler(who leaves soon for Salt Lake), Elder Witt, Elder Wasden, Elder Bradley, Elder Shreeve, Elder Mills, Elder Miner, Elder Van Slooten, and Elder Newton. Everybody seems to be alive and well.
3 days in I already lost track of what day it is. Once you're in here, the only way days you can tell apart from any other days are Sunday because of church and Tuesday because it is my preparation day.
Yesterday in class we talked about stress relief. We of course started this lesson by going for a run(in our suits), doing push ups(in our suits), and then doing wall sits(in our suits). That was the most fun part of the day aside from our mountainman investigator and playing frisbee with Elder Lucas.
On the more spiritual side:
Teaching is a very important and powerful force, especially when it is done right. You must be sure to teach an individual, not a lesson. You have to interact with the person you are teaching. It isn't a lecture. As much as you lecture and tell others you care about them, they cannot truly learn until you let them speak and have the chance to feel and to express what they are feeling. Each day we learn more about how to be a better teacher. This is where we're at right now.
How blessed we are. While watching The Testaments after devotional on Sunday, I re-realized some very important things. God loves us more than we can ever know. We are His imperfect children. Some of us hate Him. Some of us love Him. Some of us ignore Him. Some of us don't even know who He is. He gave up His one perfect son, who happens to be the First Begotten, so that the rest of us have a chance at life and happiness beyond this life. Jesus Christ suffered so much pain, so much agony, so much despair all because He loves us. How happy and proud we must have been when he had completed his work. I can only imagine the angel choirs, us, singing out that He had doen what no one else could do all for the sake of everyone else. The joy...the joy beyond any joy we will feel when we will be able to meet our Savior in the flesh. He who knows us, knows our trials, knows our pains, knows our experiences, and knows our names. I know that my redeemer lives and that he suffered for us. In the end we will be able to meet Him again, and I hope be able to thank him for everything he has done for us.