Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, October 19, 2015

Coming To You Live From the MTC!

Last meal....Thai Food.

Group hug given moments
before entering MTC

     Elder Nathan S. Moser entered the MTC  on October 7, 2015.  Before entering the MTC grounds, the family stopped for lunch and then met cousin Heather Houghton near the Provo temple grounds for pictures.  At 1:02 p.m. on October 7th, Nathan was "kicked to the curb," as we affectionately called it, to be escorted into the MTC.  He was all smiles standing by his luggage as we drove away but as his mother, I could not stand the thoughts of him standing alone at all.  We made it the 100 yds or so to the stop light and did a u-turn to make sure he had been taken care of. Which of course, he had.  All was well.  This was our first letter a few days later:

 October 12, 2015 @ 5:19 p.m.

Wow. I cant believe that I only have 725 days left as a missionary. Where does the time go? Well, to answer that, it goes nowhere in the MTC. Absolutely nowhere. It feels like I've been at the MTC for MONTHS now, for two reasons: 1) I have felt every possible emotion in the past 5 days and 2) my district is tight like unto a dish now. It really is crazy how little time it took for us to bond, its like we knew each other in the pre-existence and now we are just catching up!

Fun fact: I'm writing this letter with only an hour left of p-day because half of it was spent trying to get our whites to dry (we waited an hour and the machine was running, but never got hot), and the other half was spent trying to get my SD card out of the computer with our Sister Training Leader's tweezers because the card was too "small" or some other bogus reason like that. So sorry if I don't send any pictures of our district, our temple trip, or my companion. Not my fault.

My companion! I finally met my first companion, and his name is Elder Quast, and we get along really well. He's from Phoenix, AZ and is one cool dude. I mean, Elder. He's headed to Yakima as well, which we leave for on the 20th. We actually just met some really nice Spanish speaking elders headed to Yakima while Elder Quast and I were yelling at the dryer! They are really nice and we feed off of each other's excitement to leave. Not that the MTC is bad, because it isn't. The food is... well, edible, but the MTC is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. The spirit here is so strong when you look out and see all of the other missionaries walking two by two with those black name tags. It is the most amazing feeling to know that this is exactly where we are supposed to be. Ahhhh. I love it.

My first day here was pretty interesting. It started with tearing up as my family kicked me to the curb, then quickly went to standing in several lines where I was handed keys, cards, books, things, keys, things, and other things. Then my escort (whose first name is also Nathan, BTW) took me to my room where I dropped off my stuff, and then to the classroom where I made awkward conversation with the other emotionally numb missionaries in our district thinking "wait... so like, is this happening?" After a brief introduction with our teacher, Brother Holmes, we all went to a meeting for all of the new missionaries that arrived that day (500 of us!!) where we met the mission president and his counselors. The meeting was great, but the best part is when we sang that "Army of Helaman" song, because the words were changed from "and we will be the lord's missionaries" to "we ARE NOW the Lord's missionaries to bring the world his truth." I'm literally tearing up writing that. What is happening to me. The rest of the day was filled with study time and basic role playing, which was different. But i'm getting better at it. 

The thing that I've learned here that has had the biggest impact on me is that Missionary work is NOT about the missionaries. At all. We don't turn people to Christ by teaching good lessons; in fact, we don't turn them to Christ at all, the spirit does. We just try to give them as many opportunities as we can to feel that spirit, because that is what makes the change. And it's true that we will be the biggest convert if we lose ourselves in the work, but if our only goal is to be converted, we won't get there. We have to become like Christ, completely selfless in every single way. We watched a movie last night at a fireside called "The Character of Christ" and that is what I learned. David A Bednar explains it better than I ever could, but it was the answer that I have been praying for for a long time. I have wanted the atonement of Jesus Christ to become something personal in my life, and watching this talk did that for me. It felt similar to when you realize that the sun isn't just part of the sky, but rather an comprehensibly large ball of burning gas that is actually there in space, keeping you alive. Maybe Jesse will get that analogy ;) I felt it again that day when my MTC branch took the sacrament, which Elder Quast and I passed around. It just felt so personal. I wish that everybody could understand how important and real and life saving the atonement is, because for the first time in my life, I have. 

Have I mentioned how amazing the MTC is? I have felt the spirit more strongly than I ever have before, and have made friendships that will last a long, long, time. By the way, Elder Quast and I were called to be Zone Leaders over the two districts in our branch, which is fun, because we are only pretending that we know what we're doing. 

Well, I will send another letter next week, because I'm almost out of time here. 

Pray for the missionaries! I love you all!!

Elder Moser

Mid Week, we received a text from our recently released Stake President, Robert Jenks, who was also in the MTC with his wife preparing to serve a couples mission to an island ...somewhere. (sorry) His text read:   "Sister Moser, look who Sister Jenks  and I just visited with.  He looks good."  **Tender mercy!

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