Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Letter from the MTC, Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Week 3, email
Trying to enjoy the MTC while I can

Hey all!

I can't believe its already another P-day! It is true what they say about the MTC; the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days.  So many things have happened this week as always, but I suppose I will start with the departure of the Danish and the Icelandic missionaries. Both have been great Elders to be around, and the Icelandic have especially been great examples of hard work, diligence, and humility.  Just a word or two more on them, it has been really cool being around them not just for their example, but because they are truly a rare breed of missionaries.  There are only 8 total Icelandic missionaries in the world and we happened to have gone through the MTC 3 of them. (Nearly half of all of them in the world!) Mom, Dad, do you remember that Brother Brockman went to Iceland? [Jacob Brockman, who lived in the 36th ward for about a year and a half ago with his wife, Amanda.]  He was truly a rarity and so it is really crazy that I have come across so many who have been called there in my life-time.

Zone before the Danish missionaries left.  (Snagged picture from Zuster Voss blog)
Then next experience I would like to relate is on the power of fasting and prayer.  As my mom can attest, I have had some pretty remarkable experiences with fasting in my lifetime, and my testimony was already strong to begin with on this subject.  This Sunday, me and my companion Elder Cook decided to fast so that we could receive extra strength and help.  I can't say that our answer came in some amazing way, but I can say that it did come.  We were able to be more focused and get more done in the last couple days and I know it is a result of that fast. I know that this is the way many of our requests to the Lord are answered.  Not in miraculous or amazing ways, but in simple, effective ways that both answer our prayer, and allow us to receive the blessing of recognizing God's hand in our lives.

I would also like to relate an experience that me and Elder Cook had during one of our practice investigator discussions. During this discussion, we were visiting with a sister that we had already taught a couple times before, so when we came in we decided not to try and give her a specific lesson, but to ask her what she desired from God, now that we had taught her about Him, and the restoration, and the plan of salvation. She related to us that she desired help from Him to quit drinking as smoking, and she just wanted Him to help.  Upon hearing this I cannot describe the feeling that came over me. No longer was this just a practice lesson or anything like that, I felt such a love and desire to help her that it was overwhelming.   I knew without a doubt what she needed, and I tried with every fiber of my being to relate the love and words of my heart to her. As I began, I related to her that her desires were in fact righteous, and that she was going to be ok now.  I told her God knew that she and all other people on this earth would experience difficulties like hers in this life, and that he had graciously provided a way for us to overcome these slip-ups and downfalls.  That way is Jesus Christ. I felt as if I was burning with the spirit as I told her that he had suffered for our sins, and that through him, not only could she be forgiven of her sins, but that as she would ask with real intent to change, he would be able to strengthen her, and change her desires.  I cannot describe how good and how right it felt to tell her these things. I felt like in that moment I could relate to Elder Holland's description of how he felt baring testimony of the Savior a couple conferences ago, because in that moment I was more sure that Jesus is the Christ, and that He loves and wants to help us, than I was of that fact that we were in that room, sitting and teaching a lesson that day.  It was a sacred, even holy experience for me, and it wasn't until later that I realized that I hadn't even had to think about the Dutch. I hadn't used any words that I did not previously know, but every word that I did need was brought to back to my memory in that moment.     

Yesterday, this Tuesday we had a great devotional. James B. Martino of Seventy and his wife came to speak.  He had a few things to say, and I will relate a few of them to all of you now.  The first applies mostly just to missionaries, the second I think could be important to all.  The first thing he reminded/taught us about was the fact that we are called servants of our Lord, and that it is our duty to challenge and promise our investigators that if they will do something, they will receive a blessing.  He says that many of us probably get that, and that we understand that the investigator must act in faith on what you have told them to obtain a blessing.  But what he taught me, at least, was that we must also have faith, and pray, and plead to our Heavenly Father that the promise we have made He will make valid.  It is in this way that we stay humble, and continually realize that the blessings we are promising truly are coming from God and not us.  The second thing he taught us is that as missionaries and people, the Lord does not expect us to always meet our goals.  He related a story to us about a diver.  This diver came to a competition very sure of himself and with only one goal in mind - to not fail.  As the competition started, he was fairly early on in the competition.  He got up, completed his dive flawlessly, and came up out of the water to see that he had received nearly all perfect scores of 10's and 9.5's. He was thrilled and decided that he would stay through the competition to see how the other divers did and to receive his medal at the end.  As the meet went on, no other divers came even close to his perfect scores.  Most only got 5's and 6's with the occasional diver getting a 7.  At the end of the competition, the diver was definately feeling confident and proud of himself for having been so perfect in his dive.  As the awards were handed out though, the diver was shocked to find that he had not won, in fact, he had taken dead last.  He was taken aback, thinking that surely there had to have been some mistake.  As he talked to the judges, they kindly explained to him that although his dive was nearly perfect in every way, it had only had a degree of difficulty of 1.0.  His swan dive was nearly perfect, but the other divers had done dives of much greater degrees of difficulty, some even reached as high as 5.5 time harder then his own dive.  Their dives may have not been perfect, but their scores had been multiplied by their degree of difficulty, putting them far ahead of those other divers who had stayed well within their comfort zone.  Brother Martino related this to our missions and to our lives. The Lord would much rather that we set goals for ourselves and strive for things that we know are a little out of our reach and fall a little short.  He will not judge us for failing, he will always account into our score the degree of difficulty of the challenges placed before us.  This was such a comfort and an inspiring thought to me.

Well my time is all up for this week, I didn't get anywhere close to telling all the things that I wanted to but I hope that all of you know that I love you and pray for you, and that this work is true! This church is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today.

Just a reminder that I would love to hear from all! Letters and emails are so uplifting and inspiring!


Elder Hayden L. Lott

ps Mom,  Do you know when you may be sending the gortex jacket? if you already have it from David, send it whenever.

pps Dad, thank you so much for finding a way I can play music. Elder Reese has something similar to what you described and it has been such a blessing for us to listen to spiritualy uplifting music. Put on all motab, and if you have any Christ-centered Christmas music that would be good too. Thanks!  [If any you have music suggestions that fit Elder Lott's request, please let Michael or me know - Thanks, Anastasia]

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Second P-day, Wednesday August 20, 2014

Week 2, email
Hey all!

Time is simply flying by and I don't even know where to start.  Not much has changed since last week.  We have the same schedule pretty much everyday.  Wake up at 6:30, get breakfast, study until our gym time, come back and shower, go to language class, lunch, language class again, dinner, personal study, companion study, and more language study, that back to our residence for journal and personal time for like half an hour and then to bed.  It is getting very monotonous with everyday blending together.  The only thing breaking it up are devotionals on Sunday and Tuesday night and church meetings on Sunday.  Well and I guess P-day of course.  I have noticed myself almost slipping into the monotony by not making sure that I am using every bit of time I have to best prepare myself the way I should be. I have really started picking up on the language and think that was probably part of the problem because I think subconsciously I was like; ok, I can take my foot off the gas now, I've got a handle on this.  That is good, but I know that I have strive to be the best I can be, and that means pushing myself.  I had to stop on Monday and make a list of tough goals for myself so that I can keep pushing.  I made it a goal to learn 20 new words, 6 new phrases, and a scripture in Dutch each day.  It is a good goal for now and is certainly pushing me, even if I fall short I know that it is doing me more good then simply letting it come to me.  I think part of the struggle will be forcing myself to push myself even as I see others start to lose steam.  We are in a great zone, everyone is always happy and positive, which is definitely a blessing.  But one of the downfalls of that is also that we almost get along too well.  We spend a little bit too much of our time socializing and not focused on the mission we are currently on.  But as one of our teachers reminded us yesterday, we are here on the Lord's errand to dedicate ourselves to his work, we are all missionaries first and friends second.  I hope I can find a good stride to be in so that I can make sure I give 110% to the Lord and have good relations with all who I come in contact with.
Daily Schedule, except we do sack breakfast at 6:35
Laundry Hangout!

Like I said before, the language is really starting to sink in, I can understand probably 85% of what my teachers are saying all the time and can answer almost any gospel related question even if I answer simply and in what is probably terrible grammar and accent filled dutch.  I would like to add my testament to that of many others here that the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues is real.  Our Heavenly Father wants us to succeed so that we can become useful, responsive, and fine tuned tools in his hands.  All we need is to put forth the effort to do our best, which is why I am so excited to see how much more he will bless me as I strive to be more diligent!

Last P-day after we had the chance to email, we also had the chance to go to the temple.  It was an amazing experience, and it was also the first time I had gone to the temple without my dad, which when I thought about it was super weird.  We decided to go and do sealings because some of the Elders in our district had not ever had the chance to do so.  I will not say all the the experiences I had while we were in there, but let's just say it was truly fantastic.

During last P-day I also had the chance to see Elders Clyde and Ahlstrom  (Anthony, however you spell it), it was so weird to think that just a week ago that had been me, and even today when more elders start arriving it will be weird that we have been here 2 whole weeks!

Mom, (and family) all the Elders in my district and even my Zone and floor absolutely loved your "Magic Tuesday" gift for all of us!  We all had a great laugh and re-lived the memories of that scarring and hilarious day!  Thank you so much! We are even as of now scheming up which hobbit hole to hide the extra one in, although we have all agreed that we will hide it with the I <3 Magic Tuesday shirt that we made.  The next BELGIUM-NETHERLANDS missionaries to find it will surely either be freaked out or have quite a laugh.

'Magic Tuesday' cups
I know that if for no other reason, that all the elders coming with me to Belgium and Netherlands are coming because we fit the kind of personality the Dutch in general are.  We are all active and healthy, fairly analytical, and haha mom you are going to love this... are fairly metro guys. (We all like looking nice, and having nice things)  I believe we will have such an easy time learning to love the people and that is just one of the many blessings that He will have given us with the mission we will be in. (Also, we are all fairly athletic; we beat the Swedes and the Danes in soccer 6-3) I'm sorry, I had to put that in.

I would also like to put it that this week I have recieved my witness that the Lord trusts me.  It was back when I realized that I probably wan't giving 100%, I got on my knees and asked for forgiveness for having not pushed myself to become the best possible missionary I could be.  As I got up from my knees I had the overwhelming sensation that he had forgiven me, and that he knew that my heart was in the right place, that I would try harder.  I felt overwhelmed with His love, and with the feeling that He trusted me, and needs me for this work.  I am so grateful for this blessing He has given me, it will help me go forward with faith, and with a confidence that would have otherwise been hard to come by.  This is His work and His glory, and I will do my best to help it roll forward and to be a faithful steward.

I weet dat de evangelie waar is. (I know that the gospel true is.) Ik weet dat God en Jezus Christous houdt von alle mensen. (I know that God and Jesus Christ love all people)  Wij zijn zijn kinderen. (we are his childeren)  Hij verlangt dat wij te hij terukeer. (He desires that we to him return.) Wij konnen terukeer door Jezus Christus en hij verzoning.  (we can return through Jesus Christ and his atonement) Ik weet dat Joseph Smith een profeet von God is, en dat Thomas S. Monson de profeet von god vandag is. (I know that Joseph smith a prophet of god is, and that thomas s monson the prophet of god today is.)  Het Boek Von Mormon waar is (the book of mormon true is) Dit sagt Ik, in de naam von Jezus Christus, amen.  (This say I, in the name of Jezus Christ, amen.)

Dutch sounds a little bit like German and a little like English right? and part Yoda...


Elder Hayden L. Lott

ps Thanks for the garments, they were of much need!

Also, if you could find out Jordan Miller, and Brets, and Taylors lds mail addresses for me that would be great,  they all have fairly common names and so they might be different from the normal.

Elder Christian Clyde

Elder McKinley Ball

Elder Nico Sandberg

Elder Christian Clyde and Elder Taylor Gulbransen

Magic Tuesday Explained, August 13, 2014

Snail mail to Garrison and Elliot

Garrison & Elliot,

Enclosed in this letter are the instructions for something we had to do to get our visas to Belgium.  When you read it and understand, I think you will both have good laugh.

If I ever run a country, I think I will make this a rule to come in also.

How are both of you doing?  What are you up to?  How are you holding up?

Garrison, how are you doing moving into my room?

Elliot, how are those army men?

My experience here has been none less than extremely humbling and I cannot wait to to email you in another hour or so to tell the family about it.  (Of course you'll have already gotten the email, but oh well.)  The spirit here is so amazing and my district is so fun.  The food is anywhere from great to ok.  The language is coming.  I can pray and bare my testimony in Dutch already.  As well as start a simple discussion. I am already looking forward to the day when hopefully both of you would make the choice to dedicate yourself to the Lord and serve a mission.  

I love you both and miss ya like crazy.

Elder Hayden L. Lott

p.s. Give Elliot a nice little tickle for me.
[parent note:  Garrison read this as 'tackle', and proceeded to do so, lol!]

These are the instructions for what we Belgian-Netherland Elders dubbed 'Magic Tuesday'.  Yes, this is real, and we had to do it. (and blood test)

1.  Collect stool sample directly into the cup.
2.  Open the bottle containing the formalin fluid.
3.  Use the spoon attached to the cap to pick up a portion of the stool.  Approximately equal in size to a marble (1/2 inch diameter).
4.  The amount of stool sample added should raise the total volume to the level of the RED LINE. DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH!
5.  Mix thoroughly, using the spoon.
6.  Dispose of the remaining stool sample left in the cup into the toilet, replace the lid tightly, wrap with toilet tissue and dispose of the cup in the garbage can in the restroom.  DO NOT BRING IT BACK TO ME!
7.  Place the bottle in your bio-harazard bag, then hide it in the white bag and return it to the nurse.  If you collect the specimen after the clinic is closed, it will be alright.  It is in a preservative, just bring it to the Health clinic the next morning, 2M-203.  Please do this test as quickly as possible so your VISA will not be delayed.

First P-Day Letter, Wednesday August 13, 2014

First P-Day email, 8/12/14
Hello all!

I am loving it here at the MTC! I am meeting so many new people and learning so many new things it is unbelievable.  My first companion is Elder (Spencer) Cook.  He is from Farmington Utah and went to Viewmont High School, small world right? I've already told you about all the other elders.  I would compare Elder Cook to Elder Lincoln Perkins.

Elder Cook
Our first day here was absolutely crazy, after leaving my family, I was taken by Elder (Andrew) Eyring and went to get my name tag, room key, and MTC mission card. (For meals and laundry and access to the buildings and such.)  I was able to put my stuff in my room and then went straight out to language class.  They don't waste a minute here.  It is amazing how much I could pick up in the first day even though I couldn't really respond yet.  Everyday is a constant cycle between gym, meals, class, and preparation, no time is wasted.  I am so happy that I am in the District that I am in because all of us seem very focused and aware of the weight of the calling that is before us.  Although it also doesn't hurt that we all seem to know that having fun is also an important part of this work.  Each day I have been here I have gone to bed very tired, and yet happy because I know that I am on the Lord's errand.
Our Room
Laundry, Look Mom, I did it!

Sunday rolled around and we had a devotional at night.  I really liked the speaker and felt the spirit very strongly the entire time.  The main thing I took away was that this is the Lord's work, we don't need to worry about ourselves, because we are simply a tool in the Lord's hands.  If He wants to succeed, we will.  We just need to make sure that we are a willing and refined tool in His hands.  He will help us learn the language or help us know what to say, our responsibility is to simply be ready and worthy to do so.  Another thought that I wrote down after the devotional goes like this: God will give us light and knowledge as we can handle it.  This is why sometimes our answers are not immediate, but come over time. Our Heavenly Father always wants us to know what we are asking for that is right, but he needs us to be humble enough to receive it.  Geloof is nodig voor inspiratie.(Faith is necessary for Inspiration).  I have also learned that when you ask for something you need to give time for the Lord to answer your prayers.  Near the beginning of the week I had the terrible experience of losing my scriptures. I could not find them anywhere. Having nowhere else to go I prayed to my Heavenly Father and told him that I would wait until Tuesday for help in finding them because I knew they could be anywhere.  But after a few short hours I became unwilling to wait for my answer and hurried off a letter to my parents to send me some more scriptures.  Mom, Dad... I don't really need them anymore because the Lord did answer my prayer, I found them last night when we were reading the Book of Mormon in Dutch in the Dutch West Indies Room.

I cannot describe what joy entered my heart as realized I had found my copy of the words of God.  It was not merely a temporal joy that I had found them, but a spiritual one, it had been days since I had been able to really drink deeply from the words and the wonderful truths that can be found in the scriptures.  Even though I had started into a cycle of what can only be described as depression because of this, I am grateful that I have had this experience.  I am grateful because I now have some small idea of what it may be like for investigators to go from confusion to the light of the gospel.  I know that it is not just a joy in the mind, but a joy in the heart and the soul.  I also may have caught of taste of what it may be like seeing the light of the gospel come into someones life for the first time.

Dutch Bibles
More of the first day we were here though. After dinner all the new missionaries were brought together into a room where there was an actor just sitting on a couch, texting away.  We were told her name, and a little about her and then were told that the missionaries were at this moment waiting outside her door.  They then knocked, she went to the door and let them in, and they proceeded to start into the first discussion with her.  Then, with almost no notice the missionaries were taken away and we were told over the speakers: well, you are missionaries, take it from here.  We proceeded as a group to ask her questions, answer her questions, and just have an experience getting to know and teach an investigator. It was very cool and the spirit could be felt even though it was just an actor.

Little did we know that the next day, each of us would have to begin teaching an 'investigator' in our assigned mission language.  We came into class on Thursday, learned a bunch about how to bear our testimony, and then were told to prepare to teach an investigator in Dutch that evening.  You can imagine our stress as me and Elder Cook scrambled to put together a lesson.  When it came time to go in, we said a prayer to receive the spirit and went in trusting in the lord. As far as the Dutch went, it was amazing how well we did for only having 24 hours under our belt, but it reality it wasn't even ok.  But the spirit we felt as we strived to listen to him, and as we bore our testimonies in broken Dutch was undeniable.  We couldn't even speak well enough to set up another appointment (our investigator was nice and set one up for us) but we left that room knowing of the marvelous work and the spirit that we can bring as we strive to do our best to serve the Lord. 

On some lighter, more day to day and funny things we have been finding little 'Hobbit Holes' all over our room.  They can be anywhere, we have found things behind mirrors, behind the electrical covers (fake light switch covers) and in the air vents.  In them are little gifts from missionaries past that have included but are not limited to: Candy, soccer balls, spare change, mission t-shirts, names of past Belgium-Netherlands missionaries.  There are things that we have found that are decades old and I think we may have been the first to find them in that time.  This is also probably virtue of us having the oldest building on campus, which at first was kind of a downer but as I have described has its perks.

The other elders in our zone are the Swedes, the Finnish, the Danes, the Icelanders, and the Norwegians.

My District
Haha oh yeah, another thing, we had to go through a couple of tests yesterday in order to get our Belgian Visa's.  We have dubbed yesterday as "Magic Tuesday" which will make more sense when you find out what we had to do.  I am sending more information on "Magic Tuesday" to my brothers Garrison and Elliot because I'd like them to get the suprise first and have a good laugh about it.  I'm sending it in the mail when I get done here.  Mom, feel free to share about "Magic Tuesday" after Garrison and Elliot share it with you.  Haha anyways, good times, bonding times.

I will close with my testimony in Dutch.

Ik weet dat wij bin Gods Kindern.  Zijn hougt von alles mensen.  Ik weet dat Jezus Christus is ons bruer, en dat hij liefde uns.  Ik weet dat Jezus Christus is de Heer.  Ik weet dat geloof is nodig voor inperatie.  Ik houdt van mijn familie. Ik houdt van de mensen als de Nederland en Belgie.  Ik verlange dat de heilige geest willen leren de mensen als de Nederlands en Belgie.

I Love You All!

Elder Hayden L. Lott

ps  letters and emails are REALLY nice to get and keep me going, even if it is just a small thought. It may take me a little while to respond but I will eventually.  Also, mom can you send this to Tara Tanner, I won't have time to send it to her, thank her for her love and words of inspiration.

Bountiful High Elders, Sunday 8/10/14

Selfie Time

Provo Temple

Temple Tag

With Elder Mark Child

Letter to Lilianne, August 10 and 11, 2014

Snail Mail 8/10/14,  (front page) to Lilianne
Dear Sister Lilianne Lott,

I am so grateful for your letter, it brightened my day so much!  I am glad to hear you miss me because I miss you very much, as well.  In fact I miss the whole family.  The MTC food is pretty good, but it definitely isn't homemade.  I am really trying to learn how to speak Dutch but so far I feel like I am so behind.  I know how to pray and how to bare a simple testimony.  In fact, let me share it with you:

Ik weet dat God is ons Vater in de Hemel.  Ik Weet dat Jezus Christus hefte u en ons.  Ik weet dat Joseph Smith is een profeet. Ik Weet dat Pres. Thomas S. Monson is een profeet.  Ik weet dat de Heilge Geest leight mij.  Jezus Christus is ons broer.  

Dat sprayt Ik in de naam von Jezus Christus. Amen.

I love you Lilianne!  I love the rest of you too!

Love, Elder Lott

Snail Mail 811/14, (back page) to Lilianne
haha! I haven't sent this yet so let me write some more.

Lilianne, could you tell Mom and Dad that I got their package just fine and that it would be great to get some more.

Also, I seem to have either lost my scriptures or they have been stolen because I can't find them in the lost and found.  Could you ask Mom and Dad to buy me some more, and a new scripture case, and another copy of my patriarchal blessing and send it to me?  That would be great.  

The food here is pretty good but pretty generic.

I think I am experiencing something similar to Uncle Mark in that the longer it has been from our last gym time the harder it is for me to think and pay attention.  But I am fighting through it.

Love you all!!
Elder Lott

First Snail Mail, August 9, 2014

8/9/14  (Snail Mail)
Dear Mom and Dad,

I am writing this letter in a rush so we can get going on companion study and also language class, so I'll keep it short.

We are having a fantastic time and are doing well.  I can already pray and bear a short testimony in Dutch.

I will send much more info and give you more of an idea of what's going on in my email on Wednesday.

Liefde, (Love)
Elder Hayden Lott

Oh, also, can you send like 6-12 peaches via Dear Elder?  Thanks!
Oh, and our mailing address has changed to the one on the letter; don't worry I've gotten all the mail so far anyways.

Elder Hayden Lott
2007 N 900 E  Unit 1
Provo, UT  84602

email is the same

First Letter from the MTC, Friday August 8, 2014

via email

Hoi! Vom de MTC!

The last couple days have been absolutely crazy! I am still trying to take in so much, but I am starting to get the hang of things. My companion is Elder Cook, he is great.  He is from Farmington Utah and went to Viewmont High school. We have a lot of things in common and seem to be able to play off of each others strengths so far.  There are 4 other elders going out to the Belgium Netherlands Mission; Elder Hirche (Highland Utah), Elder Reese (Boise Idaho), Elder Morrel (Kaysville Utah), and Elder Dewitt (Conneticut). and also 6 sisters.  The spirit I have felt even in my short time here has been stronger then I have ever felt during my entire life. I am even now starting to pick up on the languge so all is going well! Except I couldn't really get to sleep last night.  I am pretty much writing to tell you that I am alive, and that my Prep day is on Wednesday.

I know that I am called with authroity and that through all my trials Jesus Christ my savior and redeemer can help me through.

I love all of you, and will be keeping you in my prayers.

(Sorry for being so ADHD, they are rushing us and I am fried from trying to take it all in)  

Also it seems as if I can't send pictures from this computer so hang on at least a few more days.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

MTC Drop Off, Wednesday August 6, 2014

Last tender moments as Elder Lott arrives at the Provo MTC.  An answer to a pray of Elder Lott's father that our son would have an opportunity to see someone he knew so that he would feel that he was at the right place, happened even sooner that expected.  Elder Andrew Erying, a friend from high school, was hosting the day Elder Lott was dropped off, and was able to mentor him through the day.  Our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers, of this we testify.

At the Provo Temple

Handsome Priesthood Holders

Proud Parent Moment

One Last Hug

We are going to miss him while he's gone.

Loves his little sister.

Tender Goodbye
On the way from Provo Temple to MTC curb.

Arrived home to find that Sister Poppleton, Sister Latham, Sister Tara Tanner and Chalise had heart attacked our front door. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Setting Apart, Tuesday August 5, 2014

Elder Lott is set apart as a Missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
August 5, 2014

Love the Brewster Twins

Stripling Warriors

Newly Set Apart

Brother Irving has been a excellent Home Teaching partner.

She's going to miss her older brother.

Who's tallest?