Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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

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