I love it here in the MTC. The Spirit is so strong here. The first day that I was here, I was asked the question "Why did you come on a mission?" many times. It took me a little thinking to really come up with why I am out here. I realized it's because I know how important it is. I left behind so many good things to come on this mission, but I know that doing this service is much more important than anything else I could be doing right now. The Lord needs me here, there are people that need me here, and I need to be here. I've really felt the need to do the best I can out here on the Lord's time. … I am seriously working harder now than I ever have in my whole life.
Life at the MTC is very, very busy. You have next to zero time for yourself. My typical day consists of me getting up at 6, taking a shower, getting ready, and maybe having some time to write in my journal. Then I'll have breakfast in the cafeteria for a half hour. If anyone ever tells you that the MTC has bad food, then they are preaching false doctrine. I can see why so many missionaries gain weight in the MTC, you get to eat as much amazing food as you want. I've been able to limit myself to one serving at each meal in an attempt to avoid getting fat, but it has been no easy task.
So after breakfast I will have class time from 7:30-11:30, lunch, more class time from 12:15-4:30, dinner, even more class time from 5:15-9:00, planning session, get ready for bed from 9:30-10:30, and then lights out. On three or four days I have gym time right after breakfast for an hour before class. Class time is spent being instructed by my awesome teachers (Sister Rogers and Brother Johnston), personal study, companionship study, in the RC talking to people who call the number that's on TV or the pass-along cards, or practicing teaching at the TEC with one of the teachers there. Like I said, it's a lot of work, but I am loving it.
Today of course has been different - I am doing personal and companionship study but I have the rest of the time to write in my journal, write letters, do laundry, shine my shoes, and all that good stuff. It's very relaxing. There is also going to be a devotional tonight, which I've been told are really awesome. There was one last Friday by Elder Holland which was incredible, but that wasn't a regularly scheduled one. Last week was kind of interesting because all the new mission presidents were also here. Elder Hughes (my companion) and I actually saw our mission president and his wife, but we didn't chase him down because it looked like he was in a hurry. Brother Johnston actually did talk to him, and he had an exciting message for us NC elders. He told Bro. Johnston that as soon as he gets into the mission field (about two weeks before us) he is going to interview every elder out there and choose the best six to be our trainers. So hopefully you no longer have to worry about me getting a less than stellar trainer, Dad.
I actually have not been sick, which is good. Swine flu fear is pretty high here, not so much among the missionaries as the people running the MTC. I heard a pretty funny story about my zone leaders (who are great by the way), Starzy [Elder] Stohel and Starzy Lewis. Apparently Starzy Lewis was always making fun of the people who were in quarantine, and not long after that he got swine flu and had to go to quarantine himself for five days... This felt like a really long letter, I can't promise that they will all be this long and detailed :)