Friday, April 4, 2014

Blair's First Week in the Missionary Training Center

November 27, 2013

Hey guys,
I'm doing great! Mom, you're going to laugh, but I actually understand why everyone was way too happy when they were writing their emails out. That's me right now. haha. Wow, there's so much I wanna say but I just don't have the time to say it all, but I will give you the best highlights of my long week. The MTC is not as bad as I had imagined, but it really is super busy. When I got here and went through all my orientations and stuff I thought that time was going in slow motion, but I had no idea, until the next day, what I was in for. Here's my schedule for pretty much everyday. Wake up at 6:30, shower, get dressed, personal study for an hour and a half, breakfast, companion study for an hour, classroom study for 3 hours, lunch, classroom study 3 hours, dinner, language study on our own hour and a half, personal study hour and a half, go back to residence, Gym time 50 mins, shower, journal, bed. Everyday, except today, P-Day(preparation day). I got lucky though. I got an awesome companion and we are staying with another set of companions in our room and we are pretty much all companions because we do everything together. My companion and I got called to be Zone-Leaders. So we are the highest authority among the Romanians and Italians. It's a pretty big responsibility. We are in charge of this Thanksgiving service project on Thursday and apparently the media will be there. We are making about 350,000 soups for children in need. Its gonna be big.

Missionaries going to Romania and Italy
              Since we don't have games or phones or anything here, the Romanian's (who left to go to Romania on Monday), and the Italians came up with all these riddles and mind game things that were super fun at night before we all went to bed. It's really cool that we got to see the other Romanians, that just left, here because usually they leave on Monday and the newbie missionaries come on that Wednesday. But because of Thanksgiving, all the missionaries that were suppose to come on that week (that's me) got put into Nov. 20th week. So it was awesome to make friends with our future companions and they helped us out with learning the language.

             Alright, so your probably wondering how Romanian is? It's basically Spanish on steroids. But its not as hard as I was thinking. We've learned so much already and we've given 4 (practice) investigator lessons already and all in Romanian. Gift of Tongues is true!
             The other day we played some B-Ball in the gym. And I was playing alright, but the other team was winning and there was this Elder, Elder Kessler, who was amazing. He played soccer and was super fast and would just run and before we could approach him he would lay it up and dodge who was in the way. He was what you would call, a beast. His motto was, "I play basketball the way I serve my mission". So we were about one or two points behind them and the other team had one more point to win and he was going for the lay up! He started from one end of the three point line and I, the other, and we were just running at each other. And I was thinking alright He's not gettin' this one, so we both jumped at the same time and I finally blocked him. I landed really weird on my left leg and almost tweaked it kind of bad but I'm convinced that because we prayed for no injuries before we played that had something to do with it. I thought I should share that story cause I wouldn't be able to tell you guys for two years and well I thought it was kind of cool haha. But nothing compared to this next experience.
         On Sunday. We were called to be zone leaders and so we had to go to a meeting. (There are a ton of meetings you have to go to when your a zone leader) At the beginning of the meeting an Elder popped his head in and asked if later on in the day, we could give some priesthood blessings to some of the sisters. We said, Sure no problem. He said that this would cut into our temple walk time. So later on in the day everyone had forgotten about giving the blessings. And then a thought shot across my mind, if I didn't say anything maybe we could get to the temple walk on time so we can breathe some fresh air a little earlier and we wouldn't have to give the blessings. But then I remembered why I was here, and I spoke up and said hey remember we gotta go do those blessings and my district was like ohh yeaa, so let's go do them. It ended up that the sisters who needed the blessings were the sisters in our district. So we volunteered Elder Oldham to give the blessing because he had done one or two before. There were three sisters who needed a blessing, two for comfort and one for a little bit of sickness, but mostly comfort, also. So Elder Oldham gave the first one and then he said, alright Elder Houk your turn. I said alright fair enough. I wasn't really that nervous but it was my first time giving a blessing. So I asked Sora (that's how you say sister in Romanian) Gee what she needed in her blessing and she said "just follow what the spirit tells you" So I said alright. I put my hands on her head and said her full name and then I started saying all this stuff that I can't even remember, but I do remember that as I was talking a thought popped into my head to bless her to sleep well. At first I kind of pushed it away thinking that I didn't need to say that, but then I just felt compelled to, so I did and when I did, I remember feeling like this orange ball of flame inside me and I kind of started to shake a little bit and I knew I had felt the spirit. And then I ended my prayer and she was crying and was like, "Whoa I felt the spirit there and Elder Daland (one of my other companions, so to speak) said that he had too. So later on in the day I had thought about what had happened and after dinner I caught up to Sora Gee and asked her, "hey have you had trouble sleeping or something? And she said yea, everything you said was the things I was looking for in my blessing, that's why I was crying. I then remembered that I had prayed for a spiritual miracle and that, yes I received an answer! Wow so that was definitely the highlight of my week!   
     Alright, that's all the time I have! Happy Thanksgiving!! I love you guys so much and definitely miss you!! Thanks for the brownies. mmmmmmmm. oxoxoxoxo

-Elder Houk
My lovely district
My name tag
My gnar companion - Elder Oldham
Romanian Flag

Yea. You can wear the Romanian Flag
Provo Temple across the street
Utah Lake
Beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains

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