Saturday, August 9, 2014

First P-Day

July 31, 2014

Dear Family,

The MTC is so crazy, I can't believe how stressful and overwhelming it is. This is definitely one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. I would rather go through another year of high school and take three more AP classes than this. But it is so spiritual, it is completely worth it. I have felt the Spirit constantly since I've been here.

The Tuesday night devotional was really good, Elder John H. Groberg spoke. He is the missionary whose story The Other Side of Heaven is based​ on. He told us a lot about his experiences, and it was really cool to hear. He told us about ways to bear your testimony, besides coming out and saying it. Some of the ways were through music, writing, actions, and prayer. I think bearing our testimonies through action is the most meaningful, because you can say things all you want, but when you actually act on what you believe it shows true conversion.

I have felt so stressed and homesick, especially the first few days. It gets better every day though. But Monday night, I felt so terrible I honestly just wanted to come home. My companion was a great help with that, he's felt the same way and we've helped each other through this. The thing that helped the most was Monday before I want to bed, I just prayed and poured my heart out to the Lord. It was one of the sincerest prayers I have ever given, and less than a minute after I got into bed, I felt like a weight was instantly taken off my chest, and I just felt peaceful. It was almost as if Heavenly Father was holding me and reassuring me that everything would be alright. It was the best thing ever, I'm crying right now just thinking about it.

I've already had a chance to sing in the MTC choir, and it was a really cool experience. There were more people there than are in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and it was amazing how powerful it was. We sang Hurrah for Israel, you should see if you can find it on YouTube or something. According to Elder Groberg, it was written by inmates he visited in prison, and is about the very first missionaries going to England. As they were riding away from their homes, knowing they wouldn't see their families for a long time, if ever again, they stood up in the back of the wagon and shouted, "Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah for Israel!"  It's a really cool story, if you can find it you would probably like to read it.

My Korean language class is getting better, I understand more and more every day. Korean grammar is completely different from English, the sentences are almost completely backwards. The good thing is that it is a very simple language, they leave out a lot of little words and get straight to the point. That is probably why Asians who learn English have a hard time with less significant words. I have already learned to pray completely in Korean, and I'm working on learning how to bear my testimony in Korean.

I love hearing from you, getting letters makes my day so much better, so don't be shy :)

Elder Hines

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