Friday, October 5, 2012

Elder Astle's First Letter Home

This is Elder Astle's first letter home after arriving at the MTC:

Aug 24

L to R Elders Stephens, Choate, Garcia, Allred, Dougherty
 Ellison, Hansen,  Hauser, Kitchen, Superhot, Yano, Thompson.

                                 Elder Kitchen and Elder Astle in front of Provo Temple
                                    Elder Kitchen and Elder Astle give the thumbs up to ?

Hi Mum,
So eveything's good here, it's a lot of fun so much has happened already, the first few days were the longest of my life, but the last week has just flown by, first it was Sunday and I was having definitely one of the most spiritual Sundays of my life and then all of a sudden it's friday and i'm on pday. Unfortunately there is only thirty minutes to write emails on pday.  it's been 6 minutes for this long of a letter so far :O! Anywarrs, I'm glad you didn't crash your car... that would suck haha.  So the best way for you all to send me letters would be through Dear Elder, Nicole also.  That gives me a chance to read them before I sit down to type my email, unless you want to send those really cool more-than-just-a-letter letters.  AHH i'm down to 17 minutes im such a slow typer.  Dear elder is free by the way, and it only costs like a dollar or something while im out in the field.  Mom could you forward this email to everyone? And Nicole please? thanks you're a doll haha.  So anyway on sunday we had a super spiritual sunday and I was crying about 90% of the time that i was awake haha ok not really but after the fireside where we leanred a key principle of teaching the book of mormon, me and Elder Kitchen (AKA elder cocina (cocina is spanish for kitchen)) we went and saw a talk by elder bednar, it was a video, called Recognizing the Spirit and it was super good, we sat in the back but then two sisters came in a little late and had no seats because it was so packed, so we gave them our seats and stood the whole time but it was better in the end to stand anyway.  It's cool because you cant find these talks anywhere else except in the MTC because they are talks only for missionaries.  So on Tuesday we had a great day and a lot of learning spanish then, every tuesday there is a devotional, at devotional we don't know who the speaker is until the last minute... IT WAS NEIL L ANDERSON! haha it was awesome because we were late thinking we wouldnt get any seats in the actual stadium he was talking in but we found seats pretty close to the front and at one point while he was talking he made eye contact with me, it was INTENSE! He talked about key principles the prophet would want us to think about, it was also on President Monson's birthday so we all sang happy birthday to a picture of president Monson, we were all expecting him to walk in at some point, but he didnt haha.  So our lessons completely in Spanish got better after the first one, which was actually really really rough.  But then we ended up teaching our investigator Hermana Gabriela 4 times and at the end even committed to her to baptism and she said yes! Later that day though we found out she found work in San Diego so she is going to move but she still wants to learn more about the church in San Diego.  The whole time we knew she was a teacher here at the MTC but we were told to think and treat her like a real investigator and we all loved her and prayed for her and poured our hearts into teaching her so it was really hard for us all when she said she was leaving, we all cried a bunch.  Afterward we watched a video of a real investigator being baptized and it was so good, a was converted even more during the video, I dont know why but it never really clicked to me that although the ordinances and acts like baptism may seem odd or just like acts they carry a tremendous amount of meaning in Heaven and the Angels rejoice when we do what is right and what the Lord wants for us.  Great now im crying in the laundry room and people are looking at me, i write emails in the laundry room.  After all that then our teacher Hermano Clifford, who we all love so much and we cant imagine another teacher being able to handle us at all, told us he is moving up in his teaching status so he wont be our teacher anymore. Anyway I love you all so much, the Church is the most important thing on the Earth, I know this to be true and I know my Savior loves me and loves us all. Again, I love you all.
Elder Branden Carl Astle

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