Monday, October 22, 2012

Joshua's email 10/22

Hello! I just have a couple minutes before I have to switch my laundry, so this might be kind of short.
This week was awesome! I'm jacked to go to Wisconsin tomorrow at 4:00 am! And also, I get a chance to call my family for a little bit so I'll definitely be looking forward to that!
Last Wednesday, I noticed around lunch time that a lot of new missionaries were coming in.  So I waited outside for M... I mean Elder H, and I left because I didn't see him.  I told one of the workers that I was waiting for my friend, and she said she'd look out for him.  I came back after lunch and she told me I had just missed him!  Luckily, that night, I was with my companion and I said, "I hope I get to see my friend before I leave."  I immediately turned to the right... and there was Elder H!!!! His companion is named Elder C, and he's their district leader.  He's definitely an awesome guy and M says he keeps him in line, haha.  Their district is pretty cool and M is LOVING the MTC.. as am I!  I'm not ready to leave!! I'm excited to leave but at the same time I don't want to leave the nest for maybe a week or two more, because I've learned so much here.  And I love my district.  I know I'll continue learning in the field though, but it's nice being with a whole district all the time, especially since we're all really good friends. 
Last night, Elder J said goodbye to his twin brother (they're both tough, quiet, super athletic kids).  I feel like Elder J and I are kind of on the same page because we grew up away from Utah and we never really lived in the "Mormon culture bubble."  Our teacher, Brother H, told us that we've come the farthest of anyone in our district while at the MTC.  He told us that usually the missionaries who progress in the MTC, continue to make progress in the field as long as they don't feel comfortable with 'where they're at.'  So, I've always felt close to Elder J even though he's a little quiet.  He's awesome and when he bears his testimony you can feel the SPIRIT!  Which is funny because his companion is our district leader who knows everything about anything there is to know about the Book of Mormon (at least that's what it feels like), and he talks a lot in lessons.  One day, Elder W (his companion) and Elder J came out of a lesson with an investigator, and Elder W said, "I wish you would have talked more, Elder J.  You need to learn how to teach too."  Elder B immediately shouted, "Yeah, but Elder J brought the SPIRIT!!!!!" in his goofy deep voice.  So now that's a joke with our district, that Elder J can BRING THE SPIRIT.  Elder J is seriously way awesome.  Anyway, last night he said goodbye to his twin brother who is going to Chicago.  His brother is much more outgoing, but they are still very similar.  They both were crying so hard, it made me sad!!  I know they're both going to be awesome missionaries though and I'm looking forward to hearing how their missions go.
On Wednesday night, Elder K decided he wanted to sing a song at the Fireside last night  with me.  Our whole district is super tone-deaf except for me and Elder K, haha.  Some more than others............. hahaha.  Anyway, we decided to sing Nearer, My God to Thee.  We practiced in the MTC residence hall bathroom with Elder S and Elder W from our Zone.  Elder K sang Melody, W sang alto, S sang bass, and I sang tenor.  IT WAS INSANE!!! We sounded so good that most of the people on our floor came into the bathroom and told us how good we sounded.  So, we auditioned to sing at the fireside.  Unfortunately, because Elder Kimzey and I were leaving only a few days after Sunday, they said that we wouldn't be able to sing because they already picked someone to sing for last night.  They told us our voices blended incredibly and we were all very talented.  So, that was a good experience.  Instead, we sang with our district (light emphasis on the word 'sing,' more like 'howled') "I Stand All Amazed" in Sacrament meeting with our zone.  It was really really tough not to laugh at how bad we sounded, but it was still fun.
On Friday, we had our in-field orientation.  It lasted all day long, and pretty much taught us how to find investigators and how to use church members to help teach in our lessons.  It was an awesome day.  One of the kids that I role-played with was named Elder H. His companion was Elder W.  I can't remember their first names right now, but I have them written down in my journal in my room, so I'll tell you their names later.  Anyway, guess where they're going!!! BILLINGS, MONTANA!!! So you could imagine my excitement when they told me they were going to Montana.  I told them to look for the huge family in Miles City and I told them that you would feed them  well!! They're awesome! I was so excited to meet 2 of the 4 missionaries going there!
Earlier this week, Sister R (our other teacher) bore her testimony and talked about Zion's camp.  I ended up using this story in my talk about enduring to the end yesterday in Sacrament Meeting.  Anyway, when she bore her testimony about her mission and about trials and how they can help us come closer to Christ, you could definitely feel the Spirit.  It was one of the most powerful moments I've had in the MTC.  I'm going to miss my teachers Brother Hoffman, Sister R, and Brother H (he went to Arizona on his mission and he met J Y!).  The MTC is incredible.  I told Brother H that I think everyone should go to the MTC at some point in their lives, even if they're not going on a mission.  You learn SOOOOO much!!!!!  I often tell people of how I never bore my testimony when I lived at home.  I think I did one time, and a couple times when I had to give a talk.  I've always known the Book of Mormon is true and that the gospel is true.  But I remember my dad's words every day that one of the people told him on his mission to, "Bear your testimony more!!!"  Now, I bear my testimony 10000000 times a day, and I actually WANT to bear my testimony!! I'm not scared to do it anymore.  My testimony feels like it's a million times stronger than I ever could have imagined, and now I know for sure that when you bear your testimony, it gets stronger.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.  I'm a representative of Jesus Christ...... That's crazy! I never imagined that simple fact of being a missionary.  I want to serve Christ and bring others closer to Him.  I LOOOVVVVEEEE my family and friends! and I miss you a ton! Go on a mission!! They're the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Joshua Evan Whicker
Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission
5651 Broad St Ste 1
Greendale, WI 53129-1889
United States!

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