Week 3 – MTCNovember 26, 2013
The food was hit-and-miss this week. Mexican food at the MTC can be scary. The enchiladas should never be tried, but the fajitas were actually pretty good. Yesterday two of the three meals looked terrible, so I tried a meal I didn't recognize. It was called a chicken stacker. I guess it’s based on a KFC mashed potato/chicken bowl. It was actually really good.
The MTC actually does a Thanksgiving lunch, not a Thanksgiving dinner so that will be interesting. It will be weird having my second Thanksgiving away from home; I missed it last year when I was in Idaho. At least we get a Thanksgiving, although, it's definitely not a holiday in Europe… Ha-ha. We asked Elder Noso from Finland if he knew about Thanksgiving, he said "I think it's something where you Americans talk about Indians and eat turkey." We told him yeah, pretty much… Ha-ha. He's really funny. He learned a lot of English from watching American action movies so he knows every pop culture reference known to man.
|All Scandinavian missionaries currently at the MTC|
I was released as the district leader. It's only a three week calling in the MTC, so it has been passed on to Elder Noso. I think he'll do a really good job and I'm glad someone else is in charge of getting the daily mail. The new zone leaders were picked on Sunday as well. They are my two roommates, Elder Smith and Elder Rasmussen. I recommended them to the President as excellent leaders as well as a cohesive companionship. It looks like he listened to me and I know they'll do really well. I've seen this group grow so much and I know the Lord has amazing plans for Sweden.
|Aldste Stoeltzing's roommates, Elders Brown, Smith and Rasmussen|
We got an email from the mission home in Sweden today and were thrilled to see that they have scheduled 40 baptisms for the month of December. Sweden may be a very secular place, but people are most certainly embracing the gospel there.
|Jacob found Sister Harvey (London) from Folsom and his buddy Tyler|
On Sunday I was out of energy and just didn't feel ready for a long week. So I attended a great devotional from the general authority in charge of the missionary department, David F. Evans, and it really lifted my spirits. He asked everyone that thinks they get too much sleep in the MTC to stand up. Nine or ten kids stood up and he said, "Well sit down because no one likes you." I knew then that he was a kindred spirit!
There was also an opening musical duet from two sisters singing “Come Thou Fount” that was really beautiful. At the end the speaker called an audible and asked if we could change the closing song so the whole MTC could sing “Come Thou Fount.” I don’t think I've ever felt the spirit stronger than when we listened to 2,000 missionaries sing my favorite hymn. That song has so much meaning to me and it completely lifted me up and prepared me for another week of service. Every time I here that song I'm reminded of Christ's immense love for me and how He's been with me through everything. It's really cool to here all 2,000 of us sing “Called to Serve” every week too, but singing “Come Thou Fount” with that many people was amazing.
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of God's unchanging love…
|Aldste Stoeltzing and Elder Howe from International Relations class|
|Former pre-missionary training companions, Jacob and Luis from BYU-I|
I love every day I'm out here and can't wait to finally get to Sweden. I think I can speak just enough Swedish to write my simplified testimony, but please don't try to translate this because this computer isn't set up for Swedish accent symbols and my spelling is very bad, but here goes nothing.