Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weeks 5, 6, 7 & 8: Elder Hoyt's MTC Experience

Week 5
Hola Familia! Well, Mom and Dad and Madi are all at girls camps this week so that is so fun! I hope that is going well. I wonder if Mom will climb a mountain to get reception to see my email ;) hahaha. I'm excited to tell you all about my past week. Its been quite a good one! I'll start out by saying how much I love all the updates from the ward. Gaylene and Suzie Mell always send me updates and I absolutely love the updates on Cassie and the spiritual thoughts from Suzie. Good luck to you Suzie with your new business adventure! I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying summer! I'm pumped you got the pic of me, bree, rachel, and caleb at the map :) how fun! Well, here we go .
This week was great! First I'll talk about this weekend. This past week was the Missionary President Training Conference so we had 110 Mission Presidents and their wives all weekend. It was crazy! Every Apostle and the First Presidency was here almost all weekend, and you could tell the Spirit was even stronger here at the MTC. We were all kept pretty seperate though, but its ok cuz Tuesday night we had a special devotional. And.... There were 10 of the 12 Apostles there!!!! :) We waited in line for an hour to get into the big gym to be with them and were some of the lucky missionaries who didn't have to go to overflow. Literally, we saw Holland and Nelson and Elder Perry spoke and everyone else was there except Packer and Hales, who are both sick I guess. But it was awesome. Such a strong spirit at the meeting and Elder Perry gave an awesome talk on how the church is turning to more technhology for missionary work and showing how it blesses the lives of members.
Spanish is going well. I pray in Spanish all the time (mostly) haha. And can teach a 40 minute lesson with my companions. All 3 of our investigators Jose, Abel, y Ada are all getting baptized! Thats been so cool to go with them and get a date with them and now work on preparing them. We also picked up 3 new investigators, Paula (Hermana Mangum) and Pedro y Jacob who are Elders Paxton and Hobbs. We all get the chance to be investigators for each other so I am Nigel (pre baptism of course) Hope you dont mind Nige ;) love you! haha. So lessons are going well. I am continually trying to improve on teaching with the Spirit and following impressions and directions of where to go in lessons. I feel that I am getting better at it, but it is definitely hard. But Ill get there with the Lords help :) its all about relying wholly on the Lord and I am really coming to realize and know that.
The Temple :) Dad was asking about it so I'll go ahead and describe it. It is amazing. I love going to the House of the Lord and partaking of the spirit that is always there. I was able to do sealings last week and did another endowment session today :) The spirit is always strong and I have found that as I go with specific questions about investigators or a personal study topic or soemthing that I need, I always receive inspiriation or answers that help lead me to answers. It is a really cool experience :) And the breakfast after is celestial! This morning I got 2 biscuits with gravy and a slice of chocolate pie :) (Which reminded me of home) haha. Sad thing is the Provo Temple is closed for the month of July for cleaning! So no more temple for us the whole time were here :( So that stinks. But, we will fill that time with studying and more letter writing and maybe even a nap ;) hahaha. Unheard of here lol.
My spiritual thought for this email is from a talk that we watched Sunday night after our devotional. It was given by Elder Bednar a year ago on Christmas. Such a good talk! It was titled the Character of Christ. He went into all sorts of simple yet powerful scriptures describing the Character of Christ. This Character is that literally when we would turn inside and consider oursevles, Christ always turned outward. What an amazing message. He shared the scriptures about Christ right after he had gone through suffering in the Garden of Gethsamane. He bled from every pore and suffered so much that he asked for the cup to be taken from him if God wilt it, but kept going. After this intesne and unimagineable suffering, he went to his apostles where he was betrayed. One of the Apostles (Peter I think) cut the ear off a soldier arresting Christ. Christ without even thinking automatically healed the ear and replaced it on the guards ear. Talk about turning outward at all times! he suffered the most pain anyone would ever suffer, and was betrayed, and was going to even more suffering, yet he healed a soldiers ear who was helping cause this pain. Wow! Elder Bednar challenged us all to be like that. Less selfish and turning outward in pure love nad work towards having that pure charity. So I am really striving to do this. I am selfish at times! I am, but I realize it and want to change. So I have been working on serving my companions and being nice to everyone, and making sure I reach out to those in need. Its a working progress definitely, but I am getting better and I encourage everyone to work on this as well :) Family project! Oh what fun fam-bam :) hahaha.
Well, everyting is going well. Last night for the first time I got a little homesick. I was in bed praying, and just thinking about home and I have to admit, I teared up. I prayed for help through the Atonement of Christ, becuase the Atonement is for everything, not just sin. I woke up this morning feeling a little off, but went to the temple with the specific question of looking for comfort though the Atonement at the temple. While at the temple, as the session moved on, I could literally feel my worries and homesickness dissapear. I felt myself becoming even closer to Christ and feeling his infinite love for me. When I entered the Celestial Room, its as if I was going back home. I felt so at peace and received confirmations from the Spirit that a mission is exactly where I need to be right now :) its hard, dont get me wrong family. Its hard learning Spanish and learning to love teaching, and having a pure love for everyone. But oh how I enjoy the work :) I know that by relying on the Spirit and Jesus Christ and his infinite Atonement I can be made better and help invite other to come unto Him and learn of the happinness that I have :)
On a fun note, my zone is awesome. We have a great new district that are all fun to chat with. At nights we get back to the residence Hall at 9:30 and then my companions and I change and chat about our day and write in journals and then pray as a companionship so thats cool. Then for like 15-20 minutes we all just chat. Usually I'm in Elder Odum's room with him and I and a couple other elders just chatting about life and girls and the Gospel and our families. I've told so many hilarious stories from our family, (cuz we seem to never run out). Btw.... Elder Odum said he cant wait to meet you all :) he said my fam sounds awesome.... and he loves all the little blonde things you've done Mom ;) like thinking Ihop was an arco!!!! hahahahaha. He and I are super close already. I think that is one of my talents. Finding people that I can connect with and just getting close super fast. It happened with Tyler and Hayley and other people at college. I definitely believe that is one of my gifts as a child of God. Goodness knows I'm lacking in other gifts, but through the Lord I can gain those other gifts :)
Any word from Tylers family?? Id love to get a Dear Elder with his email on it! Maybe this weekend when you get back from Girls Camp. Whenever you have time though Mom :) I know youll be super tired I'm sure.
So, how is summer everyone? Enjoying football Spencer? How is basketball madi? How is BYU austin? And how is it being home and no school Parker? Wow.... I miss you all so much but I know youre all doing great :) Be safe always and make the right decisions. :) I'm so excited to hear Lauren is getting her patriarchal blessing!! How exciting :)
Well, I'll talk to you soon :) Have a great time at Girls camp and I'll talk to you next week. Cant wait to hear all about Girls camp and summer and Dad's work :) I loved your letter Dad!! El oso :) haha.
I love you all so much and know this Church is true :) stay strong fam-bam!
Im forever grateful to be in an eternal family with you all :)
With so much love,
Elder Hoyt ( Little Seth) :)

Week 6
Hey fam-bam!! And friends :)
WOW! 6 weeks down and 2/3rds of my MTC training done. What an insane feeling... but wow am I getting anxious to be out in the field. I hope everything is going wel and that you are all having an amazing summer :) I have a whole list that I've been writing down of what to talk about today, so I'll have lots to say.
First, answer all your letters. Wow.... sounds like Girls camp was so fun and Spencer and the boys will have so much fun on the 50 mile hike and then football camp. I'm so proud you're working out Mom :) 30 pounds!!! Shoot girl ;) I love all the letters :)
Shout outs first to Grandma Hoyt :) I LOVED your letter and will hopefully have time to write back, but if not, know that I love you and Grandpa so much :) you have always been an example to me and I am so lucky to have such amazing grandparents.
Shout out to Suzie Mell! I love her missionary emails and love hearing about hwo everyone else is doing, the world news, the local news, all about her business experiences, and the spiritual thought :) it always inspires me and thanks so much. I will definitely teach it loud and proud :)
Also thanks to the Bishop and Sister Jenkins for the Dear Elders :) love hearing from you and hearing how the ward and fam and Rachel are doing :)
Ok.... here we go :) week 6!
Well, so much has happened this week. I'll start with last THursday. Right after I sent my emails and letters all off.... Elder Odum and his district got their travel plans! They all did not receive their visas to Argentina yet so they got reassigned. Elder Odum left on Wednesday at 3 in the morning for Denver South!!! I got up at like 1:45 with him 2 nights ago to help him finish packing and say bye. It was hard to say bye cuz we have gotten so close in just the past couple weeks but I know hes where the Lord needs him now and Im jealous hes out in the field haha. I'll be soon enough!
So, with Odum and his district leaving, that meant that we needed new Zone leaders. Soooo..... Me, Elder Maurer, and Elder Barham got called to be the Zone Leaders :) What another amazing oppurtunity to serve again. Tonight we get to welcome our new district of elders and give them the orientation and a tour. Elder ODum said he knew they would pick us, and me hahaha. So yea, our Presidency has confidence we can do wel and so do I.
Sunday night we had an amazing devotional by Ted Gibbons, the author. He did a monologue recreating the martydom and story of Joseph Smith as told from the eyes of Willard Richards, Josephs personal secretary. It was AMAZING! Never before have I felt the Spirit so strong before in association with Joseph Smith. After he ended, we all stood and sang Praise to the Man and the organ and our voices were so loud and praise Joseph Smith. Everyone was crying and the Spirit was literally rushing through the room. It was amazing and the biggest tesimony builder of Jospeh Smith that I have ever had. I know he was a true prophet and through him God and Jesus Christ restored the Gospel.
Spanish is going well! We just finished our last grammar principle (subjunctive...ugh....) hahaha. But we are reviewing now. I really feel confident in lessons now, but I'll have to learn it all in the field haha. THe speed will be so hard at first, and the accent. Oh well... I'm not stressing. Just knowing it will come :) We have not heard anything about our visas! We are going to check today at the office so i'll let you know in the letter what happens. But yea! I will definetelty get to call this month so keep an eye out for that! Ill give a warning, dont worry haha.
I will send my camera card.... I have a bunch of pics and would like some printed out and sent to me if thats ok. Ill have instructions in my letter today :)
The MTC is amazing. THe Spirit is always here so strong that at times when we are thinking about it, we just become used to it. I love it, and am really starting to teach after the manner of the Spirit and with the Lords help. We are teaching an average of 3-4 lessons a day! I love teaching. We are becoming really close with our investigators, and finding ways to help them overcome problems. Our investigator Ada has a "smoking" problem. So, we read with her scriptures about overcoming, and for dinner time we come over and read scritpures with her and help with her kids and make dinner with them because at night is when she is most stressed and smokes. :) (all fake.... but stuff that we can actually do in the field, so we practice now!) Its pretty awesome. I have 6 investigators right now, and its pretty cool listening for revelation for all of them at once.
Well, Happy 4th of July!! We had a pretty good one. Last night we had a special 4th of July devotional where a Judge came and spoke.... he wasnt as nearly interesting as you Dad ;) but still good! haha. And then musical talents, and a flag ceremony, and we all got to clap and yell and it was so fun :) THEN!! We all got to go outside and sit on the grass and they had Ice cream for all of us missionaries and we got to stay out till 11 and watch all the fireworks from Stadium of Fire!!! IT was soooooo cool :) Weird to think austin and I were watching the same fireworks.
So yea, that has been my week pretty much. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TOMORROW MOM AND DAD!!!! SOooooooo cute :) it makes me so happy to have you both as my parents. I love you both so much and thanks for going strong :) hahaha. Keep it up!
I know you've been super busy Mom with everything so dont stress about the blog or anything :) no worries! But, with the package if you could send some pics (ill tell you which ones I would like in the letter today when i send the card home) and also some acne face wash (the neutrogena red diminishing or whatever) i like that. And yea.... thats about all I need i think. Whatever else you want to send would be fun :)
So.... I'm going to go ahead and go. I have 5 mins left on my email but Ill send another one later this afternoon during laundry and tell you about our visas!! I love you all so so much :) This Church is so true and I miss you all.
With Love, Little Seth :) Elder Hoyt!

Week 7:

Hola Fam-Bam!!! :)
Wow.... 7 weeks in the MTC down and working on my 8th. Cray-cray!! lol. I am getting so excited to get into the field! To start we have not heard anything yet about visas.... but we are hearing of Mexican missionaries here getting theres. So we are praying.... but if not a reassignment will be cool :) its whereever the Lord needs me. So, I have a bunch to write about that I've been taking notes on all week. So Ill just start!
First, I was reading some talks this past Sunday on (Cuz sundays were allowed to do that) and I read a really good one by President Uchdorf I think it was. And I know Parker and everyone loves him, and I was thinking all about Madi and Spencer while I read it. It was all about staying strong in highschool and the teenage years, and he suggested 3 main things to help us through. 1. Believe. 2. Obey. 3. Endure (or I like better Persevere) :) These 2 things apply perfectly to a mission and also to helping us get through our teenage years. I love what our said... "Let our code of conduct emphasize not "What will others think" but "What will I think of myself, and the Lord think of me?" I love this!!! I encourage Spencer and Madi especially to stay strong! What examples you are to all of us, and to keep up your faith and your testimonies :) always improve them and always move forward in your testimonies. Be examples to your friends and dont be afraid to stand up for what we believe in. Austin and I were so blessed when we did this and I know you two will be as well.
OK!! So, The MTC is awesome. We only have 11 days left!! We are supposed to get our flight plans today.... but have not heard anything about our Visas yet. We are hoping early next week!! Also, we just heard a rumor that 2 missionaries got kidnapped somewhere in Mexico, and proselyting in that mission has been stopped for now, and we HEARD a rumor.... from missionaries... nothing confirmed.... that proselything is on hold in Mexico. If you could maybe do some digging on that.... we would much appreciate to hear if ANY of that is true. We know the Lord will protect his missionaries and us :) But we would like to know.
So, I have been singing every week in the MTC choir and it has been so fun! I sing tenor and for the past 2 weeks the camera that scans the choir during the performances during Tuesday night devotionals has zoomed in on my face!!! twice!! I keep getting people coming up to me and saying they saw me lol. too funny!
So, how is the fam? I hope the 50 mile hike was fun! and spencer is having a good time today and tomorrow at football camp :) madis birthday sounded like a blast!!! hahahaha. Poor Dad! And then I hope Six Flags was fun! Has Holly had her baby yet? Say hi to Aunt Heather and the fam when they come in :) I love all the Dear Elders I get from the fam and i loved the letter from you Mom to all the elders and sisters in our ward. its awesome to hear4 how everyone is doing.
The 4th of July package last week Mom from Dear Elder was amazing :) I loved the cookies and the note!!! So good so thank you :)
So yesterday I had the opportunity to be a host!! It was so fun to introduce all the new missionaries to the MTC :) I hosted a missionary from Tahiti who is serving in Canada. he is here learning English and spoke only French!!! It was funny trying to connect English and Spanish and French. But we did it and we had a great time with each other and he gave me 4 pooka shell neckalces handmade in Tahiti that his village gave him when he left!! He was super cool.
So I have had a little cough the past couple days.... just my voice has been raspy. But Im not feeling sick.
They fixed the AC in our room so now we can actually use our blankets at night!! we think they were trying to prepare us for the heat of merida ;) haha
Oh Austin!!! your poor phone!! Im so sorry. What type of new phone are you getting? But yea.... maybe I will happen to see you this week as you go running! ;) haha.
Thanks for Tys email. Ill go ahead and send him one and hopefully hear from him soon!
Question for Mom.... should I stock up on bathroom supplies here like shaving cartridges for my razor and some face wash and little stuff that I might need before I leave? I definitely am going to buy a pack of 22 shaving cartridges.... if you think thats smart! its like 20 dollars and will last me such a long time. is that smart?? Ill wait till like sometime next week to get them so you can tell me if thats ok :) haha.
So, the MTC is going great. Our new Zone is great! It was fun to be able to give them the MTC orientation and give them the tour and help them know what to do in the MTC. I feel so old here!!! its pretty cool actually. But man, I am excited to go! My spanish really is improving daily. And my studies are just improving daily as my desire to read the scriptures and teach with the Spirit growss! We have really been working on asking inspired questions with the Spirit and making our lessons creative. We have 6 investigators right now so are teaching every day, most of the tiems twice a day. I can get through a lesson with no english and with passable Spanish :) and our only Spanish days on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays are getting better as we learn.
So Elder Kennedy, an elder in our district, this past week had to go home for surgery on his knee after he retore his cartiledge in it. So we have 6 elders now and absolutely love each other! Elder Maurer is teaching with Elder Corum and Elder Barham and I are teaching in a companionship again so we all prepare for the field and a companionship.
So yea, everything is going well. If you could let me know specifically if anything is happening right now in Mexico with missionaries, we would much appreciate that :) also.... Cant wait for my package! did the letter get to you with my camera cartridge? I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures!! And I hope you got those couple printed that we wanted so I can have those and send some to Elder Odum :)
Also, hey to everyone who gets this email! I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying summer. I love the Dear Elders and letters so keep them up :)
I love you all so much and my desire to grow in the Gospel and become more like Christ grows everyday as I fervently pray and read and ponder the scriptures. I hope the blessings of me being out on a mission are already evident :) I love you all so much!! next week will be my last email in the MTC!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!
Love you all and I hope everyone has a great week :)
With all the love in the world,
Elder Hoyt :) Little Seth.

Week 8

Wow.... 2 months down!! I only have like 15 minutes cuz I've been getting on throughout the day to email about calling tonight, but Ill give my update for the week. I just wrote letters to the whole fam today and sent them :) so everyone should be gettting letters by Saturday!! And I'll be leaving for Boise on Tuesday. I leave the MTC at 5:15 and get to the airport about 6 or so. Then my flight leaves at 8:30 so I should be able to call on Tuesday!! again... that is TUESDAY!! :) so I should be calling around 6 your time or even 5:30!!
This week was amazing. We had Jenny Oaks Baker come and give an amazing musical devotional. She is the daughter of Dallin H. Oaks and one of Americas most renowned violinists. It was so good!!! We watched Mountain of the Lord Sunday night... which reminded me of when we would all watch that like every Sunday when we were younger hahaha.
Once I leave the MTC on Tuesday... I will not be able to receive them sent here anymore. So send over the weekend and I'll get them all Monday and then start sending to Boise, and I'll get you my address there as soon as I can. They said that I can be pulled out of there at any minute, so whenever the Visa comes in. I CANT WAIT!!! We drove to Salt Lake on Monday to check with the consulate and sign for Elder Maurers. So weird to be out of the MTC!
This week I have been able to read the family history stories. They are so cool!!! If you could call Grandma Eunice Mom and tell her that I say this. "Hey grandma! I have been loving the family history stories Mom has given me and read your life story. WOW! Amazing and I am really getting an interest in family history. Family history is stressed to missionaries and is so cool!" Tell her I love her and hope she is doing well!!!!
So yea, this is super short and fast but I sent long letters to you all today and I will talk to you in just like 4 and a half hours. Remember I will only have 5 minutes, so itll be fast but I cant wait :) to hear you all!!
How is everyones week? How are you liking your Iphone Mom? What is the room set up?
Thanks so much for all your dear elders and I hope Fair is soooooo much fun next week especially with hayley and Lauren there :) jealous youre all there!! But not really cuz Im going to the field!!!! Im super pumped but not going to lie I am nervous. But I will learn as I get out there and I cant wait. Also.... I got my bags both under 50 pounds so i shouldnt have to pay overage!!
Ok, gotta go!! Ill talk to you all tonight :) oh also!! Uncle Adam wrote me. Tell him I am leaving this week but will only be in Boise ;) hahaha. Thanks for the thought of trying to get me a package here in Provo though :) tell him I love him and the fam so much!!!!!
Love you all and will talk to you so soon!!!
With love, Elder Little Seth :):):)

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