Well, you are all just about a mile from me right now. It is so weird to know that you are all in Provo and we can't see each other. But I know that it is for the best and I know you are all having so much fun here. I'll start by answering some of your guys questions from your past Dear Elders and commenting on whats been going on and then update you on how I'm doing :)
Well, it sounds like you all had an awesome time in Idaho! Tell Aunt Heather and Ryan and the boys and Aunt Noel and Uncle Kyle and the kids hi next time you talk to them! I love that they wrote me in the Dear Elder. Im glad you were all able to travel safe. And how crazy!!! On monday morning I was at the foot doctors office right next to BYU at 9 on Monday. We probably drove by each other hahahaa. I was looking for you though! My companion needed a boot for a strained muscle in his foot. But yea, we are so close. But thanks so much for the coming package :) I cant wait to get it.
I am sooooooooo excited for austin to start tomorrow!! New Student Orientation is so fun. Austin, just make sure you dont hold back and try and meet as many as possible. Itll be so fun :) I cant wait. I cant believe just a year ago I was going to that same orientation. I feel old.... I wonder how Mom and Dad feel?? ;) hahaha. You will have a blast though.
Spencie!! I'm so glad you had so much fun at EFY. Im sure the hottest girls there were all over you and wyatt :) I love that you wore the batman cape. Atta boy!! have such a good summer. And enjoy utah :) also, you will be the oldest soon!!! CRAZY! im so excited for you though. Always be an example and remember to pray and read your scriptures and I know you will be blessed.
Madi! I am sure you are having a blast at basketball camp and arent the dorms fun?!?!?! have fun with tanners sister! Make friends with all the athletes ;) haha. I loved your letter and Ill be sure and write you back today!
Parker! Sounds like you got a ton of good stuff at the Bookstore. I love BYU clothes and Im sure you love the slippers. Have so much fun here in Utah!!
Well Mom and Dad, time for the updates :)
I get released as the District Leader this Sunday. They like to try to have 3 different ones throughout our time here in the MTC to make sure people get the experience. So that will be weird to not be the district leader, but exciting haha. Class is going well, Spanish is hard but its coming. We are almost done with all of the tenses and are pretty much talking in class in only Espanol. So thats been cool. 3 of our hermanas left this week for the Peruvian MTC. We miss them a lot but still have one, HErmana mangum with us cuz her visa hasnt coming in yet. So thats been cool to have her. We have to escort her around everywhere cuz she is a solo sister.
Caleb left yesterday!! I got to see him so much and we shared the food and took lots of pics before he left. I know that he will do great and I gave him big hugs from all of us!
The MTC is awesome. I see so many people I know al the time.
I get so many Dear Elders and its awesome. The fam, hayley, cassidy, taryn, griffin, easton, cameron, uncle adam, so many and its been so fun to get them. Everyones always like wow! You have so much mail haha. So thanks to everyone :)
Well, my spiritual experience of the week. Hmmmm.... where to begin?!?! haha. Well, last week I committed myself to really start working on making my prayers sincere. I have of course always prayed but when I got to the MTC i realized that they needed to be more sincere. So, my personal study for a week was all about prayer. The power of it, why we need it, what exactly it is, how it works, pretty much everything. I started thinking about how I could make them more sincere, and I read and studied and focused, my prayers have become so much more sincere. At night I love just talking with my Heavenly Father and letting him know how my day was and asking for my investigators, family,and friends to be blessed. The other night, I got an overwhelming flood of the Spirit and an impression that yes, My Heavenly Father really is listening to me and he knows me :) It was so cool. So I know that prayer works and I encourage everyone to make their praryers more sincere.
Another really cool experience happened yesterday to me. Tuesday night was really busy with devotional, and then district meeting after, and then I had leadership, so we didnt really get to plan a lesson for our investigator Abel the next morning, (who is Hermana Patino, one of our teachers.) So, we hurriedly threw somethying togehter that we thought might work, and went in. Absolute train wreck. Worst lesson i have ever given. The SPirit was not there and we didnt know what to say and just awful. So, about 15 mins in our teacher stops us, and lovingly says... Elders... whats wrong with this room right now? And I was just so embarssed and dissapointed in us, all 3 of us were. We talked about how the Spirit was not there, and how important planning is. So, he told us to go make the changes that were neccesary to be made, and our next lesson will be great. He was very loving about it, and could tell we were so so dissapointed in ourselves. It was awful... I was in tears cuz I was so ashamed. But!!! The Lord truly humbles us after we are on a high. We had a great lesson the day before, and were underprepared for the next both in our Spanish and lesson. So, the Lord humbled us. And what a humbling it was. BUT! It was one of the best things that could have happened to me. After, me, ELder Maurer and Barham all went into an empty classroom for an hour and prayed with our HEavenly Father, then made changes. We made changes in our companionship and made ways to get closer to each other. We planned all of our companion studies out and worked with soem of the other teachers on ways to share the load of teaching equally. The Spirit testified to me that yes, we needed to be humbled, but the Lord will always help us back up. Our companionship has never been better and we are going to deliver a powerful lesson today with the power of the Spirit. I know that this experience humbled me, which is what I needed. And I know that the Lord loves me and is teaching me the way he wants HIS Gospel to be taught to those that are being prepared just for me. And yes Dad, I have been praying for the people of Merida to continue to prepare to meet me and have their hearts open to the glorious message that we share :)
So, the MTC is the hardest, most draining, most humbling, most inspiring thing that I have ever done in my life. But oh so worth it :)
I also have been reading the BOok of Mormon every morning and can feel this already starting to bless me. I get up at 6 and read for about 20 minutes before getting ready and showering etc. :) so thats been going great.
Ok, lets see. Random updates! We have an elder in my district who is getting surgery today on his gall bladder, so he will be back on Sunday. Taryn and Hayley have been texting a ton and are planning to meet up at some point and hang out in So Cal :) how cool right!!!??!!! haha. I don't miss facebook at all really. I do miss my iphone sometimes, but have gotten so used to being without it that thinking about texting now is just weird. I MISS MUSIC THE MOST!!! Well, besides you fam bam, but life without music is just downright dull sometimes. So, to make up for it we are always singing musicals, Disney, some pop songs. Always appropriate of course, but just something a little different haha.
Oh Dad and Austin! There is a new district in my zone and they are all awesome. But there is an Elder Fanaika from Pleasant Grove. He is on a full ride to Stanford for football and said he met you both at one of the Nike COmbines!! So weve been chatting about Austin starting and you Dad. He said he was very impressed by both of you because you were so nice and Austin was so big hahahaha. So he says hi :)
I cant wait for my package! I finally figured out the alarm but it will be super nice to get a new one! So thank you :) Also, I love snacking, so I cant wait for the snacks.
I hope everything is going well with everyone! And HELLO to everyone who gets this email. I love you all :) and thanks for the Dear Elders :) keep it up haha.
So, what is everyones elses plan for summer? IS it weird to be dropping Austin off at BYU Mom? How you holding up? Know Mommy that I love you so much!!!!! You'll have fun with only 3 kids in the house :) lol.
I hope work is going well Dad! What cases are you working on right now? How did that murder trial go, with the death penalty?
My companions all say hi! :)
I love you so much family and miss you every day but know that I love my mission. I know that this Church is true. I know that our Heavenly Father knows us and that Jesus Christ suffered through the Atonement for us. Always stay close to the Spirit fam bam, and keep up the prayers for me. I need all the help I can get!! As do all the missionaries out there. :)
Love, Elder Hoyt :) (Little Seth)
Hola mi familia!! Wow.... a whole month down in the MTC. I cant believe it! At times it goes so slow..... like Saturdays with 6 straight hours of class haha. But then all of a sudden its P-Day again and Im writing an email. So, I'm going to start this one with a few shout outs. Mom, I know you send this out to quite a few people, like the Johnsons and all the Grandparents and aunts and uncles, so thank you! I love you all so much.
To Grandma and Grandpa Swearingen... Thanks so much for the package! I loved the sweets, so did all my companions and elders in my room ;) haha. And the notebook was perfect and the awesome letter. I love you both so much and you have always been there for me.
To Uncle Adam and Aunt Becky and all the kids, thanks so much Adam for the Dear Elder! I love your family so much. I hope summer is going well for you all :) crazy Jacob is a junior!! Tell him I say hi and of course all the other kids :)
To the Johsons, Thanks so much for all the letter!! They meant so much to me to hear from all of you. I died of laughter at Kates when she said she was mad cuz Jimmer just got married and now she cant marry him hahaha. Miss you guys but thanks for the support and prayers!
Lauren sent me a letter and I'll write her back today, but she is so awesome! I love you Lauren and you are such a part of our family :) have an awesome summer! And I cant wait for that package ;) haha.
To Hayley and Ashley and Cass and Taryn I love you all for writing! hayley sent an amazing package full of pics, sweets, and two of the most beautiful paisley ties I've ever seen. All the elders are jealous of them, and everyones been wanting to wear one of them. Thanks so much all of you :)
Im trying to cut down on my letter writing, so Ill send shout outs in the emails so save on postage and time during P-Day. Also Mom... could you make sure that the Cooks and Cassidy are getting my update emails. Also, maybe email it to the Ottesen family, (their addresses are in my email) and send it to them. Maybe get Tylers emails from them and forward it to me in a Dear Elder. I havent heard from him!! Thanks :)
Thanks to everyone who writes me! I love getting updates from Suzie Mel all about the ward and stuff in the world, and Amador county news and spiritual thoughts. Tell her thanks!!
Ok, here is my updates on week 4!
This past week has been spiritually fulfilling as usual. Last P-Day was a week ago! Time goes so fast. But yes, i did see the stewarts randomly drive past when I was heading to field day for gym time.... right across the street. I said tell you all I said hi :) it was cool to see them. It was sad not to see you, but thats how its meant to be. Its ok. Austin should randomly run by though sometime when Im at gym on Tuesdays and Saturdays or early in the morning. Ill write him. I want to see him just once. Maybe he can do baptisms at the temple or something when I go. hahaha. But were not supposed to plan to meet family. We'll see ;)
I have been trying as hard as I can to keep all the rules, like being in bed at 10:30 and I have been keeping my focus on the work. I like when Mom said have fun with the hermanas hahahahhaa. Im on a mission Mom ;) but there is a sister from Auburn who played volleybal full ride for them..... we play volleyball together... and ELder Odum and I think she is an amazing daughter of God ;) hahaha. But yes, I am focused on this great work.
My lessons are gonig great. We have 3 investigators at the moment. All 3 are our teachers, but literally when they are the investigator they are brand new people. Its cool to teach them! When is Jose, then Abel, and Ada. We just started with Jose, and just introduced the BOok of Mormon to him, which is so far my favorite lesson to teach. Abel is a little harder for us, we are trying to find out his needs and how to help his testimony of the Book of Mromon grow. Ada just committed to be baptized so we are preparing her for that :) and we are teacher her "sister" haha. HErmana mangum in our district with Ada as well. So teaching has been good. My spanish is improving daily... sometimes it is frusturating to not be able to say exactly what I want in a lesson, but that is what the spirit is for. The Spirit testifies no matter the language, and I just have to follow promptings and things will turn out. The Spirit is definintely in our lessons as long as we are doing our personal study, praying as a companionship, listening to each other, and being open to promptings. Its hard, but we are getting better :)
This coming weekend is the New Mission Presidents Seminar! We have been told to expect at least half of the Quruoum of the 12 here throughout the weekend and next Tuesday President Uchtdorf is speaking to us :) We are going to go super early to try and get good seats!! Cant wait :) We just had Sheri Dew come and speak to us this past Sunday and she was so good! An inspiring talk about remembering our purpose and remembering the Lord is always with us.
To answer your questions Mom, we have not heard anything about our visas yet. But, we are expecting to get reassigned. Mexico missionaries here get reassigned a lot we've heard, so Im prepared for that. I love the MTC, but i cant wait to get out in the field and really live the things I have been learning. Elder Odum and the district above us were supposed to leave this next week, but no word of visas has them expecting to be here another 2-3 weeks and then getting reassigned. But, the church is so organized and no one is here longer than they need to be :) so Im not worried. Ill miss Elder Odum when he leaves! He and I have gotten super close. We are the same person pretty much hahaha. As everyone says all the time lol. Its hilarious. And my companions are just awesome. Im so excited to be with Elder Maurer in Mexico :) hopefully we fly together! And ELder Barham is such an example to me of exact obedience.
Sounds like you are all so busy! How was your basketball camp at BYU madi?? How was Parkers cub scout camp?? How is football going Spencer?? How is water zumba going with Lauren Mom?? (YOU are already skinny mommy ;) dont even worry. I think you're the hottest Mom ever. I am so excited for you and Madi to go to girls camp :) ill bet you'll climb a mountain Mom to get signal to receive my email next week hahahahhaa. JK. I dont expect that lol. Thats hilarious Dad that I spelled pero.... perro. Whoops! I learned though. so I wont do it again. How is work going Padre? Btw Mom.... How is my blog going? I want to send pics but we cant email them cuz were not allowed and there is no way to print them here! Its super lame. Maybe send me another memory card so I can send mine home and you can print them and send it back? Idk exactly, but just let me know what you think.
I am so happy that Austin is having so much fun! How are practices going? How are the dorms? You already went to a bonfire and another girls house ;) shoot austin hahaha. Live it up :) summer term is one of my fondest memories of BYU.... along wth my San Diego road trips :) and really.... everything else hahahaha. But yea, summers amazing. Ill write you today Austin :) whenever you have time you can write back. No pressure!
I got your package last week!!! The donuts were AMAZING!! Thank you so much. And all the notebooks were perfect. That is so funny about the Disney store in Salt Lake! You are the cutest ever Mom haha. I miss you and the fam always, but know I'm where I'm supposed to be. It still hasnt quite sunk in yet that Im a missionary, but then again it does. It feels normal to be here, which is so cool. A mission is definitely already one of the hardest things I've done, but so worth it. It even makes me get out of my comfort zone sometimes ;) and Im learning to embrace that.
I know that this Church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and every time I open it the Spirit gives me personal revelation for myself and for my investigators. I was teachign the Plan of Salvation yesterday and testified that the best part about it is that as families we get to live together forever. Not a day goes by that I don't think about that and it makes me so happy to know that I will be you Mom, Dad, Madi, Parker, Spencer, and Austin for ever. I miss you all so much but am having a blast. Prepare now for your missions Austin and Spencer. You too parker! Listen to Dad and all his stories of the MTC cuz theyre all true. And a missino is not all just work, I mean, it is always work, but it so fun :) we have a blast just chatting with all the hermanas and elders and the Spirit is with us if we obey the rules, always remember Jesus Christ, and rely on him. I know that that is true :) If you ever have any questions about preparing, just ask me and I'll give the inside scoop ;)
I hope everyones summer is giong well! I cant wait to email next week, but first hear back from all of you in Dear Elders. That works the best to send Dear Elders, cuz then I can focus al my email time on writing back. I love you all so much and know this Church is true with all my heart. We have challenges sometime, but the Lord is always with us :) I love you!!!!
Wuith so much love..... Elder Hoyt :) lIttle Seth