Wednesday, June 15, 2011

1st Letter from the MTC!

Dear Family,

Hey guys! How are you doing??? I miss you all so much! I’m doing well! Actually, I’m doing fantastic! I love the MTC! I love everything about it! I just thought I’d first start out by saying thank you for the letters and thank you for the package! I was also wondering whether or not you got the letter I sent you on Thursday? Now, I bet you’ve all been waiting to hear about my week so far:

The plane ride was great! I sat next to a really nice lady who was an actress from Claremont. She was a non-member and was visiting her relatives who were members in Idaho. We had a really nice chat the whole plane ride. The plane was SUPER tiny. I’ve never seen a commercial plane so small, but it got me to Salt Lake safe and on time. My shuttle left way early at 9:15 and I was with another Elder who was a convert going to Chile. We were both a little nervous but excited to get to the MTC. When I arrived I was really early so I toured the whole MTC. It was a surreal feeling as they gave me my name tag and I saw “Anziano Lacey” and the Savior’s name over my heart. I really started feeling like a missionary then!

By the way, I’m the only guy in my district with a picture of my family! Isn’t that crazy! Other guys have their girlfriends, but no one has a photo album or a simple picture! Just thought you’d all like to know since I love you guys more!

The “Italians” or Zone 33 are so cool! We are seriously the most spirited group on the MTC campus! We have so much fun together, and the MTC Presidency tells us how important we are for going to Italy at this time. Also, Morgan and Brooke, one of my Zone leaders might be a potential writing candidate! He is from Palm Springs and he is such a cool dude! I hope he’s my companion sometime in the field.

I am making some lifelong friends here! One of my roommates, Anziano Barker, reminds me a lot of Ryan from back at college. We get along great and we always joke around and he studied Italian before so he helps me out a bunch!

Actually, 5 out of the 11 people in my district studied Italian before they came out into the field. It was discouraging at first, studying with a bunch of people who knew so much, but I have gained such a strong testimony that the Savior helps each of us out in his own way. I can already pray in Italian, bare my testimony, and I’ve almost got the 1st discussion down. It’s been tough, but I’m studying my butt off! I have such a strong desire to learn this beautiful language so I can lift up my voice to the Italian people. It truly is a beautiful language. Hearing it and learning to speak it is honestly more of a pleasure than a burden. Learning the language and dealing with people has been extremely difficult, but it makes the experience that much sweeter! It is really cool too cause I have my own copy of the Book of Mormon in Italian!

It’s crazy how much I have changed. I can feel my patience and maturity slowly develop into a man’s level. There are some extremely negative people surrounding me but I’m not letting any of that get to me. I love my experience here, and I look forward to the upcoming weeks to prepare myself to be a better member of the Lord’s Army to bring forth His Marvelous Work.

Last night the Primary General President, Rosemary Wixon, spoke to us missionaries. We sang a revised version of “I hope the call me on a mission” to “I’m glad they called me on a mission”. It was fun to sing and it reminded me of my primary days. Next week the Prophet and Apostles will be walking around the campus since they will be calling the new mission presidents. Pray for me that I will have the opportunity to speak with them! My love and appreciation for them has grown even more as I learn more about their teachings on a daily level.

One suggestion: I heard that is free if your missionary is in the MTC, plus if you guys used that they just print it off here and give it to me the day of. So I thought it would be cool if we could try it! I would love to hear from you guys often, but I will only respond on Wednesdays, since that’s my P-day (and I’m going to listen to the rules! Because obedience is the key to success!). And it doesn’t matter how much you all write in emails because I can just print them off, think of what to say, and then log back onto my email to write back with the remainder of my time.

I love you all so much. I miss you more than you know and I say a prayer for each of you every night. Sometimes in Italian! I love you Dad, I love you Mom, I love you Morgan, I love you Brooke, I love you Heather, and I love you Greg. I thank you for your prayers! You guys mean the world to me and I appreciate you all so much more now that I have very limited contact with you. I love you all with all my heart and I thank God every day that I was blessed to be a part of this family. Take care, and send my love to family and friends! Anziano Lacey is loving life as a missionary, and it’s only going to get better from here!   

Io se che la questo chiesa a vera. Io se che Joseph Smith e un profeta de Dio, e Thomas S. Monson e un profeta moderno vivente. Il Libro di Mormon e vera e un libro potente. Dio e il nostro Padre celeste e noi siamo i soui figli. A questo cosa nel nome di Gesu Cristo, Amen. (It isn’t perfect or gramatically correct but it’s getting there!).   

A Presto,

Anziano Lacey

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