Thursday, July 26, 2012

Week 5 MTC

Dear Family and Friends, I have officially reached my half-way mark in the M.T.C. It feels great to finally be on the downhill. With it being Pioneer Day today, I thought that I would talk a little bit about one of the lessons that we had in class earlier this week about consecration. We learned about the ways in which the Lord consecrated the early members of the Church through trials and necessary sacrifices in order to form them into the spiritually powerful and steadfast members that walked out of Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake valley. Before traveling west, there were difficult trials in every city in which the Church laid roots that mandated that the members of the Church make sacrifices and put all of their faith in the Church and in the Savior Jesus Christ. Our teacher compared this to missionary work and to becoming a consecrated missionary. There are many things that will hold missionaries back from being consecrated such as lack of obedience, failure to follow the missionary schedule, lack of faith in finding people to share the Gospel with, and pride. This lesson was very inspiring for me, and it lit a desire in me to work hard to become a consecrated missionary while I am in the field. In other news, I got word that my cover was blown by the insurance agency and that you now know that I am injured. Here's the story: For my district's weekly service, we help to transform the gym into an auditorium where all of our Sunday and Tuesday night devotionals take place. While moving a heavy cart of stair railings out of storage and into the auditorium, I sliced the back of my arm open above my right elbow on the frame of the bleachers. I assure you that it is nothing serious, though It did require that I go to the Instacare clinic to stop the bleeding and to stitch it up. It closed up nicely with six sutures and I'm confident that no one will notice a difference upon my return. I apologize for my short letter once again, but I assure you that everything is right from where I stand. I know that this Church is true and that Jesus loves you. I love you all Elder Seth Wynn

Week 4 MTC

Dear Family and Friends I'm happy to report that this has been another good week in the M.T.C. I am continuing to learn new things everyday and am hopefully improving my missionary skills in order to better serve the Lord once I get in to the field. One week from today, my stay in the M.T.C will be half over. I wouldn't be opposed if it was shorter but as long as I am still learning, I am happy to be here. A large number of the missionaries that I have made friends with since arriving at the M.T.C. left this week. I will miss them, but I am happy that they are privileged to be headed to the field. In two weeks from today, fourty-five of the missionaries in my zone will be deployed. This is virtually every member of the zone that was here when my companions and I arrived. It's going to be very different without them, but I am happy for them as well. Last Wednesday, our zone increased by fourty-four French speaking missionaries, so there are a lot of new faces to get to know. It always seems like the incoming missionaries are much younger than the missionaries that are already here, which makes it seem even more like the rules of time are different inside the gates of the MTC, but it's just an illusion and they end up blending right in after a few days. Last Tuesday we were visited by Elder Steuer, who is an Emeritus Member of the Seventy. He spoke about the symbolism and meaning behind words in the different languages of the Gospel. It was very interesting and inspiring. We are very blessed to have such amazing people and Church leaders come and speak to us. On Sunday night, we were pleased to attend a fireside featuring Jenny Oaks Baker, the youngest daughter of Elder Dallin H. Oaks and extremely talented violinist. She played the violin and spoke about her experiences with the Gospel for about an hour. I don't think that I was alone in wishing that she could have played for much longer than she did. She was incredible to watch and listen to, and the Spirit that she brought to the room with her music was very strong. My French is continuing to improve; I'm sure that I've learned every grammar concept that I learned in almost four years of high school French in about four weeks. Elder Finau wants to speak only French for his final three weeks in the MTC, which would mean that Elder Miller and myself would speak only French for the final month. This would be challenging, but I think that if we are committed to the goal, it is very possible and would help us out immensely. The reason that Elder Miller and myself are in the MTC for an extra week is because our mission president has to be in Madagascar at our nine week mark to meet the incoming Malagasy speaking Elders, he will fly to La Reunion a week later to meet my companion and I. I glanced at our travel plans when I saw our flight invoice for San Francisco, and it showed that we will be flying from SLC International to CDG in Paris, France, and then from Paris to St. Denis, La Reunion. In closing, the Church is most definitely true. I know for a fact that Jesus Christ loves me, and that he loves you. His work is amazing, and I consider myself very blessed and very privileged to be a part of it. I love you all Elder Seth Wynn P.S.Could you send me something to prevent and reduce scarring? Tell Camille I love her.

Week 3 MTC

Dear Family and Friends This has been a good week in the M.T.C. The time is passing quickly, which is good because I am looking forward to serving in the field more and more everyday. We were blessed again this week with a visit from Elder Yoshihiko Kukuchi who is an Emeritus member of the Seventy. He gave an excellent address about obedience and purity. His talk was one of the most powerful talks that I have ever heard. I took notes from beginning to end and felt like everyone was on the edge of their seats. I've been blessed with a Tongan companion and feel like I have learned a great amount about the Polynesian culture in a matter of weeks. One thing that I have noticed is that it seems like most Polynesians are already pretty close to living the Law of Consecration because they share everything they own with everyone. It's been good to become friends with so many Polynesians through Elder Finau. I was sad to hear that the Ford Ranger is on the outs. So many of my memories take place inside that truck, and I've probably thought through almost everything challenging that has happened in my life behind its steering wheel. If it doesn't pull through, save something to remember it by. Maybe the door to the gas tank. I unexpectedly got to go on another little field trip this week. I'll have to send you pictures of my souvenirs at the end of my MTC stay. I apologize for the short letter, I'm pretty pressed for email time today. I hope that everybody back home and those who read this email have a safe, happy, and excellent week. I can assure you that good things are happening here. The Church is true. Elder Wynn P.S. It seems I have seen almost everyone that I know in the M.T.C. If they're here, I've probably seen them. It's very good to see so many friends that share the same calling as me. Happy Ham Day on Thursday

Week 2 MTC

Dear Family and Friends Things are going very well in the M.T.C. As you may have heard, this last week was the Mission President Seminar, and the rumors are true. Most of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles were here at some point during the week. Their main purpose was to train the mission presidents, so we didn't see very much of them until Tuesday night's devotional. Ten of the twelve Apostles were in attendance at the devotional (every apostle except Elder Nelson and Elder Packer). The Spirit that accompanies those men into a room is incredible. L. Tom Perry spoke about the good that the Church is doing in the world through; he used a presentation that included many statistics about the church and then closed with his testimony. We were all blessed to have been able to attend. In fact, my companions and I almost missed it. Our schedule was printed with the incorrect time for the devotional and if Elder Wihongi, from New Zealand, hadn't come and told us that it was earlier than usual, we would have sat in overflow or missed it altogether. I was also blessed with a day trip to San Francisco this last Friday in order to visit the French Consolate about our VISAs. The MTC had been sending small groups of French speaking Elders throughout the week. My companion, Elder Miller, and I were the only two young missionaries left to visit the consolate, so it was just a senior couple, Elder and Sister Green, who will be serving in Leon and us. We left the MTC at 5:30 a.m. in order to catch our flight. After we waited at the airport for awhile we discovered that our original flight to San Francisco Intl. was cancelled. We called the travel office and they put us on a flight a half an hour later to San Jose. Because our flight was cancelled, we were blessed with first class tickets. I'm quite sure that that will be the only time I fly first class on my mission. From San Jose we took an expensive taxi ride into San Francisco in order to make our consolate appointments. We got there in time thanks to Elder and Sister Green, did what we needed to do, and headed to San Francisco Intl. to wait for our flight back. After we ate lunch at the Airport, we still had around three hours before our return flight. About an hour into the wait, a man in a suit walked up to us and said, "I want to meet these missionaries." He introduced himself as Elder Brent H. Nielson. Elder Nielson is a General Authority. He was on his way to Salt Lake City to spend time with his family during the month of July. Elder Nielson is currently one of the authorities who is in charge of the Church in the Philippines. If you're not sure who he is, look him up on LDS.org and watch his recent General Conference talk. When the seat next to me opened up, he came and sat next to me and we talked for almost two hours. What a nice man. He showed me baptism statistics for every country in the world on his iPhone and shared with me many incredible stories about serving the Church around the world. He told one story about a plane flight in Papua New Guinea in which Elder Nielson was sitting in the seat next to the exit in a twelve person aircraft. At around twenty thousand feet, the door to the airplane flew open. He said that the Pilot was not very concerned, and that he and one of his associates held the door closed until they landed at their destination. We talked a little about how so many of the Authorities are great in age, but have sharp minds and healthy bodies. He told me that the Lord takes care of his servants and said that he feels healthier now than he ever did as a lawyer. The leaders of the Church definitely know what they are doing. He said that Elder Nelson, who is around ninety years old, was the one that announced to the other General Authorities that they were going paperless and that they were expected to use computers, iPhones, and iPads as much as possible. He shared with me the following scriptures: D&C 133:59, 35:13, 1:19, 124:1. In Section 133 verse 59 it says, "And by the weak things of the earth the Lord shall thrash the nations by the power of the Spirit." He pointed out to me after reading this scripture, that most of the aged General Authorities would have a hard time getting any job, and yet they are leading the Lord's work. He also reminded me that by the World's standards, nineteen year olds are really inadequate, but that nineteen and twenty-one year olds are spreading the Lord's Gospel throughout the world. The Lord does things in his own way and takes care of his servants. I know that this Church is true. We are very blessed. Love you all, Elder Seth Wynn