Thursday, July 26, 2012

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

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