Missionary Training Center, Provo, Utah - Week 1

Elder LaHue with Elder Phelps and a pair of sister missionaries at the Provo Temple.

Hi everyone! I made it through my first week at the MTC!! It has definitely been an up and down experience. The flight up here was awful because I was super stressed and not used to wearing a white shirt and tie 24/7. As soon as I arrived here I walked into the front entrance and instantly felt peace and security. We immediately jumped into orientation and there was no time to pack our bags.

We are constantly moving, either in classes or going to eat in the cafeteria. The meals are too close together in my opinion and they hurt my stomach. The classes are awesome. We are learning how to teach people and communicate well and let them know we love and care about them. It is really hard, however, and takes tons of practice. And we are ALWAYS tired. We wake up at 6 and go to bed at 10:30 and there is never time to stop and rest. The only time we get a real break besides bathroom breaks is an hour of exercise time each day. 

When I arrived I was assigned my companion, which is basically your partner in teaching that you are always with. His name is Elder Phelps. Hopefully you can point him out in the pictures but he is usually right next to me. The first day he barely said a word but he is so nice and has a sweet spirit about him. He has since opened up to me and we get along very well. We are learning how to teach in unity with each other and it is going well for the most part. As a companionship we are placed in a group of missionaries, called a district. Our district consists of 3 pairs of Elders and 2 pairs of Sisters, so basically 6 guys and 4 girls. We get along like a really tight family. All of us love each other so much even though we have only known each other for a week. We laugh and joke a lot and are happy together. Plus we can really feel that love and spirit when we are in class together. I am going to miss all of them when we leave the MTC. Since they are all going to serve in the US except me, I am leaving 6 days before them, on November 10th. Then I fly to Africa!!

Elder LaHue (center) with his MTC district

Here at the MTC, part of what we do is teach "investigators" that want to learn more about the church. It is really hard, because sometimes we stumble and don't know what to say and they seem disinterested. However, there are times when Elder Phelps and I are in tune with each other's thoughts and we teach really well. When that happens, we can see the investigator's eyes light up and can see the happiness in their eyes. It is a powerful feeling. As we grow in experience and ability and faith, we will become much more successful teachers. It is truly a humbling experience.

I won't share too many spiritual experiences just yet, but there is one takeaway from this week that I would like to share. The most important thing we can learn as people is love. As you love your friends, family, and in my case the people you teach, they will open up to you and a lasting bond will be established. God loves you so much. He cares about you and wants what's best for you and will do everything in his power to cause joy in your life. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he died for our sins and provided us a way for us to be forgiven and be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father. God provided a path for us because he LOVES us! I know that by increasing my love for the people around me, I can grow as a person and create a positive change in the world. 

And that is why I am here.

Elder LaHue