Thanks for that quote, Mom; it definitely describes exactly how I'm feeling right now. I didn't realize it was possible to learn and grow so much in so little time, and I certainly didn't realize how hard it would be. I was expecting a lot of work, and that I can deal with, but I didn't realize how much discouragement I would be facing. Though it's been rough, I've been able to keep afloat because no matter how much discouragement I face, I know the Savior has felt it and knows what it's like. I always knew it, but this week that fact has come to mean a lot more to me. I'm so grateful that He's lifted me up every time I asked Him, and each time lift me a little bit higher than before.
Anyway, we've been teaching two investigators in the MTC. One of them is our teacher, Brother Langford, portraying a man he taught on his mission named Michael. We've made some great progress with him. He's committed to be baptized and is learning and progressing really well. At first, that wasn't the case, but as we've been applying the things we're being taught in class our teaching has improved drastically. Our other investigator is a man named George. We're having a bit of trouble connecting with him, but we've only had one lesson. So I'm still optimistic about our next lesson with him on Thursday.
Also, just to note, I have the best district in the world. All of us came in on the same day, all of the Elders are going to New York City North (and we're all rooming together) and the one Sister companionship is going to Tacoma, Washington. They're all working hard, being obedient, and lifting each other up. It's been great working with them.
The Devotionals are fantastic! So much inspiration. We had one on Sunday and one on Tuesday. Brother Heaton, an administrative something-or-other for the MTC gave the first one and talked all about Charity, and Elder Brown, who is an emeritus general authority gave the other and talked about taking upon ourselves the name of the Savior and speaking and acting in him name. I'm really glad they have them twice a week because they really help to lift my spirits.
Elder Judd is great. In many ways he's my rock (along with the Savior of course). I'm glad to be working with him. When we went to the Marriott Center for a Devotional, he got really excited. Apparently he's never been so close to the court that Jimmer played on. Haha. He's big into sports. Anyway, we get along well and in many ways we balance each other out quite nicely.
There are so many people from Olympus here! I see someone from Oly at least 5 times a day. Apparently there's going to be a big picture of all of us Oly graduates on Thursday. Hopefully I can make it to that. I've also seen an Elder Sorensen, who is a friend of our cousin Emily. His companion, Elder Baker is the first person person I met whose going to New York City North too. They'll both be on the same flight as me, along with all the Elders in my district.
I'm going to be flying out early Tuesday morning and I will be able to call home at the airport. I'm not sure exactly when I'll get to call, but our flight leaves around 7:30, so it will be pretty early. We'll have a layover in Detroit and we won't be flying into JFK. We'll end up at a smaller airport in Westchester County. It's so strange that I'm already over halfway done with my stay here. I can't wait to get to New York!
In many ways the MTC is exactly like I expected it to be. The classes are a bit smaller in size than I'd imagined and the food is a bit better than I expected, but physically, it's all very much what I expected. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, however, it is completely different than anything I could have thought. I've experienced such extremes in all those areas while I've been here. I never could have guessed it would be like that.
I'm not sure when I'll get to email again. I don't know what day P-day will be once I'm in New York. Until then, thanks for all you each have done to prepare me for this!
-Elder Samuel Burton
P.S. I don't need anything besides email and home addresses. I'd like to be able to write to some of my friends when I can, but I realized I don't know how to contact them. That would be helpful. Thanks!