November 29, 2012

Email 11/29/12

Here is Elder Bell's last email from the MTC before he leaves to California next week:
Hey Everybody!

It's my last P-day in the MTC! Time is going by so fast! The days go by kind of slow, but when you look back at it, it doesn't feel like I've been here for just a little over two weeks! I'm loving the MTC so much, way more than I thought I would from everybody explaining to me that it sucked ha ha. Me and my district are really getting along well, I've made all of the elders in my district cry from laughing ha ha. We laugh so much and goof off a lot during our breaks, but we are serious and spiritual during the times of need and during study time and class.

Thanks everybody who sent me one of those notes for Thanksgiving! It was great to hear from everybody, and it really made me happy to get mail. I've never been so excited to get mail before I went on my mission, and now it's like Christmas going to the mail boxes! Thanks for the packages mom! Do you want me to get fat? Ha ha all of my district and branch enjoyed the cookies I couldn't have eaten all of them by myself!

So I think I mentioned something in my last letter about Matt (our teacher Brother Shumway playing an investigator) but things weren't going so hot, and he was being really hard with us. Over the Thanksgiving weekend we worked really hard and studied a lot, and now we work really well together as a trio me, Elder Escamilla, and Elder Browning. We started out bad with Matt, and from one lesson we committed him to be baptized. We use a really good method when we teach people to pray. We have something in a pamphlet and it tells you the importance of prayer and how they can be answered and it explains how the Holy Ghost will talk to them. There is a verse in the bible in like Galatians 5:22-23 I think? Don't take my word for it, but it describes the feelings you'll get, peace, joy, etc. After we have them pray we have them sit there for a bit probably about 15 seconds to let them ponder and just think about what they are feeling. And so far it hasn't failed, after each person we have done that they always say they are feeling some kind of feeling that is described in the verse and then we continue to tell them that it's Heavenly Father answering their prayers through the Holy Ghost, telling you the things you asked for, and that this is the true church.

I have a lot of stuff to write about so I might be jumping all over the place because I just made a list of things i have to write about. So me, Elder Browning and a couple elders from our district like to sing, so we decided in our free time we were going to mess around and make an a capella group for fun, we're terrible but its fun and its way funny. "Here comes Treble".

Mom you asked if I saw Jayne's Brother and I see him every once in a while, he teaches right down the hall from me!

Jayne! I heard your papers are in!!! Let me know where you get called, or somebody else let me know!!

I run into quite a bit of people I know here in the MTC but i'm not really close friends with them at all. We finally get to go to the Temple today! We have temple walks every Sunday where we just go walk around the temple, but we've never gotten to go in. It's weird from going from going everyday to not going in two weeks! We have gym everyday besides P-day and Sundays, I usually play basketball. I hurt my left knee, and my left shoulder, But i'm okay! they're just sore, my knee just feels like its twisted and its a little sore in the mornings but i'm fine.

So our branch and floor was really annoying at first when we got there, but we soon grew to love them. They were all so funny and we all cared about each other. It was sad this weekend when they were getting ready to leave, we all sang till we meet and it was a great experience with some great guys. I'm going to miss all of them! But the new kids came in yesterday and we were having a great time with them last night laughing and telling stories I know we'll get along.

I leave on Tuesday!!! I cannot wait! Mom, and rest of family, I'll be at the airport around 9 my flight leaves at like 11:50 so be expecting a call. Mom, KEEP YOUR PHONE OFF OF VIBRATE I know you forget, but I'll be calling on a payphone and you need to answer the first time because It costs money to make each call.

Thanks for sending the ties, everybody is jealous of my sweet bear tie!

I've been studying a lot lately, most of it is out of Preach My Gospel, but I'll still read a little bit of the Book of Mormon when I have extra time. I actually just finished it for the second time and so now i'm going to be starting over again.

We all came up as a district with spirit animals, and everybody's is something way cool, I chose house cat ha ha.

I heard I didn't miss much with the Utes, I'm disappointed on how bad they did!!

This week I think it was Tuesday, We had TRC and it was a less active member, Named Kylie, and she had her home teacher over Sue (This is all in the MTC we don't leave campus for this) we asked why she had stopped going to church and her dad had passed away when she was fourteen, and she thought God had abandoned her so she stopped going to church. We were telling her that God loves her and she wouldn't believe it, I got a feeling, and I acted upon it. She was saying how hard it was to lose a family member, and then I asked a her a question: "Kylie, do you think you'll see your dad again?" and she said she didn't know. Asking questions are amazing, it lets them think of the answer and let the Holy Ghost speak to them instead of just telling them and them not paying attention. So after that I explained to tell her how I lost my Dad, and it's not easy, But I know without a doubt in my heart that I will see him again. We continued with the lesson and as things got better, she asked me how I handled losing my dad, and I told her that, God has a plan for everybody and it was just his time to go, and because I know I will see him again, it doesn't make me sad, my dad has watched over me and protected me every day since he passed away, he is my guardian angel. Everybody was crying, the spirit was so strong and I know the spirit was telling her what I was saying was true, and she will be reunited with her dad. We explained that she had to go to church to take the sacrament, to be able to renew the covenants she had at baptism, we also got her praying again, and committing to read the Book of Mormon and pray and ask it it's true. It was such an incredible experience. We were struggling as a Trio but we finally had the success we were all craving. Real or fake investigator, it grew my testimony and gave me more experience. That was the first time I just opened my mouth and the Holy Ghost led me on what to say, and when to say it.

Yesterday we had some awesome experiences too, We taught our teacher playing an investigator, and she was really stubborn the first time we met with her and that was like a week and a half ago and we hadn't taught her again until yesterday. We went it and started teaching her everything was going awesome, when it came to the time when we asked her to pray we did the thing I explained earlier with the pamphlet and having them pause after the prayer so they can think about their feelings. The Holy Ghost ripped that lesson right away from us and led it. It's awesome when the holy ghost teaches the lessons and you have the spirit of discernment to meet the investigators needs. After we finished the first word she said was "WOW! Where did that come from? You guys have learned so much this past week!" She said "you guys definitely have the spirit with you". She then said "After I said my prayer and looked up at you three folding your arms and with your eyes closed I thought to myself, These are servants of the Lord". It was such a great experience. I can't even explain how much importance it is to have the spirit, you just open your mouth and words come out. I don't remember anything about the lessons or what we taught about, I just know that the Spirit worked through us. You have to be humble about your success too, and don't gloat to other people in the district about how well you did. You just have to thank the Lord for letting the spirit be there with you, and teaching. One of the kids I met here, that we became really good friends with told me to never take the credit, always give the credit to the Lord. I just got back from a studying tutor and we read a verse in Alma 17:9-10 and it explains how the sons of Mosiah are just instruments in the Lord's hand. And we applied it to ourself, that we are just tools. We are tools and the Lord is using us with his work, We can't convert people without the Lord, As tools, we can't work or convert without somebody using us. Anyways, Sister Peets went on to tell us that she hasn't ever seen a trio work as well as we had all worked together.

Later yesterday we were in class talking about the law of chastity, and everybody paired up to role play or pretend like somebody is an investigator while the other teaches them. And role playing is awesome it helps so much, and sometimes it feels so real and can build your testimony. So everybody paired up and Brother Shumway asked to role play with me and I kind of sat there for a second trying to think of what to say, and I was really stumped. He said we should say a prayer to invite the spirit. As soon as he said Amen, I started out with a question, I don't remember what the question was, or what we even talked about, or what I said to explain to him it was bad and we need to follow that covenant. All I know is that the Holy Ghost took over again and I taught really well. Brother Shumway asked where that was when we role play with our investigator Matt and he didn't think I had that in me. After he was done evaluating me, he told the whole class "Elder Bell Balled it up!" Ha ha it was such a neat experience. The church is true!!!!!!!

Last night we had TRC with this guy named Eric a Bible-basher and those went bad because all he does is ask questions and he has one of those translated bibles that like explain everything so anything we try to teach he would just fight back. But that isn't what was important yesterday. After we taught Eric, Elder Browning saw a guy he had taught before his companion had left so we went into the room he was in and ended up just talking for an hour and a half, we talked to him about so many things, we would go from laughing, to teaching him, to crying because the spirit was so strong. He lost his son and felt like God has betrayed him too, just like Kylie the investigator I was talking about earlier. I didn't say anything about dad or jamie, but i bore my testimony on how he'll be able to see his son again and we explained baptisms for the dead to him. And we got him to pray and this was where it was neat. It was his first prayer in fifty seven years. It was so heart felt, and you could tell he was sincere and had real intent on finding out if what we were telling him was true. It was amazing. When he opened his eyes after the prayer we were all crying and then continuted talking about other stuff and laughed more. It was a great night! When we left he gave all three of us hugs and said he wants to fly out to California so he can get baptized, and then take us to Disney Land ha ha. Anyways I've gotta go!

I love letters! Anybody feel free to write me! :)

Elder Landon Bell

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