It is a wonderful place to feel the Spirit, a wonderful place to grow in all sorts of ways, a great opportunity to become close to your companion and your district, but is a horrible place to eat if you're trying to keep your bowels from being demolished. In other words, the food isn't that great. That is ok though! I am not here to eat, I am here to prepare to become a representative of the Lord in Columbus, Ohio.
As most of you saw, I had to get searched at security. It's because I didn't have the physical copy of my license, so they automatically had to do it. I can't say that I enjoyed being frisked by someone working for the TSA, but I guess I was just his type. Once I landed, Brent and Kim took me to Ruth's, which has the BEST biscuits I have ever had. After, we stopped by Deseret and grabbed a few last minute things (Kim, that pen you got me is the best thing and I use it all the time, thank you!). I got dropped off and just taken through the MTC, running around like a mad dog, just getting everything in order. I was the first person in my district to arrive at our class, and was immediately directed to begin studying. It honestly is so wonderful learning how to study things that matter, unlike school... My companion's name is Elder Chavez, and he will be joining me in the Columbus, Ohio English speaking mission! Elder Muir is also going there, Elders Smith, Herriott, and Camire (canarie by with an m) are serving in the San Antonio, Texas mission. Sisters Lowe, Sandall, Jensen, and Barnes are all going to Salem, Oregon. It is crazy how close I have become with all of them over the past week.
The spiritual growth here is amazing and I couldn't be better off. Satan is working very hard on me and is trying to get me to leave. Lot's of doubts, lots of trials it seems like. I am getting pretty sick. But we watched "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar on Sunday night. It was a devotional that told us of what Christ-like really means. I don't know how he did it, but I am forever grateful for his sacrifice. We were told to stop looking inward and asking for blessings for ourselves, and start looking outward and asking for blessings on those that we will touch and be with on our missions. To not be selfish, but to be selfless. Satan has been trying to make me think this MTC experience, and my mission for that matter, is all about me. Well, it is not. It is about helping others come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored Gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
It is so weird not spending the entire day in my suit and tie and it is actually quite nice truthfully. I wish we had more of a break everyday, but no rest for the weary! I honestly couldn't be happier here! I will be able to email next Tuesday also (my P-Days), but I don't know what time yet.
Grandma's and grandpa's, thank you for the letters and package, I definitely needed the cookies and the uplifting thoughts. You are so amazing and I love you.
It's weird how much I miss everyone; I wasn't expecting to be homesick AT ALL. It's not terrible, but I think about everyone quite often, and I want you all to know much I love each and everyone one of you.
My testimony has grown, I have lost a little weight (until those cookies came in), and I am growing so much. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve, I couldn't be more thankful to you all, couldn't be more grateful to God for all the blessings he has given me thus far in my life.
(I will send pictures when I get to Ohio, it's difficult to do here because only certain computers can send them, for whatever reason, and I don't have time to guess and check each one. Sorry, love you all!)
-Elder Trenton Hartley