Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our First Email from Elder Excell in the MTC!!

The first week of my mission has been awesome and crazy!  I'll do my best to give some highlights.

Day 1 was definitely the craziest.  It's super impressive that they processed about 600 missionaries in about 2 hours.  And that includes giving out schedules, nametags, credit cards, ID, dropping you off at your room and more!  I met my companion Elder Bissett.  He's from Edmonton, Alberta.  He has a great sense of humor and we've been getting along really well!  

Day 2 was the first full day at the MTC, so this seems like a good place to list a typical day for me right now:  Wake up at 6:10 to beat the shower rush, and be ready in time for district prayer in our classroom at 7.  From there, we have half an hour to eat breakfast, then it's back to the classroom for 3 hours of personal/companion/additional study.  Then we meet with a TRC investigator and teach.  TRC investigators are people who have agreed to be taught by missionaries at the MTC.  Most are recent converts reenacting their conversions, but some are real investigators!  I love both of our TRC investigators, Chrissy and Andrew.  Then we have 45 minutes for lunch, then we have classroom instruction for 3 hours.  Then another TRC investigator then dinner.  After that, we have class until 9:30, when we have closing district prayer. Then we go back to the residence halls, get ready for the next day, and then go to bed.  10:15 is quiet time, 10:30 is lights out.  Also on day 2 we met with our branch presidency and I was made district leader!  It's given me lots of opportunities to serve our district, which is awesome!  Random stuff like gym time and service get thrown in at random.

Honestly all of the days are pretty much like this, so I'll break my pattern and just mention a couple of highlights out of order!  I love my district!  We do everything together, even gym time and meal times, which we don't necessarily have to.  

I love being able to sing in the MTC choir.  It's literally a 1,000 person choir!  And also, I'll be getting the chance to do something out of the ordinary, even for the MTC choir.  On this Tuesday night, the Nashville Tribute Band will be performing at the tuesday night devotional, and I'll be singing in the 1,000 person backup choir! Should be a super cool experience.

I've gotten my flight plan, and it turns out that I'll be flying out on the 19th instead of Monday the 17th.  

I think that's about it for highlights, so now I'll hit the Q and A section.  If anyone reading wants to ask me questions, feel free to send them to my Mom at and I'll do my best to get to all of the ones that she sends me!  (also feel free to just email me directly! ;) )

1.) How are you liking the MTC? Is it what you thought it would be?  ---I love the MTC!  The days feel super long, like time slows down so we can get more done, which is awesome, but also super exhausting!

2.) Who is your companion and where is he from? Tell us a little about him.  ---See above

3.) Who are the other Elders in your room and where are they from?  ---The other elders from my room actually aren't in my district.  Elder Bissett and I were placed in a room with a bunch of Spanish speaking elders who've already been here for a while.  I only see them for a little while each day, but they're all cool and really nice!

4.) What is the best thing about your companion?  ---Elder Bissett has this awesome way of simplifying things which totally complements my way of over-complicating things, haha

5.) Have you discovered anything you forgot to pack?  ---Nothing yet!

6.) Tell us about your best moment so far.  ---I think my favorite so far has definitely been singing in the choir and all of the opportunities that I've had to learn new things about the gospel!

7.) A moment you've felt the Spirit?  ---This one's hard to narrow down.  I guess I have to go with the feeling that I get after I finish teaching a TRC lesson.  It's just such an amazing feeling to help someone come closer to Christ!

8.) Tell us about something you've learned that wowed you.  ---I don't wow easy, but moving 600 new elders and sisters into a campus in 2 hours is impressive!

9.) Do you have any questions or requests for us?   ---No questions yet!  After all, I've only been gone a week, even if it feels like much longer!

10.) Did you receive the package I sent?   ---Yes!  I was so happy to get the care package of socks and conference talks!  Really made my day!!!

I'll wrap things up with the spiritual thought for the week:

I'm just super happy that I have this chance to not focus on myself at all, and turn my focus outward for 2 whole years!  It's really rare in life to have everything provided for you in such a way that you can focus on nothing but helping others, and I love that I've been given this opportunity!  

Thanks everyone for all your support!  Until next week!

Elder Excell

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