Okay so before I really begin this week, here are a few things I have noticed about the MTC as of late:
-EVERYONE uses mechanical tooth brushes. And I mean everyone. Is that even what they are called? And what is the advantage as opposed to brushing by hand? I am not sure, but it is interesting to note that so many of the elders here use extra brushing power.
-There is nothing like receiving a letter in the mail. We check the mail twice a day, and every time there is a letter there addressed to Elder Childs, it is like Christmas, only better. It is slightly comical to watch a less than pleased elder's face light up when he gets something in the mail.
-Time flies. Literally flies. It seems like I have been here since yesterday, yet I have already been here three weeks and my MTC experience is half way over.
-Donuts are served for every meal. Oh, and french fries. I am pretty sure the kitchen staff gets together on Monday morning and has an enormous french fry, or pommes frites, in Norwegian, cookoff and then for the rest of the week they kind of just....reuse the leftovers. So it is easy to see how an elder could gain some weight here.
Anyway, as you can probably tell, life here is pretty exciting. A normal night at the residence hall includes blowing bubbles, playing with nerf guns, and hunting through the ceiling tiles to find packages from past elders. (There are a ton, by the way. Thus we have the nerf guns.) This week Elder Line and Elder Mayne arrived at the MTC, so all of my very best friends are doing the work of the Lord. The four amigos are here at the MTC, and Hermana Brown is serving in Spain. It is so comforting to me to know that we are all united in purpose and serving our Savior.
Life is going well. I am feeling pretty confident with the language. On Friday we had TRC or teaching resource center, which is basically like home teaching in Norwegian, and I taught two different people that live in Trondheim, Norway. It was a good experience because they talk really fast so I was able to see what Norway is really going to be like. Despite the speed and excitement of their speech, I was able to both understand them and talk back, so I am making progress
If I learn one thing here at the MTC, it is going to be how to get over myself and focus on other people, because that is really what this is all about. I am not here because I am going to be a better person at the end of this, even though I will. I am not giving these two years because my leaders back home want me to or even because I want to, though those are both true. I am not even serving here because of the blessings my family will receive as a result of my service, though the Lord has promised to bless them more than they can possibly realize. I am here to serve my Savior Jesus Christ and to do whatever it is that He wants me to do. I am here to reach His children and to do His work and proclaim His gospel. As I remember that, I learn to see people how He sees them and to treat them how He would treat them. As I learn to lose myself in the will of the Lord, THAT is when I truly become a missionary.
I am far from perfect, but I am already learning and growing. I can feel the Lord stretching me and pulling me out of my comfort zone, and I am so grateful for the knowledge that He knows best. I love my Savior with everything that I am, and I would not be anywhere other than here on my mission, carrying out His will. I love all of you, so God be with you til we meet again!