Jan. 22 2013

Talk about a stressful, action-packed, disappointing week. So it starts off with this: For our devotional last tuesday, I said that we were going to have a general authority come, so my companion and one of the other elders in my room prayed that Dieter F. Uchtdorf would come because they watched his CES devotional that week. I thought they were just joking with it, but they actually did it. So anyway, before we went to the devotional, I had to write the letter to you all and so I was in 4M in one of the nice computer labs(haha!) and Elder Hakes was rushing me out the door and what not. So I jump up and start running to our room, because I forgot my study journal. We start running to our residence hall and it was dark. So we’re almost to our residence hall door, and I didn’t realize that there was ice around this corner on the way to the door. So I’m sure you can guess what happens next, I slip and roll and fall, but it was totally parkour style! Haha! Anyway, I get up and we get inside our room on the 4th floor, and I grab my journal. Then I look down, and my heart dropped. When i fell, I didn’t realize that I ripped my pants all the way across the left knee! It hit me, I was going to a devotional with a general authority…I couldn’t go there with a huge rip across my knee. So I grabbed my sewing kit, my journal, and ran out the door. (Actually, I think I sped walk this time!) Anyway, we were already late for the devotional(late means only 20-30 min early) there was already a BUNCH of people there waiting at the door to get in. But we sneak in another door off to the side and totally get in the front of the line. So they let us in after they tell us to be good for the general authority and everything. We get a seat right up front by where the camera is, and when we sit down, the first thing I do is take out my sewing kit! Haha! So I’m there, while everyone is shuffling in, threading a needle and starting to sew my pants, I can only imagine what it must’ve looked like from another persons’ perspective! Anyway, right as I’m done sewing my pants, we start singing prelude music. i thought it was pretty good timing! Anyway, come to find out, Elder Jeffery R. Holland was the speaker! And my companion leans over to me and says, "Dude, my prayers were double answered! Jeffery R. Holland is my favorite Apostle!!" I just had to chuckle at that! But he seriously is in love with him. He’s his idol, so he was freaking out about it the entire time and afterward too.

So a funny story. You’ve all probably heard something about the MTC food, for those of you who have eaten there or whatever it may be. But here’s another story for you. So one day, it was just a normal, simple day in the MTC. Nothing out of the ordinary. I’m going through the lunch line and i get my food and I grab this berry crisp that looked pretty good. I go over to my table and set my food tray down and bless my food and get ready for my meal. I finish my main course and then I get to the crisp. I was thinking to myself like, "Oh yeah, this is gonna be great! It’s gonna taste awesome, I can feel it!" Stuff like that. Mid-way through eating this crisp, I chew something hard. It felt somewhat like a cherry pit and so I thought it was. So I spit it out, and guess what it was? A rock. A rock was in my crisp. Like a full-blown pebble, in my crisp. I still have it, it’s sitting on my desk. I still can’t figure out HOW a pebble got inside my crisp. I asked all the people around me if they put it in or something…I still can’t figure it out. Anyway, it’s pretty funny, but the food here is okay. It’s nothing like Mom’s cooking though!

So today, after we went to the temple, we were walking back to take a quick nap just before dinner. While walking back, we come up to this lady that’s pushing a stroller down the small sidewalk that goes down the hill to the MTC. Elder Hakes asks her to move, and she just rags on him! Talking about how you should respect ladys with a baby and what not and I could tell that Elder Hakes was like shrinking back, trying to remedy the situation. And i was sorta chuckling inside! Haha! Anyway, after trying to apologize, we start talking and the entire time we were walking back, she told us a BUNCH of stuff. Come to find out that she’s tongan and that she wants to go on a mission. Over the course of the conversation, we come to find out that she’s a really sweet lady and a very good member of the church. So we cross the street to the MTC with her and when we get to the other corner, she asks us where we’re going on our mission and everything. Then she asks us, "So now that you’ve met me, what are you going to do?" So we’re scrambling on what we’re going to teach her so to say. Because everyday, our teacher asks us what we did that day to fufill our purpose, which is, to invite others to come unto Christ. So this is going through my head while we’re scrambling on what we’re going to say. Then Elder Hakes perks up and teaches her a little about the Plan of Salvation, then she goes on to correct us on how to say it and stuff like that. It felt like she was the missionary and we were the street contact! Haha! Anyway, further on down the conversation, I ask her if she will commit to read the Book of Mormon with a question in mind and try to find her answer. Or something like that, I can’t remember what exactly I said, but that was the summary. She liked that! Haha! Anyway, she’s one of those people who just keep on talking, who never stop. It felt like it was one breath, you know what I mean? Haha! Anyway, over the course of the conversation, we come to find out that she was the daughter of one of the people that "The Other Side of Heaven" was based on. If you’ve ever seen the movie, her father was I think the Branch President that rowed out to get the missionary. But she told us this story, she met the actor that played her father, and she said to him that he forgot a very crucial point to the character. They forgot to mention that his left arm was paralyzed! And that the Lord blessed him just enough strength to row out to get the missionary! Anyway, I thought that was a very inspiring story. Anyway, I have to go. Thank you for all the letters, love and support! I love you all!

Elder V. LeVan Smith

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