Hey :) did you get my letter? I wrote you a letter the first day that I was in the MTC like I was told to. But so much has happened since then. I don’t even feel like the same person. Wow that curb thing was fast LOL. I hugged and said goodbye and none of it felt real until I woke up Thursday morning LOL. I’m doing great. The schedule was a bit of an adjustment but you know me I can get along fine. I just did my laundry and you wouldn't believe how many Elders were doing it for the first time. I thought that my companion knew what he was doing but come to find out he was doing 1 load at a time so I finished and he still has an hour left. His name is Elder McBeth and he is from the San Diego area. We get along great but we are nothing really alike. I come from a do it yourself like Dad background were we hunt, fish, work outside, lift weights, and make sure you have calluses. He comes from somewhere very different. He likes to sing I don’t. I like to lift weights he doesn’t. I do my push-ups and sit-ups at night he doesn’t. But that’s alright because one thing that we all have in common is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been teaching a few "investigators" and we both have different ideas of what should be said and it’s a little frustrating sometimes. I’m trying to make the best of it. I’m really trying to set an example for other Elders as well. Elder Mcbeth and I were called as Zone leaders after being in the MTC for only 1 Day. It’s quite the stressful calling. Tomorrow we have another district coming into our zone that we are responsible for helping. This district is made up of 4 Elders and 8 sisters. Can you believe that? This week the MTC has 6000 missionaries and tomorrow it will have 8000. They are in the process of opening another MTC campus in Provo down the street a little ways. They have been moving "long term" Elders there LOL. There are Elders that have been here for 6 weeks and I will leave before them LOL. My district has 6 Elders and 6 sisters. The MTC will be 51% Sisters tomorrow. Kinda crazy right? It’s caused a really weird dynamic. We had to talk about how to have spiritual experiences with the sisters without "confusing the spirit with love" LOL. It’s really crazy. There is a lot expected of us Elders.
I’m like running out of time here. There is so much to say and no time to say it. Oh did I say that my Pday is on Tuesday. Oh and that this is my one and only Pday in the MTC and I won’t be having another one until the Monday after I’m in Washington which is 13 days from now. I will send you a letter letting you know all of my travel information this week because I don’t have all of the info with me right now.
I focus every day on how to fulfill my purpose which is to bring others unto Christ by helping them receive his gospel through faith in the lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism for emersion for the remission of sins, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. I’ve learned to preach nothing but faith and repentance. It’s that simple and most missionaries try to make it complicated. You help them experience faith by bringing the spirit with you to discussions (not lessons I don’t like the word lessons). Then you teach them how to have their own faith by preaching repentance. Repentance is to have a mighty change of heart and we demonstrate this through our outward actions. So when we invite others to pray, read the scriptures, and attend church, we are really inviting them to repent. And as they make and keep commitments they have a mighty change of heart and they have repented. Then they will get baptized and receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end. That’s how we help others come unto Christ. Heavenly Father won’t take away our agency but he will accept it in the form of obedience. Obedience is key to have the spirit. That means be quiet at 10:15 and turn the lights off at 10:30. I have recognized how different my days are when I’m exactly obedient in how I use my time and by following a missionaries schedule exactly. We have a bit of a problem on our floor with people being loud after silent time and not going to bed at lights out. Mostly people in my zone and the district president says it needs to stop. That’s kinda a heavy weight on my shoulders cuz I’m not normally the guy to tell others what to do but idk how else to make it stop rather then tell them to stop.
I’m really enjoying my time as a missionary and I’m trying to be the best missionary that I can be I got to go to the Temple today and that was fantastic. I don’t get to go again next week because I’ll be flying out early in the morning on Tuesday but I’ll be able to go twice while I’m in Washington. I love my companion Elder Mcbeth even though we don’t all ways agree. My goal as a missionary is to think about how I can invite others to come unto Christ every day and do my best to help them. My personal goals as a missionary is to develop Christ like attributes, to do pushups and sit-ups every night, and to write in my journal every day. I’m trying to be as much like Christ as I can even though I'm not perfect.
I love all of you and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks mom for the package. The salt and vinegar chips were just what I need. . I love you mom thanks for everything that you have done for me. Thanks dad for teaching me how to work hard even when I’m tired. And thank you sisters for teaching me patience ;) and for being so cute. I love you all and pray for you every night.
-Elder Cottle the second