Hey everyone! Its been an amazing week here at the MTC first and foremost due to the fact I've been lucky enough to sing in conference! Ive never normally been one for singing but this was honestly an amazing experience. The chance to actually see our prophet and apostles speak and from so close was freaking me out i won't lie. I hope you all enjoyed conference as much as I did this year I thought some really inspiring messages were shared, I especially liked Elder Bednar's last talk on the sunday session where he spoke to non-members. As a missionary it was pretty cool to see that he perfectly lined out our purpose, I think that talk was almost just as directed to us as it was to non members. I'm very grateful for the work ethic I've learned while here as well, at a devotional last night someone had a really cool analogy in comparing us to rose bushes, they said that every year, they have to go out and prune their rosebushes, they trim away everything except a tiny little stick, so that the plant once again has room to grow and flower. They then compared us to a rosebush, and The Lord as the one pruning us when we go on a mission, he takes our cell phones, house, family, friends, and ships us off into a foreign land to preach his gospel as little sticks, I thought that was a pretty cool story. Ive certainly been pruned quite a bit and I think whats started to grow is better than anything ive ever accomplished in my life so far. Something else that was cool was we had a speaker named Vai Sikahema, you might recognize him he said he's on ESPN a lot! he used to be a professional football player for Green Bay and played in a lot of pro Bowls, he was an awesome speaker with some amazing missionary stories! including one about how on a flight to Salt Lake City him and a 9 year old youth were teaching discussions to a woman on a plane which I thought was funny, they were talking about adam and eve and original sin and Vai said, our doctrine is so simple even kids know it. the lady absolutely didnt believe him so he turned to the kid and asked him to recite the second article of faith, the woman was absolutely shocked! We also had a big armwrestling competition in our dorms the other day, I beat everyone except one person, im not normally one for excuses but he was like 6'3 and 200 pounds. hahah --Just FYI, Elder Carpenter is 5'8"
anyways something else I think you guys might find funny is that we've instituted a 10:30 prayer time, so when the announcement comes on saying lights out we all run to our room and kneel and the last one down has to say it, exactly like my family used to do at 9, hahah we've already had some funny experiences with that and it really helps us get to bed on time. What I find so interesting about being a missionary is the change in desires I've had, things I used to find dull and boring have suddenly become fascinating and I truly look forward to studying scriptures and doctrinal topics on my own. It's amazing the new things you can learn when you show Heavenly Father that youre ready to receive more information. I learned something new that would take this entire paragraph to describe and its really just been blowing my mind! I know that the Lord has amazing and endless information ready for us and to receive it all we have to do is ask and show the Lord how much it means to us by studying with a purpose and with intent. I still miss you all but want you to know how happy Ive been out here and wish you all the best! Love, Elder Carpenter