Friday, July 31, 2015

On my way to NC

Hey guys! 
I went to the Provo temple this morning and also this will be my last letter from the MTC because I leave for NC on Monday (August 3) at 3:30 AM. Not too happy about that, but I'm super excited to leave because the food here sucks. Also over 1,000 missionaries showed up on Wednesday and there's a record breaking high of over 3,000 missionaries here right now so cafeteria lines are super long. I'm still really enjoying all my classes here though! I've learned pretty quickly you can't teach what you don't know, and you sure can't teach without the Spirit. There was a day here where they pretty much blew my mind and shattered my testimony (in a good way). I figured out, though, that having a testimony isn't enough, you've got to be truly converted so that's what I've been working towards. My teacher is so dope, he's like crazy smart about the gospel. He spent a term studying in Jerusalem through BYU last spring, and now I'm seriously considering doing that when I get back.  
Get this, I got a new set of leather scriptures, not a quad, for $16 dollars. We were doing service the other day and we were in the cleaning room and I saw this huge pile of clothes and manuals. I asked the guy what they were and he said it was stuff people left in dorms and it was all going to the DI pod and I could take what ever I wanted. Most of the stuff was in another language but I found a brand new English Bible. Then I went to the MTC store and got a triple which only cost 16 dollars because they give missionaries super discounts.

Anyway that's whats up with me! I'm very sorry to hear mom is sick and I hope she gets better! Enjoy Bear Lake and let me know how it goes. I'd write to all of you individually but they only give us an hour to write emails. I love you all and miss ya'll a ton. Hope to hear from you next week, 

Elder Earnest

P.S Thanks so much for the minonaries, I was having a rough day and it totally made me feel so good. Love ya'll.     

Sam's first missionary package. Thanks to Quinn and Jonas for drawing the faces!

Monday, July 27, 2015

And so it begins...

Hey mom, and everyone else,

I made it to the MTC! Annee picked me up in Salt Lake and took me to temple square and then to In-n-Out. I got a double double there, wasn't feeling as hungry as Taylor's four by four. Also I forgot to give Annee her chocolates, sorry. I think my district will really enjoy them though! When I got here they had a host missionary take me through a bunch of rooms to get my name tag and planner book and all sorts of other materials I needed. They pushed me through it pretty fast. I was one of over 750 that arrived on Wednesday which is just crazy. I went to class and met my companion, Elder Hampshire, and a few other Elders and Sisters in my district. Elder Hampshire is 18, but went to a year at BYU last year. He's actually the BYU Lacrosse goalie which is pretty cool. He lives in Bountiful Utah and literally seems to know half of the other missionaries here from school. The only familiar face I've seen so far has been Brother Anderson, who used to be Elder Anderson the missionary that was really scared of dogs in our ward a few years back. I went on splits with him a few times so it's been really cool to see him here. He actually taught out class this morning and gave a really power lesson about Christ's Gospel and inviting others to be baptized. I'm super happy he's here.

There's only one other companionship in my district and zone going to Charlotte. Everyone else is going to the Chesapeake Virginia mission, which is the one that goes along the coast of Virginia and North Carolina that we were looking at a few days ago, and there's a few in the other district in my zone that are going to Cleveland Ohio. I've actually bonded pretty tight with the other Elders going to North Carolina with us. We're all in the same room with another companion ship going to Virginia. Elder Alston is from Alberta Canada and pretty much represents every Canadian stereotype I've heard of. He's got red hair and is just a jolly guy. He actually acts and sounds a lot like Trey Hartford, and I really like him. The other Elder going to Charlotte is Elder Richinns. He's from a small town down in Arizona near Snowflake. He's kinda just a normal dude and really fun to be around. He reminds me a lot of Walter Harris (which reminds me, can you get Walter's email for me? He's in my contacts under Cpt. Walty Salty.) and he plays raquetball!!!! Me and him give Elder Alston a lot of crap about Canada's metric system.

So basically I'm getting along pretty well here. I've made some pretty good friends, who happen to be to my mission so I don't have to say goodbye in a few days, and I'm really enjoying the classes. I've learned a lot about the gospel these last few days and I can really feel the spirit here. Oh yeah, I also was called last night as a District leader which is pretty rad. Anyways, if you've been worrying about me don't because I'm doing just fine. Honestly, I don't even feel much homesickness at all which I'm super grateful for because it's letting me really enjoy my time here. Let me know who you guys are and what's going on in Redmond.

Lots of love,

Elder Earnest


Sam with his cousins, George and Henry Earnest, just before entering the MTC on July 22, 2015.