So glad to hear your Summer is going well. I actually have forgotten that Summer vacation exists outside the MTC. Yesterday after gym we bumped into a group of kids walking home from school. It was the strangest feeling ever. Somehow, I don't know how, but somehow life seems to have continued in the outside world. I guess I wasn't as important as I thought, oh well I'll try not to take it too personally. Maren, so excited for you getting that job at Jamba this summer, I know that'll be great for you. Glad to hear you passed your smoothie test too, I said a couple prayers for you, but really, I always knew you'd make it. ;)
It's been so great to have Elder Schnell in my zone. It's like having a brother around again. We've had a lot of fun together this first week. Our only real problem is getting in our minds that we're supposed to refer to each other as "elder" now. I don't know that I'll ever really get used to that. He's Michael to me. Tell his family that he's doing awesome. Really. He'll be a great missionary. He just showed up with a little too much adidas product. It's okay, I think I'll forgive him eventually, but honestly Dad, how did you let that slide through? Great to hear about Patrick getting his call. Tell him congratulations from me. The Finnish missionaries have tons of respect for the Japanese missionaries because they're some of the only ones that can give us a run for our money as far as the language and the difficulty in the field goes. Got a great letter from Elder Francis too, sounds like he's doing awesome. I love Ben. And, yes Dad, Dillon Reynolds was in my quorum at BYU, he was actually my secretary first semester. Great guy. Really excited to have the Lithuanians joining our district. Our district is now Finnish, Estonian, and Lithuanian. Crazy huh?
I want to share some things I've learned and been working on over the past couple of weeks here at the MTC. My branch president, President Thorpe, who I absolutely love, challenged me to deepen my understanding of the Atonement. I decided to start by working through the list of tesitmonies of the Savior in the Book of Mormon. It's found on the opening page of lesson 2 of chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel. Some fantastic scriptures in there that I hadn't read for a very long time. I especially love Abinadai's testimony. Mosiah 12-16. Incredible. Especially chapters 15 and 16. I can't remember which of those chapters it is, but I'm pretty sure it's Mosiah 15:9 that talks about the Savior "standing betwixt them and justice." Absolutely love that image. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is such a miraculous thing. I love my Savior. I'm so eternally grateful for His sacrifice.
Another great image I've found and come to love is Enos. Enos 1:27 is one of my new favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon. Think about him for a second. He had Jacob for a father, so he probably had some incredible experiences growing up. He lived among the Nephites and was probably fairly wealthy and successful, had good status socially and within the church, and he had the responsibility to write in and pass on the plates. But of all the things he could have written, he considered the most important event in his life the day that he finally understood the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That is how important the Atonement was for him, that's how important I want it to be for me. We use Enos with every single investigator we teach now.
Unfortunately, we don't have any really good Finnish stories this week. We did get Veli Mock back from vacation though, which we were all excited about. He's such a great teacher. I've learned a ton from him and he's been an awesome example to me. Bumped in to Boman too, which was fun.
Alright fam, time's up, gotta go. Thanks for all your letters, I read them all like gold. Sorry I can't respond to all of them.