Sunday, July 26, 2015

First Letter (email) from the MTC

We received this nice surprise Saturday morning so we figure his P-Day is Saturday in the MTC:

Well, after I left you guys sobbing on the curb, I continued to follow my host missionary. He was from Chile going to Korea, but seemed to be of Indian decent. So whenever he talked to me, it sounded like I was being shown around a hotel in India or something, so yes Hallie, it did seem like I was at a fancy hotel haha. As we walked, I saw my first friend that I know here, Elder Hawkes. He left in June and is going to Taiwan. He saw I had my noob sticker on so he gave me a big hug and welcomed me to the MTC. It was great seeing one of my friends here, and I continued to see many throughout the day. After I was shown my room in the Stevenson building, we went to my classroom, where I met a few other Elders as we sat down for orientation. One of the Elders in the classroom was Elder Allen, who grew up in Kaysville and happens to be Monica Wallis's cousin! So that was pretty cool. After orientation, I met my companion Elder Goettsche. He's awesome! He's from Pocatello Idaho and just got done serving two years in the Army, and after seeing the blessings that come from missionary work, decided to serve a mission. He's older, almost 21, but he is great to talk to. He has German heritage, and while he doesn't know any other languages, he speaks with kinda a german-ish accent. It's fun to listen to. When I asked him what kind of sports he liked, he replied "running and wrestling". haha he's great. He can be quiet at times but he really knows some of the great principles of the gospel. I am always excited to hear him talk about them. After class, we went into a first day missionary meeting with the Presidency here. On the way there, I found Elder Erickson from our stake. He's serving in Denmark, but his classroom is right above mine, so we see each other a lot daily. When we got to the meeting, I saw Elder Price, Sister Grant, Elder Baldwin (mads), Elder Smith (Jamison), but still no Elder Dover. The meeting was great, and while fatigue from the excitement started to set in, I got really tired and I admit that I missed some of the great words spoken by the presidency. I can always do better :). After that was dinner, and I really like the food here! Some of the other Elders from my district think I'm crazy because I eat so much, but that's ok by me haha. Anyway, during dinner I finally saw Elder Dover and gave him a big hug. His eyes were still red from being dropped off, but he seems really happy. I'm grateful to be here with so many of my good friends. Seeing so many familiar faces really helps me to know that my friends are so close, and that brings me great comfort. Every day I see new faces here that I know from before. I have met two of my old Boy's State friends, Including my old roommate Elder Hopowate. He's serving a Polynesian speaking language, and it was great to see him again. Along with another good friend from Boy's State and the science fair from last year was my friend Hans. I can't remember his last name, so I can't call him Elder until I do haha. Everyone is super friendly, and It's great to see so many people with the same purpose as you. And after dinner I ran into Elder Richmond (colton) from school, and he was way excited to see me and we took a picture. I have to get a copy and send it to you guys. Don't worry, I've been taking lots of pictures! Oh, and another thing about my companion; he was looking at his family history chart, and has relatives with that last name of Blackburn! I didn't recognize the names, but that would be way cool if we were related somehow. 

After being in our classroom, we met our District. We have missionaries from T.H.E. mission, and the Oklahoma City mission! Hayden would be happy to know that I'm serving with fellow Oakies! The Elders and Sisters here are from all over, and some are older too! Thanks for the letters you guys sent! And mom, thanks for the hidden letter you put in my bag for me to read later. It really fills me with the spirit of compassion as I know you guys are at home rooting for me all the way. Dad, thanks for the part about Vito and Lily waiting patiently, it warms my heart :). 

Class is going good, time to return to usual business :)
Talk to you soon! (Especially if I forgot anything :))
Love you guys!

Elder Blackburn
Texas Houston East Mission

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