Monday, September 23, 2013

Mi familia/amigos,

Well this is my last P-day here in Provo! I am very excited to get out and head down there to Argentina and get started on the work! My experience here in the MTC has really been great and I have enjoyed all of it. I was very lucky to have such a great experience and district here. I was also very blessed to be able to serve as the district leader as well. The language has been coming well and I have definitely felt the strength that your prayers for me have given me in that respect. I can hold a basic conversation and understand quite a bit of what people say, although who knows what I will be able to understand with the Argentine accent! So keep up those prayers I will need them!

This week was really good. I can't believe that my time here is really almost done... but I know that the Lord will sustain me as I get out there. This past Tuesday we had a devotional from Elder Schwitzer of the Seventy. It was amazing! It was on how to become a missionary. It was interesting because he talked about how even though we may have been set apart and ordained as missionaries of the Lord, we have to work towards and develop ourselves into true missionaries of God. It was way good. He gave examples of scriptural missionaries such as Peter, Paul, Alma, and the Sons of Mosiah. He spoke on all the different things they had to do, learn, and experience before they finally became absolutely converted themselves and were able to work miracles in service to the Lord and the people they taught. My favorite part was when he talked about the Apostle Paul. He really did have an amazing conversion story and I would suggest looking into it. Anyway as he closed his second Epistle to Timothy he talked about how he had, "fought a good fight" and "kept the faith". I really liked how he said that and I really hope some day I can say that when my time comes. Also I remembered that Adrian told me to keep fighting the good fight all the time I think when I was at West Point and I had no idea that came from the Bible haha. Anyway it was definitely a good devotional to have my last week here and really was what I needed to hear!

Yesterday we had a thing called in-field orientation. It basically consisted of going over to the main campus and sitting in classes and workshops all day on the importance of setting goals, planning, and working with members. It was really good and a lot of the points they made I had never though of before. I will definitely be a better and more effective missionary because of it. It was way long though as well and really made me even more excited to get out into the field rather than sit in classes all day long like I have for over 5 weeks now haha. I think that may have actually been a part of the lesson plan... haha who knows!

Also we changed companions this week which is actually way rare to do. My Branch President just said that he felt inspired that we all needed to have a new companion for the last week so he reassigned all of us to someone else. My new companion is Elder Garrett. He is a great kid from Kaysville. He was Elder Stout's companion and so he is a zone leader along with him. He is 18 and just graduated high school, but honestly you wouldn't know that if you met him. He is much more mature than most of the other 18 year olds and is a great missionary. I have really enjoyed working with him these past few days.

 I did get my travel visa and will be heading down to Argentina Monday morning. Dad said that you got my flight plan so look forward to me calling from Salt Lake and also from Dallas. I am not entirely sure when it will be or for how long but I am sure it will be good! I am very excited to talk to whoever will listen to me haha. I can make as many calls as I want with the phone so I should be able to talk to pretty much everyone I think. I will call home first though so stay ready and mom you can track my flights cause I know you love doing that haha.

I really appreciate the packages/letters/emails I have been getting! It has really been a blessing to me here and has helped me a lot! I still have not gotten pictures of the fam/home like I asked for a couple times... but don't worry about it now unless you like overnight it tonight cause I will not be checking mail Monday. You can try to send me stuff in Argentina but who knows what the success rate will be for getting letters/packages down there. I still think that it would be a good thing to have though to be able to show members/investigators there cause family is a very important thing down there. But if you can't or don't want to don't worry about it I am a missionary I am not allowed to get mad hahaha.

Well other than that I have been doing really well and have been really healthy! I really do feel the spirit every day and can testify of the reality and gravity of my call as a messenger and representative of Christ. It is such an amazing thing to be able to wear his name and the name of his church on my chest every day. When I put the badge on I can just feel the weight of my calling on my shoulders. But just like Joseph Smith said "how could we not go on in so great a cause?" or at least something really close to that haha.

 I can testify to all of you of the truthfulness of the Gospel and the love that our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have for us. I am so excited to go out and invite others to feel the same joy that I have from having the Gospel in my life. I am so grateful for all of your prayers and examples for me and I have been praying for each of you every day too. I can't really think of a whole lot left to say cause really the MTC is pretty boring except for the fact that I feel like half the people I talk to might get translated any minute... hahaha. 

But anyway I just wish I could explain in words the joy that comes from missionary work even when you are still just learning about it. I know that the field will be hard but I also know that it will be very much worth it. The field truly is white already to harvest! Love you all and next time you hear from me I will be on another continent putting my shoulder to the wheel! I love you all and I am looking forward to talking with you on Monday!

Love always,
Elder Zollinger

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