Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bonjour, tout le monde!

It's been a fun/crazy week. I've had fun adjusting to my new companion. He's a big help for me since he has a good memory of what we plan for lessons haha. He doesn't speak the language specifically well but he always does his best and always remembers what we have planned for the lessons (when I sometimes forget). Saturday was the start of the training of all the new mission presidents who will be serving in various missions. That takes place here at the MTC, and is done by the general authorities, therefore, the main building is pretty much on lockdown. That also means that the dining hall got cut in half, and is much less capable to handle the growing number of missionaries here. On sunday the line for dinner extended far outside the doors of the building. That part isn't fun, but it has definitely been a strong spirit here knowing the general authorities are among us. I'm pretty sure we're going to be hearing from either an apostle, or a member of the first presidency tonight at the devotional. It's crazy trying to get a good seat. We go a half hour early to line up, and I'm pretty sure we're the last ones there. This morning a member of our district flew out to San Francisco for his visa, and all but three of us (including me) in the district will get to do this. I don't get to go since I don't need one for Canada. This morning we did a session for Elder Guymon's (Elder Alex Munns' companion) family names. It was the last temple trip I'll have here since the temple will be closed down starting this week through the end of July. On Sunday night after the fireside they showed a video of a talk given by Elder Bednar a few years ago at the MTC called the Character of Christ. It was crazy how much it inspired me. He talked about Christ's tendency to turn outward when the natural man wants to turn in and seek self pity. He gave the example of Christ's infinite suffering in the garden, followed by finding his disciples had fallen asleep on him, followed by finding that he had been betrayed; and after all this, the first thing he thinks to do is heal the soldier's ear who was there to take him captive. So incredible. It's really the first time I've heard a talk and consciously pondered about how I could apply it to my every day life. It was a great experience. Well all is well here. Still learning as much as I can. Love you all. Love, Elder Brenden Oxborrow

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Week 3: "Sometimes I close my eyes and picture myself in a fireside when I want to sleep"

Dear Family and friends,
Three weeks down and only six more to go... It's going so fast yet so slow. It's been a fast week since last Tuesday. The days are starting to go faster and faster. It's also been a pretty eventful week. About last Wednesday, my companion Elder Rice had started having some appointments with a doctor here. Just a few days later on Friday, he found out he was being sent home so he could get taken care of. We were both pretty shocked. He had been such a blessing for me since I arrived here. He had great study habits which were exemplary for me and exactly what I needed. He flew back out to Oregon Saturday morning. The district misses him. As for me I got put into a triple companionship for a couple days, and this morning I was paired up with a new companion, Elder Garcia. He's a cool guy and I think we'll get along pretty well. He's from St. George (Desert Hills HS), and did a semester at Dixie before coming on his mission. He has been here three weeks longer than I have, but his old district got here three weeks before he did, so they all just left for the field. He will be serving in New Caladonia, and from pictures I've seen, I'm pretty jealous. His only concern is the spiders there which grow larger than a person's hand haha. I've been continuing to teach discussions in French about six times a week. Our two "Amis en progres" (progressing investigators) are played by our teachers, Brother Sybrowski, and Sister Lindsey. They both served in Montreal. The roles they play are from investigators they taught from their missions. The other lessons we teach are to volunteers who happen to know french (usually RM's). I haven't taught with my new companion yet since he's been my companion since this morning and it's P-day. I'm not yet sure what level his french is at but hopefully we'll work well together. It's been pretty hot this week. I kinda wish it would rain, but it does feel good in the morning and at night (for the 30 seconds it takes us to walk from our classroom to our residence hall). I'm realizing that for me the biggest sacrifice of coming on a mission is music. I miss music haha. We're not allowed to even listen to Motab or anything like that until we get to the field. Still enjoying it and taking it all in. Feel free to write!
Elder Brenden Oxborrow

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week 2: Another Day in Paradise

Hey friends and family,
It's been a good week here in Provo. Getting more used to the schedule and the days are really starting to blend together in my mind. I've had a lot of cool experiences even in the little time I've been here. It really is a place where the spirit is strong and blessings come through obedience and hard work. Thanks for the letters and dear elders I've received. Mail is always a good way to end the day so thanks for that. I love hearing about what's going on with everyone. Although there is one thing I'd like to request; somebody keep me updated on the playoffs! Haha.
Well I've seen a lot of friends since I arrived two weeks ago. Elder Jacob Rees, Elder Hunter Payne, Elder Landon Hobbs, Elder Steven Christensen, Elder Alex Munns. I see Elder Munns at least once a day since we're in the same zone and his class room is right next door to mine. It's always cool to see old friends. Yesterday when I was on my way to pick up the mail, I ran into Elder Jones who is from Ketchikan and I got to know while I was up there. It was the first time I'd seen him since I was up there so that was way cool. He leaves the MTC in two weeks for Argentina. I was thinking, if I was one of the missionaries called to an english speaking mission, I'd be out of here in one week. I'm kinda glad I'm not going that quick though. Especially since I learn more and more new things every day so I want to try to take in as much as I can from the MTC while I have the opportunity. Seven more weeks.

I mentioned last time that I got called to district leader, and I've come to realize it's only because it's such an easy district to lead. These elders are seriously awesome. We all get along so well and they all have a desire to follow the rules. Every time I need to pass something along to them, they are receptive and supportive. I've been blessed by them. There are eight of us in good ol' district 46C My companion is Elder Rice. Elder Christensen is from Salt Lake and then a year at UofU. His companion is Elder Whatcott and he's from Boston. He's 6'5" and is a super nice guy. He went to BYU before the mission. Elder Brady is from everywhere since his dad works for the government. He's lived in Switzerland, Virginia, Oregon, and various other places. He also went to BYU. His companion is Elder Foote. He has got to be one of the funniest people I've met. At first he seemed kinda weird cause no one really understood his humor but now we basically can't have a conversation without him cracking us all up. He also did a year at BYU. Elder Hansen is from Alberta, Canada and he is the definition of firm and steadfast. Not only physically but spiritually as well. He's pretty muscular too though. He kinda reminds me of the Hulk show back in the day with the big strong guy who they painted green and he just grunted. His companion is Elder Pehrson who I really like. He's from Kaysville and went to Davis. He's a really good ball player and has a really nice shot. He made ten half court shots in a minute! He claims it's the world record but I don't know... haha. He also did a year at BYU. Elder Pehrson and Elder Hansen will be serving in Montreal and the rest will be serving in France.
I wish I had more time to tell all the experiences I've had but I don't so hopefully next time. One thing that I thought of the other day at a fireside was that in Moses 1:39 it states that God's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Then I realized that in serving a mission, I'm helping to accomplish exactly that. By sharing this gospel, I will be improving the lives of others, and that's really what it's all about.
Love you!
Elder Oxborrow

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

First letter. Week 1: MTC.

Hello All!
It has been a great, busy, spiritual, amazing week I've had so far at the MTC. The spirit is so strong here and I love feeling it every day. Wednesday seems like it was at least a month ago. Since then I've done so much. On Wednesday we received our companions. Mine is Elder Rice from Oregon. He is very studious and pensive. He is good at concentrating on the task at hand which helps me to remember to stay focused. Wednesday night I didn't sleep well (probably because I haven't gone to bed at 10:30 since I was like 10), but I've been able to sleep well since then. Thursday we had a meeting at which we all got called out individually for an interview. After all the interviews, they called the district leaders for the new districts, and I happened to get called to be one of them! My district consists of 8 elders and we all get along well. I have been praying for help in my added responsibilities as district leader. Our district is the one with the most french experience of the new districts. Some of the elders have had not only 4-5 years of high school french, but also at least a full year of college french classes as well. Since I first arrived, My companion and I have taught 3 all French discussions to a french guy named Chris. I feel that they've all gone very well. I've been able to start saying all my prayers in french, and on sunday I was able to bear my testimony in French. It's been awesome to feel the difference in listening to talks and watching church movies here when I'm constantly striving to have the spirit as opposed to at home when I was probably more distracted. We get to have 50 minutes of gym time 5 days a week which I thoroughly enjoy. Nothing like a little 3 on 3 to shake out between sitting in a chair all day. Running out of time so gotta run. Au revoir! Je vous aime!

Elder Oxborrow

P.S. Please feel free to write as I can only use e-mail once a week and everyone loves letters here at the MTC. An easy way to write is by using dearelder.com. you don't even have to use a pen but I still get a real life piece of paper with words on it! ;)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Address (for now)

Missionaries love mail...
just sayin.

Elder Brenden Lynn Oxborrow
MTC Mailbox # 233
CAN-MON 0731
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793