Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hello! July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 0
From: Erik Leavell
Date: Thursday, July 16, 2009 5:58 PM
To: Everyone
Subject: Hello!

Hey everyone!

So I didn't know that we had a limited time on the computer, well for email, so we shall see how everything goes since I need to be quick.

My stay at the MTC has been anything but ordinary if I say so myself, I actually sometimes think that I'm not at the MTC but I feel like I'm at BYU again. All my friends from school are here and I literally see everyone everyday so it's way
chill. My companion's name is Elder Carlson and I guess he is good friends with the Wonnocott's so another experience that shows that the world is anything but small. We only have 4 missionaries in my district because we are the only 4
American Sign Language missionaries in the entire MTC. Something cool that our teachers said with us is that ASL missionaries count for about 0.00128% of all the missionaries in the world, as of last year. So it shows that the Lord and
the prophet knows what he is doing because he needs the best to accomplish the work and to teach others the gospel.

My first day at the MTC was pretty boring, but yet again I think that it always is for everyone. All my friends that have been here for awhile told me that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. So at first that didn't make
much sense but it is very evident because it has already been a week and it has gone by so fast. All the ASL missionaries had already learned ASL in high school and one in fact has a brother that is deaf, so that left me with no experience.
But as the week came to an end one of teachers, Brother Cropper, said that "if I hadn't met you and you told me you have only learned sign language for a week and I would have to say you are lying to me". To me that was the best compliment
that I think I have ever received because I was SO NERVOUS coming in. I can't wait to learn more and soon we will have to turn off our voices and only sign, so we shall see how that goes.

I'm not going to lie not everything has been a joy ride through the park, in fact, there have been many struggles that I have gone through that have been very discouraging. I felt like my testimony has been only coming from my head
and not from my heart, and I think that sometimes my experiences have been the only thinks that have kept me here. But today I went to the temple and I prayed to our Heavenly Father to know what I should do and I got an answer of peace and
comfort to know that what I was doing was what I needed to be doing. Here is something that proved it, I went to the RC (referal center) to talk to some people and I talked to a man named Eugenio. He was wondering if he could get
this video from our Church and I felt like I needed to ask him how he was doing. He said that he had gone through some struggles and that he had stopped going to church. But I know that if it weren't for my testimony that I would not have
convinced him to talk to the missionaries and he wouldn't have asked me to call him this Saturday after he goes through great are the blessings of the Lord. Also, he has put people here, like Drew, to help me when I'm going
through these tough times and he has always been a blessing in my life. I'm so thankful for him.

Anyways it's great to serve the Lord and be closer to Him and I know that the Church is true and I know that the this is where I need to be. But I hope to hear from you all and I hope everything is going great for all of you! Later!

-Elder Leavell

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Getting Set Apart as a Missionary 07/06/09

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 0

Hello everyone!

I never imagined that getting set apart as a missionary was so special. Of course I understood that you were a missionary when you got set apart but it never had really hit me until that day came! I feel so honored to serve the Lord, I can't wait to get to the MTC on wednesday and I can't wait for my parents to have a special tour with President Smith of the MTC. Hopefully it will make everything a little bit easier for them to understand that everything will be ok and that I will be taken care of. Anyways it was an amazing meeting, the spirit was so strong, and there were things said that I will never forget. I'm so thankful that the Lord has established His church on the earth again because I don't think I would have this opportunity anywhere else, but who knows. But either way I feel so blessed to be a part of the Church, for it's teachings, for it's leaders, and for the foundation that our church is set on as it's set on Jesus Christ. It's amazing to see how many blessings we have, if all we take the time to observe to see what we already have. Anyways, this is my last post until my mom takes over and I can't wait to hear from you all and I'll try write you back as soon as I can.

Love you all,

Here are some pictures from me getting set apart:

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