Thursday, September 26, 2013

What elders do when they are not studying!

video

Pictures from Week 4 @ the MTC

 Elder Armstrong & I

 Elder Stephens & I

 Elder Watkins & I

 Woke up to snow this morning on the mountains! Utah is starting to get way to cold for me!

Busted out the heavy coat!

One Month Down!

(Email dated 9/26/13)

Buenos Tardes Mis Amigos,

Yo no puedo creer, como largo he tenido aqui! (I can not believe how long I have been here!) It seriously feels like just yesterday I left home, and now I only have 23 more of these speedy months left! Time just keeps getting faster here! And after the third week I really didn't think that was possible!
     
So just for an update on my visa, and everything! I don't know yet, but the group who left at the beginning of this week to Rosario, Argentina were all able to head straight down! We are supposed to get our travel plans tomorrow, so if I do I will email my mom, and she can let everyone know! 

So I have kind of a funny story about how leadership positions in the MTC work, First I got called as District Leader, then when my three weeks were up, my companion did not want to be DL, and neither one of us wanted to get up early for sunday meetings anymore. Well that sunday I got released he was called as District Leader. So this past sunday our Zone Leaders got released because they were headed to Argentina, well Elder Durham and I both said, well at least we are not really on option for Zone Leaders, since he was just called District Leader, and I had just been released. (We also said we didn't want to wake up even earlier for the zone leader meeting!) Well guess who the new Zone Leaders are....yup Elder Hall and Elder Durham! Zone leaders are the ones who are over a group of districts, and we report directly to the Branch Presidency. In our zone we currently have 22 elders! Just got a new group in last night, and so Elder D. and I got to give them a little orientation, and talk about our experiences here at the MTC! It is exciting and a lot of fun, and I am thankful for the opportunity to serve!

As much as I love the MTC though, I am ready to get out in the field! Utah is starting to get cold, and this Desert Rat is ready to head into an Argentine Summer! I might be wanting to head back home to Buckeye come July of this year when I am freezing cold! We'll see though! 

One of the big lessons of this week, was that this work we do can not be done with out the Spirit. When the spirit is with us, our spanish is better, we teach clearer, and honestly we are just happier. I am thankful to be in a place where on those days, that I am lacking the spirit I can take a minute, and just pray and ask for strength. This week I learned alot personally about the spirit, and the things I have to do to keep it as my constant companion, so it has been a great week. I understand more fully after this week why it is sometimes referred to as, "The light of the gospel" or "The light of Christ" the Gospel of Jesus Christ truly is a light that guides people back to our Heavenly Father. I could not imagine not having this light in my life, and being lost in the "darkness" of the world we live in. It yet another reason that has been added to my ever increasing reasons of why I am on a mission, to help bring others unto Christ.

I want to talk about my purpose as a missionary, and more of what it means to me. After asking a very close friend, who is very dedicated in her Catholic Beliefs what is was like to read my letters and stuff from her perspective, and she talked about some of the things that differ in the doctrines of our two churches, but she said it had made her stronger in her beliefs. I was quite happy with that response. Now you are probably asking yourself, this kid is on a mission for the Mormon church, not the Catholic church, why is he happy that she believes stronger in her church? Well  I want to make it clear that my purpose as a missionary is not to just go and baptize a bunch of people, and increase the membership of the Mormon church. My purpose as a Missionary is to Invite others to come unto Christ, and if that means in their own religion, or beliefs then I am doing my job, and I am fulfilling my purpose. Now I would be lying if I didn't hope that maybe with me sending these updates home and people reading them, that someone might be touched, but really I just hope that after reading these people feel just a little bit surer that Jesus is the Christ, and that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each and everyone of us. 

An interesting thing to ponder on is this, "90% of promptings of the spirit will come as just every day thoughts, only a small percentage of the time will we feel a powerful prompting as to what we need to do." One of our teachers told us that this week, and it really makes sense, if we are striving to be a good person, and doing what is right, we will naturally be directed to do what it is that we are supposed to, with most of the time not even realizing we are being directed until after!

I hope all is well with everyone, I pray for all of you, and I know that the Lord is watching out for all of us! Thank you to everyone who sent the packages and letters! Only one more full week here, and hopefully I am off to Argentina! Love you all, and miss you!

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Hall

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Elder Hall surprised us with a VIDEO this week!


So exciting to hear his voice & see how well he is doing & also his spanish is really coming along (I assume since I don't speak it myself!)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Week 3 MTC Pictures

 Elder Lewis from Hawaii, had a lady from his ward send us all Lava-lavas! I LOVE IT! So we have a district full of white boys, headed to Argentina, walking around in Lava-Lavas. Classic. 
 First package from home! I loved the MTC Survival Theme! :)

 Elder Durham and I! This is actually one of my favorite pictures we have taken, it shows both our personalities!
 Elder Topham and I, he just left for Idaho, but when his visa comes in will head to Mexico, an awesome example to me!



 Rockin the Lava-lava!

 Fall is starting here in Utah, it has been chilly! I am actually experiencing a real fall!
 We also had a new addition to our favorite outside study place, what we thought was a rain drain off is actually an entire pond/waterfall system that runs through the middle of the West Campus!



We were also bored enough we did a small photoshoot of me, sporting the sweater vest!

HALF WAY DONE AT THE MTC!! SAY WHAT?!?!

(Email 9/19/13)

Hola Mis Amigos,
  Yo espero todo ustedes, es muy bien! (Ok that says I hope all of you are doing well, but I am not sure that it is right!) Not including that sentence my spanish is finally starting to come along, I can at least survive in Argentina, and share a short gospel message ;) If you can't quite tell from my writing, I am doing great! This was such a great week here at the MTC, and time is flying by so fast! I seriously think this has been the fastest week of my life! 

The days just basically all blend together, full of lots of studying, and teaching our progressive investigators (MTC Teachers). We are currently teaching a lady named Luz, and another guy name Carlos. Luz has definetly been harder to teach. Mainly because you never know how she is going to respond to a question, or what she might ask. Yesterday we had a fantastic lesson with her, we taught about how after Christ was crucified, and the Apostles were killed that the Authority of the Priesthood was lost, we explained that this is why Joseph Smith was called to Restore the Gospel to the earth again. Then we taught about how through this priesthood and its ordinances families can be together forever. And that the first step was to be baptized by someone holding the proper authority of god. I asked her if she would be baptized and she said yes. The spirit was so strong, that I was choked up while bearing my testimony and she was crying.

If there is one thing that I have the strongest testimony on it is that of family. In these short  23 days, I have had a love that has grown for my family that is stronger then anything on this earth, and the bond that has developed CAN NOT be broken by the end of our mortal lives. Without a single doubt in my mind. I know that through the power of the restored priesthood of God, my family will live together through out the eternities, long after this life is over. It kills me to be away from the little kids, and those I love, for me that is the hardest part. And I knew before I even got my mission call that this would be the greatest challenge for me. Through this weakness the Lord has blessed me with so many tender mercies, and I know he has allowed me to grow stronger and to develop these everlasting bonds of love with my family so that I can stand before any man, and testify to him that through the power and grace of God, our familes can be together for ever.

At our Tuesday night devotional, Elder Gregory Schwitzer of the 70, and his wife spoke. They both gave great talks and we all left so uplifted and ready to take on the world! My favorite quote of the night was by Sister Schwitzer though, she said, "Every single day for the next to years, you will think about your home and family, but every single day for the rest of your life, you will think about these two years!" I love when I get things put into perspective! Our entire district also sang in the Choir, we sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer. WOW. Is all I have to say, in the full MTC Choir there is about 1000 missionaries, you wanna talk about  powerful! 

The rest of the week has just been alot of studying and teaching, the day to day life doesn't change much here at the MTC! I was released as district leader this past sunday, Elder Durham and I knew it was my last sunday as DL and so saturday night we were joking around about how we would actually get to have a regular sunday and not have to wake up early for meetings! Well we get to sacrament meeting and guess who gets called as the new District Leader, my companion! So we still have to get up early on sundays... 

I just want to let you all know how much I love and miss you! Thank you to everyone who has sent packages, and letters. There seriously is no better thing here at the MTC then to get mail! I pray for and think about all of you regularly!

Con Amor,

Elder Hall

Saturday, September 14, 2013

First Package Sent from Mamacita (he has called me this for awhile now)

MTC Survival Kit (found on Pinterest by an awesome blogger!)
Lots of fun sweets with cute sayings tied to them, along with his sleeping bag liner, pics & letters from home, 2 belts since he already broke his belt, & a shirt he forgot. Sending missionary packages is kinda fun, part of me wishes he was staying in the states so I could send awesome fun packages all the time because it's going to be pretty different sending stuff to Argentina! Hope this helps him survive!

Surprise for Elder Hall that I made!



Because this scripture & quote seem to have an impact on him I am having these printed up & will put them in 8x10 flat cheap frames that will pack easy between his clothes that he can take & hang on his wall wherever he goes!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hello from Provo! C-H-E-E-S-Y!
(I'm sure we can all hear him laughing at himself!)

Week 2 MTC Pictures

 What Elders do when they are bored...

 Aftermath of the storm, said the common area was trashed with branches & debri everywhere.
 He got a kick out of this...only in Utah!

 Crazy storm rolling in over the mountain!

 Diagram of how to pray in Spanish

 Favorite Place to Study

 Working on T.A.L.L (Technology Assisted Language Learning)

 SMILE ELDERS!

 Companions heading to the Provo Temple
Elder Peel, Elder West, Elder Clements, Elder Lewis, Elder Mondragon,
Elder Hall, Elder Anderson, Elder Durham
(the entire district)

Week 2 Completed

(email dated 9/12/13)

This was what will probably be a pretty regular week here at the MTC, lots and lots of studying! I have never studied so hard in my life! I am pretty well over homesick, this week has been very good in terms for that, however it is in part because of one scripture in Matthew that I am pretty sure will help me survive my whole mission!

Matthew 19: 29, "And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." My teacher shared that with me at the beginning of the week, and I wrote it in big letters and have it hanging above my bed. That scripture touched straight to my heart, and was such a comfort knowing that all the time I give to the lord he will give back to me a hundredfold, and will bless not only me but my entire family.

Another great quote that I absolutely love is by Bruce R. McConkie and it is called My Mission Commission.
I am called of God. My authority is above that of the Kings of the Earth. By revelation, I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my master, and He has chosen me to represent Him. To stand in His place, to say and do what He himself would say and do if He were personally ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me. My voice is His voice, my acts are His acts, my words are His words, and my doctrine is His doctrine. My commission is to do what He wants done, to say what He wants said, to be a living modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous latter-day work. How great is my calling!

This quote brings tears to my eyes every time, it is so powerful and shows the true purpose of us as missionaries and how we all strive to be!

This week I learned a lot about the Holy Ghost, and about how it can bless all of our lives in many different ways. He  can be a comforter, a teacher, give us guidance, testify of the truth, and many many other things. Being on a mission, you begin to understand why we are taught to try to keep the Holy Ghost our constant companion. Each and everyday I have manifested to me the truthfulness of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and pray everyday that my loved ones back home, will be able to feel of that holy presence.

I have started reading the New Testament from the beginning, and I have such a greater appreciation for the miracles and work my Savior did while on this earth. As I read, and study I am always finding new ways that these stories I have heard all my life can apply to me, and my work. The New Testament, has a powerful yet simple spirit, that speaks to everyone. In my studies of The Book of Mormon, or as we refer to it, El Libro de Mormón, I have grown to love it even more. We as members of the church often take for granted how lucky we are to have this wonderful companion to the Bible. The truth and power of the Book of Mormon radiate off every page, and I have learned so much from it.

After our Sunday devotional, we went and watched one of Elder Holland's Talks that was given last thanksgiving here at the MTC. One of the things that stood out to me was when we were told, something to the degree of, "Don't just think you are going to bust out these next to years and then return to your so called regular lives! THIS IS AS REAL LIFE AS IT WILL EVER GET! (In Elder Holland's way of speaking of course) Never in your life will you do something more important then this mission. NEVER. Going and getting married to your future wives or husbands, and starting an eternal family will be equally important, but never more." There is nothing like a talk from Elder Holland to bring you back down to earth. As he was bearing his testimony, and explaining that he could never deny  that Jesus was the Christ, the thought came to me, "What would it be like to have a testimony like that. How amazing would it be to be Elder Brennen T. Hall, have that kind of Apostolic witness." Then, my another thought came into my mind, "You already are Elder Brennen T. Hall." How amazing it was to truly realize that I have the same title, for the next to years as an Apostle, and that for these two years to have the same responsibility to spread the message of Jesus Christ to the earth.

Everything here at the MTC, is going great! I am thankful for the teachers I have, for my companion and the other missionaries in my district. Please keep sending letters, (And maybe even a package! ;D ) they help so much! And although I can't take the time to reply and give everyone this long and in depth of an update, I hope you all know how much I love you, and miss you. I pray for my loved ones every single morning, night, and through out the day!

I want to end this weeks update with something I have been pondering probably the most this week. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is either true or it is not. There is no gray area, it is black and white. The ONLY way we can gain any kind of knowledge of any spiritual truths is to get down on our knees, and humbly pray to our Father in Heaven, and ask if these things are true. I can testify that if you take the time, and ask having faith, and in the name of Jesus Christ that the truthfulness of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will be manifested unto you. My life and my heart has forever been touched by the power of the Holy Spirit, and I KNOW for a fact it will touch anyone who asks with a sincere heart.

Con Todos Mi Amor,
Elder Hall   

Top 11 Most Asked Questions with Answers from Elder Hall

Everywhere I go I seem to be getting a lot of the same questions about Elder Hall, however most of them I wasn't even able to answer so I decided this week in email he was going to have to answer them for everyone! So here they are:

1. Are all the missionaries in your district spanish speaking?
      Yes, all of the missionaries in my district are headed to Argentina, 6 are headed to a different mission than me, and then my companion and I are headed to Buenos Aires South!

2. Are they all going to argentina? Do they keep you grouped together?
      Sorta grouped together, our entire Zone of 30 or so elders is spanish speaking but different places!
3. Do you get new elders each week in your district or did u all start at the same time?
     Districts start all at the same time, but we get new Elders to our zone. Not every week, but whenever they feel like they can fit more, and after a district leaves.
4. Is the food good?
     The food is pretty good here, it is just cafeteria food though!
5. Whats the sister/elder ratio?
     I don't know the exact ratio but there is a lot of sisters here. More then I expected! Most of them just turned 19 as well! Still more elders! And there are no sisters in my district or zone. But they are intermixed during class time!
6. Do u go to the main campus or stay on the west campus?
     Everything is contained here to the West Campus unless you need to see a doctor or on PDay go up there. We can go eat lunch or go to the main book store if we want!
7. What time do u get your mail?
     I check the mail everyday before and after lunch, and then again before dinner. The MTC has two mail runs a day one that arrives either just before lunch, or during my lunch, and then in between lunch and dinner!
8. Do u have the same daily schedule each day?
     Yes from here until my last week will be the same weekly schedule, but it differs from day to day. Everyday is mandatory 16 hours long and if you stay up past lights out then even longer!
9. Are you surviving without coke?
     Yes, but barely. No headaches, just an emotional detachment! :) On Pday, though at the West Campus you are allowed to go to this shopping center and there is a restaurant that has real Coke, not that nasty Decaf stuff they gives us in the cafeteria! :)
10. Will you have the same companion til u leave?
     Yes I will be with Elder Durham tell we land in Buenos Aires! 
11. Have u heard anything about your visa?
     No word on my Visa yet, but I am almost positive I will get the travel one, and get to head straight to Argentina, and live off that until my real visa comes in!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lesson Learned - Teach by the Spirit

From a hand written letter wrote on 9/5/2013:

We taught our first "investigator" or MTC teacher acting as an investigator on Saturday En Espanol! The first lesson was pretty rough because we didn't know the spanish very well, and we were super nervous! Then we taught him on Monday and that lesson the Spirit was strong and we committed him to baptism (which rarely ever happens) we were the very first in our District! So we were feeling pretty good, as we were preparing for the 4th lesson we decided to read alot of stuff out
of the Preach My Gospel to make sure our Spanish was good and he would understand the doctorine! Well...we get in there and flopped on our faces. We were not teaching by the Spirit, our spanish was terrible, and it just was not a good lesson. So I was being hard on myself and just didn't take it well. Mi companero and I sat down and evaluated things and learned a pretty important lesson. It is better to bare testimony in the worst broken spanish and feel the Spirit than it is to read the most eloquent perfectly worded and pronounced spanish out of a book! It was a great lesson to learn and I can testify that when a messenger of the Lord bares his testimony, the Spirit will grant that person with the gift of tongues. My companion and I's testimonies were so strong and I know that where our spanish may have been lacking the Spirit made up for ten-fold.

He also mentions that Sister Brown who was our tour host at the Conference Center at Temple Square sent him a huge box with 2 1/2 dozen amazing cookies and a bunch of little candies! What a sweet lady she was and to think about him even though she was only with us for about 2 hours! He was nice & shared them with his district and they all wrote thank you notes to her!

He ends his letter with this:

I never realized how huge of a difference it makes to have every aspect of your life in line. The Spirit is a constant companion, I am pretty much to the point where it isn't that I am noticing when it is there, but when it is gone. Every single day I have some sweet experience that testifies to me the true reasons I am out here serving my mission. It is only by the prayers and letters from you guys at home, along with the companionship of the Holy Ghost that I am going to get thru this!

Yo se que Jesucristo es el Salvador. Yo se que las familias son eternas. Estoy agradecido pon el evangelio resaurado. Yo se que la Iglesia de Jesucristo de lost Santos de lost Ultimos DIas es verdadero. Estoy mucho agredecido por mi familia y el amor de mi Padre Celestial. En el nombre de Jesuscristo, Amen.

 Elder Hall






(we all got letters this week!)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MTC Pictures

Pictures from the first week at the MTC
 His new small bed and desk area
 The Y on the mountainside
 Soaking wet after a big rain storm!
 Playing in the rain!
 Having fun in class learning!
 The 4 roommates (I don't know their name)
 Typical Brennen, big smiles!
 Attended the Provo temple first time on Sept 5, 2013


 Laynee gave him that necklace, he said he wears it every night when he reads & writes in his journal!
After the rainstorm

First Week Down (first email)

(Dated Sept. 5, 2013)



Hola mi Amigos y Familia!
     I honestly dont know where to start! This has been a crazy week that was the longest and shortest of my life. I guess I will start from when I got dropped off!
     So after that akward kissing incident with Dad, I was taken to a line of missnaries where we recieved our welcome packet filled with our name tags, room assignments, and companions. Then they took me to the bookstore where I recieved like 30 pounds worth of spanish books and other missionary resources! After my host had dragged us around the campus and me trying to explain to him that I was supposed to be taken to the West MTC Campus, he finally realized I needed to be taken to the bus! So I took about a 5 minute bus ride to the West Campus. (Mom and Dad, I can see Shirleys where we ate if I go to the outside wall so, I didn't know it then but I was super close to my new home!) After dropping off my stuff, we went into a classroom! 
     A little bit about my companion. He is a 21 year old missionary with quite a story, he fell away from the church and visited many other churches after about 5 years of being atheist. one day in a catholic church he felt the spirit, but then said he could never feel it again, and he kept searching for that. (He was born and raised a member btw) Finally one day his friend, invited him to church again and he said he knew from that moment on he knew where he was supposed to be. It took over a year for him to go thru and take care of everything he needs to but he has a strong testimony of the Atonement. I am the youngest out of our district (8 missionaries), and he is the oldest out of our entire zone(32 missionaries). I am so glad to have him as a companion we have learned alot from each other! 
     The first 3 and a half days at the MTC were some of the hardest days of my life. LEarning spanish is not easy and all of the lessons are completely in spanish. So besides being completely overwhelmed by the language I was pretty homesick. I couldn't even mention the word family, let alone talk about anyone with out getting so choked up. One of the things that helped me was that the Second day I was made District Leader! :) I was so happy, becuase it gave me something to focus on other the spanish the gospe, and my homesickeness! My most important duty is I am in charge of the mail for my district. I am the one who gets it and distributes it to my missionaries! I also participate in the Branch Council for church, and other meetings! So it has been a fun experiencee so far! I will serve until halfway through my MTC time then another District Leader will be called! All of the older elders told us that if we could make it to Sunday we would be all right! I would have to say that is totally correct! 
     Sunday was such a spiritually uplifting day, we had fast sunday (and at the MTC you fast whether you want to or not, because there are no meals provided till dinner!) So we fasted as a district to get better with the language, feel the spirit, and to help us feel the love of our families, and them to feel ours. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony and gave some of it in Spanish, but mostly english! After Sacrament we had a Mission Conference, so it is broadcasted from the main campus to us here, and the MTC presidency speaks along with others. It was very uplifiting! The most spiritual thing for me on Sunday was we got to watch Elder Bednar's Talk The Character of Christ. It was given to missionaries at the MTC on Christmas morning a few years back. I think it was the best talk I have ever heard in my life. He basically slaps the missionaries around and says forget about what you want it doesn't matter, you are here to serve the Lord! There were so many things in it I couldn't possibly write them all! But it was amazing! After getting back to our apartment that night all of us were invigorated and ready to serve. I must admit those first few days there was alot of doubt wether I could do this or not, but sunday night I was so much better. I was filled with a love from my Savior I have never felt before. It was the first night at the MTC that I slept in peace knowing that this truly is the Saviors work. Even as I write this I am crying because the spirit has touched me in so many ways. 
     This is way more then I ever imagined, but I am so glad that I am here. I have learned so much in the past week, and I can not wait to continue learning more. I have really been pondering about how altough I am away from my loved ones, I am more excited to be able to give other families the opportunity to be united forever. I already know that by serving this mission I am going to be so much better, of a husband, father, friend, and brother because of the strong testimony of eternal families, and the love that our Savior has for us. Another thing that has helped me is reading the scriptues. When you read at home you are reading stories, or about the Savior's work, but when I read here, I am reading about my work! 
     I miss you all so much, but I am to the point where I miss you not in a home sick way, but in a sweet way where I think of you all fondly so often. I love you all so much. And I feel yours prayers so powerfully in ways that I never imagined!
     As a quick note I only can read emails on thursdays, so I will send out my main updates through emails. However I would love to get letters! Those I get to read every night, and they make such a difference just to have a little note from someone I care about. I am not sure how to use it but I heard it is the easiest and best way to send letters is through Dearelder.com you just put my mailing address in and can send me letters electronically. They are then printed out and delivered to the MTC same day so I can read them just like I would a letter! I hope this letter finds everyone in good spirits! Love you and miss you all! 

Con Amor (with love),
Elder Hall 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Assignment to Serve as District Leader






The letter from the MTC President congratulating Elder Hall on his new assignment to serve 
as a District Leader.



First Letter from the MTC

As a mom to an Elder I was struggling by Tuesday not knowing how he was doing, if he was ok, if he was wanting to jump ship, or what! I kept expecting an email & Todd said have you checked the mail, I'm thinking no I haven't checked the mail, well sure enough should've checked the mail earlier, it would've relieved my nervousness 3 hours prior! They let him write home his first night at the MTC:

August 28, 2013

Dear Mom & Dad:

Unless something significant happens, this will be the only letter I am allowed to write not on P-day. Needless to say I survived my first day at the MTC. I have a great companion named Elder Durham. He is one of the nicest & politest guys I have ever met. He is 21 years old and from Pleasant Grove, UT. I was moved to the West Campus. We have a whole apartment to 4 missionaries. It is so nice, and I am glad I am not at the main campus. They threw us right into Spanish classes. It's crazy...I can almost already bare a tiny portion of my testimony in Spanish. I am so excited to learn!! Our days are jam packed and we are up about an hour past lights out already. Too much to do this first night! I miss you all already but I can already feel the Spirit of the mission filling that void. Know that I am safe and being taken care of.

With Love,

Elder Hall

P.S. My room is extremely organized, was feeling OCD :)
First morning here was great also (written in a pen, must've woke up & wrote that before putting in envelope!)

So much relief came to me after reading this letter. I was able to pull it together and be excited for his journey again! And patiently wait for an email or another letter!

MTC Drop off on Wed. August 28th, 2013

What a bittersweet experience to drop our oldest son off at the MTC! We ate lunch with some cousins, then it was over to the MTC for a kick to the curb as we like to call it! We had said our family goodbyes for the most part at the hotel in Salt Lake before our drive to Provo, however on the drive from lunch to the MTC the kids hugged him in the car & told him goodbye. Touching moment as a mom to hear the small sobs coming from the backseat of the car, I couldn't even look back! 

We pull in to the MTC, were asked if we had an Elder or a Sister, they gave us a green sticky note on our windshield and we headed down the curbside looking for an empty spot to pull in to, meanwhile gasping at the site of all the young Elders everywhere you looked! Was like a sea of white everywhere! What an amazing thing to witness for our family!

We pull in to a vacant spot, were greeted by a few Elders, Dad grabbed his luggage out while I hugged him with all my might, trying to be strong & keep back the tears. Then Dad & Brennen hugged, I of course had to cry a bit, but then there was an awkward moment, the moment when a person (Dad) goes in for a kiss on the cheek and the other person (Bren) turns his head the wrong way not expecting the said kiss, and perfecto, the "awkward kiss" moment occurs on the lips of a son who is not affectionate (to much like his mama!) To which he quickly wipes his lips and was like what the heck was that, priceless! I felt it necessary to go in for 1 last hug to ease the awkward moment for us & the Elders...haha! He was very warm & shaking, it was like he was a little boy again going to Kindergarten & I want to tell him be brave, you can do it, you are amazing and everybody is going to love you & you will love them! And that was it, a great hug, another I love you so much, make us proud, and he walked away now a true Elder getting ready to start one of the greatest experiences of his life. This was definitely a very proud parent/family moment for us! Meanwhile we jump back in the car to the kids all hysterically laughing about the "kiss situation"! So we all got a great laugh while we pulled away, easing the pain of the separation as much as it could.

I was only able to capture 2 pictures of the kick to the curb. It went to fast that I didn't have time to really think or be the crazy picture taking mom (now I wish I would've). Here are the last photos of him that day:


Seconds before the awkward kiss, I wish I wouldve got the aftermath pic of Bren's face!

And that was our experience dropping this awesome guy off at the MTC! It was a long drive to Las Vegas that night, but we were all in good spirits.  I can honestly say we notice the void & the quiet in the house a lot more than I anticipated.  I know we have to share him & his talents with the people of Argentina and are so very proud of him and his decision to serve the Lord for the next 2 years and bring others in to the truthfulness of the gospel. Feeling very blessed for this experience for him & for our family!