Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ben's first MTC letter Wed. May 27th 2009

Wow, so the first week of the MTC is just about through. Where did the time go? It just seems like yesterday that I was wheeling my luggage down the MTC ramp and walking through the door that was labled "Missionaries Exit Here." Time sure has flown. The first few days of the MTC are definitely a transition period. There sure is a lot to get used to here...there's a lot going on and once you kind of get a hold of what's going on and settle into your schedule, things flow a lot more smoothly. Still, while it is difficult, there is this overarching peace that everything is well. This is exactly where I want to be. I'm so happy to be here at the MTC. The Spirit is so strong and I have never been taught more by the Spirit in my life.So, when I first got here my companion, Elder Justin Taylor from Salt Lake, were put into the beginning class of Spanish. Which is where I thought I would go. I didn't know if I knew enough Spanish or not to be bumped into the imtermediate class. However, Elder Taylor and I took an oral evaluation test and were bumped up to the intermediate class. That was a huge change because not only did we move classes. But we changed districts, moved buildings once we had already got settled in, and adapted to the new place. It was a pretty crazy first few days. But after that we started settling in and it's just wonderful!There is a lot of learning that goes on at the MTC (of course :)) We do a lot of classes and personal, companion, and language study every day. I love the time that we are given to study and I really strive to make the most out of every minute that I am given to learn. I only have this chance once, I'm on the Lord's time, and more importantly, I want to do everything so I can more efficiently fulfill my purpose as a missionary; which is to "Invite others to come unto Christ..." When I have that purpose in mind, it focues my efforts and helps me to concentrate and work harder.We were given an object lesson that illustrates this point. There is a 3-foot magnifying glass somewhere in the world that focuses the sunlight into a single point. That single point has the capability to melt through steel. Just normal, average, everyday sunlight has that capabiliby when it is focused. That is just like us, but I will apply it to missionary work since that is what I am doing. When we as missionaries, (and really any one of us) have an eye single to the glory of God and have our focus on that point, just normal, average, everyday people have the potential to do incredible things. This is what I am striving to do and will continue to strive to do everything with an eye single to the glory of God. I know if I can do this, then the Lord will make me an incredible instrument in His hands in moving His work along. I'm so grateful to be along for the ride!Classes are going well! Spanish is coming along and I still have a lot to learn, but I'm working hard and really trying to comprehend and understand. We've already learned how to pray and bear our testimonies in Spanish and as our vocabulary increases and as we are taught more about the language, we are able to more confidently express our ideas.Well, there's more I'd like to say, but time is running short. The MTC is incredible, missions are incredible and I love life! I love you all too! Remember to be missionaries! There are experiences all around.

Love, Elder Benjamin Hoglund

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ben at the temple

The day Ben left to the MTC!

Who is this good-lookin' guy?