Monday, March 30, 2009

MTC Update 3/27/09

Elder Kenison didn't get an email account set up yet — we keep hoping he will, since
  • he can type faster than he can write
  • we would get the updates sooner
  • it's easier to read his typing than his handwriting!
But Friday came and went, and so we knew there was no email again this week. We were eagerly awaiting the letter in the mail (the old-fashioned way) and it came today — Monday. (Don't you think they should be able to get a letter from Provo to Orem, only 6 miles, in one day? No, it takes two! And with P-day on Friday, we don't get the letter until Monday! ARGH!)

Matt is having a great experience in the MTC. It's been almost three weeks now — time flies. He has a great district of elders ("pretty much everyone in it is amazing"), and some wonderful Spanish teachers. One of his teachers is named Hermana Watterson — which Matt found very amusing, since he's a big fan of Bill Watterson, the artist who drew the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip. Learning Spanish isn't easy, but he's getting lots of help. His companion and another elder in the district both had several years of Spanish in school, so he's got some personal tutors!

Here's a great excerpt from his letter. Note that he typically uses smiley faces for punctuation.
Yes I'm loving the MTC ☺ I love the spirit here. The people. Occasionally the food haha. But yeah it's awesome. ☺ Going to the temple is fun ☺ The classes are way fun. My favorites are Tuesday nights and gym. Tuesday nights we have devotionals and last week Elder Perry came! It was AMAZING!
It's great to hear him talk so positively. Here's another very Matt-like comment:
Oh one more thing. Elder Callis and I love learning random phrases, like "Frijoles Cheverre" ("cool beans!") and my favorite "¿Que la carne de vaca?" ("What the meat of a cow" or "WHAT THE BEEF??") haha So yeah that's been way fun.
Does that sound like classic Matt or what??

He asks us to send everyone his love. He's received some wonderful, supportive letters and will reply when he can. Thanks for your faith and prayers on his behalf!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Elder Kenison and Companion!

We received a photo today from a member of our stake who works in the MTC and "ran into" our missionary on Monday! Actually, Matt recognized her and stopped her to chat. She took the photo below and sent it to us. His companion, Elder Ormsbee, is from Eden, Utah and will be going to Guatemala. In fact, he'll be leaving after 3 weeks in the MTC, so Matt will get a second companion at that point! We are grateful to hear that Matt seems happy, though he has commented that it has been very difficult. That's the right spirit: there is "joy in the journey" even when the going is tough!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Elder Kenison enters the MTC

Elder Kenison "checked in" to the Missionary Training Center today. It was a wonderful experience for his family to be with him and to bid him farewell. Yes, there were a few tears shed. So now, the journey begins! God bless you, dear Matthew — we love you!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Elder Kenison begins his mission

After a busy day of running errands, making preparations, last-minute purchases, and a few "goodbyes" from friends, we were ready for the mission to begin! Bishop Blackham, President Killpack, and President Stratton joined us at our home for a wonderful, spirit-filled hour together. We discussed the joys and blessings of missionary service, and then President Killpack directed that I should set Matthew apart as a missionary. It was a wonderful honor for me, and one that tore at my heart-strings. I will never forget the feeling of joy as my son Matthew became Elder Kenison! Now, we begin two wonderful years of supporting, sustaining, and praying for the Lord to bless and guide him.

President Stratton discussed this scripture, which Elder Kenison now has a new appreciation for:

"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88)

I am sure we'll be particularly grateful for the message of this scripture during the next two years!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Many wonderful friends

We were very pleased to host a "farewell open house" for Matt and Trevar tonight. Lots of Matt's friends from Los Hermanos were here, as well as school and Church friends. It was a nice evening, and a nice chance to say goodbye.

Less than two days now until Matt becomes Elder Kenison!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Very Important Person

It's impossible to accurately document the ways in which a mother blesses a child over the course of many years; or sometimes the price she pays along the way to make it happen. I think Matt is slowing growing in his understanding of that contribution; like most young men, the realization of the depth of the blessing often doesn't come until many years afterward. But I am grateful for moments like this one, when appreciation is expressed:

Matt will be a better missionary if he remembers how much his mother loves him, and how deeply and sincerely she desires his happiness and success!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fast approaching

We're approaching the final weekend, and the anticipation is growing fast! I pulled out Matt's old photo album and did a little reminiscing early this morning. He's been looking forward to this day for a long time.

Like most young boys in Primary, he used to really sing the song with enthusiasm:
"I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two..."
Well, he's grown a foot or two, and in less than a week, Elder Kenison will be on his way!