Friday, April 24, 2009

MTC Update 4/24/09

We received a very wonderful email letter from Elder Kenison today. There were some insights he shared that really warmed our hearts. For example, when we asked how he thinks he has changed during his time in the MTC, this was his response:
I've completely fallen in love with the scriptures. I love reading them. My goal is to finish them before I get to Chile. I'm trying to study a lot of Spanish and then I'll read on the plane flight that's like 12 hours or something.
He also mentions reading in the Ensign he's done recently. We were thrilled to hear him talk like that! That was not one of his stronger points before the mission; he's clearly been blessed by the Spirit and teaching of the MTC.

Here is one other enjoyable experience he shared (as he wrote it - he's obviously trying to type very fast):
the church is true. i don't doubt that at all. i've been talking in the referral center to two people. (the referral center is mostly where people see a comercial about "families isn't it about time" or an add for a free DVD about christ so they call and we send it to them. one investigator we'll call her mary. i've told her to watch the movie she was sent. (she's been sick) she promised me she would by monday. so i'm going to call her back on monday night. the second we'll call her... Anne. she was sent a book of mormon and i called her to make sure she received it. she said she had and that she's looked over it a little bit. and that she had some questions. after answering a couple she asked "the bible has factual evidence about the locations in it. in the book of mormon it talks about a great battle. do you know where that happened?" I said "no. but i do know that it happened" we had a conversation for about 30 mintues haha (which compared to the conversations i use to have with girls seemed like nothing) haha i asked her to descibe salt to me. and she said she couldn't. I said that's a lot like the gospel i can't really explain how it feels you just have to try it out. then she said "well if you didn't believe me i would just give you salt" lucky the spirit helped me out and i replied "well you've been given the book of mormon. just give it a try. i would reccomend reading in 3 Nephi chapter 11. that is when christ came to the America's." she also asked about when the book of mormon was written. luckily i had studied this and i said well do you know who king zedekiah is.? or is it jeramiah. haha i can't remember I did at the time though. i told her that that's when nephi came to the america's and he is the "first" prophets in the book of mormon. she asked me a couple more questions wondering how i really know this. I then asked her that god reveals things with two or three (or more) witnesses. so i asked her if she'd like to talk to my "friend" (companion) who also knows that it's true. so yeah that was an awesome experience. :D
He'll leave for Chile in 2 1/2 weeks. Keep working hard, Elder Kenison!

Friday, April 17, 2009

MTC Update 4/17/09

Elder Kenison is picking up speed after 5 weeks in the MTC. His teachers, "Hermana Watterson" and "Hermano Smith," have been really helping him learn. He's getting along well with his companions, Elder Zmoos from Iowa and Elder Van Buren from Ogden (he's in a threesome now, since his first companion left for Guatemala after 3 weeks). He speaks so positively and optimistically about everything, even his challenges.

Matt has said previously that one of his favorite things about the MTC is the Tuesday devotional when Church leaders come to share counsel and instruction. This is what he reported about this week's devotional:
Elder Holland actually came on Tuesday :D he gave an AMAZING talk :D he pretty much just told everyone "Do not have a 23 month mission when you should have a 24 DO NOT have a 15 month mission when you should have an 18. DON'T live with the regret of going home early." also... he said... "I can't pronouce heroic success on your mission but YOU CAN pronounce heroic sucess."
Great advice! We believe Matt is committed to doing his best for the whole 24 months, and will be a great missionary! He also shared with us this scripture this week, which has taken on a powerful new meaning for him:
For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ. (D&C 90:11)

Friday, April 10, 2009

MTC Hump Day! 4/10/09

Elder Kenison has now been in the MTC for 4 weeks and 3 days; according to the current schedule, he will leave for Chile in 4 weeks and 3 days. So today is MTC HUMP DAY!! We're on the "downward slope" and picking up speed, looking forward to the great opportunities to come when he journeys to Chile and begins to use the skills he's learning now.

Meanwhile, things are going well. Matt mentions he got more letters from friends in the beginning but hasn't had as many recently. He is limited in how many letters he can write on p-days so responses might not be as prompt as he would like; but he will try to respond as quickly as he can. Don't let that stop anyone from writing to him, though! Positive, encouraging letters can really bless a missionary.

Here's the "quote of the week" from Matt: "My favorite thing about the MTC is probably umm.... learning about the gospel everyday. and not worrying about anything else. I get to feel the spirit all day every day." Sounds like a wonderful place to be, doesn't it??

We're still trying to get him to send us some photos!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

MTC Update 4/3/09

We were thrilled to receive an email from Elder Kenison today! Missionary email accounts are generally for communication with family members, so he won't be sending emails to his many friends (though he would probably like to). But we're thrilled that we'll get more prompt communication from him on p-days now.

The biggest change this week is that Matt's companion, Elder Ormsbee, left for Guatemala. He only stayed in the Provo MTC for three weeks before moving on to his mission assignment. I know Matt will miss him; they got along great and he was a good support to Matt. He is now in a 3-some with Elder Zmoos from Iowa and Elder Van Buren from Ogden. That will be a different feeling! His new companions are both going to the Santiago West mission. Two others in the district are also headed there, and one each to Concepcion and Antofagasta missions in Chile.

Matt took an excursion to our dentist in Orem this week (under the care of the MTC). Bonnie might have preferred to take him to the appointment, but the MTC didn't offer that option! He's had some sore teeth from dental work done just before he entered the MTC. We'll hope this will help. The dentist's office is a block away from where Grandma lives; it must have been an odd feeling for him to be "outside" the MTC for a bit.

Otherwise, all is well. Matt seems to have adjusted to the intense schedule, though he sounded happy to get an hour-long nap on p-day! He is learning and growing, and sends his love and appreciation to all his family and friends who support and pray for him.