Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jan 10, 2012 The Hitchhiker's Guide To (and From) the MTC

First things first,
Thanks for your prayers, I REALLY appreciate and need them.
You can now write me! Here is my new address!

Elder Taylor Ball
4380 S. Orchard Ave.
South Ogden UT 84403

I LOVE letters (hint hint! ;) )
and now…
The Hitchhiker's Guide To (and From) the MTC
First I have to say, you may be able to hitchhike to the MTC, but getting in is an entirely different story. Here are my tips from what I learned from my time going in and out of the MTC.

1.  Always remember the meaning of life is not 23

Sometimes I faced frustrating situations in the MTC, at times I even felt tempted to give up, but as long as I remembered the real meaning of life, I was able to overcome frustration.

Case in point - with my second companion we reached a point where we were frustrated with each other. This is not all that unusual in the MTC because this is the first time any of us have had to live with someone 24/7 and we didn't exactly get to choose who we would be with. He was frustrated with me because I had left the rest of our district to get a good seat for the devotional (Which in missionary standard time is 45 minutes early to any large meeting). So he voiced his opinion behind me as we were walking down towards the seats. Not seeing his face, I thought Elder Welburn was joking so I turned around and smiled - Big Mistake -. He then went silent for a while and waiting until after a few minutes of sitting to explain to me how he was not going to be bossed around by me. I stayed silent because I honestly didn't know how to respond.

I started getting frustrated with him for being frustrated with me. The situation was toxic for the Spirit. I remembered my reason for being at the MTC. To be effective in any way, shape or form, I need the Spirit. So after the devotional, we sat down together and talked it out. After that moment, we had the most highly functioning companionship in the district.

2. Enough is Enough

When you ask most Elders what their favorite thing at the MTC was, without fail, most of them will say the Cafeteria. Why you ask? Simply imagine in your head a buffet for every meal, and then it will not be hard for you to figure out why the food is people’s favorite part.

My goal when entering the MTC was to focus on eating only really healthy food. I forgot to focus on portion control so I felt tired after every meal because my body wanted me to sleep so it could have time to focus on the food. Remember moderation in all things!

3. Keep Moving Forward

Most missionaries deal with depression at least at some point while at the MTC. The work is hard, schedule rigorous, and we miss our families. I was able to mostly avoid this pitfall by focusing on where I was and what I needed to be doing. Not too far forward though, because looking at EVERYTHING sometimes makes most people want to curl up in a ball and cry. Already being a Ball (Get it? Elder Ball?), I knew this solution would not work for me, so I had to focus the best I could on where I was. Remember sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof. (First one to find the scripture reference to that verse wins!)

Elder Ball

Taylor went to Ogden while waiting for his visa.

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