Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Elder Sherwood Arrives in Oklahoma!

Donald left the MTC in Utah this morning, early!  He called us from the airport at 4:30AM.  It was so good to hear from him.  He sounds great and is excited to get to Oklahoma.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Last e-mail from the MTC

Hello Family!

Ok it's go time. I wrote a list of stuff to tell you all this week and I have 30 minutes. I had to speed read all your emails so forgive me if I don't answer all your questions. 

First order of business. go giants.

We sing all the time here. Not just in all our meetings but in our district just walking around and stuff. Sister Stanworth taught me how to sing the bass harmonies for a few hymns. And i'm not gonna lie, we are good. I'm a good singer. That was a goal of mine. To come home from my mission a good singer, like every other RM. And i've accomplished that in my first three weeks. Siiiick.

When we first got here we took this assesment for whether or not we would need tutoring for reading. And to no surprise, I did need it :/ But it was awesome. I met with a woman named Sister Butters. She was amazing! She was so helpful, she helped me learn how to read scriptures and get as much out of them as possible. Now I feel like I can read scriptures with investigators and really help them understand how it relates to them. Its a very effective teaching tool. 

Every sunday night we get to watch a movie. Last week we watched Testaments (so funny). And last night we watched Testaments also pretty funny. 

Last week for our tuesday Devotional Larry Echo Hawk of the Seventy came and gave a talk. He was the quarterback for BYU for 4 years a long time ago. I just thought his name was cool. So i thought I'd share that.

Do you know an Elder Bradford? he served in our mission a few years ago I guess. He's my Branch presidency 2nd counselor's son-in-law.

It snowed on wednesday! 

With this influx of new missionaries, we could be training 18 year old elders in as little as 6 weeks. Can you beleive that! Six weeks in to my mission and I could be a trainer!!!! 

Mom: have you ever read Alma 42: 1-7? You had a question if I remember correctly about this topic and I thought this might answer it. Not sure if I remember your question correctly or if you already got the answer but it's interesting nonetheless. 

OH YA! Elder Hatch and I are Zone Leaders. Our first sunday here, we were called as Zone Leaders! It was so awesome. Last week we got three new districts and we gave them an orientation of the MTC and took them on a tour! Our entire floor is our Zone, so we have Elders coming to our door asking questions all the time. I love it so much. It's my favorite calling i've ever had. I love getting to know all these new elders and sisters and trying to help them in any way I can. It is so fun. 

you should check out my Teacher's blog.! His name is Brother Guinto. He's incredible, the best teacher I've ever had. Him and my other teacher Brother Kitchen are so awesome. But ya check out his blog and he might have some stuff about our distrcit! That would be pretty neat to get another perspective other than mine. 

Ok here's the best story of the week. When we taught one of our progressing investigators earlier last week, I realized during the lesson that his story is exactly the same as your story dad. His wife is a member, he is a nonmember, and he has two kids. I was able to bear my testimony on the impact that two missionaries had on my life, when they cared enough and loved my dad enough to teach him. I was able to assure him of the blessings that will come from the decision he has made to be baptized, because I am a direct benefactor of those same blessings. I'm so grateful for Elder Tanner and Elder Southwick and their love and charity that they had for you, Dad, and the fact that they were able to help us become an eternal family. 

Thats so awesome that you got the job mom!!!! Congratulations!!

How is Alex's volleyball team doing? or how did they do? 

I get to call home at the Salt Lake Airport, so the storms won't affect me at all I'm pretty sure. It's not very clear to me when we get to call home, but I think I'm just gonna try to call at the Salt Lake Airport. But I don't know. I stil have 10 minutes left of Email time so I'm gonna send this email and then go figure out when to call and where so I can tell you exactly when to be ready. I'll also get the flight info and stuff. It will probably be later today when I send that stuff but i'll make sure that I do. 

Ok Love you ALL SO MUCH!!! MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH!! keep the people of the OTM in your prayers!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pictures from the MTC...

Elder Sherwood's District

(Donald's companion) Elder Hatch & Elder Sherwood 

Meeting - Look at all those missionaries!

Week Two at the MTC...

Well Hello Fam,

Week two of the MTC has come and gone. It's so crazy, it feels like I've been here for a day, but I also feel like i've been here forever haha. There’s a few things I wrote down this week, Ideas that I had to share with you in my email. 

Mom you asked what sports I'm playing during gym time. We play basketball every time. Sometimes 3 on 3, sometimes knockout. But always basketball. Its way fun. I played four square the first day for a little bit but that wasn't too fun. Gone are the days of 5th grade four square :/ You also asked about the food. The food is pretty good actually. And I eat fruits and vegetables with every meal, and for the first few days I was chastised for it by my companions. But they soon realized my reasoning, and now i've converted the whole district to healthy eating ;) 

Last week we got our travel itineraries for the day we leave. We leave the MTC at 3:00 AM on Halloween!! And when we get to the airport we can call home!!!! SO ON WEDNESDAY THE 31ST, in the very early hours of the morning BE READY FOR MY PHONE CALL!! I will most likely be calling from the airport phone, and I will buy a pre paid phone card here so it doesn't cost 20 dollars a minute. So AGAIN, 31ST. VERY EARLY. EXPECT MY CALL!! 

I would also like to tell you guys about a couple cool experiences I had with teaching this week. We teach investigators in the Teaching Resource Center, or TRC. The bring in actors (some members, some non members, and some real investigators) for us to teach. Its ridiculously real, and so awesome. Our progressing investigator is J. M.(initals added by Mandy) An 80 year old Japanese man who will talk your ear off, and he's impossible to teach. And then there's A.H. So this week we taught A.H. our less active member. She is an 80 year old woman from Holland, it was so awesome. We taught her about prayer. She was baptized at 8 only because her mother got baptized and forced all her kids to get baptized. So she has been inactive her whole life essentially. When we asked her about her experience with prayer, she said that she had only had experience praying for the wellbeing or health of other people. So we taught her about praying for herself, we shared with her Alma 12: 27 where it talks about through the grace of Jesus Christ we can turn our weaknesses into strengths. It's amazing how important charity and love is when you are teaching people. Teach people, not lessons. I really felt as we got to know Sister H., that I really cared for her. I loved hearing her talk about her life and her experiences. And I can't wait to go back tomorrow and teach her. I wish I could better explain how awesome it feels. 

Another amazing experience we had was with our progressing investigator Brother P. We have taught him three times, and the first two times it went alright. He is catholic and his wife is a member. In our third lesson, we finally got through to him. As he prayed at the end of our lesson, the Spirit was so strong, and afterwards we committed him to being baptized! Going through these experiences is making me so excited for the field and teaching real investigators and meeting people. 

My testimony of the gospel gets stronger every single day. Here, you really have to rely on prayer, or else you can't do anything. But through prayer and through faith, we can do anything. I've become closer to my Heavenly Father than ever before. The MTC has been the hardest thing i've ever done, but it's also been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. 

Elder Sherwood

P.S. Yes I got my package with pants and shoes. THANK YOU!

P.P.S can you send me a few of my T-shirts!! Thank you!!

Keep sending letters!

Monday, October 15, 2012

First e-mail from Elder Sherwood!

Here is our first communication from Elder Sherwood, he sounds very happy!  That makes us happy!  

HI!!!!! It's so good to hear from you!! Everything has been going great. You probably got my letter that I sent on the second day I was here. So I told you about my companion Elder Hatch. He is awesome. So yes, the first day was crazy. I didn't even have time to miss my family! I am really so surprised at how much I have already changed and how much better my experience has been than I thought it would be. My first 3 hour class was amazing. Can you believe I'm saying that? Well, it was and I learned so much. I haven't really figured out yet how to format these emails so please excuse me if it seems a bit scatterbrained. 

My daily schedule consists of waking up at 6:30, not as bad as I thought it would be. Then we shower get dressed and either head over to breakfast or have some personal study time. After breakfast there’s usually some more personal study time followed by class time with my district. My district is awesome. There’s Elder Olsen and Elder Cresswell. Elder Hunsaker and Elder Sudbury, Sister Stanworth and Sister Moe, Sister Talbot and Sister Howell. You spend the majority of the day with your district so we have all gotten to know each other pretty well and that has been a really good experience because, during class it's really important that we all can feel the spirit really strongly, so when we all have that good connection and when we are all comfortable around each other it makes a really good atmosphere for the spirit and learning. So after class we might have some more study time, personal or companionship then we go to lunch. After lunch there's either class or more study time and then dinner. Then our day usually ends with another 3 hour class. 

I am amazed at how much I have grown spiritually since i've been here. My testimony is so much stronger. I have learned that missionary work is about teaching people not lessons. and the most important thing to remember is that you MUST teach with the spirit. You have to love the person you are teaching even before you meet them or teach them. The hardest part is submitting to the will of the Lord and finding out what he would have you teach, instead of what you think you want to teach. I have never felt the spirit stronger than certain times in that classroom. 
I love dads email when he talked about the 4 different types of missionaries. I promise that I am striving to be the fourth missionary, because I know that when you are telling people about your son on a mission, you are telling them about Donald the exceptional missionary, not Donald the average missionary. So far, it has been very very hard, very very humbling and amazing all the same. 

I'm sorry I wish so badly that I could write to everyone but you will all just have to enjoy this email for now. 

I have one request though!! Mom! Can you send me my jeans, and my tan RVCA pants, as well as my tan vans. Thank you. :) 

Well I love you all and I wish I could write more but there’s not much time and there’s too much to say. I like getting written letters too ya know! So SEND THEM!!! I LOVE THEM!
Tell Susan Child thank you so much for the Greenie Box, I have been snackin on that candy for days, and please tell Grandma Burgi thank you so much for the Brownies!! We loved them!! Well I gotta go! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! AND MISS YOU SO MUCH!! 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nineteen years and the big day was here!

We dropped Donald off at the MTC yesterday.  Donald was a little nervous in the morning but that soon faded as we pulled up to the MTC and were greeted by two Elders who happily helped with luggage.  Here are a few pictures of our day...

8:30 in the morning

Provo Temple
Lunch, subway mmm.
Could hardly eat :)

30 minutes before drop off!

Outside MTC, 1:00PM

Saying "Good-bye"

There he goes!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Elder Sherwood's MTC address

Donald will arrive at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) on October 10th.  He will be there for three weeks.  You can write to him while he is there, his address is:

Elder Donald Sherwood
MTC Mailbox #146
OK - TUL 1031
2005 N 900 E
Provo, Utah 84604-1793