First and foremost an update from last week:
As you should know, The Trial was held but not complete, as it got cut short for people trying to sleep. The word spread fast, as the days passed. Slowly the story was but a myth, a legend, a folktale. No word of a follow-up trial had been heard. My District Leader, Elder Elder (yes his last name is Elder), and his companion, Elder Saline, and other leaders were asked to halt all further trials and focus on the reason they are at the MTC. They were asked to pass this on to their districts. They then saw the First Counselor of the MTC walking down the hall with the witch hat that was once part of a historical event. They couldn't stop laughing. So unfortunately the Wet Witch is dead. The Bean Wizards went into hiding back from the land they came and once again the R4 Kingdom was calm.
Not a very satisfying end but one that will be remembered.
Elder William's, my companion, got covid. It was last P-day after the temple trip that he got tested and then taken away from us. He got sent into isolation or in other words from the residents, The Gulag. He would join zoom calls here and there but it was hard for him to participate while in his prison of sickness. I got put into a Trio with Elder Elder and Elder Saline. What a party! It was probably the best part of the MTC. Those guys are great. We sang in the choir for a devotional. Very nice to sing in a choir again. Brought me back to my middle school days learning the different parts to all harmonize together. Super fun! For anyone who is going to the MTC I highly recommend doing the choir. You don't even have to have a background in singing, just join and it will be an amazing experience.
There were a ton of new missionaries that came in this past week. For a bit the Trio and I pretend to be lost and act as if we were new. It was fun. A lot of my friends got to the MTC as well. I've had such a blast being able to see them and chat with them. Elder Butler and I see each other every meal period and just talk about what we did that day and I give him some senior MTC advice. It's been 2 weeks and I've gone through the whole K-12 experience. Once an innocent little baby, grown into a graduating adult. Now I'm going to college. Still learning more.
It's been nice being able to go to the gym. Played volleyball and I've also been starting to run. . .
I'm Sorry Dad!! I know running is for criminals but it's something to keep me entertained. I will be on a bike soon enough. Volleyball and 4-square have been super fun to play as well. Elder Saline played Vball in high school, so he was schooling all of us. Elder Elder is really good at chess so we've been playing that a lot along with ping pong. The Rec Room is always packed though, so it was hard to get into the "nerd room" also known as the chess room.
The last days with the district were probably the hardest days here. Saying goodbye to my district, my family, was hard. It is amazing how close you can grow to a group of people in just a few weeks. The love I have for my district is unbelievable. The love I have for them is just a small glimpse of the love that God and Jesus have for them. The last classes were hard. Lots of crying and sharing. The love in the room during these times was unimaginable. I can tell they will do amazing things in all the places they are called and I can't wait to see them in 2 years. We had a testimony meeting after a devotional on Sunday, the day before most of the district had left, and again just the love you can physically feel is remarkable. I usually like to share last and I shared my thoughts 2nd to last. I had a prompting to go around to every single person in the room and ask them if they knew that they are a beloved son or daughter of God. They all answered yes. As they should. I told them that since they know this truth, it is time for them to go and share this with people that don't have this knowledge and that it will change people's lives because it has changed theirs. It was a powerful prompting and it actually turned out super well. I didn't know where it was going to go but it seems like people needed to hear that they are loved. Then we gave some blessings and said goodbye. I already miss them all so very much.
Elder Saline and Elder Elder left bright and early this morning (Feb 14th) at 3:30. Since they were in my room I woke up and got to see them off. I was tearing up saying goodbye to them. Elder Saline has been such a blessing to me. I have been able to goof around with him and be super real with him as well.
One night the Elders on the 1st floor decided to chug bottles of sprite. I did one. Others did 5-7. Isn't that just wild!! They were trying to make themselves throw up!! Elders are wild! Last night we had a civil war on the first floor. I had these leftover chocolate balls that were so dense they were basically steel. So the goofballs we are, we started throwing them faster than the speed of light at each other. It was the OG's vs the Greenies. I had two really good hits on me. One made me bleed, the other was right underneath my eye. Don't worry mom, I am ok. The war was ragging on. We had two Elder's come down from the 2nd floor and asked us to knock it off, as it was loud. It wasn't even time to go to bed, and we needed to blow off some steam. We had one of the greenies do recon of them and he found out which room it was. He went up to them and said "Do you guys hear those monkey noises and guys yelling?" They said, "Yes, they do it every night". When he told us this I started dying laughing. The monkey noises are a part of who we are. It's just what we do. We told the new guys to keep the tradition alive and they happily agreed. After hearing this we kind of retaliated just a bit by turning off the breaker box switch that goes to their room, and yelling monkey noises up the stairs. What a party. Not the best decision probably but one that made us laugh. Sorry to that floor of Elders. We are just trying to have some fun.
Elder Williams got out of the Gulag on Sunday. It was really good to see him. We passed down the pig to Elder Lee and his crew. Told them about the curse and wished them the best of luck.
I am pretty much all packed up to go to Texas tomorrow morning (Feb 15th) at 4!! Still a few things here and there but overall we have it all ready to go. Tonight will be fun. It's weird being some of the last people in the district. I got to see everyone else leave and now it is my turn. I will be up bright and early packing final items and then heading off to the airport. It will be an interesting experience going through the airport with a group of Elders. Wish us Luck!
The MTC has helped me so much. Through my district and teachers, I've been able to see my testimony and love for the savior grow so much. The spirit is never not here. I know I will definitely be able to feel a difference when I leave. I will miss this place so much. The things I've learned and the spirit I've felt has changed me. I have never Cried, laughed, and partied so much in my life. The MTC is amazing.
"Jesus Loves You!" -Sister Hammer
That's about it. See ya'll later.
-Elder Payne (150)