Monday, November 30, 2009

MTC: Week #2

I can't belive I've been in the MTC for almost two whole weeks. I only have 102 weeks left--Hurray!!! So time here in the MTC is messed up. It feels like I've been here for months but at the same time it all feels like a quick blur! So this week has been pretty awesome! On Tuesday Elder Oaks came and spoke to us and that was pretty cool. Unfortunatly there wasn't any room in the gym so we had to go to a different building and watch the devotional on a projector.

On Wednesday I went to the TRC building which is where my companion and I got to teach the first lesson to someone who pretended to be an investigator. It went really well and I had a lot of fun! Thusday was Thanksgiving and I really wanted to be there with all of you but oh well, I'll only be gone for one more Thanksgiving. In the morning Elder Holland came and spoke to us and answered questions that missionaries had submitted. It was really awesome. When I'm done here in the MTC I'll send home my "Devotional" journal and you can look at it.

After Elder Holland spoke, we had Thanksgiving Dinner for lunch. It was pretty good but probably not as good as what the rest of you had. Then we put together first aids kits which the church will send out when people need them. I think there was a total of 8,000 kits made. Later that night there was a talent show and missionaries had the chance to say what their grateful for and bear their testimony.

On Friday my district and I went to the Referral Center where I called potential investigators to confirm if they had recieved materials they had ordered from the church and ask if they had any questions. Only two people answered my calls and they hung up on me and I got anwering machines on the rest of them. So I got a little bit of a cold on Saturday and I felt like ill all day long but it's pretty much gone now.

On Sunday for lunch they had chicken cordon bleu and it was amazing! I had three servings cause it was so amazing! Sunday night a leader from the missionary department talked to us and after that we watched the new Joseph Smith movie. It was very good! So this week was a pretty good week.

The Spanish is coming along pretty good but it's going to get better. I love you all and you better all stay safe! Hope I get lots more letters cause I think I've gotten the most letters and packages out of my District! Haha! Well again I love you all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

MTC: Week #1

Hello Everyone,

I must type fast cause I have 25 minutes left to do this. Mom I will answer all of your questions in this letter. First my companion's name is Elder Travis Duncan. He is from San Diego California and he is going to Costa Rica also. He is pretty cool! I have 10 Elders in my district and no Sisters. Elder Holbrook, he is the district leader,Elder Lafrance, Elder Sangster, Elder Romney, Elder Whitier, Elder Bever, Elder Johnson, and Elder Brazington.

Elder Holbrook, Lafance and Bever are going to El Salvador and the rest of us are going to Costa Rica. My teachers are awesome. They are Hermano Ames and Hermana Shiley. Hermano Ames served in Carlsbad California and knows Chris Mortenson.
The food is good. I definately over hyped it. Surprisingly I don't eat that much. I don't go back for seconds. I still drink a lot of milk. Haha! Here is my average daily schedule:

6:30 Wake up
7:00 Personal Study
8:15 Breakfast
8:45 Companion Study and Class Instruction
1:00 Lunch
1:45 Class Instruction
6:00 Dinner
6:45 Gym
8:05 Class Instruction
9:00 Daily Planning
9:30 Get Ready for bed
10:30 Lights out

My P-Day is Monday and we go to the temple around 9:00. Today I did an endowment session and it was awesome!

The First 2 days of the MTC were horrible. Being in a new enviornment, being with someone new all day, being in class all day, and missing all of you really made it hard. But from the third day on it has been a lot easier and....FUN!!!

I will get my vaccinations when they send me a notice. I dont know when that will be though.

On the first day here the MTC presidents spoke to us. And then Sunday Night Stephen B. Allen who is the mamaging director of the Missionary Dept. spoke to us. It was a good fireside and then after we got to watch Legacy. I was excited when I learned we got to watch movies on sunday night. Haha!

I love you all and please stay safe!

Elder Smith

Thursday, November 19, 2009

MTC--Here I Come!

November 17th at 9:30 p.m., Anthony was set apart by President Mike Strong as a missionary. The next day, November 18th, Dad gave Anthony a father's blessing and we sang the Barney song, "I Love You, You Love Me, We're a Happy Family...". We drove to Provo and took some family photos as the Provo Temple and then went to Grandpa and Grandma Kohkonen's home to visit with family for a couple of hours. At 1:10 p.m., everyone said a final "good-bye" to Anthony and then we drove him to the MTC. Tons of missionaries were outside waiting for new arrivals. We were told to find number 24 along the curb--found it and there was an Elder waiting for Anthony. We hopped out, got his luggage all out of the van, gave hugs, and he was off to begin the best two years!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bye Bye Lacrosse Buddies

Trevor Rix, Chad Clay, Riley Brown, Austin Parker, Anthony Smith, Braden Bednar, Alex Watanawekin

Farewell on November 15, 2009

Anthony's mission farewell was November 15th. Sacrament Meeting went as follows:
  • Welcome: Bishop Tim Bangerter
  • Presiding: President Shane Smoot
  • Opening Hymn: Redeemer of Israel (Nick played the organ today--COOL!)
  • Sacrament Hymn: Jesus, Once of Humble Birth
  • Youth Speakers: Lisha Mortensen and Bradon Bangerter
  • Musical Number: "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" -- Marilyn Anderson played a violin solo accompanied by Tamara Kirkham
  • Farewell Speech: Anthony Smith
  • Closing Hymn: Hark All Ye Nations
Family Gathering at our home; Visitors included: Grandpa & Grandma Kohkonen, Aunt Pauliina's Family, Aunt Lani's Family, Grandpa Smith, Uncle Rob's Family, Aunt Coleen's Family, Uncle Bruce, Anthony's Lacrosse Buddies and School Friends, Ward Members, the Bishop's Family, and Family Friends--the Seljaas and Rosemann Families. Great-Grandma Kohkonen and Aunt Carol & Uncle Craig were unable to attend due to sickness.

Family History Moment: During the sacrament meeting today, Grandpa and Grandma Kohkonen recognized Sister Anderson when she began to play the violin solo, "I Know that My Redeemer Lives.". Sister Anderson's husband was the mission president in Finland several years ago when Great-Grandpa and Grandma Kohkonen were serving a labor mission in Finland. In Great-Grandma's history, she records that after one of the chapels in Finland had been constructed, they held a special dedication meeting and Sister Anderson played a violin solo, "I Know that My Redeemer Lives"! Larry and Kim were unaware of this connection. Larry asked Sister Anderson to perform during a sacrament meeting and it fortunately worked out that she was available on this day. What an awesome memory for Anthony and family!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mission President Welcome

Dear Elder Smith,

Welcome! We are happy to hear that you were called to serve with us here in the Costa Rica San Jose Mission and feel lucky to have the chance to serve with you. We are grateful for your efforts to keep yourself worthy and for your willingness to join with us in this beautiful work. We are anxiously awaiting your arrival, so that we can meet you and begin your mission service. Our missionaries are young, happy, and successful because they strive to be humble, obedient, lose themselves in blessing the lives of their investigators, and because they constantly try to be diligent and apply what our Savior taught us in their own lives. If you put your faith into practice by hard and sincere work, I can promise you that you will see miracles and find and discover joy and satisfaction that you have never yet experienced. In this way the Lord will bless your life and the lives of many other people that he has and is preparing to listen and receives the message of the Restoration of His gospel in these latter days. When you arrive here in Costa Rica, after your service in the MTC, we will have the opportunity to give you more specific instructions concerning the records, finances, correspondences, immigration points and resolve any other questions or concerns that you might have, so that nothing will interrupt or interfere as you begin your time as a servant and instrument in the hands of our Lord.


Sam M. Galvez
Mission President