Sunday, April 28, 2019

Saying Goodbye to Winson and Reverend Doctor Andrew Teal.

Chance and Winson
This is one of Chance's best friends. They met each other in junior high and have been basically inseparable since. They both played on the varsity soccer team at school,  spent weekends hanging out  and went on several group dates with both girls they had asked out , and girls who asked them out. They were also pall bearers when their beloved soccer coach and mentor died suddenly during their senior year of high school. 
They are like brothers. 
Our family loves Winson. He is part of the family.

They entered the MTC about 3 weeks apart with Winson studying Vietnamese while Chance studied Mandarin. 
This week Winson left the MTC and entered what is known as the "mission field," which is the area a missionary is serving in. Chance will leave for the field, or England in a little over two weeks.
Chance said goodbye to Winson and they will not see each other for roughly 
22 more months. Their experiences will be similar in some ways
and different in others since they are serving in different areas of the world.
They will go on this mission journey together just as they have 
navigated life together for the past 7 years.

Getting outside for some Ultimate Frisbee
 Here is a snippet from Chance's weekly email this week. To clarify a few things for understanding, I have put in some links for more information.
Our church has 12 apostles just as  when Jesus Christ was on the earth and one of them is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Chance refers to him in his email.

," I was approached by a gentleman in charge of Operations at the MTC during lunch a week from this past Friday. And he talked with me and another Elder in my zone who is also going to England. He was talking about how Elder Holland had been invited to Oxford a little ways back bysetrjj Reverend Doctor Andrew Teal. This Reverend is a doctor at Oxford and wanted Elder Holland to speak at a conference there. Well fast forward to now, Elder Holland invited the Reverend to come watch General Conference.
So he came to Utah and he found out about the Missionary Training Center and wanted to meet the missionaries that were going to England. There was me and a few other elders and  we got the chance to show him how we are taught in class and he met each of us personally and he had such encouraging words for one of us individually. He is an amazing man and then he shared with us that he was super glad and grateful that we were gonna be sharing the great message of Jesus Christ to his people in England. He was such an amazing person! We all got a picture with him. 
This past Saturday was pretty warm so I decided to tell my district that we were gonna play ultimate Frisbee outside on a small field that is on the MTC grounds. We started playing and then the Frisbee smacked the side of a concrete wall so we broke it, however, I had my mini soccer ball, and because of Mr. Gilbert from high school always playing ultimate ball with us, we decided to do ultimate Frisbee but with a ball and it worked perfectly. (Thanks Mr. Gilbert!) It was so fun and it was so nice to play sports outside and to actually be running around instead of just staying in the gym. 

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that he suffered for my sins. I know that he knows everything that each of us is going through and he knows how to help each one of us, all we need to do is reach out to him, and pour out our whole souls to him. I promise if you reach out to him, and seek forgiveness, he will remember your sins no more. 
I love you all and I'm grateful for everything y'all have done for me!"

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Chance Sees Signs of Life

Chance told us that we don't understand how much he misses
holding animals in the MTC when he saw pictures
of our new chicks.
He has always been a hands on animal lover.

That is why having a duck drop by for a visit at the MTC 
merited a mention from Chance.

Chance was delighted that a duck decided to visit the water feature and that 
he was around to see it.

In Chance' email home, he wrote about another life form he encountered this week:

 Here at the MTC it Is really hard to see bugs or birds other than ravens. So on Thursday, we decided that it was warm enough to go outside, and that's when a sister in my district saw the moth. Sister Thompson is terrified of bugs, and the moth was on the back of her chair. She would not come near that chair. So I picked up this moth and realized that it was not moving at all and was dead. So I lay it down in the grass. 
However, the moth looks like bark, so I decided I was gonna put it in with the bark that was around the tree right next to me. Well get this, I look over at it while we're in the middle of our lesson, and it's MOVING! I got soooooo excited! I was like no way and I picked it up and Sister Thompson of course,  got as far away from me as possible. Well I just let this moth play on me for the rest of the lesson. Well it was at this point that my companion was like, can you imagine if you could blow it out of your hands like Gandolf does in Lord of the Rings? So I did it, and the moth flew away and soared! As you can tell, I like bugs, and I was finally was able to hold a big here after 4 weeks! 

 My encounter with the moth made me think about how at times it may seem that we are spiritually dead, or don't have the ability to move. However, as we come to our Savior we can start moving again like the moth did among the bark. And just like how I was able to hold it and blow on it so it could fly and soar into the sky, the Savior does the same with us. He holds us in the cradle of his hands until we are ready, then he blows on us and we can fly and soar because of him.

It is good that Chance was able to get his animal/bug fix this week at the MTC.
Sometimes it is the little things that bring us the most joy. 

Monday, April 01, 2019

What Exactly Does Chance Do In The MTC?

We said our goodbyes and now Chance is living in the  Missionary Training Center or MTC and we
are left with his cowboy hat which is still hanging on the banister
where he always hung it when he would come home.

So what exactly is Chance doing in the MTC?
He starts his day by getting up early,
and he goes to classes
to study Mandarin.
He exercises,
reads his scriptures,
and studies.

As a missionary you have a companion that
is with you all of the time. 
In Chance's case, he has two companions
because there are only two other elders in his district.
Chance is now known as Elder Paxton.
Boys are called  Elders
and the girls are known as Sisters.
The missionaries are divided into districts
dependent upon the language they 
are learning. 
Sometimes, all of the missionaries in a district
are going to the same place.
Sometimes they are all going to different places
but learning the same language.
Chance is the only one going to England in his district.
The other missionaries in his district are learning Mandarin,
but going to Taiwan, Singapore and Australia.
There is a big map in the MTC where missionaries like to take 
pictures of themselves pointing
to the part of the world where they have been called to serve.
It is a tradition as a missionary to get a picture
of yourself pointing to this big map.
I took a picture in front of this map
and so did Chance's dad and brother.

Chance wears suits some days in the MTC, but mainly he wears dress slacks, 
a white shirt and tie. 
This will be his attire for the entirety of his mission.
Chance made sure to take some great ties with him because you know,
cool ties are important.