Saturday, December 29, 2012

"I think I have become an official missionary..."


Dear Family,
            I think I have become an official missionary.  I did my laundry and didn’t ruin my clothes and I sewed a little hole in the pocket of my pants.  And I did it, probably not very good (at all)…but I did it!  Sorry my email didn’t work out, we only have 30 minutes and it goes by so fast.  But I will write a note for each person:

            Thanks for the note!  It has been really fun so far.  I’ve tried not to eat too much, haha.  There is so much food, so I could, but I don’t want to get chubby.  And yeah, you can write me a lot and I will write you back.  I hope Christmas was fun!  I missed being with you guys.  I’ve made a lot of friends so far.  I love you!

            Sup.  Yeah, write me whenever you want.  Hope things are going good.  It was cool hearing about your soccer game.  You have a good break and write me soon!  Love you bro.

            Thanks homeboy.  I’ve really learned so much so far, and it has been really helpful.  I sang in the choir and I didn’t look at the big screen.  Tell Olive [their dog] hi!  Thanks for the help.

Olive chasing a Great Dane up Rock Canyon (about a half mile from the MTC) on the day Devin wrote this letter...
            Thank you so much for the letter.  I needed it.  You have been such a good example to me and have helped me so much for my mission.  I know you said you do your own thing with the Gospel.  But you do the RIGHT thing.  You live the Gospel in all that you do.  You are so humble and loving and share the Gospel by example.  I want to be like you when I share the Gospel.  I will write more later!  Love you Heck Shrub [Devin’s nickname for Haley].

Mom and Dad:
            First of all, thanks so much for your letters.  That is so cool about Kevin’s (Urquhart) call.  I’ll need to write him soon.  I have loved hearing that you guys are trying to live like a missionary in your schedule.  It just makes me so happy cause I imagine you doing it with me.  Thanks so much for those quotes.  [Funny things the Haley, Devin, and Taylor said when little.]  It makes me so happy to read those and think of how much I love you guys.  We do keep really busy.  But it is good and I learn a ton.  My testimony has grown since I have been here.  Especially for the love Christ has for all of us.  And I have seen Elder Poulous and Elder Egbert (I still have trouble remembering to call them that.)  And it is like a long lost reunion everytime we see each other.  My hand shake and hug skills are being pushed to their limits and the awkwardness is low.  Your talk was awesome Dad!  You really are an amazing bishop and you serve with complete Christlike charity.   And mom, I loved working with you too while getting ready.  I miss you guys, but I have recognized how blessed I am to have a family like you.  SO BLESSED!!!  I hope Christmas was fun and relaxing.  I love you and love hearing from you.  Talk to you later yo! 


Elder Soper

Still waiting on some photos from Devin, so for now, here's a picture of Elder Soper's sisters (Haley and Emma) and mom up Rock Canyon...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Elder Soper's 1st Preparation Day in the MTC...

Hello Family,

...I got both of your packages. I waited to open the first one until Christmas Eve. But I wish I opened it earlier cause I wish I had those letters earlier...poop. I got them though and I loved reading them. And I got your other package too and I got a package from Stan and Gwen. So I made my own little Christmas and reenacted the Mr. Bean scene where he creates his own Christmas but makes it seem like a total surprise. So I woke up and saw my presents and yelled "Santa came Elders!" It wasn't exactly like Christmas, but it was a good day. To be honest it really didn't feel like Christmas at all. It was fun and we got to relax most of the day, but other than that it didn't seem super special. But like I said it was a very spiritual Christmas and I will always remember that. So maybe it was a good thing that it was different, cause I focused on different things. But we watched a Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve and the lady that played the fist spirit had hair just like David Bowie in the Labyrinth. I took a picture so you will get to see it when I send you them. And yesterday evening we watched "A Wonderful Life" and that was a really good movie. I had never seen it before, but I really enjoyed it. So overall Christmas was good and I think the biggest difference is I just didn't get to spend it with you guys. But one of the Elders in my district pointed out, we only have one more Christmas in the field. I can already sense that things are going to fly by.

My companion is a good guy. He looks like he is probably 20 years old, but he is one of the first 18 year old missionaries to come to the MTC. So I am affected by the new missionary age. He can be pretty funny and I couldn't have hoped for a better companion. (If you watch the district 2, Elder Moreno and Elder Christiansen's relationship is almost exatcly the same as ours.) He is really excited to be here, he loves the Gospel and he is a really spiritual guy. I have been pretty quiet since I have been here and he is very energetic so it has worked out well. Also when we teach he feels and receives inspiration from the spirit at a fast pace and I have to slow down and think about it and feel it through silence or I just say weird rambling stuff.  So it has been good having him as a companion and we balance each other out.. He is kind of like Hunter, but a lot more silly and opinionated. The other Elders in my district are really cool too. Most of them are going to Billings. We also have a few sisters in our district as well. And one of them is...SISTER WARD. What the what. But the sisters keep us on our toes and they are much more mature than we are haha.

Thank you for all of the letters, I loved reading all of them...multiple times. I really like hearing what is going on back home and Dad you can keep the highlights coming. It can be a nice break at night to just read over what we loved doing together and just unwind. I don't have a ton of time, but I will respond best I can. I hope you guys are doing okay and it makes me feel so good to hear from you. I was pretty sad to say goodbye to you guys and I haven't thought about it too much, but I don't think I have accepted that fact yet. I just realized I only have 5 more minutes!! Ah poop. But I really couldn't be in a happier place. It just really feels right. They put us right into working and that has been good, because I have learned so much. And I wish I had more time so  I could share all the experiences I have had. But ask questions about stuff and I wil answer. I can't really think of anything to tell you... Remind me to tell you about Heather. Oh yeah Mom that coat has been a lifesaver. The blankets that they gave us are like paper and so I have been using it as and extra blanket. It's been good. I don't think I have gained weight yet so that is good. And more and more I realize that this mission is not about me at all, it is about the investigator. I feel pretty inadequate at times, but it doesn't matter how good or bad of a teacher I am as long as I am thinking about the people in all that I do. That is what Christ would do and we are his representatives and so that is how we need to act. I am out of time, maybe I will write you guys a real letter. I love you so much. 20 seconds. I am praying for you


Elder Soper