Friday, April 29, 2011

Missionaries at the MTC

April 29, 2011- Final Letter from the MTC

Hola Familia! 
I seriously cannot believe that I'm in my final week at the MTC. Time has just been going by so quickly. It hit me yesterday that I'm going to be leaving for Florida on Tuesday. I was filled with worries and thoughts of inadequacy but luckily our district got to have a meeting with President Shumway where he talked to all of us about his mission and what we need to do to prepare to leave. During the meeting he was sharing experiences of his mission and what he learned from all of it. During the meeting all of the feelings of fear and worrying disappeared. It was a great experience where the spirit testified to me that everything would be alright. Luckily I have a little time today to write home. 
Today instead of my P-Day I get to attend the "In-Field Orientation." So that is comprised of about 10, one hour meetings... Ohh well. I'm learning a lot and through it, it makes me even more excited for Florida. My P-Day this week will be tomorrow when I can do my laundry and what not. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend the temple. So I might not be able to go to a temple for a couple years. I encourage you all to attend as much as you can. 
This week has been a very great week. First of all it started with being able to celebrate the Atonement but especially the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which was the third major part of the Atonement. Every Sunday night we have a devotional where someone comes to speak to all of the Missionaries. Surprisingly the speaker didn't speak about Easter. I was pretty bummed out to say the least. But he did speak a lot about Missionary Work which was very good but I would have liked to hear more about Easter. 
However, every Sunday we have what is called a District Meeting. This is where all of our district has a meeting and a discussion about an assigned topic. We decided to change the topic to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Brother Wilkins (who is in the Branch Presidency) attended our meeting. The spirit in the room was so strong when we each testified of the Savior and the blessings that we have received because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was a great Easter Sunday. Thank you for your package that you gave me with all of the treats and everything. I haven't really eaten much of it. I still have so many treats from other packages that you've sent me. I love you! 
Ohh ya Sister Cook! On Sunday during Music and the Spoken Word, I was sitting in the bleachers and I looked down on the stage and I saw this woman walk in the room. At first I immediately thought, "That's Mary Cook!" I wasn't sure though since it was so far away. I was thinking, how can I know if it's her without going up there. Right as I thought that the people on the computer I guess accidentally put up who was going to speak during Relief Society on the screen and sure enough it said, "Sister Mary N. Cook." I thought it was funny. I went up to the stage right afterwards and she was talking to someone. She glanced over to me and completely stopped talking to the other person. I didn't want to interrupt her but she came right over to me. She said, "This is my boy!" It was funny! So not only am I "Boy" to Mary P, I'm "Boy" to Mary Cook. :) It was great to talk to her and her from her. Unfortunately I didn't get to hear her speak since I'm not a Sister Missionary. Ohh well I'm sure it was fantastic! I will make sure to thank both her and Richard for the generous gift that they gave me.
Another thing that happened this week is that the speaker at the devotional this week was Elder Oaks. We got to hear from two apostles in a row! He spoke about different ways to attain the spirit and how important the Spirit is in teaching. It was a great talk and I absolutely loved it! I was able to sing in the choir again and we sang a song that I had never heard of before. I can't remember it right now but it was a little strange. It brought the Spirit though and that's all that matters. It's been a busy week getting things ready to leave and doing all that we can while we're still at the MTC. 
Well about my memory card. I have no idea why the card cannot be read. I know I sent home the right one. Luckily I printed off all of the pictures here at the MTC so if we can't get the pictures off of the card I've printed off all of the pictures that I've taken. Hopefully we can get it figured out though... I'll send home the iPod today if I have any time. If not I'll get it sent home tomorrow. 
I wish I had more time to write home but next time I email you, I'll be in Florida! I'll try and find time to call home on the day that I leave, but if there isn't time at the airport I'm sure they'll let me in Florida. I love you all so much! Please pray for me as I make the transition into the mission field. I know it's going to a hard transition and I need all the prayers that I can get! I love you all so very much and I know that this is the Lord's work! I'm so blessed to be a missionary. It truly is a privilege! I love you!
-Elder Fullmer

Friday, April 22, 2011

April 22, 2011- An Amazing week at the MTC

Hello Family!

Well this week has been an amazing, spectacular week! I love being a missionary. Last week the zone above us left and now we are the oldest district in our zone. Last Sunday President Shumway, our Branch President called me and my companions into a room where he called us to be zone leaders. Of course we accepted and it's been a very good experience for all of us. He said in the interview that he's been feeling like we're supposed to be zone leaders for a long time. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have a leadership position and to be the one to help those who need some help and to be the example to others. I never thought that I'd be a zone leader in the MTC. It just seems like yesterday that I came here. It's a real humbling experience having responsibility over a zone. No one person is more important than another.

Another very exciting thing that happened was that on Tuesday night we had the opportunity to listen to Elder Richard G. Scott come and talk to us during the devotional. He talked about how important the spirit is. In the devotional he asked all of the missionaries who are learning another language to raise their hands. He talked about how important the gift of tongues is. He said, "As a member of the 12 apostles, I confer upon all of you the gift of the gift of tongues. You still need to work hard, but it will be an amazing blessing to you." He also said while bearing his testimony that he doesn't believe Jesus Christ has a resurrected, perfected body. He knows that He does. He also said that he doesn't believe Jesus Christ Atoned for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, he knows He did. He also said, "You will forget many of the things that I've talked about tonight, but remember this. An Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ knows the church is true and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know Jesus Christ lives with every fiber of my being!" It was such an amazing powerful devotional.

I was able to sing at the devotional again and the spirit was incredible. We sang There is Sunshine in My Soul. I didn't really like the arrangement but it definitely brought the spirit. Also this week we got a new district in our zone! We got the opportunity to teach them, as zone leaders, about Companionship Inventory. Stephen can tell you about what it is.

I remember when we got here and when the zone leaders taught us and how they didn't get us involved in the teaching. We never really had a bond with the zone leaders. We wanted to make sure that didn't happen and that they know they can come to us for anything. I'm pleased to say that it was a success! It went really well and I feel like I already know them very well. It's great to have more missionaries in our zone!

Yesterday was a great day! I got my travel plans!!! So here's what they say. I'm leaving on May 3rd. I'm flying with American Airlines on flight 416 to Dallas/Ft Worth. My flight leaves SLC at 6:00 AM and arrives in DFW at 9:40 AM. My connecting flight (AA flight 1494) leaves DFW at 10:25 AM and arrives in Ft Lauderdale at 2:05 PM. It's too bad that I don't have a long layover that I have time to call home. I will get to call when I get to Florida though. I might have time before I leave SLC but I just don't know. It would be an early call. It's very exciting news. It's been a very busy week. We'll see what happens.

I haven't heard anything about President Hale. Just that he's doing well. I'm not sure when Ryan Reese's farewell is but if I find out I'll let you know. Ohh Spring Break huh? I'm sure Sam's loving it! I can't believe about what happened with the chill night. That's pretty crazy! I'm glad that I won't be down in Florida for Spring Break. But I will next year and I'm sure that I won't be tracting much during that time.

I can't believe Elder Klc is already coming home! That's crazy!
I'm so excited for Easter on Sunday! I'm kind of disappointed that I won't be with the family for the Easter egg hunt but i know this is going to be the most spiritual Easter that I've every had. I don't know if they'll have funeral potatoes but if they do I guarantee they will not be as good as yours mom!

I'm sure Sam and Stephen are so excited (along with both of you Mom and Dad) to be starting HCG again! Maybe I should start doing that. I've put on a few pounds here at the MTC but hopefully when I get down to Florida, I'll sweat it off.

Well other than all of this that I've told you, I don't thing I have anything else to say except that I love you all. I know that the church is true! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that He performed the Atonement! I know that on that Friday so many years ago, He gave up his life for us so that we could become clean from our sins. I know that he suffered and paid for all of our sins, transgressions and every negative aspect of life. I know that He knows us perfectly because of it. He made a perfect Atonement and that no one else could have done what He did for us. There is a talk by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin where he talked about the Atonement. In the talk he said, "No matter how dark our Fridays, Sunday will come!" I know that Jesus Christ rose again on that Sunday! He is a perfect Savior and our Perfect Brother! I know that La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias is the Church of Jesus Crist! I Love you all so much!

-Elder David Fullmer

Friday, April 15, 2011

April 15, 2011 Semana 7

Hola Familia!
So I'm in my 7th week on my mission. Time is flying! I can't believe it's P-day already again. Everything is going well.
This past week at the MTC we got the opportunity to hear from Elder Ronald A Rasband from the Presidency of the Seventy on Tuesday night. It was a great experience. He talked about how to receive the Spirit by 
1. Bridling our passions. 
2. Garnishing our thoughts. And 
3. Praying for the Spirit. 
It was a really great talk that was given. I have a feeling that we're going to get an apostle this week... I'm crossing my fingers. This week at the devotional I decided to try out the MTC choir. We had a practice on Sunday and I got to sing next to Elder Tony Anderson. It was great to be able to sing next to him again. I hadn't sung next to him since Madrigals. We sang How Great Thou Art. It was an incredible arrangement and I loved it. I remember once when Dad said that it's his favorite hymn. I think you would have enjoyed it. 
This past week I also got to host new missionaries! It was great! It made me realize how much I've grown in the past 6 weeks. My testimony has grown and my spririt has grown as well! I hosted someone from Austraillia and he knows the Scruggs! We talked about them along with rugby! It was fantastic! I didn't see Adam Watchman while I was hosting but I walked past him and said Hi the next morning! 
Thanks for telling me about the temple status is Florida. It's exciting to hear about. The news that I've heard about President Hales is that he's doing really well. He's in recovery and they're still testing the tumor to see if it's cancerous and to see if it's completely removed. He says that he's in a lot of pain but he's doing well.
Thank you so much for the package that I received this past week! It was full of goodies! I absolutely loved it! Thanks for the old man smelling body wash Sam :) Just kidding! It's great! Well I have 2 pairs of athletic socks which I use for gym. They're working fine for now but if you could send a couple more, not necessarily right away, it would be great! An ipod with the conference talks would be fantastic! We're not allowed to listen to music at the MTC but in Florida I'll most likely be able to. So whatever would be easiest is just great!
That's so great to hear about so many inactive members coming back to our ward! With so many trials in the lives of people now, I think they realize the importance of the church. It's essential to have your own testimony in these times. It's going to be harder and harder to be a member everyday but with a strong testimony we realize why this church is true! With the opposition it opens our eyes to the truth and we know it through the power of the Holy Ghost! In D&C 42:14 it talks about the importance of the Spirit while we teach. It says, "Without the Spirit ye shall not teach." It's straight forward. If you don't have the Spirit, you won't be able to teach. I need to pray everyday, multiple times a day, to have the Spirit teach the investigators and to teach me. We hardly do anything. Without the Spirit testifying of the truth, Missionaries are just saying words. It's essential to have the Spirit with you Always! 
The language is coming along. It's difficult, not gunna lie, but it makes more sence everyday. Teaching in Spanish is hard because we're not supposed to say memorized phrases. However if we focus on teaching to the needs of the investigator instead of focusing on the what we're going to say in Spanish, the Spirit helps you so much more. I need to constantly remind myself that I'm here for others. When I do that the Spirit helps me teach.
I can't believe that we only have about 2 more weeks left in the MTC. The group above us is going to leave to Mexico on Monday so we'll be the most senior group in our zone. It's weird to think about but it's exciting to know that in a few short weeks we'll be out in the field teaching those who need to know the truth. I keep forgetting to get pictures developed but this week for sure I'm going to get some to you so you can see who I've been living with for the past 6 weeks.
Oh, the tax form! Ya I sent it already. I think I got the package on Monday? I can't remember but I mailed it the next day. So we're good! Thanks for doing my taxes for me Dad! 
I got a letter from Ryan Reese just saying how excited he is to be going on his mission soon. He asked for some advice. It's great to be on this end of the letter. I've only been out 6 weeks but I've learned and grown so much! I'm so excited for him so he can feel the spirit so strongly. This is definitely the place I'm supposed to go. Also i know that Florida is the mission i'm supposed to go to. Everyday I feel this feeling that it's right and no where else would be right for me. I'm not even there yet but I love my mission! Te amo mucho! Yo se que El evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero y mi familia es muy muy bien!
Con amor, Elder David Fullmer

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 8, 2011 6th week letters

Hola Familia!
Only a few more weeks until the warm sunny Florida! It's snowing here right now and it just might be the last snow I see for 2 years. It's weird to think about. 

This week has been an incredible week. It's gone by so fast so it's been good. General Conference was incredible! I took 36 pages of notes! President Shumway, my Branch President, told me about what Elder Scott said a few years ago. He said to study your notes from conference, ponder, and pray to ask if there's anything else that He wants to you know. Write down what comes to your mind. Then, ponder and then pray and ask if there is anything else He wants you to know. Continue until you don't receive any more revelation. Elder Scott said that every time you ask, the revelation got progressively better every time he asked. I invite you all to do this.

I really enjoyed President Packer's talk about not taking offense with others. I think it was in response to his last conference address. Many people this conference talked about pain and overcoming challenges and also talked about hard times to come. Elder Nelson spoke about death and also about dark times to come. He said, "We need to have unfailing faith for the dark days to come." I remember that someone talked about how it will always be unpopular to be a Mormon and how it will continue to be harder to live the doctrines of the Gospel. I also really enjoyed President Uchtdorf's talk in Priesthood Session. It was really good. 

My favorite talk however was given my Elder Scott. Most of his talk didn't apply to me because I'm not looking for my wife right now, but I just loved how he talked about the importance of a family. I loved when he talked about playing with his kids when his wife told him to stop fixing the washer machine. It made me think of you Dad and how many memories I have with you. Elder Scott is an incredible man and the respect and love that he had and still has for his wife is incredible. Both of you, Mom and Dad, have respect and love for one another which lets me know how much I'm loved by both of you. 

Last Sunday we had a fireside as well where Vai Sikahema came and talked about the joys of missionary work. He worked for NBC in Philadelphia and said that he organized a "Mormon day" at a Philly's game. He had the missionaries come and sing the national anthem. The Philly's were playing the Cubs and Sammy Sosa was playing. Usually while the National Anthem is being performed the players go into the locker room but for some reason Sammy decided to stay. Afterwards he went up to all of the missionaries and shook their hands. Vai went up to him afterwards and asked why he said to listen and he said, "When I was in the Dominican Republic, I used to play baseball with Mormon Missionaries. I love them!" We never know who is watching us and how we influence others. It was a great fireside!

Afterwards we got to watch the program about the MTC. It wasn't that interesting, not gunna lie. Mostly because I'm living it. Ha ha. But it was fun to see people in my zone in the video. I'm in it too for like 2 seconds when the missionaries are singing "Called to Serve." If you didn't notice me I forgive you... Ha ha.

Apparently President Hale has a tumor on his spinal cord and he was in Salt Lake for surgery on Thursday. He's in our prayers and I hope everything went well. It was interesting though. Yesterday we were walking to class and we saw this man and woman holding hands. One of my companions said, "That looks like President Anderson! (Our future mission president)." We didn't go up to him then but we saw him again at lunch and i said, "I'm going to go talk to him." So my companions and I went up to him and sure enough it was him. We talked and him and his wife couldn't stop talking about how excited they are to be the mission president. He said, "So when I get down there, you'll have been there for about a month and a half so you'll be experts!" He was very nice and funny! I'm excited to have him as my President. It'll be great!

Thank you so much for the package that you sent me! It made my week! Everything in it is awesome and I love it! I tried on the shirts and I'm pretty sure that they'll be perfect! Thanks for getting those! If you wouldn't mind sending me some face wash, body wash and hair stuff I'd be very happy! Other than that I don't think there's anything. Pictures are always nice! I loved the pictures that you sent of the wedding! Everything looks like it went beautifully! I love the cut out. The body is George Bush isn't it? Ha ha.

Well I've got like two minutes left so i got to go quick! I know that this Gospel is true and that everyone needs to hear and learn from it. You all are amazing and I love you so very much! Keep me in you prayers and keep writing me! You know that I'll write you back! I love you!
-Elder David Fullmer

Letter to Stephen sent to Stephen on April 8th 
Dear Stephen,
Thanks for writing me last week! Especially for the DearElder. It was nice to get! That’s funny to hear about the cats and the ants! I miss those two. Have they grown a lot? It’s pretty funny how Emmy woke you up. I remember when Shadow would do that to me. I loved General Conference. You suggested that I bring a few piece of paper? Well, I took 36 pages of notes! Ha Ha So, pretty much I have their whole talks written out. It was fantastic.
I emailed home about what my branch President said to do with your conference notes. I invite you to read it and do it. I haven’t found much time to do it but, I’ll slowly get through it. I know that we will learn a lot if we do.
I met my new mission President down here and he’s awesome! He’s so excited to get down there. He’s here to learn some Spanish just so he’ll be ready for Florida.  I agree! I can’t wait to get down there. We were teaching one of our progressing investigators and we did it in Spanish. Usually when we teach in Spanish its memorized phrases, However; I was saying what I wanted. It wasn’t perfect but I’m getting there.
There is still a ton that I don’t know but it will come with practice and with time. I hope you have a great week and everything goes well for you! I love ya lots! Keep me informed about what’s going on at home! The church is true and I know the Spirit is the most important tool in missionary work. It’s incredible what can be done when you are in tune with the spirit.   

-Elder David Fullmer  

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011 - Week 5 at the MTC

Hola Familia!

Well I've decided that a mission just isn't for me and I'm coming home tomorrow... APRIL FOOLS!!! I can't believe that I'm already in my 5th week at the MTC! Time is flying! Well... Sometimes it is. Usually the days feel super long and I'm completely exhausted by the end of the day but then you realize, the week's already over? Wow! Life is good! 
I got a letter from Elder McKean yesterday and it was great to hear from him. He's so happy to be a missionary and is loving life. He said that he's never been so tired in his life but he also has never been so happy. It's hard to realize that in less than 5 weeks I'll be taking my talents to the South Beach. My companions any I have a goal to learn that phrase in Spanish and say it right before we leave! But everything is going well. Everyday is difficult but in the end it's very good! 
My companions are so great! I think that our strongest aspect is our teaching ablility. Whenever we teach we teach by the spirit and it's remarkable! Usually trios have a hard time teaching because usually one person ends up teaching the entire time but for us we've worked through that and go off of the Spirit. It's really amazing! I feel bad for Sam that he doesn't have much going on. It must be pretty boring at home I have to say... What are you guys doing?
Letter received in the mail  to Stephen and Sam dated April 1, 2011
I'm glad to hear that everything went well with the wedding and with the honeymoon. I got a postcard from Whitney and Marc from when they were in Vegas. It made me think of when we were in Vegas trying to find a post office and everyone was stressed out over the taxes. Good times! That's funny to hear about the cats and the ceiling fan. They've really gotten bigger I guess.
It was nice to hear about ward conference and the importance of the Holy Ghost. While at the MTC I've really learned a lot about the Holy Spirit and the importance that it has in our lives. In 3 Nephi it talks about when Jesus Christ came to the Americas and Christ asked what the people want Him to bless them with and they requested that they have His Holy Ghost. It's remarkable that what they desired was to have His spirit with them always. I've definitely taken the Holy Ghost for granted. I'm so grateful for the gift that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with. Learning a new language in such a short amount of time is only possible through the power of the Holy Ghost. Being taught by the Spirit is so effective and is the only way for things to happen. "Through the Power of the Holy Ghost, you can have a knowledge of all things." I know this to be true.
In a letter from President Hale today he said about our mission in Florida, "Elder Anthony Burns, a resident of South Florida for 35 years and member of the Seventy recently said of South Florida, “Never has there been a greater, more comprehensive missionary movement than what we have today.” This is really exciting to hear about. He wrote that last month there were about, I'm not sure of the exact number, but close to 60 or so people were baptized. Baptism is so important to the plan that the Father has for us.
Today in the temple, my companions and I decided to participate in sealings. It was incredible. It reminded me of when we went as a family and how memorable that moment is to me. I thought of Whitney and Marc the entire time and how amazing and how blessed they are to be sealed together for time and all eternity. I'm so happy for them to be starting a future together.
This past week one of the Elders in my district received his patriarchal blessing. It reminded me of mine and i decided to read it. I've read it a few times while I've been here and it's really strengthens me whenever I read it. I learn something every time that i read it and it truly is scripture directed to me personally. I feel of His love for me and why I'm doing what I'm doing. I encourage you all to read your blessings this week. They're very important gifts given to you from God.
I'm so excited for General Conference tomorrow! It's a special thing to be able to listen to the words of living day prophets. One of our favorite things to do as a district is to watch conference talks on the computer in our room. They are inspired men and the words that they say are directed to us and we are expected to listen. So try really hard and pray to learn things that will help you throughout your day. I know that whatever you are searching for, it will be answered if you listen and pray about the words that these men will say.
I really wish I had more time to write each week. Like usual I'll probably send a hand written letter today just to secure my award for best letter writer in the family!
I love you all so very much! I know that we are strengthened by me going on a mission. I've never felt closer to my family then when I've been on my mission. The family is so important to God and you are a remarkable strength to me everyday that I'm here. I love you all so very much! Thanks for all your prayers and support!
-Elder David Fullmer

Now that I'm gone what have you guys been doing? ha ha. How are you guys? I miss ya. Thanks for the letter Steve. I am glad that you and Amy are doing well. And Sam, thanks for writing me back.. not! Just kidding. I know you were both pretty busy during the wedding and everything.  How is it having Whitney being gone? It's probably pretty different. I am so excited for General Conference tomorrow. You'll get this letter afterwards but I'm still excited for it. When the Conference edition of the Ensign comes out will you guys send me a copy? Actually, could you also send a conference Liahona in Spanish, too? That would be awesome.

Another week is gone in the MTC! I can't believe it's going by so fast. Sometimes though I wish it would go by faster. Last Wednesday my district decided to ai todas hablo en espanol day. We couldn't speak any English. It was difficult sometimes because I still can't say what I really want, most of the time. It was really cool though because I realized how much Spanish I could actually say. We're going to do it every Wednesday and during the last week, were going to speak completely in Spanish for the whole week. It will be hard but it will be worth it and it will help a lot. 
I love you guys! Please write back! God be with you! Para siempre Dios este con vos! I love you guys. 

Elder David Brian Fullmer