Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Austin - MTC - June 29, 2010

Oooh, what a grand week it has been. First of all I just want to say that you all could not have sent a better package. I loved it so much, holy cow. Especially I loved the photoalbum, seriously, I look at it every day, you can ask my companions. It was so nice because it was the first time I've been able to see ya'lls faces in two months. And the cookies and banana bread haha, very nice. They had a slightly odd consistancy but they were still soo good. And yes I found the watch but it's one segment to short for me, I think I brought the segments though so I think I'll do that in Milwaukee. The letter and the drawings and the business cards, so classy. Best package ever. So so so, the choir, I'm so glad for the opportunity to be in the choir here. You won't even believe it, the first day we sang for 7 apostles, literally 3 feet away from us. If I wanted to I could have reached back and touched the knee of Elder Scott, the first day we sang for Elders Anderson, Christofferson, Scott, Oaks, Holland, Bednar and President Eyring. The second day there were 7 apostles, we lost President Eyring and Elder Scott but picked up President Uchtdorf and Elder Nelson. On Saturday there were TEN of the apostles, only Packer and Perry were missing and the first presidency. And then the biggest honor of all: The choir was invited to sing for sacrament meeting for the mission presidents and the first presidency presided. Everyone was there but Packer and Hales. It was so incredible. They appreciated our service so much that they let us listen in on President Monson's talk to the mission presidents in another room! It was so so cool. And that's not mentioning that when we sang during the devotional (with 8 of the apostles there, don't remember which ones) I went behind the room to grab a drink and there was standing right in the way of the drinking fountain, I look up and see Elder Holland and his wife standing right there haha. I shook his hand and we made small talk and I grabbed my drink when I noticed that President Smith (the MTC president) was talking to Elder Oaks (who was going to speak at the devotional) so I decided to go over there and shake hands with President Smith and Elder Oaks. Decent. Then on the way out I bumped in to Elder Christofferson and I shook his hand too, no problem. Isn't that crazy?! Haha it has been such a crazy week. There are so many Elders that just hate the MTC and can't wait to leave but I love it here, and I'm not just talking about how cool it is to shake hands with apostles in the MTC. I really and going to miss the MTC, it's comfortable here, I learn a lot, I love the people here. But on that note, I got my travel plans! I'll be flying out at 7:10 AM on July 6th (I'll have to wake up at 4:00 AM to leave from the MTC) and arrive at 11:10 AM Chicago/O Hare, where we have a two hour layover until we fly to Milwaukee from O Hare at 1:25 PM, I arrive at Milwaukee at 2:10 PM. One more week! I'm excited to get to the airport because that means I can't proselyte! I'm kind of nervous, my whole companionship is but we recognized that we didn't just want to sit back and wait for our flight and think we don't have to do anything until Milwaukee. We'll be hitting the airport hard with pamphlets and pass-along cards and all sorts of love. We've been practicing "airport contacts" every day and it's been building our confidence but it's still going to be hard and nerve-racking. I don't know how other Elders plan on just talking to people in the airport without practicing, I assume they just won't do it. Oh, I also wanted to mention that besides singing in the same room as the General Authorities we were singing to the mission presidents. It was quite an experience, I would look down the rows, at each mission presidents face as I sang throughout the week and it was incredible to see the humility and love in their faces. They've all been beaten down this week, I'm sure it's been an incredible experience for them too. I'd love to look out and see the mission president wive's crying to our song and the mission Presidents nodding their head and singing along and even crying too. Truly a powerful experience. Also, we got to meet our mission president too! I love him! President Jones is an awesome man. He is so humble and hard hard working. I can't wait to work under him in Milwaukee. Pueees, I don't have much time, it's been a packed week and I've tried to touch on the main points. I appreciate all the letters and I love the letters on the World Cup they make me feel at home again (although I heard USA lost to Ghana....shoot). Root for the NEDs for me! Mucho Amor!

Elder Papritz

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