Letter #1

Elder Florence posing where the MTC sign usually is

Hello! First missionary email!

Alright!  I’ve been at the MTC now for six days and I’m getting along well enough.  In a fireside on Sunday, I learned about the cycle of new experience.  First comes the “Honeymoon” phase, followed by the “Hostile” phase.  Next the “Grin and Bear It” and then lastly the “Successfully Re-Adjusted” phase.  I think I’m somewhere in the “Grin and Bear It”.  Everything is very, very structured here at the MTC.  When they say your time is the Lord’s time they mean it, so I’m up doing some rigorously pre-planned lesson activity every day from 6:30am to 10:30pm pretty consistently.  My teacher are cool and make the lessons we are learning very enlightening.  Preach My Gospel is sooooo much cooler to use now that I’m in the field.  For those of you who are trying to study it now, you have to remember that everything you are studying in there is to make you better able to serve others and fulfill your missionary purpose (to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end).  Once you start applying the purpose, everything you do as a missionary becomes better and more meaningful and in a way, easier.

The lessons we are learning are great (if you want to know what just read PMG.  It’s all there) but the best is role playing.  We get to take turns with other missionaries teaching the lessons and pretending to be the investigators.  Theater really is a very effective teaching tool.  We can go a little overboard sometimes though. 

First Companion, Elder Appel

Elder Appel, my new companion, and I taught our best lesson yet to two sisters, “Cindy Loo”, and “Mary Loo” in Georgia over home made “appel” pie.  Every time Elder Appel and I taught something profound or clarified a doctrine they get excited and yell “Well Close the Door!  Preacher John never told us that!”  We learn alot every time we role play.

Elder Appel & Elder Florence

My companion Elder Appel (yes, it is pronounced like the fruit) is great, along with my whole district who I attend classes with.  Elder Appel is from Indianapolis, loves photography, punk rock and wants to be a professional hairstylist when he gets back from his mission. 

Elder Florence & Elder Appel

He also is a great servant of the Lord who is determined to be obedient and learn more about the gospel and we get along very well.

 

Emmett's District at the MTC

Emmett & Elder James

In our district we have four lovely Sisters, and eight interesting Elders.  Some folks to write home about are Elder Lyman, a friend of Chris Busby’s, and Elder James our district black guy.  He is 6’3″ and has a football scholarship to the U of U.  He is very exuberant and keeps things very fun.  He is also very thoughtful and spiritual and keeps us entertained with his fairly crazy stories from his life back home in Georgia.

The food is alot like the Canon Center back at Helaman Halls so I’m doing alright there too, but I am looking forward to getting into the field and preparing my own food.

My thirty minutes are up!

-Elder Florence

Emmett’s Departure August 17, 2010

Last Florence Family Portrait for 2 years

Emmett’s enthusiasm and excitement made it easier to say goodbye.

He flew to Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, August 17. Andrew Fletcher, his cousin, picked him up in SLC.  He spent the evening with Dado & Gamma at Georgianna in Lehi.  Emmett shared the talk he gave in church on Sunday with them and gathered some ancestral stories his mission president had requested each missionary bring.  Andrew dropped Emmett’s luggage off at the MTC in the morning and left Emmett on BYU campus to finish up some business before he walked to the MTC and reported all by himself at high noon, Wednesday, August 18, 2010.

Rollig out

Saddled up & ready to ride

Emmett's posse

All smiles

Adeline gets one last hug

Not quite riding off into the sunset~ just as epic & memorable

Packing

2 Brand new dark suits (we opted for the basic black minus the purple lining)

10 white shirts

12 men’s dress socks

2 large suitcases

6 basic ties

2 almost groovy ties

2 heavy duties comfortable dress shoes

1 all terrain bike

1 bike lock, helmet and pant clip