Hello all! Thank you so much for all the love, support, prayers, inquiries and concerns! I am in my first area: Hays, Kansas. My trainers is Elder Hilborn from San Francisco. He has been on his mission for 13 months and really knows his stuff. I am learning a lot from him. I was able to call my wonderful family in Salt Lake City and Dallas during my journey to Wichita. After I hung up the phone, Elder Colton and I ventured around the enormous airport looking for something good to eat. We finally found a subway and a vending machine and started heading back to our gate. When it came into view, we saw it was about to close so we took a sprint to ensure we wouldn't be stuck in Texas. Fun stuff. The flight was awesome! I sat next to a woman in her early twenties named Leslie and taught her The Restoration. I gave her a Mormon.org pass along card as well. It was a wonderful experience to share the gospel with someone who wasn't acting. When we arrived in Wichita, the President, his wife, and a companionship we call "AP's" (assistants to President) were waiting for us. We were greeted with hugs and a very warm welcome. They packed our luggage in a trailer and whisked us off to the monument of which you were supposed to receive a picture of me, president and his wife. We got a snack at the headquarters which is just a church with a few mission-specific rooms and were assigned temporary companions to work for a few hours. I got to go knock on doors and street contact. Not a recipe for Elder LaMont's good attitude on the first day, but I turned it around. One's missionary attitude, after all, is a reflection of one's feelings towards the savior and his gospel. That's in preach my gospel. We stayed in Wichita for a night so we could watch the first missionary broadcast and get assigned to our area. I took a lot of notes from the broadcast and got to see two girls I knew in highschool (Sister Shelby Pederson and Jarbi Joyner). There was almost no food in the apartment so I was eating some weird stuff. But the worst part is that the apartment was absolutely filthy. I've been going crazy trying to clean throughout the week but now that it's p-day got a lot done. We are still not done though! A spiritual story: it was my very first lesson with a long-time investigator named Jessy. She has issues with the Word of Wisdom and has had desires to be baptised for a long time. I was prompted by the spirit to teach her the following metaphor: I held a piece of paper on the table in front of us and told her it symbolized her obstacle of overcoming the word of wisdom. I taught her she was so focused on the "wall" the challenge presented and needed to focus on the blessings that were on the other side of the piece of paper. I taught that the atonement folds that piece of paper (the obstacle of keeping the word of wisdom) in half and allows her to see more clearly the blessings of keeping the word of wisdom. The spirit lit up the room and she was so excited, she was even taking notes! Elder Hilborn said it was the best lesson he had with her and had been meeting with her for quite some time. All credit goes to the spirit though. I definitely "blacked out" while I was speaking with Jessy which is the Holy Ghost's way of demonstrating the spirit is teaching. I don't have a funny story for you guys yet, but I'll be sure to have one for next week. I do have some pictures of some food I've made though in case anyone was worried about me cooking (; Love you all! Thank you again for everying! I appreciate all the emails! If you haven't emailed me, you're missing out! I respond to every email I get! Love always, Elder LaMont
This is my awesome district. I hang out with these guys every waking hour of the day. From left to right, there is: Elder "Vince" Vincent from Hawaii going to Oklahoma, Elder Loos from Idaho going to Oklahoma, Elder Smack from Idaho who is returning home for surgery because of a past injury (torn meniscus), Elder Colton from Provo going to Kansas, me, Sister Weibye (pronounced "Why-Bee") from Idaho going to Virginia, and Sister Marstella from Utah going to Virginia.
This is my old zone! These guys trained our district and they are awesome. They're in the field right now. In the back: Elder Smack, Elder Lambert, Elder Bowers, Elder Herman, Elder Taylor, Elder Colton, and Elder Vincent. In the front: Sister Jones, Sister Mills, Sister Hepworth, Sister Marstella, Sister Weibye, me, and Elder Loos.
And finally, this is my new zone. Our district is training these guys right now. They're really cool.
I am thoroughly enjoying my experience at the MTC. I don't have a lot of time, but I have one story for you.
My companion, Elder Smack tore his meniscus 3 months prior to coming to the MTC although none of us knew it. One night he was complaining about a pain in his knee and I was inspired to give him a Priesthood Blessing. I blessed him he would be able to finish at the MTC.
In the days that passed, he was told he was going home. He almost went home just a few days ago. They bought him a plane ticket and everything. Because his meniscus went back in place and didn't hurt, he felt he could continue. It was a tearful experience, but he is now able to stay at the MTC until training is complete. It was an amazing experience that my blessing could provide this for him. It was a strong testimony builder. I have a few pictures but not many. They're not working right now I don't have time to figure it out. I'll send them next week. I hope it is sufficient.
Right now I have some downtime so my district and I are furiously typing in a computer lab to communicate with family and friends. I am in a companionship of three, with Elder Colton and Elder Smack. They're great guys, I've indeed learn to love them even in the very short amount of time I have had with them. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures for the moment, but I promise some will come soon. The most powerful moment in my experience here so far is when we were in a class. In the class, we watched an example role-play of missionaries speaking to an 'actor' investigator. These 'actors' are often times real investigators, members who have questions or are going through a hard time and need our help. The missionaries learned about the actor, whose name is Marco by the way, and were stopped suddenly by the instructor. We were then informed that the class of 20 or so people were going to finish the visit with Marcos. Everyone was hesitant at first, but I felt strongly prompted by the spirit to share some words. I looked into Marco's eyes and bore my testimony of prayer. I taught him Heavenly Father will listen to our prayers and answer them because we are His children and He loves us. It filled the room with the spirit. Everyone was dead quiet after my words and continued very reverently and respectfully. The spirit was so strong, and I was so bolstered by confidence. I love the MTC so much. I love always being busy on a tight schedule and I'm learning constantly by teachers, my companions, other Elders and Sisters, and even through the silence by the Holy Ghost. I've learned to live in the moment, and I'm excelling at recognizing the spirit.
This blog title originates from Keaton's farewell address. He says this: “Roger” is a one-word response implying the speaker understands a command. In the cycle of compliance, this is the second step. The “Wilco” in “Roger Wilco” is an abbreviation for “Will Comply”. The entire phrase “Roger Wilco” thus means “I understand, and I will act.” This should be our goal in the final step of the compliance cycle. We are so proud to say these are the of the words of our son. Called of God and will comply. If you have a moment, read the complete address on the Dec. 27th farewell post.
This photo was taken in his last few moments at home. Keaton was full of the Spirit and had a mighty change in his heart.
Alma 5:14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have yespirituallybeenborn of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mightychangein your hearts?
The scripture he selected to represent his mission:
Doctrine and Covenants 33:8-9
Openyour mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even asNephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.
Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden withsheavesupon your backs, for lo, I am with you.