Sunday, July 12, 2009

Elder Evans in the MTC

Hi everyone!

This is Stephen's mom. He asked that I update his blog so that those of you who are interested might be able to see how things are going for him on his mission. So here it goes...

June 17th, Elder Evans enters the Missionary Training Center (MTC)...

...and off he goes!

(June 17th)
Dear Mom and Dad,

Already being here for these few short hours has already made me homesick. I feel like a fish out of water. Everyone here seems to know what's going on, but that's ok. I had to get my T-dap shot, which is the tetnus shot, so I'll be sending you the paper with the amount on it, along with my address here. My first companion is Elder Swisher. I haven't met him yet, but that's what they told me. Well, I need to go to lunch, so have fun, and I'll write you guys later.

Elder Evans

P.S. Sorry it's not detailed, I just got here...

Then on the outside of the envelope (which he mailed the following day) he wrote...

P.S. Can you send me a copy of my mission letter? Thanks. Oh yeah, my comp is awesome we get along so well, and I'm the senior comp. Lucky me. And we have the room all to ourselves...BooYa!

His bedroom...

...and the first letter he received

His district studying hard!

(June 25th)
Dear Fam,

The MTC is a good and fun place and I'm learning a lot. I've been with the other Elders for about a week now, and I have just grown to love 'em. As I'm with these missionaries I feel like I have known them my whole life. I have seen these brethren in the life before, and I know it! And I know without a doubt that we were all called to be missionaries for the Utah Ogden mission, we were all called before we came to this earth, as was Abraham, and that testifies to me that this is the true church. I know that with all my heart. I now know what my purpose is for being a missionary, it's to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. That's why I'm here!

The 19th I don't think I have ever cried harder in my life. It was a hint of homesickness and the Spirit. I was praying for my friends, especially those who are not active or are non-members, and all of them, and the Spirit came to me so strongly and it told me that everything would be alright.

The food here is pretty good. I like it, but it is giving me mundo gas! Holy moly! Oh yeah, I weighed myself and I'm up to 120 lbs!! BooYa!

We had our first "RPI" (Role Playing Investigator) and it went Great! I felt the Spirit and everything.

I haven't heard or seen any General Authorities yet, but tonight I will :-). We have been having the Mission Presidents' training here and one of the Elders here saw Elder Uchtdorf! Sweetness!!

I'm glad to hear that the weather is nice back home, I've only seen the sun like four times since I've been here. It just keeps raining and raining!!! I want it to stop. Oh well, I don't care anymore.

That's all I can really think of right now. If need anything else I'll write ya again.

Have fun at home, I'm already missing it. Tell Nate and Jun to write me.

Love ya,
Elder Evans

His District in p-day attire (Elder Evans is at the top)

4-square for gym class
(a safer option, in my motherly-opinion, than basketball
as it seems so many missionaries injure themselves playing
before they even get out into the mission field!)

Elder Evans and his companion, Elder Swisher, at the Provo Temple

(July 2)
Hey all, so, so, so sorry I didn't write back. :( I've been really busy. And I mean really Busy! I've been studying hard, and I'm learning a lot. I love what I'm doing here. I'm so glad that I'm here. I can't wait to get out and teach people about this gospel. The gospel that has blessed my life in so many ways, and I want the world to have that.

Oh yeah, we are actually leaving on the 7th!! BooYa! And not the 15th. So we get to leave on our correct date. :D
If you are sending me anything, like a care-package or what not, please send it to the Mission Office. Thank you.

How is life in Zion? Good I hope.

These 3 weeks have just flow'n by! I can't believe it. I've made some great friends. It's going to be hard to say good bye to them.

Oh yeah, we had our Mission President devotional thing, and Elder Holland spoke. It was awesome! I felt the spirit so strongly. Most of the General Authorties were there. It was awesome! And on Sunday they were all here! BooYa!

The 2nd counselor in our disctrict is Brother Stoddard and he served a Mission with Elder Holland. And his mission President was Marion G. Romney. He told us stories about Elder Holland and him, and it was so amazing! Brother Stoddard is such a cool guy. He reminds me a lot of Grandpa, that's probably why I feel such a strong link between us.

Yesterday, the 1st, I was sick. I ate something that didn't agree with my tummy, but I'm fine now, so no worries. :D

I love this church, and I just want to leave you guys with my testimony of Joseph Smith. Since I've been here I have learned to love him more and more. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and that he did find a record of old and translate it into the Book of Mormon. I know that he saw God the Father, and his Son. and that the same God he saw is the same Today, Yesterday, and will be forever! If this church or Book of Mormon wasn't true, it would have died with Joseph Smith. I love Joseph Smith. He is an awesome guy!

Well my times is coming to a close so....I Love you guys, and I pray for you everyday and night.
Love your son,
Elder Evans

Yes, Elder Evans is still "Stephen"! :-D

Incase you didn't see it, Stephen and part of his district were pictured in the July 4th Church News in an article concerning the Mission Presidents' training that was going on at the MTC while he was there!

This past Thursday (July 9th) he arrived in Logan, UT, his first area and today we received an email from a sister who grew up in Sierra Vista informing us that he is serving in her ward and that Stephen and his companion had had a short visit with Elder L. Tom Perry who just happened to be visiting their ward today! So he is already having some great experiences!

If you would like to write to him his address is:
Elder Stephen B. Evans
Utah Odgen Mission
2133 Washington Blvd.
Ogden, UT 84401-1434

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