Wednesday, May 28, 2014

MTC Week 3

What an awesome group of missionaries - 149th Branch
President Shallenberger                      Brother Slingerland                         Brother Dowdle

I am emailing you (Mom and Grandma both) because you both keep sending me spiritual things and I LOVE THEM!
I wish I had the time to respond to every quote, bear my testimony of every principle, share my experiences but thank heavens we have eternity to do that.

To let you know, every Sunday and Tuesday night's we have devotionals for the whole MTC. In the last 3 weeks, we have heard from:
L. Tom Perry
Russel M. Nelson
and 90 mins of Q and A with David A. Bednar
Rumor has it that because so many mission presidents are coming into the MTC in a week, the Devotional on June 10th is going to be something to remember...we'll see.

I have been deeply studying different people or groups of people in the LDM (Libro de Mormon) and have tried to be a missionary like a Strippling Warrior. I've been studying their characteristics these past 3 days, and have fallen in love with their levels of faith and EXACT obedience. Liken all scriptures to ourselves. ALSO, my deeper doctrinal studies have taken me to the nature, qualities, and characteristics of celestial living. "The Vision" given to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigedon, recorded in D&C 76 is so rich... We should be living our life on Earth in practice for Celestial Living, but how do we know how to live if we don't learn about it?

Also, I have gained such a testimony of the Doctrine of Christ (commonly referenced in 2Nephi 31 but also in other parts of the LDM). Putting a few pieces of Doctrine together makes for very powerful revelation when trying to understand the significance of the Doctrine of Christ.

Any ways, there is an infinite amount of celestial knowledge to learn, I cannot wait to share my experiences with you both later on, or in 2 years.

I love you both

Adelante, siempre adelante,

Elder Devin G. Hampton

Thursday, May 22, 2014

MTC Week #2

  1. Living - I share an apartment with 3 other missionaries, Elders Bradley, Philpot, and Erickson. We all get along very well. We are all very good at singing and are very "Mormon Boy Band" when we get home from Teaching/Learning/Studying every day. All hymns in Spanish, All in 4 part harmony, All guys...You can let your imagination run with that one for a while...
  2. Elder Bradley - Companion from Detroit, Michigan. He knows Nacho Libre better than I do. He quotes it more in one week than I have in my entire life. He is a phenomenal whistler. He also has a great voice, even better than mine........... I am trying to practice humility... He's clean. Farts a lot.... but so does everyone here. He and I whistle everywhere. We've started a signup sheet for a whistling choir. We as a choir will be performing a whistling rendition of "Count Your Blessings" for President Eyring next Sunday.
  3. Teaching - You don't know how great The Lord is at humbling his people until you are the one under the rock. I thought I knew Spanish very well.... I still think that I know Spanish, but everytime E' Bradley and I teach (1 of our FOUR investigators) we are reminded that the Spirit will be the one who converts this guy because we don't know what the heck we are saying. However, as much as I don't think our lessons are going well AND have experienced such a blessing of the gift of tongues (Del don de languas), We committed one of our Investigators to be baptized on the 3rd of June...too bad he is already a member! Sneaky little pebble! 
  4. Food - Everything here gives you gas. The breakfast, lunches, dinners, HECK! even the drinking fountains! Our apartment smells terrible day and night. There is a cereal bar, which is everyone's favorite, but I only eat cereal on "Special Occasions". Every Sunday they bring over pints of ice-cream from the creamery. I kind of blackout on Sundays... I don't know what's wrong with me... I need to see someone about this. I don't know what's happening and then all of a sudden 2 cartons of ice-cream are empty in front of me...
  5. Scheduling - 3 - 3.5hr study blocks a day. 1 hour for gym (which is usually Volley Bally with our Zone, we have 4 people in our zone that played in College and 2 Tongans so Volley Ball games are the best. I love it). It is SO HARD to tell what day of the week it is! "Weekends" = Wednesday, "Sundays" = Sunday and Tuesday "Weekdays" = Thursday - Saturday + Monday... Thank goodness for the Daily Planner...
  6. Mail - I love DearElder letters! It is like getting a text message from whoever is sending them. I am the District Leader so I collect the Mail 3 times a day, and everytime I get SO EXCITED when I see my name on anything! I could care less if the letter said "Hey Devin, Your not missed at all around here. Just though I'd let you know. Bye!" I am getting letters from people but I have no time ever to write back to them... Time is hard to balance...speaking of which, I am completely out of...

I love you with all my heart!
Elder Hampton

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MTC Week #1

This week has definitely been a crazy one for me as well. I loved getting the letters you sent me and the "dear elders" you and the girls sent me. Whenever we get a letter from anyone, we read them out loud to our district during dinner or lunch. It has been so good being able to relax within my own district. I told you on Sunday, but in case you didn't hear, I am a District Leader. The mission is organized as follows Mission>Areas>Zones>Districts>Companionship.

Hearing your response to my cutout has mad my day. I LOVE the family picture with me in it, and I love how Trevor is standing in the pool so he can fit in to the picture. I'm also glad you got your edible arrangement. I was worried something would happen and it would make it for some reason.

I really liked having lunch with Jim Parks before I left. He was able (as always) to add a little excitement towards my already overflowing cup of excitement. I will email him/write him a note and tell him thank you.
How was seeing Trevor and Lilly all ready for Prom? their picture looks SO great. Trevor looks like such a boss.

Until next week,

Elder Devin G. Hampton

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Adventure Begins

Gone... just like that... for 2 Years ~ 730 Days ~ 17,520 Hours ~ 1,051,200 Minutes! 

How is it that after 20 1/12 year of preparation and dreaming about this exact day, I was not able to prepare myself for the day that Devin would actually leave on his mission? I am not quite sure how any person prepares for the mixed tornado of emotions that I am feeling today! So very excited for Devin to finally be living a very large dream of his own, and extremely happy that he has chosen to serve The Lord for the next two years of his life. On the other end of the spectrum is this over whelming sadness that sweeps through my body thinking about the length of time before I will be able to hug my oldest son again! When I let my thoughts drift selfishly that direction, I have to immediately focus on all the amazing positive experiences Devin will be living the next 730 days of his life.  There is absolutely nothing else in this world that can provide the life lessons, learning experiences and personal growth that a mission can, and it is this very reason that puts a smile on my face and peace in my heart. Then I try to convince myself that 1,051,200 minutes isn't that long........