Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Week 3 A Note From the Mission Office

We received this email and picture from the Mission Office today letting us know Elder Hammond has arrived safely:

Here is a picture of the missionaries who arrived yesterday from the Provo MTC.  They stopped at the Seattle Temple on their way to the mission office and took this picture.  They have a new companion and are settled in their new area. They have their preparation day on Monday and you will get all the news when they email you.
We are excited they are here and are grateful for their desire to serve.

A New Batch of Greenies!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week 2 More Notes from the MTC

Wow! I honestly don't know what to say about this week. The only reason why I say that is because I didn't write a lot in my journal this week. The reason why was because days started to become the same. Class was at this time..., I had to be awake at this time..., I had to have lights out at this time..., and nothing really exciting happened for most of the days. I did have a couple of journal entries, but I guess what I could be saying is the MTC is a great place, but when you've been here for a while, it really starts to get to you. You have class every day at the same time, always feeling the spirit, eating the same food a lot of the time, and it starts to get really old really fast. Your district leader requires you to stay in class for personal or companion study instead of going outside or to your dorms for it, and you really don't get enough sleep so you are about to fall asleep in class and not anywhere else. Plus I feel like I've gained so much weight here because we don't get to exercise enough. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I love it here, but the MTC is starting to get old really fast, and I'm ready to be on that plane to Washington, but sometimes I forget that it's not my wants that matters, it's the lord's will that always directs my life. Last week I told a quote to all my family, and I feel that everyone needs to hear this. "The Savior turns outward in service while most of us turns inward." - Elder Bednar.  That's what I'm trying to do out here on my mission...turn outward like Christ, and I hope we can learn to do that too.
Let's be more like the Savior

Last Tuesday I had a really good p day. I got to relax a little bit and do my laundry which is what I'm going to do soon. We also had a devotional which a general auxiliary leader came and talked to us. She talked about how the Savior has plans for each and every one of us, and I really liked it and related it to my life a ton.

Wednesday was an ok day, but what i really enjoyed was I got to start off the day with the spirit in my heart. We were in exercise time and playing four square, and as we were playing one of the elders dove on the ground and dislocated his shoulder... it looked so bad. He walked over to the infirmary, and they helped him into a sling and gave him some ice to help the pain, but the elder's face looked as pale as could be. It never quiet crossed my mind to go see if the elder was ok until i felt a prompting, and i am convinced it was from the Lord to go over and see how he was. I've been through a dislocation before so if there was anyone that knew what it felt like, that person would be me. So I got out of the four square game and walked over to see how he was doing. He was in so much pain that he could not speak enough to describe his pain. I looked at his companion, and he was worried for his life. He had no idea what to do. Then, as i looked at this elder in pain and suffering, a line from my patriarchal blessing, came across my mind. "Jordan, as you serve the Lord, you will see him do many miracles upon you and the people you serve. Those miracles will be great in the eyes of God." (it probably doesn't say that last part, but then again my memory is pretty dramatic) I asked him if he would like a blessing, and he nodded his head. I ran to where all the name tags were with his companion to look for oil because I didn't have my own to offer. Then to my surprise, I found that my companion brought his with him. I love how the spirit works cause at this time, I didn't know where he was. He was at the top square on four square and right as he was about to serve the ball he got a feeling that he should come and find me. So he followed that prompting and came over to where I was, thinking that I needed to leave. He asked if I wanted to leave, but I told him, "No, there's an elder that needs a blessing, and I need to use your oil for the blessing. Would you come help me give it." He said yes, and we went to go give this blessing. After he had placed the oil on his head and anointed the elder, I gave the blessing to seal it. As I did, the spirit came upon me like it never had before, and I felt so much spirit in this elder. I blessed him that his arm would heal and that his shoulder would fit back into place. Then I felt the impression to let him know that his Heavenly Father loves him very much and his family would be safe as he served the Lord. I blessed him with the strength to fight the pain, and that as the day goes on he would not feel it any more. As I ended the blessing, the over powering spirit stayed with me until I left that building. Later in the day, I found him again and asked him how he was doing. He said he was doing much better and the pain didn't bother him that much any more. He thanked me for the blessing, and he and his companion walked on. Never in my life had I felt the spirit so strong in any place or with any one then right there and then, and I was so grateful for it.

Sunday was a great day. Like last Sunday, I felt the spirit so strong and had a great time. The best part is that we had the Nashville Tribute Band come and sing to us for our devotional. It's crazy how much spirit music can bring into people's lives. It's great! We also had a temple walk and sacrament meeting, and that was great too.

Now for some things that are needed to be heard by my family. In general, my companion is a great man and full with the spirit. Yes, he's very strong because he was a wrestler in Cedar City. He loves having good times, and yeah he was a farm boy in Idaho for some time. He keeps me in check and is a great guy.

The food here is ok. It's not amazing as everyone said it was. I enjoy it, but I'm always full, and I wish I could just burn a lot of what I eat off, instead of letting it sit for a long time while I'm in class.

I did reserve my flight plans already, and I've bought a phone card to talk to you guys, but the bad part is my flight leaves for Seattle at 7:38 AM. If you will all get up early in the morning so I can talk to you all, I'll be calling around 6:00- 6:30 next Tuesday. If you can wake up to talk to me then before I get on the plane, that would be great.
I love you all and miss you a ton. You are all in my prayers. Until two weeks from now, this is my report. Thank you all, and so long from the MTC.

- Elder Hammond

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Week 1 A Note From the MTC

Hello everyone!!! Wow it's so weird to start sending emails out so everyone can see what I've been doing cause I've never needed to do so before, and I'm going to be writing a novel today I guess...
It's crazy to put this title on myself as Elder Hammond. No one is calling me Jordan, and I may forget that name after two years have gone by. Let me get this straight. First, Elder Hammond and Jordan are and will be 2 very different people,. One loves rock and roll, hanging out with friends, and staying up way late playing video games with my bros. Elder Hammond can't say half the things I just said. As an elder it is not allowed and considered very inappropriate...slang words I think they call them. Elder Hammond is very focused, is always on time in class, never misses a meal cause he's always hungry, and always has someone following him because we're required to have a companion at all times. Do I like it? Yeah, it allows me to always have someone to talk to, and no, because I like being alone sometimes cause it lets me think about life. Jordan always worried about life, Elder Hammond only cares what he's going to learn next or who he will teach next. And I love my job!
Well enough about those two awesome dudes, I mean brethren. Now time to explain my life as Elder Hammond.

Saying Goodbye
I got this!

I learned so much. I got to understand how the spirit works more, and I got to see how it made a man cry because of the faith I have in the Lord and how my testimony has grown. I started my MTC experience this day and began my mission as well. Even though I hung out with my family that day, I also had a great first day as well. We met investigators and learned what their life was like and why they were searching for the truth. I was so proud of each and every one of them for coming to us to find the truth because we are the true church. I met my companion, and his name is Elder Roch'e. It's French, and he's an awesome Elder, a great companion, and is always there for me when I need him. My teachers are Brother Anderson and Sister Tulleur, like Tooler but not that. They teach with the spirit and are super fun. I wish i could talk about them more, but I don't have enough time.

Elder Roch'e and Elder Hammond

Thursday was awesome. I learned so much, and the spirit was definitely felt that day. I gained more of an understanding of what would happen in the mission field. We had class for most of the day, and we roll played with our teacher Sister Tulleur. My companion is an awesome man with the spirit, and we both fit so well that we always bring the spirit into the room. We get along so well as well. I pray for his safety along with mine every night and hope that we can make a difference in someone's life. We got to meet our branch president as well. He's a great man, and for the life of me, I can't say his name, but he loves it when I try to say it. 

Friday was the day that I realized the week was going so slow. Everyone here was saying wait until Sunday, wait for Sunday, and I hoped that they were all right. I got to exercise in the gym on Friday and had a great time playing basketball and 4 square. I love every second I have with exercise time because it helps me unwind, and relieve stress with our new lives and schedules. The time adjustment and the schedule was really getting to me and testing my faith, but I hoped I could make it to Sunday and that every thing would go great. 

We really had the same day as Friday here. Nothing much to say, but I got to play Beach Volleyball and had a blast with the zone leaders in our zone. It was their last exercise time before they left for Kennewick Washington, which is where Justin would have served if his mission didn't get split. I had a great day though, and everything went well.

Oh my goodness!!!! I wish this was how every Sunday was because I felt the spirit so much, and everything I learned was so great. I wish I could tell you more, but my hour is about up so I've got to end this email.

Monday was great and today so far has been wonderful. I hope the days can go quicker so i can get out to the mission field a lot faster. I am enjoying my time, and I wish you all the best. I love you all so much, and I can't wait to write you again soon! See you all soon!!!!

- Elder Hammond