Tuesday, 31 May 2016

First Few Days in the MTC! (First Book of Mormon and I'm a Zone Leader!)

Hello everyone!

I'm a bona fide missionary now with a name tag! I already emailed y'all about the airplane trip there, so now I'll talk about what happened after.

The flight to Salt Lake City was really cool. I saw huge mountains, deserts, lakes, and rivers on the way. The geography was crazy and I was mind blown. I never saw such big mountains before.

I met formerly Elder Nyman, now Daniel, at the airport. We went to Temple Square in downtown SLC and I saw a bunch of cool church sites including the Temple, the Conference Centre, visitor centres, the church history museum, the tabernacle, and a bunch of church sites. It was really cool. Seeing the Christus statue was amazing. As I looked at the statue I felt as if Jesus were looking down on me. There was also a video about the first vision that combined all the different accounts into one. It helped me better relate to Joseph Smith and strengthen my testimony that he restored the true church of Jesus Christ.

Daniel has a beautiful house and it's really big. There's also a sweet view of the mountains there. We drove down to the canyon and hiked there a bit. We went around a lake, but the trail was really slippery and muddy, so we couldn't turn back. We ended up crossing several streams at a dozen different points. We got a bit wet, but it was a fun adventure.

The next day we went to the Draper temple to do initiatories. It's a new temple, by a mountain and it was really nice. Utah's way different from Toronto: tons of huge mountains, less people, bunch of temples, and chapels everywhere! Lol there's also a bank called Zion's bank here. And no skyscrapers either.

We had a lunch at a buffet pizza place. The workers are all mormons, so missionaries all eat free. We then visited BYU campus. It was interesting how every building was named after a prophet. Way different than York haha!

Then the time arrived and I went up to the MTC. I said goodbye to Daniel and then they gave me my missionary name tag soon after. Woohoo!

There was a bunch of talks and orientations and we got assigned to a district. My companion's Elder Tuimoloau from American Samoa going to Anchorage, Alaska. He's a great guy and fun to be around. There's only us 2 in the dorm which was meant for 6, which is pretty sweet.

Then we had a group investigator lesson. So an investigator would sit on a couch or something and us newbies would try to answer his questions. We taught a guy called Elias from the Dominican Republic. Lots of missionaries were asking confusing questions that made no sense, started going into complex doctrine like the premortal life and the plan of salvation before the basics, others gave long long analogies, and some elder even compared the Book of Mormon and Bible to Harry Potter books. You could tell Eli didn't get what people were telling him. So I stood up and testified how Jesus Christ can save every person on this Earth and how the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Christ has changed my life and how it can change his. Christ can calm the stormy seas, bring people up from the lowest of their lows, and change lives, so why can't He change his? I even read Moroni 7:16 to him and invited him to read the Book of Mormon. I'm so grateful that I taught with the elders before my mission because I was able to share the gospel in a way that was clear. The gospel is simple and it should be taught plainly. But the problem was that no one had a Book of Mormon which was really ironic 'cause everyone's a missionary. I also didn't know if Eli was a member in disguise, so I asked him and it turns out that he's a legit investigator. So my comp and I found a Book of Mormon the next hour and wrote brief testimonies on it and then I handed it to Eli and invited him to read it and pray about it, and promised that it would change his life. First Book of Mormon! It was an awesome feeling.

The next day was super busy and packed. Tons of classes, devotionals, and lessons. I got called as a zone leader by the branch president. I dunno what to do, but I'll figure it out.

I met a lot of Canadians here. There's Elder Amartey from Brampton who knows quite a few people from Toronto. In my district there's Sister Torres and Snickers from Montreal. They were at the Montreal YSA conference too, and Sister Torres knows the Kikongis. It's a small world!

I'm enjoying the MTC. It's pretty intense, but I feel the Spirit a lot. My P-days are Friday. I just worked out and know I'm doing my laundry while emailing. I'll try to send the photos soon if the computers work properly. I got email notifications that the DearElder letters arrived and I'm gonna pick the letters up some time today.

I love you all and stay happy and safe!


  1. Hello Elder Gonzalez, thanks for sharing your experiences in MTC. I can really feel your excitement and great enthusiasm in sharing the gospel to people.I'm sure you're gonna be a successful missionary and would be a great influence in changing the lives of a lot of people within your reach. Just continue to have unconditional love to all you come in contact with and I promise, you will be the best missionary ever. Thank you for all you do. Love, Sister Soutar👍👍👍

  2. Hi Elder Gonzalez, thanks for sharing so many amazing new experiences and so many wonderful pictures in the Salt Lake area! You mentioned Sister Snickers [I think] from Montreal and I did not know that was a real name. My son named his adorable little miniature Pinscher Snickers after the chocolate bar! I am so proud of your Dad for setting up this blog. Who knew we were so modern! I remember you in my class when you were 14. So scientific and curious - wonderful qualities! It is great that you placed a Book of Mormon already! Keep up the good work. Sister Bronwen Lloyd.