Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas/Craciun Fericit,

Well hello Family, I know that you are probably not going to read this when you are around everyone else but I will write you as if you were.

We have just had one of the best Christmas day's ever. We started off the day with Elder Russell M. Nelson come and talk to us about the gifts that we need to receive as missionaries and throughout all our life.  We also had our MTC President, President Brown, talk to us and allowed us to email home since there are only 3 phones in the MTC that missionaries can use. He asked us to write our feelings about this Christmas day. So here it is.

Learning here at the MTC as been a fantastic experience for me. While reading in the scriptures I have developed a greater love for my Savior, Redeemer, Jesus Christ. As we came closer to Christmas Day, I thought about all the things that I missed about being home during the holidays.  Family, great food (not found here in the MTC), the movies from stockings and just being with all the people that I love. But then I remember that the greatest gift of all was given by our Heavenly Father. He sent his son to us, and this is the day that we should be celebrating that pure love.

Reading talks, we can see that some of the General Authorities are worried that Christmas has become too commercialized. I have to say that I agree. I had always thought about baby Jesus and the Nativity scene and all the other good things, but before the MTC I never recognized the  perfect gift that we were given from our Heavenly Father. Now, I'm not saying that giving presents is a sin, what I'm trying to say is when we give
 a gift, or receive a gift, we need to remember that God also gave us a gift, one that will last our entire life and beyond that. God gave us Christ, who in turn gave us the Atonement. When we are celebrating Christmas, we should really be celebrating the Son of God and the beginning of his life here on earth. Some of you may already think this and some of you may not, but as you move on throughout the day, try and remember the
love that our Heavenly Father has for us and think about his son Jesus Christ.

I love you all and hope you are having a fantastic Christmas Day,

-Elder Ormsby

(PS from Mom:  click on the red link above to see the Deseret News article and pictures about the MTC Christmas Devotional.  Unfortunately, none of the pictures are of my missionary, but it still makes our family feel closer to him.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Week 5

Hello "Real World",

Life here at the MTC has gotten much better over the past few weeks. Although we are still working really hard, we (the district) have decided to not worry so much about the language and focus more on our investigators. We are going to have a great Christmas next week. Rumor is we are having a General Authority on our Sunday Devotional and someone high up on our Christmas Devotional...cross your fingers for President Monson!  We had a really great devotional from one Elder C. Scott Grow of the Seventy.  His wife told a great story of a great family with a father that chose to ignore the testimonies of his children. He kept wanting to see a miracle, to see a sign. He said " I can turn to any scripture and prove to you that it is wrong." He turned to Alma 30: 44... This just goes to show the Lord has a sense of humor. Elder Grow then gets up and talks about the 4 requisites to teaching by the Spirit. 
1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Diligently seek faith out, faith is dependent on our studies. He later goes on to share Ether 12: 5,16,18,19. He states that, when you set goals you need to set them with your eyes toward faith.

2.Obedience. D&C 58: 42-44. He talked about the 2060 stripling warriors and how they followed every command of Ammon and how not a single one of them perished in the battle in which they were grossly outnumbered. They were entirely obedient to their leader and to their God. He goes on to give D&C 82:10 followed by a story on an Elder that was in South America. His mission president told him to pray and fast when making his monthly goals. When he was done, he came up with a number of 23. His mission president thought it was high, but just amused the Elder. The Elder was then given to his first companion, what I didn't tell you before, was that he had only been in the field for 1 month and couldn't even speak the language. His trainer also told him that the number was unreachable in this mission. At the end of the month the mission president was receiving all of the numbers from the missionaries. This particular Elder called the President and informed him they had not yet reached their monthly goal. The mission president wasn't surprised, and then the missionary said " but we have 3 more baptisms after this call which will make our monthly total 23. This missionary followed  the promptings of the Lord and worked his hardest even after being told that the number was unreachable. He was blessed for being 100% Obedient.

3.Sacrifice. Knowledge is always obtained by sacrifice. D&C 97:8. Elder Grow said something that was really cool. He said that the only thing that we can truly give to the Lord, that is 100% ours is our agency. Once we decide that we will sacrifice ourselves to the Lord, he will undoubtedly bless us beyond our capacity to receive it. Everyone knows how hard it is to do something that we don't like to do. It goes against our nature to put others before ourselves. But even after Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, he took time to heal the soldier's ear. When we decide to sacrifice, we determine our entire life.

4.Revelation. D&C 8:1-3. Follow the Spirit so you can teach by the Spirit. Alma 17:3 and Alma 26:22. He told us simply that "the Lord has prepared souls, Find them."

All the above mentioned are the keys to a great missionary. D&C 65:2-6. For anyone else who wants some great material, read the last talk by Bruce R. McConkie. 

Love you all and thank you so much for taking the time to read just a few of the things that I find great here at the MTC. I'll try and report on the Devotionals next week.

-Elder Ormsby

Monday, December 17, 2012

Week 4

Handwritten letter home.  No email that week.

Dear Family,

Hurray!  Lucky, you, you're getting on main letter as a family.  Things here at the MTC are awesome.  We just received a new shipment of Boboci and they are turning out to be all right.

Thank you so much for the package.  It was heaven sent.  That's so cool that Secondborn and Thirdborn got ordained at the same time.  That is so cool that they will be able to administer the sacrament. 

Happy birthday, Secondborn!  I know its late, but life here is crazy and we can't write letters til P-day.  

Hey, Love Magnet, why do you think I forgot your name?  All my sisters think that you are so cute and they love how you are in hip hop class.  

Thirdborn, it is awesome that you had the chance to watch baptisms.  Now that you can go to the temple, you should go as much as you can.

Secondborn, don't worry so much about memorizing the prayers as much as thinking about what you are saying, the meaning, and how you feel when you say them.

Dad, I just want to thank you for being such a good example to us as a family and for all that you have sacrificed.  I love you so much and I always refer back to you in some way everyday.  Thank you for being my hero.

Mom, I love you.  I would refer to myself as a teenage punk.  I still refer to myself as a teenage punk, only with a little wisdom.  I am grateful for your love and support for me over my life.  I am grateful to both you and Dad for being examples to me.  . Secondborn, Thirdborn, and Love Magnet you are all so blessed to have such awesome parents.  Eat as much of the food as you can.  Hang out together as much as you can and just enjoy each other's company.


Elder Ormsby

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Week 3 - with pictures!

Another week has come and gone here at the MTC. Not a lot has happened in the last week. December 1 is National Romanian Day, I don't know if we ever were taught what exactly it was for, independence or just a day to party, but we taught our investigator the Plan of Salvation...we keep forgetting that just because it makes sense in our minds, doesn't mean it will make sense to them. For our other investigator Anca, we taught the first vision, which is memorized. Most definitely had help from on high remembering that one. My best friend sent me a letter that day, and if you know anything about him this will come as no surprise, he put princess stickers on the back.

We had our first fast Sunday here at the MTC and it was fantastic. Hearing the testimonies of all my boboci noi was a great experience. We watched the Christmas Devotional. It is always good to hear the words of our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, although I really like Uchtdorf's talk as well. That evening we watched the movie the "Testament". The movie is about life in America before Christ came to them, the last days and such. For me, it is always hard to watch Jesus Christ as he has nails set in his hands, wrists and feet to the cross. 

Tuesdays are the best days, next to P-days, in my opinion. This is the day that you give service to another building by cleaning it. You don't have to get dressed until lunch time and gym is right after the service. We have an elder here,  Elder Jack, who is from Micronesia. He is a boss at volleyball. He stands at a whopping 5ft 3 and can still lay down the law. we had Elder Evans of the Seventy come and talk to us during the Tuesday Night Devotional. He basically gave us a pep talk on missions. My favorite part was a quote by Elder Holland (always a good thing). He says " Salvation is not a cheap experience". It is so true, before the devotional we were reading up on prayer and my favorite part was the definition in the Bible dictionary. You should all look it up, cause I won't do it justice, but it basically says that when we pray we are accepting blessings that God is willing to give us and that prayer is some of the required work to receive blessings.

Anyways, I am so thankful for all of you and I cant wait to get to Romania, I just have to learn the language first. Just so you all know, letters are heaven sent here at the MTC (hint hint). If any of you see Timtams, and know what they are, we have a few Australians around here that want to do some slams. Just a thought. Anyways thank you all again, and I am so grateful to be here on a mission.

-Elder Ormsby

P.S. Here is the First Vision in Romanian. There are no accents on this computer so bear with me.

Am vazut un stalp de lumina exact deasupra capilui meu, mei luminos ca stralucirea soarelui, care a cobarat treptat pana cand a stat deasupra mei...Cand lumina s-a oprit asupra mei, am vazut doua Personaje, ale caror stralucire si slava intreceau orice descriere, si care stateau deasupra mei, in aer. Unul dintro Ele mi-a vorbit, chemandu-ma pe nume, si a spus, aratand catre celelalt "Acesta este Fiul Mei Iubit, Asculta-L"

Elder Ormsby with his two companions and the sisters also in the district

If its a little off, well its early. and a pday

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Week 2

Dear Everyone who reads this blog:
Well I have no idea if my mother has posted anything onto the blog yet so I will give you a run down of the past 2 weeks in the MTC.

Arriving at the MTC was a lot easier than I had imagined. My best friend told me that the morning of is a daze, but for me that morning was like any other day. We pulled up, mom cried, they took my bags, mom cried, and then we were hugging and ready to go, mom still crying, and then they were gone. The rest of the day was mostly a blur after that, they checked us into our rooms and went right to class. We sit down and one of the teachers in the room comes up to me and says " blahblah blah blha blah blah ". All I could think was, please let this not be Romanian. We went to the computers and she talked some more, I still had no idea what she was talking about. Long day short, Romanian is difficult to understand the first day of class. Go figure.

Day 2 in the MTC was awesome. Let me just tell you about my two companions: Elder Whitehead and Elder Poulsen. Power Trio!!! Both are really great guys with strong testimonies and awesome humor. Elder Whitehead is seriously the 2nd smartest man I have ever met (can you guess the first?) and he has that sly sense of humor, the kind that people dont realize its a joke till they have fallen for it. Elder Poulsen, man what can't you say about that Elder? If his family is reading this, they know that arguing with Elder Poulsen is like arguing with a 5 year old ( I mean this as a compliment). You will always lose and it will never make sense. The sisters in our district have learned this very quickly.

Day 3 in the MTC was incredibly discouraging. Its ok for you future elders to become frustrated in the MTC as long as that frustration pushes you to be stronger. Discouraging however is not God's work, its the other teams. We taught our first investigator in all romanian and I couldnt understand a thing that he said. I was also really sick, so not only did I not understand, I was really really really cold. Not being able to understand what questions he was asking was hard, but not being able to tell him what was in my heart was even harder. Sora Wilson, the teacher I talked about before, reminded us that we were promised many things when we were set apart. All we have to do is try our hardest and the Lord will do the rest.

Day 4 and the Spirit just keeps on going, the language was a little bit better and we were able to teach him a lot. The Spirit is so helpful when you cant understand someone, because even though you dont understand, God does and, through the Spirit, we can understand his needs.
First Sunday at the MTC, best thing to look forward to when you are here. Priesthood was amazing, we talked about how to know if it is the Spirit talking or just your mind. As Elder Bednar put it "Don't Worry About It". If any of you know the story of the 20 Marks you will know of what happened when he was on his mission, if not look it up. He tells of how he gave 20 marks, a lot of money for the missionaries, to a general authority for dinner. This money ended up saving the general authority from prison. Elder Bednar never knew that the spirit was impressing him at the time. We had a devotional on Mormon Helping Hands during hurricane Sandy. We have 2 sisters from New Jersey, Sora Gerhartz and Sora Kelly. I already love all these people. My teachers, my companions, my sisters, pretty much everyone you meet. We watched a movie on the SLC temple being built " temple to the Lord" I believe it was called. Lots of respect and admiration for those saints.

Day 5 and Hallejulah or however you spell it, I woke up, felt hungry for the first time and was able to eat a full breakfast. Day started out great and it just kept getting better. One of the Sisters needed a blessing of comfort, and I was able to perform the blessing. How great is the power of God, to know the heart, fears and desires of any person. The Spirit was so strong as the blessing was given. In my journal I described the Spirit as " a bucket under a waterfall".

Day 6 was another good day, praying to the Lord to bless everyone that I knew. We invited our investigator to baptism and we were pretty sure he said yes, its still kind of hard to understand everything that is going on. You will focus on one thing and then you will realize that the conversation is still going. We also had Elder Paul B. Peiter of the Seventy come and talk to us during a devotional. He talked to us about things that act (us) and things that are acted upon. We as missionaries need to remember that investigators need to act, and not be acted upon. Our Mission Branch Presidency talked to us about Adam-ondi-ahman.  It is amazing to think that we are really in the last days.

Day 7 at the MTC, how the time flies, already one week down 8 more to go. I watched Patterns of Light on Mormon Messages by Elder Bednar. Amazing to think of the Spirit in that way. D&C 50:24.

Day 8 at the MTC is Thanksgiving. We wake up at 5:15 to do laundry, only time I have felt negative thoughts in the MTC is when an elder steals your washing machine. On the other side we had Elder Holland come and talk to us during the Devotional. It was amazing, he opened up really funny which was really strange for him. In the end though, he brought the fire of the Lord to the meeting. We made humanitarian and school supplies for Mali? That evening we had amazing music by missionaries, including one sister who tore up on the fiddle. We watched 17 Miracles and it brought to mind the trials in our day, although not physical, are just as demanding then if not more now. It is always inspiring to see the way the saints in that company had their faith tested . My favorite part has to be the end when they talk about how they would always look behind them to see who was helping them push their carts, but no one was there. Angels.

The next few days at the MTC were a complete blur to me. They still are, but in my journal I described the way that time keeping at the MTC works. Is it breakfast yet? Do we have lunch or dinner next? Oh man I'm starving whens dinner, you just had dinner...no joke, its how its done.

The next Sunday at the MTC was slightly bittersweet as most of the elders on our floor were leaving for their missions in Australia or New Zealand. All of them were amazing elders. We watched Joseph Smith: the Translation. I invite all of you to watch it if you have not done so. Your testimony and respect for Joseph Smith will grow exponetially.

Monday Elder Christianson came back from the airport. He was part of the group that was supposed to leave for their missions. His visa didnt go through, so he sat in the airport by himself and just waited. They had to bring him back to the MTC, but he went to McDonalds first, lucky dog. If any of you are planning on going on a mission, eat Arby's as much as you can, cause I'm craving it almost as much as my mom's food. Ok thats a lie, I would take my mom's food over anything else any day of the week.

We'll just skip Tuesday, it was just plain bad. We did fairly bad in our new investigator and we were all down except Elder Poulsen. The next day however was entertaining. We taught another investigator and she was all sassy and, well it was just comical relief after the previous day. You learn to look on the bright side of things here at the MTC. We also recieved a new shipment of boboci (ducklings). Oh I forgot to tell you Elder P is the District Leader ( there's only us, the power trio, in the district) and Elder W and I were called to be Zone Leaders. So we had the privilege to teach the new missionaries. Its so funny to think that we looked exactly the same only two weeks prior.

I just have a few spiritual things that I would like to say before signing off. The first is on Marriage/Divorce. I know that this is a touchy subject, but I watched a video by Elder Holland on this topic and a few things stuck a chord. Turn to the Lord, repent and kneel together in prayer. The second is the "Women in our Lives" by President Hinckley. He says, " when you offend any Daughter of God, you offend God himself." What powerful words. As a missionary, I see the reasoning behind my parents council on treating women with respect. It is fairly hard for some elders to separate themselves from the world and respect all of God's children. The next is just a quick shout out to my dad. There is a story on Mormon Messages that reminded me of him. Its called A Father Indeed. I invite anyone to watch it and thank their Heavenly Father for their dad. I love my dad, just as in the story, my father is a very hard working man, who has sacrificed much for his family. I am so grateful for such an amazing example, and I hope that I can one day be like him.

Last thing is a talk by President Uchdorf (probably spelled that wrong) called Continue in Patience. He says " Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. Patience is not simply enduring, it is enduring well." We can remove Patience and replace it with anyone of the Christ-like Attributes. It is a great talk and a good "forget yourself" story.

I am so grateful for the oportunity to go and serve the people of Romania. I have so much respect for each and everyone of them, partially because they know the language. I love my Heavenly Father and am so grateful for the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ. I can't wait to learn all that I can, both spiritual and worldly knowledge. În numele lui Isus Hristos, amin.
P.S. please use dearelder.com or just send a regular letter, you would not believe how excited us elders get when we recieve a letter...or a package.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Handwritten Letter Home

(letter sent 11/20/2012, received 11/23/2012.  This was written and sent before the first email home)

Draga Mama si Tata,

This has been one crazy week. We didn't get a P-day this week so I had to write you during language study.  I don't really know what to tell you.  The MTC is the MTC.  Oh, I was sick on the second (first full) day.  I am still a little sick, but I am much better.  I have always wondered why, when Elders write, they are always happy/spirity (I know it's not a word, Mom).  But I understand now.  I have been so blessed with the spirit.

Romanian is really hard, but I have seen the Gift of Tongues in myself & my fellow Romanians.  Oh, I have two Elder's - a trio.  Elder P from Utah and Elder W from Colorado.  They are both amazing Elders.  We have been teaching an investigator in Romanian & I think the Spirit has almost gotten him to commit to baptism.  It has been amazing.  As we open ourselves to the Spirit we understand his needs.

De asemenea, noi aven tre surori who are amazing (translation via Google Translate:  Also, we have three sisters....).  they have such an amazing spirit.  We, Elder P and I, gave a blessing of comfort to one of them today.  I gave it, and I knew exactly what to say.  Oh man it was.....just whoa.

Anyways, I miss you all.  Tell everyone to write me using Dear Elder because it's free and send me a package of goodies sometime soon.  Love you all and I miss you all.  SEND ME A PHOTO ALBUM!!  Mei surori vor a vedea Love Magnet.  (translation via Google Translate:  My sisters want to see The Love Magnet).


Elder Ormsby

(note from Mom:  The album has been ordered from the printers and will arrive next week.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week 1

Buna Ziua meu Familiile,
Oh man it has been good to hear from you guys. I am going to be sending you some letters soon to give to other people and also for you guys, but we had some time to write emails so here you go. I know I already sent you a letter kind of giving the rundown about the last week, but I was sick and not really all into writing a letter, so here are a few more details.
I have two companions, Elder P and Elder W. Both are great guys. Elder P is the kind of guy who is very into sports, and we quote movies all the time. Elder W is the most optimistic guy, and you think that would get annoying, but it doesnt... anyways he is the kind of guy who seems all innocent, but has a very crafty side. He likes to steal food from people without them looking and he is great with computers. As in can read and understand code. He is from Colorado, while Elder P is from Sandy. We also have three Surori (Sisters). Sora P is from Rigby, ID and is awesome. Sora G and Sora K are both from Jersey and even knew each other before coming here to the MTC. Our Teachers Fretelle V is from Romania, so that is kinda good to hear how fast they will be speaking, and also slightly discouraging. Oh well, Sora W is from Australia and went to Romania on her mission.
We have been teaching a investigator in Romanian and it has been a crazy ride. Attempting to understand his needs and then being able to say what we feel was ridiculous. ah, but we got him to commit to BAPTISM.
We have been here for only 1 week, but it feels like forever. We are the only foreign speakers on our floor where we sleep. The rest are going to California, Australia or New Zealand <! Super cool, but they are crazy and they've only been here for 2 weeks, we are going to be here for 9. No comments needed there.
As I said before, I was sick and lost some weight. The food here is not good, mom. I miss your cooking. I'm always telling my district how, "when we get into the field I'll show you a real roast". Ah man, well, I'll be writing your individual messages soon, but until then I love you all and I miss you all and I cant wait to here from you all. Oh and tell everyone to use Dear Elder.
By the way, when you get a chance, could you send me like 5 more ties, fingernail clippers, shoeshine kit, a few notebooks and some food packages...I love you and miss you all again.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Entering the MTC

After a morning of getting last minute important things done, it was off to Provo.
 Everyone had the same idea for pictures at the temple.

 At the MTC, there is no long goodbye.  The luggage was unloaded quickly.

It was similar to Elder Ormsby's first day of kindergarten:  a "lean" instead of a hug, huge smile on his face as he talked over his mom's shoulder to the missionaries helping out, then he walked into the MTC without a glance back or a goodbye.  He is so ready to go to Romania.
Please keep Elder Ormsby in your prayers.  The next two months are compared to "drinking out of a firehose".  The language learning is intense.

Saying goodbye

A lot of family came to the farewell (more pictures to come)
 And good friends came by the grandparents house the night before Elder Ormsby entered the MTC.
 Some cousins and some friends Michael had not seen since we moved out of Utah.

Uncle Ben's family and a few interlopers.
 Aunt Christie's family (recognize the interlopers?)
 Uncle Nate and Aunt Liza.

Elder Ormsby obeyed the missionary rules.  We had him back at the grandparents by 9:30. 
Yes, he followed curfew.

First baptism

On 11/10/2012, Michael baptized his sister.  The Love Magnet was so thrilled to be baptized.  It was a tender experience for everyone there.