Please excuse the length of this week’s posts (there are two of them). We wanted to share our past week as well as the week we had at our immersion experience at BYU the last week of November and first two days of December.
Our week at the MTC in Provo was Spiritually packed, full of emotion and very draining. We were busy each day from 7:00 am until late in the evening.
We arrived Monday morning about 30 minutes early. We were worried about the weather since the forecast was for rain, snow and ice. We did get the rain but had pretty smooth sailing all the way (it rained constantly the first two days). The check-in process was very organized and well communicated and it didn’t take long until we were sitting in a group of 99 Senior Missionaries ready to learn and experience the beginning our our journey.
We made our MTC connection as our first instructor was Sister Whitten (Daughter of Michael Whitten from our ward). She is a sweetheart and was so well prepared. She definitely had the Spirit with her as she taught us each morning. Brother Whitten should be so proud of her. Our zone consisted of 4 couples, the Cook's, Westenskows, Flynn's and Kapp's (photo below).
The first two days of training went well but the highlight was a talk given by Elder David A. Bednar on the Character of Christ. This isn’t the exact talk he gave but it is very similar. The message is about turning outward to help others instead of turning in, thinking only of our self. It’s definitely worth a listen and I highly recommend you find the time to listen to it. It's about 36 minutes.
On Tuesday night we were privileged to hear from Elder Neil A. Andersen at a missionary devotional. He spoke about the focus of missionary work. It was specifically addressed to the young missionaries but was a good message for us as well. He had several people share their testimonies with us on the spur of the moment. There was also a choir of several hundred missionaries that sang. They were behind us and only had one practice but were amazing!
The next two days were full of teaching and role playing using real situations and the Spirit was manifest so strongly that we were often in tears. It is amazing to me that even tough situations, when focused on our Savior, can be so powerful. It all made me want to make sure I am doing what I can to share the many blessing I have been provided in my life. I became so much more appreciative of others, especially my family.
On Wednesday night Becky and I took the opportunity to attend a session at the Provo City Center Temple. What a beautiful building! Becky’s brother and his wife, David and Diana came down from Kaysville to join us. I had a very special experience in the Temple and I may find a way to share that in a separate post. I can tell you that it is very humbling to feel the presence of those who have passed on. Especially those who have had a huge impact on my life.
|President Lloyd and Peggy Owen|
Thursday morning we met the new Mission President and his wife President David C. and Barbara “Deanie” Martino (just changed that day). They are so excited to be there and will bless the lives of so many. We visited with them for about 5 minutes while we waited for the cafeteria doors to open for breakfast (yes, we were early - it’s a Kapp thing). We also found the photo of Brother and Sister Owen hanging on the wall. We have grown to love them in the relatively short period of time they have been our neighbors.
Review and wrap up on Friday along with photos and contact information exchange and we were headed back home for the weekend. Next week we will be at Medical orientation in Salt Lake City learning Church policies and procedures as well as available resources.
We got home, unpacked, and crashed! On Saturday we started our final packing carefully weighing our luggage to make sure we were within limits. Overweight bags can run into the hundreds of dollars on international flights. It is a little bit difficult deciding what is most important to take as we’ll be there for the next two years but we have been given good guidance by our assigned zone leaders in Tonga. We also met with Becky's sib's (minus Phil and Vanessa) Saturday evening at the Black Bear Diner in Provo. Sam and Barbara got home from their mission to Chile the same day we entered the MTC so this was our only opportunity to see them before we left. (photo below)
Today we attended Sacrament meeting in a Tongan ward in American Fork, Paki and Sepi Ngatuvai’s home ward. The Tongan people and culture are so loving and accepting. They make you feel like you are a long lost friend the moment you meet them. I hope that is something I can learn and internalize in my life. The feeling is so uplifting and spiritually powerful!
I have included a few pictures below.
|L-R, Elder and Sister Cook, Elder and Sister Westenskow, Sister Whitten, Sister and Elder Kapp, Sister and Elder Flynn|
|L-R, David and Diana, Dale and JoAnn, Becky and Kenny, Barbara and Sam|
|L-R, Douglas C. and Janice Kapp Perry, Sepi Ngatuvai, Becky and Kenny Kapp|