Just kidding, I know ciao is spelled like that, not chow. I just think i'm funny and MTC jokes are getting old.
I love all the letters. Mom, you're the best. You make me look really cool when I get mail every day, so thank you for that! And a special thanks to the Smith family. I got a letter from Jackson last week, and a letter from Sam, Stone, and Jade this week. Thank you!
This letter is going to be scrambled again because i'm reading down a list. I ran into Jaxson Judkins last week at the temple, I think I forgot to tell you. He played (volleyball) with me at Skyline when I was a freshman, and my coach's brother. He got home a year or so ago from his mission.
The people here are so cool. There is an Elder here from New Zealand who served in the military for a year before coming on a mission. He bore an awesome testimony. He talked about being deployed on a small island, and how it really changed his life.
I told you last week that I was cruisin’ through the Book of Mormon. I slowed down a lot once I got to Alma. Alma the younger has to be one of the coolest dudes to walk this earth. Every single story about him is cool, especially when you think about his younger years. It has kind of hit me that the BoM is truly a book of repentance. Almost every single prophet or story has repentance in it, which shows us how important it is for us to always do our best, and repent when we need to.
Every Sunday we have a devotional, and then watch a recorded devotional from past years. This week we watched Elder Holland's talk. He talked about how a mission is the most important thing we can do. He said "I hear missionaries say "I can't wait to serve a mission and get back to real life." This is real life. This is as real life as you're going to get!" What a good speaker! He also talked about how everything in the Book of Mormon is meant to be there. Especially the stuff that gets repeated. "These prophets wrote on metal plates with an ice pick, none of this is an accident!" Which brings me back to the importance of repentance. Every prophet could have left out their repentance and no one would have thought twice about it, cause they're prophets. Since they left it in, it means it's important. And I hope I don't sound like i'm calling you all to repentance, it's just something I thought was cool.
So it turns out that me and Anziano Burton were at the same EFY at Utah State. Crazy small world! I also ran into Andy Nelson the other day. I guess he works for security here. I ran into him while he was on a break from patrolling the MTC fence, using a cattle prod to keep the missionaries from escaping. Just kidding, that's a bad joke. Sorry.
Two nights ago I gave my first blessing, where I actually gave the blessing. Anz. Mata'u has been having back problems and he asked me to give it. It was such a cool experience and i'm glad that I have such a good Dad who sets such a good example for me.
Yesterday I got to host new missionaries. I heard Alex Stewart was getting dropped off yesterday but I missed him. Hopefully i'll run into him before I leave. An Elder in my district Anz. Herrin is so funny. When we were hosting, he said "When the next car comes, i'm going to open the door and say "Take me with you. Please." or give them a note and say "Please get help." I was laughing so hard. I helped a kid not from the US. I couldn't tell you where he's from cause I couldn't understand him, but he was nice. He took a long time with everything, but I remember how overwhelming it was my first day, and I can speak English. I also helped a Sister. I only helped two people because my first one took so long, but what can you do.
At this past tuesday devotional, a member of the seventy came and spoke to us. He said on his mission his trainer took him to a house and told him to teach the first lesson by himself. The guy who they taught was wasted, and the speaker said "I realized what my trainer was doing. He was having me practice!" I'm hoping I get a few drunks to teach just to get into the swing of things.
I love Fratello Garvin to death. He seriously is the most awesome teacher. He took me the other day and interviewed me just to see how i'm doing. I'm not getting as frustrated with myself, and really making sure that i'm spending any time I can reviewing things. He told me he was proud of me because I can speak with courage and power like Nephi. It meant a lot to me that he'd say that. I'm getting a lot better now at the language. Anziano Herrin and I taught a lesson the other day. Usually i'm with Anz. Burton and he usually takes the lead cause he's better than me. With Anz. Herrin I took the lead, and it was cool to see how well I could do by myself. A lot of times when I teach with Az. Burton, I rely on him a lot. It was cool to see I can do it myself. Anyways, when I get home i'm taking Fratello Garvin out to lunch or something cause he seriously has helped me out so much.
While i'm talking about going to lunch, Paul I haven't forgotten our bet. Five Guys is on me, mark your calendar for February 2015.
A cool thing that we did in class was make a "Conversion Map." It's where you write down the big testimony building experiences in your life. I encourage everyone to do this. As I thought back, I remembered a lot of things that I don't normally think of with building my testimony. I realized that a huge part of my testimony is built on the Priesthood. It has had such a huge impact on my life, so it made the blessing I gave Anz. Matau' mean that much more to me. Again, I am so thankful for you Dad for teaching me the importance of the priesthood and setting such a good example to me.
Well i'm running out of time again. I'll send my SD card today once I get the chance. I'm hoping you'll be able to send it back to me before I leave for Italy because it'll be 1000X cheaper. PS this time in two weeks, i'll be knocking on doors in Italy. Here's the protocol: (nothing is official yet, because we haven't officially received our travel plan thing)
Leave March 19 (the day after Mom's birthday, I didn't forget) in the morning. I can call home at the airport, so i'll figure out when I'll do that once I get the travel plan. We fly to Chicago, have a layover, then fly to London, then to Milan. Once we land we'll have twelve hours to sleep, then we go tour a cathedral in Milan, and leave for our areas. It's finally real! And I can't wait.
Thanks again for everyone writing me, and all the love and support i've gotten from home. It means the world to me, and I want you all to know how thankful I am. You're the best and I love you all!
Love, Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon
PS Mom when you clean out the sewing room, make sure you put my stuff in a spot I can find it when I get home. Thanks! Love you :)