Elder D. Andrew Greenman

Our son, Elder Andrew Greenman, has been called to serve in the Mozambique Maputo Mission. He has asked me to create this blog so that you, the reader, can read his letters to home. His current writing address is found below along with the most recent letter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Last Week in the MTC

WOW!!!  Time sure has flown by extremely fast, but the days seem to get slower and slower as I get nearer to my departure date.  I received my flight plans last Thursday!  I was surprised to see that it will take three days to get to Mozambique.  I leave from the SLC Airport at 11:25am and then arrive in Chicago where I have a three hour layover.  From there I fly to London where a ten hour layover will greet me as I walk off the plane.  From there I fly to Johannesburg South Africa.  I'll have another three hours in layover before my flight to Mozambique Maputo.  From there, If I understand correctly I'll be staying at the mission home for a few days before I'm sent off to my first area!  I'm overwhelmed with excitiment thinking that in a week and a day I'll finally set foot in Africa.
My experience at the MTC has been one of great growth.  I'm come to know my Heavenly Father on a more personal level.  My testimony of Jesus Christ's atonement has bloomed into a realization that through Christ, all can TRULY be saved.  The Gospel is a beautiful thing.   Yesterday, while sitting in class, I began to ponder the greatness of this creation.  I know that there is no possible way that this Earth could have become so beautiful without a God.  I came to a deep understanding and solid conviction that there is no way that the human body, as complex and incredible as it is, could have JUST come to be without a loving Heavenly Father who created us, AND has such a vested interest in our success in this life and in the eternities to come.  Not only have I learned so much about the Gospel in these short two months, but I've learned how to comunicate better with people.  I've come to know so many new people, and have learned to see things as they see them.  Its a beautiful thing to be able to be here at the MTC where the spirit is so incredibly strong.  As I prepare to leave, and as I go throughout this last week I'm committed to do everything else I can to learn, grow, and progress.  As a Missionary I want to know the Gospel so well that I may be able to rely on the Spirit.  I know that when teaching with the Spirit it is possible to say the simplest words yet convey the eternal expanse.
-Elder Greenman

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hello everyone!!!  Once again this week has flown by incredibly fast.   This past sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting.  It was the most spiritual, and at the same time enjoyable one I've ever been a part of.   First off I'll give some background...
Elder Brooksby, who is going to Portugal,  had appendicitis and had to be taken to the hospital.  Long story short, is they gave him some extremely powerful meds that mess with his head.   During Fast and Testimony meeting so many Elders were getting up and bearing their testimony.  Finally, as one the elders finished, three other elders stood up as if to go next.  Then Elder Brooksby slowly stood up and turned around,  he told all the others to, "Sit down! it's my turn!"  He slowly walked to the podium and proceeded to say that not only is this the first time he's born his testimony in the MTC but the first and hopefully the last time he'll do it under the influence.   After that he said something that really touched me, "You know Elders,  even though i'm heavily drugged, I can still feel your spirit.  Do be honest, I don't even remember how I got into this room.  I remember getting in the elevator, but not out.  But as i've sat in my chair here listening to you, I've felt the spirit overpowering the effects of the drugs"
He proceeded to bear his testimony which was simple and it seemed hard for him to get those feeling in his heart to his mouth. 
Another thing happened on Sunday which i'll never forget.   As our Zone headed off for out temple walk at 2:45 we had just come off the MTC Campus and were at the Crosswalk waiting for the walk signal.  There were some "protesters"  with big crosses there (on public grounds)  and the began to talk to us.  Asking us if we could think for our selves.  One of the men began to "testify" that we were being manipulated and that he once was a mormon.   He had a printed copy of his "testimony" and began an effort to pass it out to the missionaries there.  First off, we had been told previously by President Brown to not speak or interact with them.  That didn't seem to be a problem. Second off,  I laugh inside and ask, "Did those people really think they could get one of us to cave?"   The spirit here at the MTC is so strong,  I feel it every day, and in every hour of that day. I feel extremely sorry for those men who drag those heavy wooden crosses all the way to that crosswalk corner by the MTC, and then proceed to waste their time trying to tear the church down.  I'm glad they do it in the sense that I have the opportunity to gain a great testimony of this work and the divinity of its message.  I know that this Church is true.  I know that the Book of Mormon is also true, and that because I know this, so many other things follow.  I know Joseph Smith was the Prophet of the Restoration, and that Jesus Christ is my Savior.  I know that the Gospel blesses families to and eternal level. And I'm very grateful for my family

-Elder Greenman

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Experiencing Prayer Like Never Before

May 1, 2012

I can't believe that I'm starting my sixth week here and that I'll be heading for Mozambique 29 days.  Everything happens so quickly.  When I first got here it seemed like May 28th was an eternity away.  Now I look back on the first day I arrived at the MTC.  I was so excited to come. I'm sure my family thought that I was just excited to get out of their sights.  Eversince I could remember I had always wanted to serve a mission, and the moment had come.  I remember that day well, sitting in Isaac's  apartment.  We had arrived at Provo a few hours earlier than my "check-in" time.  The family was gathered together to have lunch before we all walked to the MTC together.  All I could think about, at that time, was that I wanted to be in that Missionary Training Center.  I look back on that day with similar feelings.  Right now, I can't wait to go to Mozambique and spread the word.  Don't get me wrong,  I am loving my MTC experience. 
I've never prayed harder in my life before!  It was just last week when I had an amazing experience with prayer.  I knelt down after a long day and began talking to my Father in Heaven.  It was the first time I felt like I had a real conversation with God.  It was AMAZING!  The Spirit was so strong with me that next day, and I continued to be enlightened by it like never before.  I've learned a lot about prayer.  Not only is it an opportunity to know God's will, but also and opportunity to be accountable.  I've grown and felt the spirit more each day as I begin my day with a prayer, talking with God about what it is I want to accomplish that day, then at night to be able to return to him on my knees and talk to him about how my day went and How I can do better the next day.
I've never studied harder in my life.  There is so much time here each and everyday where I can just turn to the scriptures and study.  The MTC Spirit seems to launch people into spiritual progression here.  I know that as soon as I get into the mission field I won't have as much time to study as I do now.  This just pushes me to study hard and gain as much knowledge as possible. 

I think it's safe to say that now I have a pretty good grasp on the portuguese language.  I think you could say that I'm tri-lingual now.  I love speaking portuguese.  Interestingly enough Spanish isn't mixing in with my Portuguese, but on the other hand.  My portuguese is wrecking my spanish.  I'm pretty sure that when I get back from my mission, it will take me at least a few weeks to speak spanish again properly.

I'm in the MTC Choir now!!!  Big news right!?   haha, not really.  To be in the MTC choir all you have to do is show up the night of the performance and practice for 40 minutes.  Regardless, it's  a great experience! Our Choir Director is absolutley hilarious.  He makes music even more enjoyable than I ever thought it could be.  On Sunday I was able to sit down next to Elder Lake.  He and I sang together and were also able to talk about how things are going back home.  (Speaking of which, is there anyway I could get a ballot for this upcoming election?)

I'm meeting so many new people here at the MTC.  What a wonderful experience it has been to relate and connect with the new Elders who come into our Zone every Wednesday.  Its a weekly reminder to when I came in on the 28th of March.

Until next week I remain ever anxious to serve,
Elder Greenman.