Monday, October 27, 2014

MTC Brothers

I wasn't in the MTC but 13 short days - but these are my MTC Brothers!!  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week One is DONE

First off, I'm alive.  Glad we got that out of the way, I'm sure not hearing from me for a week was a little odd for some people.  But on to the main portion of my update.  I'm loving the MTC, It's a great place to be.  I'm not going to lie, the first 3 days might have been the most boring, tedious, and somehow mentally tedious days I've ever experienced.  From what I've heard from other missionaries, this is an extremely common thing.  After you get over the shock of being here, and the shock of having to teach strangers, it gets fun; really fun.  Let me describe a normal day.
I wake up at 6:00 AM, because the required time of 6:30 AM wasn't bad enough for me.  I get suited up and ready for the day, then we go to breakfast.  The meals here are good, I can understand how some missionaries gain 10+ pounds here, there's a doughnut, cake, or cookie with every meal.  Fortunately for me, I have enough self control to avoid those, most of the time.  Right after breakfast we're in class with Sister Crawford, a lovely teacher, albeit strict about being on time.  By the time we're in class it's 7:30 AM, and we're in there until 11:30 AM.  Yes, that's right, 4 hours of solid class time and studying. 
Then we go to lunch for a bit before we go back to class, from 12:15 PM to 3:15PM.  Yay...3 more hours of studying.  After that class we have --wait for it-- MORE STUDYING.  Another hour of personal study when the teachers leave, although how much studying gets done is up for debate.  So it's almost 4:30 PM and we have dinner, which is usually really good.  After dinner we have studying.  Is anyone noticing a pattern here?  We study in our classrooms from 5:15 PM to around 8:15 PM.  Let's count up the hours really quickly.  Four hours int he morning, 4 in the early afternoon, and 3 more in the evening.  That's 11 hours that we're in our classroom (18M 437 represent).  That's more time in class than I get sleep.  After all that studying, we've started to go a little stir crazy, so we normally have gym time where we can lift weights, run, or play sports.  That's usually the best part of the day, because we get to completely unwind for about an hour.  Gym time is over at 9:15 PM, and we're normally back in our residence halls at 9:30 PM.  We have about an hour to iron clothes, write in journals, read letters, and do whatever we need to do in our residence halls.  Then it's lights out at 10:30 PM.  The cycle begins the next day with an annoying series of beeps from an alarm clock, and the cycle begins again.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  

Being here has been a mixture of awesome and exhausting.  But I'm extremely glad to be here.  I know my Mom is posting this to a blog, and I would like to share a short message with whoever will read this, whether you are a member of the LDS church or not.  It's meant a lot to me since I've entered the MTC, and I've turned to it many times in lessons and general study.  This passage comes from the introduction to the Book of Mormon, and I've used it almost every time I teach a new person.  

"We invite all me everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if this book is true.  Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost"

My purpose as a missionary is to invite all to grow closer to Christ, whether they are a member or non-member.  I still have my sense of humor and sarcasm, and I'm the same person you all remember, but I've grown closer to Heavenly Father by following the above invitation.  I would love to hear from anyone that would send me an email.  

--Elder Gailey

Sunday, October 19, 2014

First Email Home - MTC

First Email Home...

Can't wait until I get a longer email on Tuesday.  If you want to write him in the next few weeks - it is easier to use the and use his information at the end of the email.  They print out the emails and deliver them the same day if it sent before noon!

I assume from the email that he made it to the MTC and is doing great - well almost great!

If you want to see what happens in the MTC check this website out....

Hey Mom and Dad, 

I'm alive, don't worry.  My district got permission to write a short letter home.  Feel free to tell everybody that all is going well.  I don't have a long time, we have to be back in the residence halls pretty soon.  But studying is going well, and the classes are great.  My district is full of great missionaries, and all but 2 of us are going to Utica, so I'm sure I'm meeting future companions.  Feel free to use to write a letter to me, I can only check my emails once a week.  I couldn't even read the one Dad sent me, which bums me out.  I hope all is going well with the family, and hope Kellan is back to full health, I worried about the little guy.  I'm the district leader here, so that's fun.  I'm having a good time, but I seem to be swinging from feasting on the scriptures and loving it here, to severely doubting my ability to cope with the missionary lifestyle.  But I'm trucking along and I hope to read your emails this Tuesday.  And Mom, thanks for the typed out letter, I really enjoyed reading it.  

Elder John Blain Gailey
2009 N 900 E Unit 171
Provo UT 84602

I love you so much, please pray for me.  

Elder Gailey

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Setting Apart

The before & after of being  a missionary...
As a missionary you have received your call from the prophet but you need to be set apart for that calling.  For John this happened today.

According to Setting Apart is defined as:
"To be selected and consecrated for holy purposes. This appointment is to a specific service within the Church organization by the laying on of hands by someone who has the proper authority. " 

John currently lives in the boundaries of the Federal Way stake of the church of Jesus Christ of LDS and their fore the one who has the proper authority is President Randal Nichols.  John and a few family members were invited to attend his setting apart as a missionary. 

As so as the setting apart takes place John was known as Elder Gailey and asked to live as a missionary.  He leaves for the Mission Training Center (MTC) in the wee hours of the morning.  Here are some of the rules that missionaries are asked to keep.  They apply to both young men and young women.

As an ambassador of the Lord, you are to wear professional, conservative clothing that is consistent with your sacred calling and that will clearly identify you as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Your appearance is often the first message others receive, and it should support what you say. Always strive to present a professional, dignified, clean, and well-groomed appearance. 

This is why you see missionaries in shirts, slacks and ties even on hot,cold, rainy or snowy days.

Missionares are asked to stay obey the laws of chastity, not to listen to music - except for spiritual kinds and only at certain times of the day, the study the scriptures daily, pray, serve those in need - many missionaries are called upon in times of disaster to help.  They meet with people, talk about the Lord Jesus Christ and share their message.  They get up at 6:30 am and are in bed 10:30, Sunday through Saturday.  They use email once a week to communicate with family and avoid movies and TV.  Their full-time job is to share the gospel and they sacrifice "worldly pursuits" for spiritual growth and for their love of the Lord.

Missions are hard, exhausting and very structured and yet by serving for two years they have grown into hard working productive men.  They have learned what it takes to lose themselves in the service of the Lord.  

Matthew 28:19    
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"

This is exactly what John will be doing for two years.  God Bless

What ever your religious background is our what ever you believe you have to give these young LDS men and women credit for giving up two years of their lives for two years to serve someone other then themselves.