Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013 - Third Letter: In which I split my face open

Dear Family,

On last Saturday I got three stitches! MTC four square is pretty intense. I was in the king square and (naturally) trying to defend my throne, and I leaned just a little too far forward as I tried to hit the ball. I was moving too fast to get out my hands so I landed on my face. I didn't break my nose (which was lucky) but I split my eyebrow open. And I had to get three stitches. There's a first time for everything!

Something that's funny about my trip to the BYU Student Urgent Care clinic was that the doctor that stitched me up was from Camarillo! She lived in the navy housing off Las Posas and went to Las Posas Elementary. It's such a small world. She and the other nurses also told my companions that my eyebrow had to be shaved off to give me the stitches and then put an enormous Band-Aid on my face to cover up my (perfectly intact) eyebrow. It was pretty funny when that came off.

On Sunday BYU Men's Chorus came and sang for the Sunday Evening Devotional! They were so good! I really want to be in it when I get back from my mission. (On a related note, Brother Machado let slip that he was part of BYU Singers and I almost died.)

Tuesday evening our speakers were Elder Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife. Sister Rasband told us an awesome story about one of their elders when they were the president of the New York, New York City North Mission. The elder, Elder Powell, had always wanted to have his shoes shined in a booth like they have in the nicer parts of New York City where you sit in an elevated, velvet-lined seat while the worker shines your shoes. Elder Powell had, however, stayed in Harlem and the Bronx for basically all of mission so he never saw a booth like he had imagined. So when he came to the end of his mission, and he heard someone offering to shine his shoes, he jumped at the offer and ran to the man. When he asked how much it would be, the man that offered just said, "Whatever you're willing to give." Elder Powell agreed to that, being a poor missionary!

He was surprised, though, when the man that offered didn't lead him to the chair he had always imagined. The man knelt down while Elder Powell stayed standing, and the man started polishing and buffing Elder Powell's shoes with his bare hands and his clothes.

Sister Rasband told us how Elder Powell was struck when the man started doing this. He took another look at the man that was polishing his shoes, and how his clothes were all blackened, most likely from days of polishing shoes like he was then, and how low in life he had fallen. He was reminded of the Savior, because the Savior also had descended below all to serve us, and even to make it so that we could have eternal life through completing the Atonement. The man, of course, was desperate and not serving out of love like the Savior, but Elder Powell thought about how Christ asked for the same thing in return for his Atonement as what the man asked for polishing shoes: "Whatever you're willing to give." By the time the man was done polishing, Elder Powell was searching for everything that he had in his pockets to give, and his companion's also!
I probably didn't do it justice (and I'm starting to have problems with pronouns in English), but it was an awesome story and such a powerful reminder of the Atonement.

After that Elder Rasband talked to us about spiritual gifts. That was pretty good, too, but I just liked Sister Rasband's a little bit better. :)

We've been very busy with teaching! We don't teach as often now, but we've had two investigators all this week and we just got a new one yesterday! We're now teaching Iván, Pavel, and Andéla. Also we have TRC now, which is where we basically teach anyone who comes in to the MTC to volunteer. They don't come in character like how my teachers are my investigators, they just come as themselves. Since we're learning Czech, though, we normally just talk to returned missionaries. Between our investigators and TRC, we taught three lessons in Czech yesterday! It's very hard, and we're having a particularly hard time getting Iván to seem interested or read the Book of Mormon. We spent our whole lesson yesterday teaching about it but he still wouldn't agree to try reading it. We at least got him to agree to think about reading it, so I guess that's an improvement.

Next week I'm pretty sure I'll be able to write two days! We get time on Christmas to write, as well as P-day on Friday as normal. It would just nice to get some letters to reply to. :)

I'm just about out of time, and I need to attach some photos (which is obnoxious on the MTC computers). Those will be in a separate email.

Merry Christmas! Love,

Starší Boyce
A beautiful picture of the Provo Temple in the snow.

The mountains are so beautiful in Utah
Daniel and his companions, Elder Prohaska and Elder Nelson

Daniel's district- Daniel is the district leader of these missionaries who are all learning Czech.

These missionaries all arrived in the MTC the same day 

Owie!  Off to the BYU Health Center for 3 stitches!

All better! Love the bandage!

Daniel's cousin gave Daniel this tie because every missionary needs a really, really ugly tie!
Sign says "thank you."  The Young Women and the Primary sent a package with cards and letter.

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