Thursday, January 7, 2016

MTC Week 1


How's it going everybody! I'm super excited to start hearing from all of you every week. I got my email changed so now you can all send me emails whenever you'd like at! Feel free to spread that around to any of my friends back home so I can hear from them as well! 

First off I'd like to thank you guys for that care package, it was super awesome! You must have been inspired with the number of cookies you sent because there were just enough for me to give one to all of the elders in my district, they all appreciated them! I'm one of the few that's received letters and care packages, so when you send care packages just give me enough to share with everybody else! I don't have the cable for my camera with me, so I'm not able to send pictures right now, I'm sorry mom. If you want to send me a card reader that I can use that would be great, because I can't seem to find the cable that came with the camera in my bags 

This week has been so incredible. You guys have no idea how cool everything is here. The first few days I found myself just smiling at everything because I just love the fact that I'm officially a missionary now. We study on average about 10 hours a day, and I'm loving every second of it. My companion, Elder Powell, is a lot like me, in the sense that he prepared a good amount before he came out, so me and him are both sky rocketing with our language study, and we can help the rest of our district out. Our district is absolutely incredible. The Lord knows who and what we need, and when we need it. The fact that everybody in our district was called at the time they were is nothing short of a miracle. My companion, Elder Powell, waited 8 months to report, two of the elders waited 6 months, for one elder it took him 11 months from the time he decided he wanted to serve a mission until the time he reported. On of the sisters gave up her job after 4 years of schooling and an incredible job. Everyone here is here because the Lord knew that we needed each other. We've already started teaching in Russian. We've taught four lesson to our investigator so far, and it's been absolutely incredible! Last night we invited her to be baptized, and she said she would be when she was sure that it was true. In my broken Russian I was able to look her in the eyes and say something to the effect of "Lera, I give you a promise, that if you will read this book, and if you will pray to know that it is true, God will answer you." As I spoke I felt the spirit so strong. It was such an amazing experience to see that although my words were clearly weak, and my grammatical errors must have been plentiful, the language of the spirit speaks with conviction and clarity that cannot be misinterpreted or misunderstood. I haven't really made a whole lot of funny language mistakes yet, other than a few days ago at the end of a lesson when I accidentally asked her if she would return, when I meant to ask if she would pray. She laughed and I immediately corrected myself. Other than that it's going super well! 

I've only prayed in English about 2 times since I've been here, everything else has been in Russian. That's been a super cool experience as well. When you have such a limited vocabulary you learn how to stretch the few words that you do know really far. It's funny how much you can express to your father in heaven with the words of a 4 year old. I've already learned so much since I've been here. One thing in specific that has helped me more than anything is focusing everything on the Lord and on the people. The first couple of days here I was so excited to learn the language, that that was all I spent my time on, and nothing seemed to be sticking. Then on Sunday we listened to a guest speaker at a devotional, and then watched a talk given by Elder Bednar exclusively for missionaries. The spirit must have had a message for me because I heard them telling me to focus on Christ and the people about 500 times. They promised that as our focus shifted outwards from ourselves, that everything else would follow. Since then I have prayed sincerely for my investigator, and devoted a large amount of my personal study time towards things that could help her, and I have become so much more proficient in the language, in the spirit, and in my teaching abilities. The Lord will provide for us if we give ourselves to Him and turn our wills towards his. I'll just share with you a couple more thoughts and then I'll sign off. 

First, I found a scripture that fits dad so perfectly, when I read it I laughed to myself because it reminded me of something that he would say. When you get a chance, look up 1 Corinthians 13:11. Second, I learned something cool about a Russian word. The word for family in Russian is Семья, pronounced "Semya". "Сем" in russian means seven, and "я" means "I". So the word for family implies that you're taking 7, or any number of people and making them one. Just a cool thought! I love you all so much. The time here seems to be flying by, it's already been more than a week since I arrived, and it feels like I've only been here a day. Tell Wyatt, Cody, and Cole that I miss them and love them dearly. Please send Wyatt a copy of this email, and let them know to email me back whenever they get a chance, or send me a dear elder, those work really well because I can think about a response throughout the week. On p-days we only get an hour to respond to emails, so I print them off and then read them before I start my one hour to respond. Sorry if this email is ridiculously long, I just have so much I want to tell you. Feel free to post whatever portion of this email you would like to the blog. I'll send pictures next week.

-Старейшина кэмптон

(Staryeshina Kempton)


  1. Let the blessings begin! What a wonderful missionary he is becoming.

  2. He is a wonderful young man and is becoming such an amazing Disciple of Jesus Christ!!