Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MTC Week 9: The Time Has Come!

My time here in the MTC is finally up. I've just started packing up and am doing laundry before dinner. The room is a wreck as we're trying to make sure to dodge the overweight baggage fees, which would nail us for about 150 bucks or so. Yeah, not so stoked about that.

As for MTC stuff this last week has been extremely awesome as we've all prepared to head out and we've received all the leaving advice and instructions from our leaders. It's really quite weird when everyone keeps telling me how much I've changed and how much they've watched me grow in the last nine weeks. I hardly feel any different in a number of respects! But I guess that's part of growing; you never really see how much you've done until you really look back. But I don't have time for that. I'll look back after I've worked my tail off in Panama. Dilligently working has always been a weakspot of mine, but with all the high expectations and with the promise of bringing the gospel to as many people as I could, I can't afford to blow this.

When I get home, you'll have to ask about my MTC Branch President, President Studdert. Heck, the whole presidency, Brother Worthington and Brother Johnston. They've been really helpful out here and I don't intend to forget about them for awhile. President Studdert even knows where Picatinny is.

As for teachers, I'll make sure to write a bit about them both when I send pictures home. I kind of regret not taking more, but I think they would've gotten a little repetitive out here. They've really been a great help as well, though. As for the tooth deal, nothing's wrong. Maybe a piece of beef jerky is stuck down in my gum, but he couldn't see anything and the X-Ray shows that that half of my mouth is still hole-less. Sorry for the worries.

As for other news, I don't know if there's really much for me to say other than how eager I am to get to Panama and work. I've been picking up a couple last minute purchases, such as a high tech little water bottle filter thingy. Thirty bucks for a water bottle that basically filters and cleans about anything you put into it as long as it's water. I mean, worst comes to worst, it should be able to filter urine out completely, too. Not that I'm going to be the first to try it, though.

One thing that I do feel a little sheepish for is how eager I am to get through the mission as quickly as possible. With how much I've heard people telly me how much they cried when they left or how much they never wanted to leave or how they would return in a heartbeat . . . I feel a little selfish for just wanting to get through this as quickly as possible. Maybe that kind of an appreciation and love for the people will come as I serve, but I really do want to work hard and bring the gospel to as many people as humanly possible. I just sometimes feel sheepish over how much I'd like to be home. But, all the more reason to work hard.

The three Honduras-bound missionaries left this morning and the district accompanied them out at 4 AM. Tomorrow, it will be our turn. I'll try to share the gospel with someone in the airport, I guess. And I'll be dropping in a call on you guys from the airport in the morning. If it doesn't work out so well in the morning I might try later on in the day when I land in Georgia. I'd give you the flight plans, Dad, but we're not supposed to meet up with family or friends. And given you get around pretty easily in airports, I'd hardly call it fair that I get to hang out with my old man for lunch. Have to set the example with obedience, Dad.

Hmmmm. I'm not sure if there's much else to say. I'll try to figure out the mail system as quickly as possible and determine how we'll send anything else once I hit the ground in Panama. Sister Broomhead e-mailed me to forward an e-mail to me, but I don't think I can reply. I'm also not sure if that's technically allowed since she's not family, even if she basically could be considered it. I think she might be able to forward it through you to me, though. I'd have to ask my mission president on the specifics for the rules of the mission. I heard that President Madrigal was pretty gung ho, but I don't know if that's just rumors or not.

I'm curious to find out what kind of mission Panama is, but I suppose it won't be long until I find out for myself. I love you all and thank you for your support and hope you continue to write me while I'm out in Panama. You all are in my prayers every night and I hope things are working out for you.

Your Elder Who's Gonna Get a Plane Ticket in the Morning,
Elder Austin Michael Ascura

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