Friday, September 26, 2014

Some Good News and Some Bad News

There is good news and bad news as far as the knee goes.  I just got done meeting with the District President.  It is official, I will be delayed for two weeks.  If I get better then whenever the President of my mission is ready I will go to Mexico.  The doctor here won't send me with a brace, however, so I meet with him again on Tuesday.  If things aren't starting to get better then I will be sent home otra vez (once again). I got the brace yesterday and I might be getting crutches. The MRI came back normal and so that is part of the reason why he won't send me out.  I can barely walk and if I start to go up stairs it is terrible.  I shouldn't need surgery as of right now.  I didn't have a limp when I first came in but now I do.  It is swollen a little bit and there is fluid in my knee.  They said something about some bone that had something but he didn't think that would be causing pain.  I hurt my knee on the 18th.  They could still send me on Monday but my progress would have to be dramatic.  I will probably get assigned to another district in our zone.

This week in the MTC was full of all sorts of stuff!  It was our last week and so we are all pretty anxious to get out and to start pushing the cause.  Classes are starting to get pretty restless and people are slowly starting to focus more on being in the field.  It was awesome to be able to hear another Apostle speak to us this last Tuesday.  It was Elder Ballard and he didn't write a talk to be translated before hand so you could really tell he was following the spirit.  He said a lot of things.  One of the things I liked was him saying to set goals that can actually be achieved.  He said that we should also use the Preach My Gospel principles and apply them to more than just our missionary work.  He used it to find his wife and so make sure that we are using it for more than just preaching.  I don't have my notes but I will try and send some more stuff with that next week.  Things are going good and hopefully I will be back out soon.  Until then I will just gain some more weight in the MTC.

Elder Orchard

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Knee Problems

Since we are moving up to main today we kind of have a weird schedule for the next two days.  We have P-day here until 9:30 am and then we move up but then tomorrow we have P-day again!  So, I will probably keep things short today because of time.  I will send the weekly email tomorrow.

The KNEE....(I got a call from the MTC on Wednesday asking for insurance information because Doug hurt his knee and needed additional care) I was playing basketball and went to make a cut and my knee popped and then I went down.  I went to the specialist yesterday, which happened to be Hunter Smith's team doctor at UVU, and he said it is probably a meniscus tear or an MCL tear but we won't know for sure until after the MRI.  I have that at 11:45 and then, supposedly, he is going to have it read today and I should find out details tonight or tomorrow morning ish.  He did say if surgery is required recovery time is still up in the air.  Your meniscus all depends on how bad it is and how much work they have to do.  It could be 3 weeks, it could be a few months.  He won't have a plan until after he can get everything read.

I leave on Monday.  My flight goes to Houston leaving at 7:00 a.m. so we leave the MTC at about 3:30 a.m.  I would love to be able to see you if it works out.  (Russell has a 6:00 am flight the same day to Sacramento so he wrote Doug and asked if he would want to see him at the airport.)  Let me just check with President Carpenter and make sure it is okay!  One of the kids is having his dad meet him at the airport and we are all a little upset about it.  This kid needs to figure out what he is doing and make a decision!  I am sure it is different, at least that's what my teacher told me, between you being there for a flight that got planned and it was a coincidence and him emailing his dad and telling him to change his flight so they could meet up!  Needless to say, we have had some problems with this Elder in our district and he is having problems with a lot of things.  It is crazy to me how one person could have taken two years of Spanish in high school and still can't even pray without using a book and even when he uses it speaks Spanglish.  You feel bad for the kid because in less than a week he will have a native companion that speaks no English.  We will see how it goes.

Just a little preview for tomorrow's letter, we had another of the Twelve come speak to us on Tuesday so that was pretty cool!  I won't tell you who it was but that made two in a row and that is a pretty rare thing I guess because they have gone about 3 months without a Twelve.

I will have a better email to send out to people tomorrow.

Love you lots,
Elder Orchard

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Some Thoughts on Prayer

I just found out last week we have to all move up to the main campus.  Ughhh...that is crappy because that leaves three ish days up there.  Eso si que es (SOCKS, it is what it is).

I saw Levi yesterday at dinner just for a brief minute.  I will have more time to see him next week when he is not in meetings.

This week has been awesome!  We got to listen to Elder Scott on Tuesday and he gave an amazing talk on prayer.  From the second he walked in you could feel the spirit a million times stronger which I didn't know was possible at the MTC because at those devotionals the spirit is amazing!  He showed a little more humor during this talk that I don't ever see in conference.  I took quite a few notes.  Here are just a few.

Prayer gets answered in three ways.

1.  You feel peace and that means it is a yes to your question.
2.  You have a stupor of thought and that means it is a no.
3.  You get no response.  It is now your responsibility to grow and exercise faith by following the commandments and doing what we should.

You should feel best about #3 because God trusts you enough for you to make your own decisions.  Pray often but don't get discouraged if you don't get an answer during your prayer because answers seldom come while praying.  We also need to be grateful.

Something fun for the week is just hanging out with most of the people in this district, usually Elder Juan.  Our relationship is a lot like Dallas and mine so we just have fun constantly.  Our teacher is awesome.  He went to the Dominican Republic (Doug's dream mission before he got called to Mexico City) so I live vicariously through him!  I have heard all sorts of crazy stories about that place so we will see how it goes (I think he means for his friend, Tanner, who just left to serve there)!

Advice for the week is just pray more earnestly.  One thing that Elder Scott said is that God already knows how we feel and what we want.  He knows everything about us and he knows our hearts and our intentions.  You might as well pray for everything since he already knows!  I love you all and hope that all is well back at home!

Love,
Douglas

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I Finally Saw Elder Earley

This week has been a lot of the same!!  I finally saw Elder Earley (Doug's cousin) on Sunday and he looked like he was doing great!! It was cool seeing him.  It wasn't until we were about to watch the movie that I saw him.  I didn't have much time to talk but it was really nice to see him.  It lifted my spirit a lot and is nice to have that relationship to him and to see how well he is doing.

I couldn' imagine being at the MTC for that long!!  I would be at almost 200 pounds if I did that!!  I am already back up to 165 in just a short week which is a little over 15 pounds since I returned from Mexico!!

Not much goes on here.  Just basically school but for nine hours a day everyday.  We even have homework.  With how hard it is it is also very worth it.  You can literally feel yourself coming closer to Christ every day and that's what it is all about!

They feed us anything and everything.  We have lots of potatoes and meat, chocolate chip cookies and lots of ice cream.  You take as much as you want.  It is just really really good school lunch.  I ate a whole Papa John's pizza one night so that was awesome!

Here is everyones Spanish class for the day!  eso si que es!  You literally just spell out "socks" and it basically means "it is what it is"!!  Everyone go crazy with that one!  Now on to a little more spiritual note...during our devotional on Sunday night we sang Armies of Helaman.  Imagine 2200 missionaries singing that at a devotional and imagine how powerful it was when we sang "and we are now the Lord's missionaries"!!  I don't think that there was a dry eye in the entire MTC the spirit was so strong!!  President Eyring was touring BYU on Tuesday and they had talked about how to act if an apostle or member of the First Presidency was there and so we were all excited to hear from him.  Well, it was just a member of the seventy and President Eyring wasn't even there.  How lame!!  I would highly suggest everyone looking up The Character of Christ by Elder Bednar.  It was a really great talk and I think you especially would enjoy it, Dad.  Other than this just keep trekking on and trying to become fluent in Spanish!!
yo sé que la iglesia de jesucristo do los santos de los ultimos dias es verdadera.  tambien you sé que josé smith fue una profeta.  el libro de mormón es la palabra de dios.  y por medio de este libro podemos aprender como podemos volver y vivir con dios.  estoy muy agradacido por mi familia y oro mucho para ustedes.  estoy agradacido por los ejemplos que yo tenia en mi vida.  sin ustedes no estoy aqui para servir. (I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints is true.  I also know that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  The Book of Mormon is the word of God and through this book we can learn how we can return to live with God.  I am very thankful for my family and pray much for you all.  I am grateful for the examples that I have in my life. Without you all I would not be here to serve.)

les amo, (I love you all,)
Elder Orchard

Later that afternoon Douglas walked over to The Downtown Philly where he ran into his Uncle Steve Orchard who works in Orem and eats at that place often.  We were all a little jealous when we got this picture of them but we are so happy he looks so good!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday is P-day

Alright, so, P-day is the same (Thursday)! I am living on West campus which is where all the Spanish missionaries live!  So, that means we are allowed to leave on P-day and go eat and stuff at the shopping strip mall and whatsoever.  The District is pretty cool!  There are only a few people in it I don't really like.  My companion is Elder Lyman from Herriman.  He is pretty chill.  He talks a lot though.  We get along really well.  We are basically about the same person!
It is crazy to see the difference in everyone's Spanish here compared to Mexico.  My teacher at night, who is like the coolest guy ever, told me that my Spanish was off the charts so that made me feel pretty good.  We DON'T have any Sisters so thank the Lord above for that!!  I also saw Cameron Hansen!! Crazy!!  He is going to Shoeneman's mission so I told him to look for him and say "What's up!"
Other than that I can totally feel myself getting fatter.  The food is usually pretty good here!! We get the BYU Creamery whenever we want for free so I am just adding weight before I go and lose it in Mexico again.  I had to get a size 36 at the temple today so ugh oh!  Other than that things are going pretty good.  Seth Gardner just got here yesterday too.  The first week has been pretty good so far.

The little spiritual note of the day, on Tuesday we had a devotional and Elder Clarke told us some things to do as missionaries but there was something that really stuck out to me.  Missionaries have the power to be able to ask for blessings and when serving a mission you not only bless the lives of your investigators but your families!

A portion of Stockton's email to Douglas and the response he got:

Stockton:  My Patriarchal blessing was so awesome.  I could feel the spirit so strongly.  Mom, Dad and I were all crying for a little during it.  Mine was really specific about a mission too, and it said the Temple would be very important in my life.  I will get a written copy next week.

Doug:  Your patriarchal blessing is something that will guide you for your whole life and you need to rely on it.  Mine is very specific about serving a mission and that is why I had such a hard time coming back out!  This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and I am not sure it is going to be easy but I know that I am going to be blessed because of it!

We were able to email chat for a minute and I got a few more details out of him:).

Doug:  We get $6 every week to live on so it is even less (than the $7 in Mexico)!  I guess just preparing more for when I go to Mexico.  There is an Elder here whose name is Elder Juan (John but in Spanish).  I have really linked with him.  He is really cool and funny.  It is unreal how much he reminds me of Dallas.  Not just the physical appearance of him but the way he acts and everything.
We are all pretty close but there are like two I really don't like.  I will need you to send me a pair of dad's slacks just for the MTC if I get too fat!

Me:  Pregnant ladies use a rubber band.  Fold it in half and put it through your loop.  Then hook it around the button.  It gives you an extra inch or so that way!

Doug:  Thanks mom!! I love you, I will talk to you guys next week!! Tell everyone I love them and miss them!

te amo,
Douglas