Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week 2: MTC

Got another amazing email from Elder Hruby today! 

Another week down! Not that I am already counting them down, but just another week of work and accomplishments down. I brought my journal with me to the computers this week so hopefully I can give some more details about life. I am planning on just writing every email the same way; go day by day and then whatever else I want to say at the end. If you all have better ideas let me know!

Wednesday was pretty uneventful, mostly just class and eating. We did get a second teacher, Irmao Nielson. He is probably the most kind, soft-spoken, genuine man I have ever met. Elder Ence (yes Courtney he is going to Mozambique, along with another companionship in my District and 4 others in the zone) and I taught Carlos our fourth lesson. He said he is excited about baptism, but we had to teach him the Word of Wisdom which he struggles with. All the new missionaries arrived Wednesday and it actually made me more sad/homesick than getting dropped off myself. Good thing the feeling only lasted for the afternoon. Thursday was the one month mark until we leave for AFRICA! We taught Carlos our fifth and final lesson. He said he wasn't ready to be baptized on the date we set because of his Word of Wisdom problems, but he is determined to get over them and be baptized. We found out that Irmao Belchoir, our Mozambican teacher, was a UN Diplomat in high school!!!!! That is crazy. He is so humble. In the dorms we had a rap battle that night. It was Mormon style of course, but I may have accidentally let "Gay" slip... oops! Friday I wrote this in my journal, "Today the mission got real." We got our third teacher, Irmao Rodrigues AKA Carlos! When he walked in we were all like OHHHHH! We all felt so embarrassed because we know we butchered Portuguese in our lessons haha. Anyways, it got real because he taught us how to really know what we should be study, learning, preparing, planning, teaching, etc. I really felt for the first time I had solid guidance on what I should be focusing on here. Saturday was also pretty uneventful. Had a teacher both morning class and afternoon class, so I was productive. The evening class my head was toasted so I was struggling to focus, but it was nice to get a couple laughs in with the other Elders.Sunday was great, only bad thing is I am always starving on Sundays. Elder Ence and I got called to be the new Zone Leaders! So now we are responsible for 5 Districts instead of me being responsible for just 1. The Zone totals around 25 Elders and Sisters. The devotional was from T.C. Christensen, the guy who directed Ephraim's Rescue and 17 Miracles. It was about the Pioneers. There was a quote that I wrote down that reminded me of you Dad, and how you always encourage me to "Be Great." The quote is, "Great moments happen when PREPARATION meets OPPORTUNITY." Hit me like a train. I know there are going to be more opportunities in Mozambique/Swaziland than I can imagine, but the only way they become great moments where the Lord can take hold and bless those opportunities is if I prepare here. It was a great motivator to refocus. We had a Devotional debrief as a district and I mentioned that quote and how outside of the mission in life I selfishly just want to be significant and do something significant. I said that how that quote made me realize what I have to do. Elder Couch responded to me and made me tear up. He told me I was already significant to the District  and Zone and that he felt I was a great example. Shows you how good the Elders are here. Yesterday was again a little bland. Just two teachers for class, so by the time evening class came around I was beat.

So I know that is a lot, but other random stuff is fun to tell you all as well. The Elders think I am like a mini hulk or workout guru it is osum! My workout buddy is Elder Nate, the big D End from Wyoming. Trying to get in better shape since im up to 196lbs! Bball court opens tomorrow so that should be good. Can't think of anything else for the week... until next Tuesday then! I love you all.

With Love, 
Elder Hruby

Monday, July 21, 2014

Picture Surprise!

We got such a treat today when Elder Hruby was able to send us a few pictures from his Temple walk today. He ran into Sister Katie Clements who he went to high school with! Can't wait to hear about this past week in Elder Hruby's email tomorrow!

Missionary Selfie ;)

In front of the Provo Temple

Elder Ence and Elder Hruby with Sister Clements and her companion

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week 1: MTC

We got our first email from Elder Hruby and it was better than we could ever have imagined. He is doing so well and his Portuguese seems to be coming along amazingly! 
Dear Everyone,

There is so much to tell, so asking a million questions isn't annoying! I'll just run you through my typical schedule and what has happened each day so far. So far the schedule follows the general pattern of: 630 wake up, 0700 get to classroom to study, 745 go to breakfast, 815 back to classroom, the morning class period we usually have our teacher so we learn Portuguese and how to be better missionaries, 1230 lunch, 115 second class block where we usually don't have a teacher so I read the Book of Mormon a lot or companion study or language study or whatever that is worth my time, 415-515 gym (the main gym is under construction until the 21st so haven't gotten a good workout yet and the sports here suck cause they won't let us keep score), 545-630 dinner, 630-925 last class block is similar to the second class block, 930-10 shower and stuff, 10-1015 companion study/planning, 1015-1030 quiet reflection time (I write in my journal). 1030 lights out!

It's quite the schedule, and the days do seem like they drag on, but I feel like I have an incredible advantage over all the missionaries here because of my year at the Academy. It's crazy I'm the oldest Elder in my zone! I also got called to be the District Leader the second night. My district has 8 Elders in it, and my zone has several districts in it totaling around 30 Elders and Sisters. It sounds more glorious than it is, but they really just called me because when they found out I was a cadet they figured I could be responsible haha. It is nice though because all the other Elders think I am something special. They always say "oh shoot Elder Hruby is a cadet", or "Elder you are huge!". Needless to say I am getting quite the ego boost:) My companion is named Elder Jordan Ence. I thank Heavenly Father every night for giving him me as my companion. He is so great! He is extremely laid back, kind, and has a humble demeanor but possesses an amazning story and testimony. We get along great. He is 6'3" and 220lbs so sports are an easy talking point with him. 

So what I have done so far... Wednesday after administration stuff my District (8 Elders) met in our classroom and met one of our teachers, Brother Belchoir. He is from Mozambique! He started talking in Portuguese and yes we did learn and speak in Portuguese that first hour! The rest of Wednesday was just orientation stuff.Thursday we did more language and BoM study in the classroom and had a Zone/Branch meeting in the evening to meet our Branch Presidency. Our President, Brother Brough, is a Nazi Mormon. We definitely have to most strict and tough branch in the MTC, but it's not really a big deal. Friday we taught our first investigator... in Portuguese! It was probably awful but Elder Ence and I taught Carlos about the basic Plan of Salvation. Saturday we has a service activity at 730, it was really just cleaning toilets yay! After that we had our normal schedule and taught Carlos again. We said a prayer to help us teach by the Spirit and not try to sound fluent but instead just sound like we care and mean what we say. It worked. That second lesson was so much more impactful and spiritual. Sunday was a nice break from the constant brain cramps of studying. I am already well into 2 Nephi in the BoM, I restarted on Friday. Yesterday was the best day I have had here, and to be honest a top 10 day in my entire life. I have never been so calm and at peace as I was yesterday. The amount I felt the Spirit was unimaginable. We taught Carlos our third lesson and committed him to be baptized!!!! These aren't real investigators they are members of the church that we teach but they completely play the role and make you actually work and teach and mean what you say, so when he said yes to being baptized I almost cried. I know I am a baby, but it was the most joyful feeling that I felt for him. Then the evening class our District kind of just had a three hour Gospel discussion. We talked about all sorts of things and I just felt so happy the whole time. There is a special Spirit here. I heard that at the entrance doors of every building here at the MTC there are 2 Stripling Warrior Angels guarding the doors so that no unclean spirits can enter. I believe it.

I miss you all, but I am doing osum (Grant's way of saying "awesome")! I am so happy to get emails and letters from everyone. 
Meu testimono e Eu sei que o Livro de Mormon e verdadeiro, sei que o amor de Deus e amor de Jesus Cristo e eterno, sei que familias e eterno tambem, sei que Jesus Cristo e meu Salvador. Eu amo voces! 
Translated: "My testimony is that I know the Book of Mormon is True. I know the love of God and Jesus Christ is eternal. I know that families are eternal too. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I love you guys!
I love you all! Sorry there are no pictures, there isn't wifi and I haven't figured out how to get them on these computers. Maybe next week! Chow!!

Elder Hruby

Elder Hruby and some of the Elders in his district

Elder Hruby and his companion Elder Ence

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Entering the MTC

On Wednesday July 9th Elder Hruby entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah. Upon arriving at the MTC all of the Elders and Sisters helping the missionaries were so welcoming and kind...this drop off definitely had a different atmosphere to it than the drop off Grant had a year ago at the Air Force Academy :)  There were over 600 missionaries that entered the MTC that day along with Elder Hruby and all of them seemed so happy and eager to be serving the Lord.

To best explain what the MTC is I borrowed this from the BYU website:

"Each Wednesday several hundred missionaries enter the Provo MTC. The eager missionaries enter an exciting world of learning. The MTC curriculum consists of up to 12 weeks of studying doctrine, learning to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively, and developing excellent communication skills. When missionaries are called to serve in foreign lands, their training also includes learning a new language. The Provo MTC is well known for its language teaching program. Approximately 50 languages are taught at the Provo MTC. The teaching staff is composed largely of former missionaries, who are well acquainted with missionary life. Using state-of-the-art language training technology, the Provo MTC fulfills the prophecy that 'every man shall hear the fullness of the gospel in his own tongue . . . through those who are ordained unto this power.'"
Originally Elder Hruby thought he would be spending 9 weeks in the MTC studying, preparing, and learning Portuguese. However, a few days before leaving Grant found out that he will only be in the MTC for about 6 weeks. That is not a whole lot of time to learn a new language, but he is so excited to get to Mozambique and begin serving the people there! If all goes well with his visa and travel arrangements Elder Hruby should be leaving for Mozambique somewhere around August 19th. We have been anxiously awaiting Tuesday because that is the preparation day for foreign going missionaries in the MTC (the day missionaries have time to do things like laundry, write letters, cleaning, service, etc.) We are so excited to hear from our Elder and find out how his first few days have been and we will update the blog when we hear from him!

Pre-MTC drop off. Elder Hruby with a drink called
"The Missionary" from a place called Swig in Provo.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Mission Farewell

Last week Elder Hruby gave his mission farewell address in church. He spoke of his excitement to serve and love of this Gospel. He testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and spoke about the three reasons he has chosen to spend the next two years serving as a missionary.

1. For Myself: I know this Church is true and I know the Book of Mormon is true. This Gospel gives me direction and purpose.  It has brought me so many blessings and so much joy!

2. For the People:  I have been so blessed by my Heavenly Father and have so much happiness because of the Gospel that I want to share that with others. I could not be more excited to share that with the people of Mozambique!

3. For the Lord: I have been so blessed in my life and I cannot think of a better way to repay my Heavenly Father for all that he has done for me and blessed me with than by spreading His Gospel to the people of Mozambique.

We love our Elder Hruby so much and are so proud of his decision to serve the Lord!

We're gonna go to....Africa?

Welcome to Elder Grant Hruby's mission blog! Elder Hruby has been called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Mozambique, Maputo mission. Elder Hruby will be serving from July 2014-July 2016 (give or take a few weeks). He is very excited to be serving the Lord and spreading the Gospel to the people of Mozambique. Throughout his mission his sister Courtney and mom Stefanie will be keeping friends and family updated on Elder Hruby's adventures in Africa via this mission blog.

A couple of years ago Grant got his wisdom teeth out and was nicely affected by the pain medications. He had a lot to say and as such we made sure the camera was rolling. Some of what he had to say made sense, but most did not. In his ramblings he managed to ask my mom if she wanted to go on a trip with him. She asked him, "Where are we going to go?" and Grant's reply was, "We're gonna go to....Africa." When Grant received his mission call in March, we proceeded with the obligatory guesses from family members and friends as to where Grant was going to be called. The majority of the guesses landed in Europe. However, within seconds of opening his call and learning he was going to Mozambique, his comment was, "Of course I'm going to Mozambique. I can't see myself going anywhere else." So I guess his medication induced ramblings a few years ago were somewhat of a self fulfilling prophecy. Elder Hruby is going to Africa and could not be more excited about it.

10,301 Miles doesn't look all that far on this map.

"Coolest piece of paper I've ever held!"