I arrived here at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo last Wednesday. When we got here, we were escorted to our dorm with our luggage, and I had a very interesting surprise...my dorm, which is made for 4 people, is actually housing 6. WOW, it is crowded in there, and we've had to share small closets and desk spaces. Thankfully, I love all of the other 5 missionaries that I'm housed with. Sadly, the computers here won't let us share pictures, so those will have to wait until next week.
One funny story, then down to business. There is a missionary here who has a girlfriend back home who sent him with her perfume for whatever cheesy reasoning. This is definitely not in line with the purpose of the mission, but that's beside the point. He asked one of the other missionaries to smell it and to describe it. He said something to the effect of "it smells like grandma." At that point, the one with the perfume got upset and started to have all of us smell it. He was asking for it...long story short, we now call him grandpa. So that's pretty much all the fun for the past week, the whole experience is a lot more serious than it sounds from this.
The schedule is very strict, filled with classes, teaching practice, study time, meals, and some exercise. It's been a tiring adjustment There is almost no free time, which is how it will be my entire mission. We do have one day a week for whatever errands we have to run, and that day usually leaves some free time, which is good, because that's the only day I'm allowed to write e-mails or letters. Could I break the schedule guidelines? Yes, but it wouldn't be worth it, because I know that God will bless and strengthen me for obedience. It does test my faith though, so it will continue to nourish my trust in the Lord.
We've been very focused on our purpose to help others by inviting them to come unto Christ through believing in Him and following His Gospel. I've been realizing how huge the effects of the Gospel have been on my life, and I know that it is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. My happiness and hope really depends on my faith in Christ and my willingness to change my ways and follow Him.
If anyone feels a lack of happiness, purpose, or structure in their life, the Gospel as taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the right source to turn to. If you would like to feel true happiness and have real hope, I know that coming closer to Christ is the answer. So talk to your local Mormon, and ask them if you can meet with the missionaries. The message they have for you will help you in any aspect of your life and with any struggle or concern you have, as long as you are willing to trust in God and rely on a relationship and closeness with Him. He turns nobody away.