Monday, November 26, 2012

Week 2 Letter 11/26/12

Hello Everyone!

Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I had a great one myself! We got to hear from Elder Holland today! He basically bore his testimony to us and it was so powerful. He is such a great speaker and I always look forward to hearing from him. We had several other programs throughout the day. We had one where some Elders and Sister acted out the first Thanksgiving. It was really funny. We then watched a video on missions. It showed every single mission out there and it was really great as the Elders all cheered and whooped as their missions came on the screen.

Next we had the opportunity to do a service project. The project was for the Ouelessebougou foundation. This foundation is working on growing the economy and making the health and self-dependence stronger for the people of Ouelessebougou Mali. As a zone we got into an assembly line and made some health kits. As a zone we made 125 kits. The MTC all together was able to make several thousand kits to be sent to the people of Ouelessebougou.

After the service project we went and watched a movie. The movie was the 17 Miracles. It is a movie about the Willie Martin Handcart Company and all of the miracles they experienced it was a great movie.

Probably the best experience of the day was when we listened to the song This is the Christ. I suggest you all listen to the song. It has such a great message. It truly testifies that Christ lives and that he atoned for our sins and was sacrificed on the cross. Especially in this time of Thanksgiving and Christmas we should take a moment to listen to the song and ponder on all that he has done for us.

Other than Thanksgiving nothing much happened this week. Though we did get chewed out for taking some family names to the temple. Apparently we are not supposed to do family names unless they are in our family

The most exciting thing is actually happening this week. 4 of the Elders are leaving this week to the Lima, Peru MTC. It is crazy that they are already leaving. We took a ton of pictures and i will be sending some so you can see them as well!

I just got an address book! Send my mom your addresses so I can have them!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Elder Lightheart

Our District

Las Hermanas

Elder Lightheart and Elder Nathan

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 1 Letter 11/19/12

Hello Everybody,

Here comes another week here at the MTC. It’s been extremely busy but extremely fast. The days seem to pass by faster and faster. This week feels so fast compared to last week. I kept telling my companion that last Wednesday and Thursday feel about as fast as this entire week!

We are no longer the new missionaries in our zone! We had some new missionaries come into our zone just this Wednesday. Now we have been getting to learn the names of ten more missionaries. Luckily I can always get elder right. One of them, Elder Sepe, looks like he is part of the Blue family. I’ll have to send you a picture later.

We have such a great district. Everyone is such a great example to me. All of us have firm testimonies and are all excited to teach the gospel. Elder Lowe is a great example for all the trials he has been through. He has Chrome's disease but I never hear him complain about it. He is also an amazing singer and should be getting a letter today from the Glee project. Elder Visker, his companion, is another great example. He has such a firm testimony and work ethic. It is so great to talk with him about the things of the gospel. Elder Gronemann is an amazing piano player. He played accompaniment for Elder Lowe and it was gorgeous. I wish I could hear him play a solo. Elder Utcsh has such a great knowledge of the doctrine and such a magnificent way of speaking. He uses words I don't know when he is speaking English. Elder Montierth has such a great testimony. I always love hearing him give it to us. Elder Jensen is a great leader for us. He was definitely the best one of us for the task. He has done a great job. Elder Binder has such humility and kindness. He always has a way of making you feel better about yourself. And last but not least is Elder Nathan. He brings such a joy into our district. He jokes quite a lot but he always puts a smile onto my face.

Elder Love has been such a great companion. I am grateful I have the chance to get to know him and share this wonderful experience with him. It will be so great to be able to share the experience of serving in Villahermosa.

The Spanish continues to be so fun. I love speaking the language. I can tell that I learn more and more each day. I have learned so much over the past couple weeks and look forward to learning more and more. It is really fun to pray in Spanish. It teaches me a lot of words I would like to learn. Probably my favorite part of praying in Spanish is addressing God in the “tu” form. It shows that we really do have a good relationship with God and that he really does know each of us personally. If anyone wants me to write them in Spanish I would love to try! Just let me know.

This week is Thanksgiving! We get to have a special day here at the MTC! I am looking forward to it. We get to spend a lot of the day serving and at the end we are having a fireside by one of the 12! I cannot wait to write home about it.

This Sunday we had another great spiritual day. The firesides and films are such great opportunities to learn how to be a better missionary.

The fireside was by Brother Bruce McIff. He is one of the counselors in the MTC presidency. He taught us how we can be more healthy on our missions. At first I was not sure how much I would like it but i ended up learning a lot from his talk. He taught us that to be able to serve without being affected by health issues we need to do:

1 Decrease stress: He taught us to use breathing exercises with I am interested to try out.
2 Decrease injuries: He taught us that we need to mostly be careful as we exercise and as President Hinckley said "Don't do anything stupid"
3 Decrease infectious disease rate: He told us to keep up cleanliness, exercise and to wash our hands often.

He also taught us the best way to stay healthy by being Obedient to mission rules, following the health program, serving others, lift and build others, and choose to be happy.

The film we watched was very inspirational as well. It was by David A Bednar entitled Character of Christ. He taught as that because of his character he was able to suffer for us. He taught us that his character was to turn out to others when the natural man would turn in. He taught us that we can start to receive this character by continuing to be converted to him.

I love it here at the MTC! I hope you are all doing well!

Until next week,
Elder Lightheart

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Letter 11/15/12

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Can you believe that I am a missionary?! I know, me neither. It is crazy to finally be here. However this first week has helped me to know that there is no place that I would rather be.

Well, first of all, I am sure you all want to hear about my companion. His name is Elder Love. (I kind of thought it was funny, Elder Lightheart and Elder Love). He is from Layton Utah and he is also headed down to Villahermosa Mexico. He is an extremely good soccer player. His record for juggling a soccer ball is 5,432. Average I know. He has a great solo voice too. He is 19 and graduated from Layton High this year. He and I have been getting along pretty well! We already have made several goals from our time here and it has been great.

The rest of my district is fantastic as well.
Elder Jensen (Our district leader)- From: St. George Utah- Mission: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Elder Bardin- From: Mesa, Arizona- Mission: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Elder Groneman- From: Salt Lake City, Utah- Mission: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Elder Nathan- From: San Diego, California- Mission: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Elder Lowe- From: Las Vegas Nevada- Mission: Spokane Washington
Elder Visker- From: Kansas City, Kansas- Mission: Spokane Washington
Elder Utsch- From: Edmund, Oklahoma- Mission: Spokane Washington
Elder Montierth- From: Mesa, Arizona- Mission: Portland Oregon

I have seen a couple of people from Medford. The first was Elder Bybee. It was great to talk to him for a while. He is very excited to be going to Tennessee this next week. I have only seen him one other time. I was not surprised to see him wearing an Oregon beanie. Unfortunately, neither of us had a camera so no pictures of Elder Bybee. I also got to see Sister Sarah Schwarz. See seems pretty excited about Russia. We only saw each other for a couple seconds but I was happy to see her.

Spanish has been extremely fun! I am picking up the language a lot faster. I can already bear my testimony and give my prayers in Spanish. I have only said a couple of my prayers in English and all the rest have been in Spanish. I can also give the first two discussions in Spanish. I’ve been working hard on that to be able to teach our "investigator" Manuel better. Teaching him is really fun. It helps my Spanish a lot to be teaching him only in the language. I am also working on memorizing the Living Christ in Spanish. Elder Love is having some trouble in the language but I am working hard to help him. I hope that I am being a good help to him. My favorite person to talk in the language with is Elder Lowe. He too has a good grasp of the language and it is fun to have conversations with him in Spanish.

My Favorite part, however, of the MTC has been the spirit that is here. There have been so many times, in fact the spirit is here all of the time. There is no feeling like it. My two favorite spiritual moments so far have been listening to a talk by Elder Holland and going to the temple.

Elder Holland’s talk was a film we watched. It was a fantastic talk. He made many great statements which I would like to share.

"There is no other time in your life where you will be this close to being an apostle of Christ. Never miss an opportunity to be apostolic."

"We are in the company of Peter, James, and John. Nephi, Alma and Moroni."

"There is no other time in your life where you will be so close to real life"

"Come to the edge
 No I'll fall
 Come to the edge
 No I'll fall
 So I came
 And he pushed me
 So I could fly"

The talk was very inspirational After it I was asking, "Can we go teach already?" It was a great experience!

As was the temple. Every Sunday we get to do a Temple walk and we go to the Temple every Monday. Our walk around the temple was great even freezing snow. I love the Provo Temple!

Love all of you! Don't forget to write!
Elder Lightheart

Grandpa Mickelsen leaving Jonny at the MTC

Elder Lightheart and Elder Love

Elder Lightheart's Zone in the MTC
Provo, Utah

Provo Temple

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Elder Lightheart arrives at the MTC

Grandpa and Grandma Mickelsen picked Elder Lightheart up at the airport and drove him to Provo.  They had lunch at Olive Garden with his cousins, Andrew Mickelsen and Rachel Davis (with her fiancee, Carlin).  After spending the morning with Grandpa and Grandma, they dropped him off at the MTC.  Grandma said he was ready to go.  He didn't even look back.  Elder Stevens was the missionary who welcomed him.  We'll be excited to find out when he will be leaving.  We should hear from him on Monday. 
Grandma Mickelsen, Elder Lightheart, Andrew Mickelsen,
Rachel Davis, Carlin Cottam, and Grandpa Mickelsen

Grandma Mickelsen and Elder Lightheart at the MTC.

Elder Lightheart leaves Medford

We got up bright and early to take Elder Lightheart to the airport.  I think he is probably most sad about leaving Midnight, his black lab.  Once the kids were "awake", they were so excited to be there.  We stayed with him as long as we could and then watched him go through security.  We then went up and watched him through the window from the second floor (he didn't know we were there).  It was a bit weird for me because I saw him talking to someone and wanted to know who it was.  My initial response was to text him about it. It's amazing how we become so dependent on our devices and communication.  I loved seeing the excitement in Jonny's face.  You can see from the pictures that he was just glowing.  It happens so fast.  One minute your standing conversing and the next they are out the door and on their way.  What a great experience.  Dee Dee Morgan was there with us and we talked about how this is "pay back day."  This is what we have worked together for as a family and it is an amazing opportunity to see your son make such a selfless, obedient decision.  I think more than anything I feel gratitude for my son, for his decisions, and this incredible opportunity.  We will miss him, but know he is where he is supposed to be.  WE HAVE A MISSIONARY!!!!
Elder Lightheart saying good bye to Midnight

Last family picture
LT, Elder Lightheart, Brian, Anna, Scotty, Maren and Emily
Elder Lightheart and Sister Dee Dee Morgan (Shaun's mom)
Maren and Elder Lightheart

Watching Elder Lightheart and Elder McGonigal (a missionary leaving from Etna ward)

Emily and Scotty watching Jonny

The last wave

Watching the plane leave out in the rain


Jonny becomes Elder Lightheart

After the concert, we headed over to the Stake Center for Jonny to be set apart.  What an incredible experience!  President Morris spoke about the importance and blessings of missionary work quoting from the Doctrine and Covenants.  It was so neat to hear President Morris set him apart as a missionary in the "Mexico Villahermosa Mission."  I am so grateful that Jonny has made the decisions in his life to allow him to have this incredible experience to represent the Lord.  President Morris talked about that privilege and that when he returns and removes the bag, it will mean that much more to him.  I appreciated the blessings and teachings he received through his setting apart.  I know that Jonny will be an incredible missionary.  He love the gospel and he loves people.  He will love the people in his mission and that will bring them to the truth. 
Anna, Maren, Janet, Jonny, Ken, Brian, Scotty, and Emily

Funny faces

Map in the Stake Offices: Villahermosa, Mexico

Ken and Jonny

LT Hoak and Jonny

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Last Family Outing

For our last family outing, we attended Anna's band concert.  She plays the oboe in the high school concert band.  She had a pretty long solo part in one of the pieces.  She did a great job. It was fun being together with Jonny for the last time.  He sure looks like a missionary!
Scotty, Jonny, Emily, and Maren at the concert

Anna tuning the band

Anna's oboe solo

Monday, November 5, 2012

Elder Lightheart Open House

We had an open house Sunday evening at our home.  It was Stake Conference so we were able to hold it in the afternoon.  We live amongst such incredible people.  We so appreciate all the support Jonny has received throughout the years from his friends and their families.  We forgot to pull the camera out at the beginning, but here are some of the pictures.  We truly have been blessed living here in Medford.  Thanks to everyone that was able to make it last night and for all your support!
The Lighthearts
LT Hoak and Anna
Landon, Maren, Melissa, and Blake
Elyssa Cannon

Daniel Perry
Chalyse Gillespie and Jim Cloward
Kirstie Hokanson
Blake Muir, Joe Vickery, Bro. Hassell, Daniel Perry, Landon Rawcliffe, and Kenny Pedersen
The Shumways