Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Updated MTC mail information:

I know Matthew will only be in the MTC for another week, but we finally have a box number and a mission code if you plan on using dearelder.com or shipping a package, they require it.

Elder Matthew Boren
MTC Mailbox #187
OH-CLE 0925
2005 N. 900 E
Provo, UT  84604-1793

I think he is feeling well-loved and supported.  Thank you to everybody who has been writing and helping him feel supported from home.

September 18, 2012

Hey guys,
HOW IS EVERYONE DOING??? I loved all of your letters and the packages I got! It's so awesome to get those reminders of home. Thanks for rooting for me!
Things are AWESOME here! I'm learning more about the gospel than I ever have, and I've made a lot of great friends. Elder Johnston says hi. Unfortunately, it appears that I can't upload pictures on these MTC computers, so you'll just have to wait until I get to Ohio. :-)
Time is flying by WAAAAY too quickly here. I feel like I just got here, and I'm already mentoring "newbies" on how to teach their investigators. Me and Johnston have made a lot of great progress with a couple of investigators (two non-members committed to baptism). There's still one guy (Alexandre Paul, a Haitian ambassador) who we're reeeally not getting through to, which is frustrating of course. He says he like the Bible because of the way it makes him feel, not because he believes it's true. He asks a lot of irrelevant questions that I feel like I can KIND of answer, and then we get off track, and nothing of eternal importance is said. We're still learning, but the time draws nigh when I'll be learning...for real!
My departure is set for the 25th, which is next Tuesday (at 5:00 in the morning. =-P) We've already seen two sets of missionaries off, and it's starting to get real. I feel ready to get out there and teach by the Spirit! I've gotten much better at slowing down and listening, which is a key part of feeling the Spirit and understanding what the investigator needs. I'm feeling good!
Thanks for all your love and support!
Love, Elder Matt Boren

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tender Mercies

Yesterday I received a post on Facebook from a friend of ours.  It was posted by Elena Tillman whose husband was in the stake presidency when Ted was the stake executive secretary.  We love that family.  They recently were realigned into a new stake and their new stake president is President Gibby.  Elena posted this on my facebook wall last night:

From President Gibby's wife, Lisa- I spent my first day volunteering at the Missionary Training Center today and was taught by Elder Boren, who apparently is in the Saratoga Springs North Stake, and his companion. If any one over there in Harvest Hills knows him, he and his companion did a wonderful job. It may have been a pretend situation but tears came to my eyes as they testified to me of the truthfulness of the gospel and I truly felt the Spirit.

I am sometimes overwhelmed by the kindness of a loving Heavenly Father.  Knowing if he was conveying the Spirit while teaching in those exact situations has been the thing that has been most heavily weighing on Matthew's mind.  I am so grateful that the wife of a Saratoga Springs Stake President ended up being Matthew's investigator yesterday, and that she was kind enough and thoughtful enough and in tune enough to pass along the experience she had being taught by our boy and his companion. 

Heavenly Father is very aware of us.  He is very good.  He is very kind.  He stands so ready to bless.  I'm grateful for such an immediate answer to prayer today.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Abbey's First Letter to Elder Boren

      Hey!!!! How you doin'? Things are too quiet around here without you . I miss being followed around by creepy dolls. I miss hearing you sing random Indy songs around the house. I miss you on the bench at church. The average height of people in our house has signficantly decreased since your departure. I know it's only been a week but it feels like much, much longer than that, and I miss you.
     Okay enough sappiness for one letter. I think it is best to inform you that I met somebody last week. His name is Gustav, and he's Nephi's 40 year old cousin. We met because he got held back several years and is graduating with my class this year. He's so amazing. He wants to work at McDonlads for the rest of his life, and we figure that the income from that, along with my astrophysics job will be able to support us and the children. Oh, but I am getting ahead of myself. He asked me to marry him yesterday, and of course I said yes. I guess your prediction about me getting married before you got back was right.
    It's late at night, can you tell?
                                    Love, Abbey

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012

Dear Boren Bunch,

I am now District 30-A's most popular missionary thanks to you guys!  I've been sharing the (some) of the candy around ,a nd it's a "soul" saver!  You guys are awesome.

It's hard to believe a week's gone by already.  Since Sunday, the days have flown by here, there's so much to do.  I have five investigators (one atheist, one who believes in God, but doesn't go to any religion, one agnostic skeptic, one less active, and one Southern Baptist).  Two of those are teachers pretending to be investigators, not that that makes them any easier.  The others, we are told may or may not be really looking into the church.  The work is really hard, in an awesome, spiritual way.  We got the atheist to commit to be baptized in two lessons, but we've been to see the agnostic over three times and can't even get him to pray.  We've made great progress with the less active (she's committed to get ready to go to the temple, pray and read scriptures daily, and go to church again).  The Southern Baptist won't let us in the "apartment," and he's really anti-Mormon.

We have class for six hours a day, and then after we finish meeting with our investigators, we just study . . . and study . . . and . . . sutdy!  Never a dull moment!

On Tuesday, Elder Johnston (my companion) and I tried out for an accapella duet part for the MTC Fireside Devotional next week, and we got it!  We're singing a variation of "Nearer My God To Thee" that's really beautiful.  I've got a high-baritone part, and he's taking the tenor meoldy.  It's going to be awesome!

I had a little bit of a scare on Monday.  We have a little less than an hour to play sports or exercise and I always spend it playing basketball.  I kinda twisted my bad knee, but it's fine now (luckily).  I'll be fine.

I loved you guys' letters and drawings.  I'm going to write each of you individually when I have time (so maybe a while :)  Letters are what keep us going, so thanks a ton.

Love you guys, I'll write again soon!

September 11, 2012

We got a letter from Matthew this week.  Sounds like he's doing great.  Things are a little bit tough, but all of those initial adjustments seem to prove a challenge to most of us missionary-types at about this stage.  He has a great attitude and is working through things really well.

Here are some letter highlights:

Hello from the MTC!
I'm not sure if you got my last written letter (sent on Wednesday, I think, last week).  It wasn't very long, but it's P-day today, so I've got thirty minutes to email instead of fifteen minutes to write. 
Things are going okay here.  My companion's name is Elder Johnston.  He's from some small town in Montana, and has been a member for just over two years (he's the only member in his family).  He's got a beautiful tenor voice, and it sounds great when I take baritone in a song with him.  We are preparing an acapella duet for one of the Fireside devotionals, and there's a good chance we'll get it! 
The food is alright.  There is a lot of it, but so far I've been succesful at limiting myself to half a plate of main course, a salad, and a soda (I'm trying to move more towards water, but it's hard.  : ) ) 
The lessons are great. We have class in two three hour blocks, and both of teachers are great speakers who teach well through the Spirit. 
The hardest part for sure is the investigators.  We're given five separate "investigators", who we are told may or may not be real investigators.  It is difficult to balance the needs of the investigator with the lesson planned, and I feel a ton of stress thinking about lessons I've got to teach. 
I know that we must do the best we can do, and the Lord will provide the rest.  Hopefully. 
I miss you guys like crazy.  I got the pictures from the little girls yesterday.  Please tell them that I love them and hung them up on the wall next to my bed, where I can see every night before going to bed. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Missionary Doll

Our sweet friend and neighbor Tomi brought over a special gift the day Matthew left to the MTC.  I wanted to include some pictures of it because we LOVE it and we thought Matthew would get a kick out of it.  Tomi is a gifted artist and designer and she is way too good to our family.  Tomi paints amazing peg dolls and she decorated this one to look just like Matthew.  It is sitting in our kitchen window with our Willow Tree guardian angels to remind us of our missionary boy!

He even has a little Book of Mormon