Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Advice for the Mexico City MTC

Elder Henrie with his companion Elder Jones at the Mexico City MTC


Although the food is good, the water might not be.  The MTC gives you a filtered water bottle, USE IT.  I am really
appreciating the probiotics my mom sent with me, I have not gotten sick as some of the other elders have.

Mosquito Net
It is really hot at nights.  So usually you would want to sleep with minimal coverings.  But there are a lot of mosquitoes!  You could get eaten alive! I put up my mosquito net and I have been fine, the other guys either have
to sweat all night under blankets, risk the bugs, or they spray themselves down with bug spray every night (which is greasy and gross).

I brought some snacks, just some Swedish fish and some hi chews.  The MTC wants you to be really careful with these (THERE ARE COCKROACHES), but it can be just the thing as a pick-me-up at the end of a busy day.

A Positive Attitude
I am really lucky to have a great companion and teacher.  However, they keep you really busy and they expect you teach a lesson in Spanish on your third day.  Things can get really tough.  Remember that the point of the MTC is not to have perfect Spanish, the point is to learn how to teach well in any language.
Remember that Heavenly Father will help you if you will let him.


The Mexico MTC provides you with Spanish scriptures, preach my gospel, and such. They also provide language learning materials.

They give each missionary sheets for his-her bed.  You can use your own, but they won't wash them like they do the ones they gave you.

They also provide a Filtered water bottle.

The rooms are nice, not 5 star hotel nice, but nice. 

The entire staff is Spanish speaking:

Part of the best part of the Spanish MTC is that you get a lot of practice.  If you don´t want something at dinner, YOU HAVE TO TELL THEM IN SPANISH.  Practice basic phrases like No Quiero (I don't want).  Quiero este (with a point, this is I want this, there are multiple choices).  If you need help, find another elder who has been there longer or one of the teachers.  They eat with you so they can help.

Cafeteria Food
The food is great, it's all Mexican in origin and I have had to get used to some different food. It's all really good, but I have had to get used to some different stuff.


One of the most interesting things I learned this week is that LDS missionaries are not normal dictionary missionaries.  A normal dictionary missionary shares the gospel with people.  A great LDS Missionary is a servant of God, representing JESUS CHRIST, and helping people have better lives.

I had to learn that you can't just teach someone the lessons in Preach my Gospel.  An important part is learning to forget the lesson plan, and know the gospel well enough to teach them what the need to hear first.  You have to learn to ask questions that help to reveal people´s concerns.  Then you have to be familiar enough with the lessons and with the scriptures to address those first.  Then, as you teach the rest of the lessons, make sure that they apply to the person.

Memorizing the lessons word for word is helpful, but you can't be a tape recorder.  Every Investigator is different and you need to have the Holy Ghost with you so you can help them.  Remember that Jesus spent his time serving, and addressing people's needs, as well as (and maybe more often than) teaching.

I love you all!  I'm excited for those of you who will come in coming weeks.

Yo se que el libro de mormon es verdadera.
I know that the Book of Mormon  true.

Yo se que Jose Smith es un profeta.
I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

Yo se que Dios nos ama, y quiere estar feliz.
I know that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.

En el nombre de Jesuchristo, Amen.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

CCM President Pratt with his wife.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

First Email from Mexico City

 New tags
On the plane from Dallas to Mexico City

Things are really nice here.  It reminds me a lot of BYU.

I haven´t yet met my companion, Ï´m guessing that is next.  I have to go to my casa (house),

Pray for me and write me, my P Day is Tuesday, so that is when I will write back next.  I will also try to update my blog then.  I have been taking plenty of pictures!

Sorry, this is so short, I want to meet my companion, and I already talked to you today.

Also, I was kind of the problem missionary.  I forgot one of my bags in customs after crossing the big red line (which you are not supposed to go back across).  Luckilly, a security guy escorted me back to my bag and I got it, but it was pretty stressful for a moment!

Nothing else to report except I look exceptional in my tags! So does Jessica.

Thank you for all your support and love,
Elder Henrie

Well, I'm officially gone!

Well, first of all, it turns out that the Dallas airport has an open computer terminal.  So I have the opportunity to update my blog from here!  I have 18 minutes left, so I'll try to make this quick.

So we got up about 5 AM this morning, and took off to Salt Lake City to catch our plane.  Things were slightly dismal, but I could feel the spirit really strong, and I was pretty sure that I could get through things.

We found our terminal fine, and as we were putting our big bags through security, it must have hit Jessica pretty hard, because she and dad started crying.  I probably would have cried, but I was trying to be the strong one in the family.  I'm not sure how well I succeeded.  I had a few tears in my eyes, but I tried not to let them show.

Then came that moment, where it was the final time to say goodbye before going through security.  Plenty of pictures were taken, and more tears were shed, and then I was into security, and out of the home that has raised me for a long time.

Security was mostly uneventful, except that they had to hand search my bag with Swedish Fish inside.  Apparently they didn't seem dangerous, because they let me keep them (thank goodness).  I met up with Jessica, and then we made our way to our terminal.

We sat down, and just waited for a while.  Jessica and I wrote in our journals, and she read a bit.  We talked a bit with the other Missionaries there.  There were a lot of them!  Most of them were following us to Mexico, but there was one companionship on their way to Germany.  Jessica met two other people going to her exact mission.  One was the one that our friend Sarah Brown told us about, the other was an Elder we didn't know.  I was the only one going to Honduras on our plane as far as we know. 

The flight was uneventful, I got some cool pictures of the sky, and of Utah county from the air.  I tried to sleep a bit, but I wasn't really successful.  The lady next to me and Jessica had just gotten back from a family reunion at Snowbird, which Jessica and I could relate to.  We talked a lot of the ride.  I'm pretty sure that she was LDS, so not a missionary opportunity, but it was comforting to talk about something we know.

Oops, I forgot that to say they also checked my carry-on because they were running out of room on the plane.  They did it free, and all the way to Mexico, which is nice.  I hope it gets there!

Once off the plane, we caught the Skytrain thingy to the other side of the airport.  Another group of missionaries went before us, and they had a fun experience.  Apparently there was a lady at the terminal who liked one of the Elder's ties, and she asked to see it. She told him she had 2 sons and she liked his tie.  He was nice enouph to take it off so she could take a look at it, and she was nice enouph to run off with his tie!  I don't think he got it back either, but he had another tie in his bag, so that's ok.

I'm almost out of time, and I want to show Jessica this, she might update too. 

Thanks for all your support!  I can feel your love and prayers.

I feel the strength of the Lord, and his love too.

Bye, until next time!
(pictures added by mom after I saw his post)
 Arriving at the airport
 All checked in, ready to go through security.
 Reality was sinking in for Jessica.
 One last family picture.
 Off they go.
One last glimpse of him just before he went through security.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm officially ordained as a missionary!

Well, its finally official.  It seems weird, but my name kind of changed tonight.  I am no longer, Graigry Henrie, I am now Elder Henrie.  Tomorrow I go to Mexico, and leave my family for two years.

I don't really think that it will sink in for me until I've been out for a while.  Then one day, I'll suddenly realize, I'm not going back there, not for a while.  I hope I'm having a good enough day to brush it off, and concentrate on the work.

I guess I do love that I'm not really leaving my family.  I'm just going to a distantly related part of it.  I'm going to meet people that are my Brothers and Sisters, Brothers and Sisters who don't know why they are here.  I have the opportunity to teach them who they are.

I have talked with a lot of people who have gone on missions.  I've tried to ask for advice from every person I've talked to.  There was a lot of good advice in there, but the one that really stands out right now, is some from Jessica's friend Zachary Landers.  He just got back and so I asked him what his advice was.  He looked me in the eye and said something along the lines of:

Never let something negative that happened in the past, affect something that is happening in the present.  Don't let a horrible day stop you from teaching someone the best you can.  You have to remain optimistic, when you do, you have success.

I know that I have an opportunity here, soon to enter the MTC.  I can have the attitude that I'm leaving somewhere, or I can have the attitude that I'm going somewhere I'm needed more.  I hope over the next few days, weeks, months, and years, that I maintain this attitude.
 All the family after the setting apart.  President Lefler said it was the first time he had set apart a brother and sister on the same night.
 Dad, ?, President Lefler, Elder Henrie, Grandpa Anderson
Walking home after being set apart.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Farewell Talk

Note from Mom:  The first part of Graig’s talk refers to the fact it was 2pm when he began speaking. The fire he is talking about refers to a story Jessica told in her talk.  I did my best transcribing the talk.  Because of the short time, Graig summarized this 15 minute talk instead of reading it.  Because of that, he didn’t really talk in complete sentences or in a grammatically correct way.

I guess I better thank everyone for taking a long time because I was told to prepare a 15 minute talk but then I was told not to go past 5 minutes after (the hour).  I think another thing I should mention is that when Jessica was talking about the fire, I think there was another reason Jessica was inspired to take it outside because I was really excited to use the fire extinguisher and you can imagine how much worse it would have been if 10 year old Graigry got to play with the fire extinguisher and spray it all over the kitchen.

So, I was also asked to speak on personal revelation and preparing for a mission.  I guess, when I was thinking about revelation what kept coming to me was the questions, “Why revelation is important? Why is revelation such a big subject?  Why is it always talked about?”  So I got my True to the Faith, which I just bought for my mission and I looked up revelation.  And I was looking through these big books that they recommend you take.  Really the first thing that stood out to me was that revelation is a really major thing that makes our church different.  There are some wonderful churches out there who have wonderful values who teach their members to live well and even to share the gospel.  Then you look at, we have this direct connection to God.  We don’t just have a book that was written 5000 years ago and another book that was being written 2000 years ago, The Book of Mormon.  We have living prophets today who everyday President Monson is receiving revelation and at conference every six months we receive revelation that’s new that’s relevant to just us.  

What it reminded me of was a couple of years ago as priests we went to Moab and did a lot of rappelling and a lot of climbing.  What it reminded me of was when you are repelling or when climbing if you want to be safe you always have a belayer.  A belayer is the person who is holding the rope at the bottom.  If you don’t have a belayer you can still climb, it is called bouldering then, but if you fall you are more likely to get hurt.  I just remember that when you are climbing you have a rope that goes usually up to the top and it comes down to where the climber is and as the climber climbs the belayer keeps the rope tight so that if you fall, if you lose your grip, or if you slip you are able to just catch yourself on the rope and just stop, maybe take a rest and then keep going.  For some reason, what that kinda reminded me of was that this rope, if you look at it, looks like it is doubled, like there are two ropes. There is one that goes up and one that comes back to you.  For some reason, it just kind of reminded me that revelation is more than just listening to God.  It is pondering and it’s praying and it’s, I want to say, discussing with God.  Reading the scriptures and reading the word that has already been said and listening to conference and talking with people and learning.  

Our gospel is about learning.  You learn and then you turn to the Lord and he adds to your  knowledge and he confirms your knowledge.  I was just reminded of that climbing both those are important, you can have a rope but if you cut one of those if you fall you fall.  It also reminded me that when you are climbing especially one of the things you can do is you can rest on that rope and you know you are safe.  You know that with Heavenly Father as your belayer that you are safe that he can tell you.  The belayers other job is to help you climb [the rock].  He tells you what he sees from the bottom.  You usually hope that that person has climbed [the rock] before and that they are knowledgeable.  And that just reminded me that we have a direct connection with a being who  has infinite knowledge and knows everything that is going to happen and it makes you wonder why people don’t talk to him more.  You literally can ask him a question that to you seems... I mean sometimes I feel like we feel like, “Oh I don’t need to ask Heavenly Father that it is too trivial or it just has to do with me. He answers questions like Joseph Smith’s, “Which is the true Church?” and then angels appear.  If you don’t get that kind of experience then you weren’t asking the right questions.  I think one of the most important things I’ve learned in my life, just over the years, is that Heavenly Father loves each of us individually and that one of the most important things we can do in our lives is that we can learn to trust him and to ask Him, even small questions, the little things.  I have had a lot of people tell me that the Book of Mormon is not a book of questions but a book of answers.  I testify that that is true.  There are a lot of questions that may seem true, that may not have had a major conference talk on it.  But you can read the scriptures and you can study and individually you can receive the knowledge you need.  I know that is something on my mission I am really excited to tell people.  I know I am going to a country that in certain areas are very poor.  I am sure, even as religious as that country is, “Does God remember me?”  

And I can tell them, “Yes he does.  This is how you talk with him and this is how he will talk back to you.”  

I am just really happy to be going on a mission.  I would just like to bear my testimony that if you are actively seeking to receive revelation from Heavenly Father.  That if you need something, if you need an answer or if you need comfort that you have a Heavenly Father who is an eternal being who has time for you.

I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Getting last minute advice from Uncle Graig

We had a great day with family and friends. Here are some picture of family and friends from the brunch and dessert after church.

 with Grandpa and Grandma Anderson
Brunch: breakfast casserole, fruit, and muffins
 Supported by the Henrie boys
 BYU roommate Andy
 Patty and Kent Davis
 Alice and Richard Southard
 The College family
 The Brown family
 Friend, Joe
Anderson/Taylor family