Saturday, June 29, 2013

12 June 2013 - Article from the Deseret News on MTC Devotionals

MTC overflows with LDS missionaries, moves devotionals to Marriott Center

By Lucy Schouten
For the Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, June 11 2013 10:40 p.m. MDT
Updated: June 12, 2013

Missionaries walk to a devotional as the anticipated 2013 "summer surge" settles over the LDS Church's two MTC campuses in Provo. Officials are finding creative ways to accommodate more than 4,000 missionaries at a time — including walking them all to BYU's Marriott Center for MTC-wide devotionals Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in Provo.
Tom Smart, Deseret News
No marathon was scheduled for that day, but on June 11 the march of thousands of missionaries from the Provo Missionary Training Center to the Marriott Center resembled a race.
The trek to another location for the usual Tuesday night devotional is seen as a symbol of the increased numbers of missionaries following the age change announcement in the October 2012 general conference.
“It’s (especially powerful) since this is the first time we’ve needed to come to the Marriott Center,” said Nicholle Peng, a missionary from Bountiful, Utah, who will serve in Taiwan.
The stream of missionaries curled around the Marriott Center parking lot, the path marked with orange construction cones. A few well-prepared missionaries even brought water bottles. A smiling senior couple wearing orange vests brought up the rear, hand-in-hand.
However, the end of this race was marked not by cheering fans but by the hymn “Behold a Royal Army,” played by a senior missionary on the organ. Also lacking was a spirit of competition. A historic 2,788 missionaries, 140 coming from an overflow campus at Wyview Park, filed into the Marriott Center with one purpose and spirit.
“It’s really amazing to have so many people in one place with all the same intent,” said Levi Neely, a missionary from St. George bound for Budapest, Hungary.
The missionaries recognized the historic nature of the trek to the Marriott Center. “You’re walking down the hall (of the MTC) and everyone’s so excited to be here,” said Joe Giacalone, Neely’s companion from Syracuse, Utah. “We can feel that we are part of a historic thing, and it’s really cool.”
This unprecedented wave has pushed the number of full-time missionaries serving from 58,000 to roughly 69,000 currently, and the number is expected to reach 85,000 during fall 2013. The MTC held roughly 2,000 missionaries this time last summer, but on July 10, 2013, the number should be 3,611.
“There’s a little more energy at the MTC right now,” said Alicia Eliason, a sister from Bountiful, Utah, who will serve in Taiwan. “I just feel lucky to be a part of it.”
Peng watched the stream of her fellow missionaries continue to file into the Marriott Center. “They just keeping coming,” she said.
Missionaries are expected to keep coming to the MTC, Marriott Center and around the world for the rest of the summer as they run “with patience” the race.

Friday, June 28, 2013

25 June 2013 - Got some Air Time (Week 6 at the MTC)

Well I sure did get some great airtime on Sunday didn't I (he was seen two different times on the missionary Broadcast that the church had on Sunday, June 24th)? I must have been livin right or something. Singing in the choir was actually lots of fun though, I enjoyed it. I thought we sounded pretty good too. Pretty good for the choir director to direct a choir of over 2,000 people in just like 3 practices. Did you guys enjoy the broadcast though? Lots more member missionary work. That's a wild time. Hope you guys are excited about that. I wonder if the Nihonjin kyokaiin do that too. I guess we will see. Its crazy to think that in just like 20 days or something I will be going to Japan. Makes me nervous a lil bit for my nihongo. Apparently we learn really fast though. haha I still make some good mistakes I suppose though. haha We have had some pretty good laughs with our progressing investigator named Shuma (Willard Sensei) these last like 3 lessons. hahah We have had to wait on the prayer for like 30 seconds these last two lessons because all 3 of us were just laughing so hard. It's kinda bad but real funny at the same time. I really love my senseis they are both so awesome. Willard said it is good that Elder Hanohano and I are still ourselves while we teach. He said some other missionaries will turn into serious robots when they go to teach investigators but that it is good that we are still ourselves but he can still feel the spirit so strong. This week we really tried harder in getting to know our investigators better and knowing their needs especially. In one of our lessons with Hironori (Todd sensei) we were really just trying to get to know him better and what he wants from our lessons and what he can get from the church and he started to cry when we were teaching him. It was kinda neat except for we weren't sure what part exactly he was crying about (haha) but we're still learning and he could really feel the spirit so that's all that matters. 

I hosted for Zane (He was his room mate at BYU). Such a small world, he happens to be in my same residence building, same class building, and same exact schedule so we have mealtimes and gym together too. needless to say I see that boy quite often. 

How is Hershey doing lately? Feeling better yet? and is insurance helping to pay for any of that? I think that maybe on the chore chart someone should be assigned to walk him everyday or something like that. Something that will really enforce it and possibly get that dog excited about life and not trying to kill himself.

Today is our last day in the temple because they are closing it for cleaning but we get to go clean it in like 2 weeks so maybe that will be neat. 

Oh last week there was also a plague that hit the mtc.  There were over a hundred sisters (over reacting women) that went to the ER one night because they were throwing up. It was just a virus though that went around. 4 out of the 6 sisters in our district caught it. Pretty much you just throw up for like 8 hours (whether you still have food or not) and then it's over. Hanohano caught it like 3 nights ago but he wasn't a sissy like all the sisters and go to the ER and then sit in your room all day for the next like day and a half. I got pretty close and almost threw up like 3 times yesterday but never did. My stomach still hurts but I must be immune to the real deal or something who knows. My sleeping has gotten better lately as well. I don't wake up like 6 times a night anymore. Neat thing is I prayed that if I didn't fall asleep once during the whole day and gave my whole day to the Lord, that I would be able to sleep all night, and the next night Hanohano was throwing up all night and keeping everyone up and I slept like a baby didn't even wake up more than like once.  I had no clue that the plague had hit our room till the next day. 

Well that's pretty much all I can think of for now. I'm just real excited to go to Japan. my Japanese still sucks but maybe when I get there it will get better. I had some good ideas earlier in the week but I seem to have forgotten them so when I remember them I will write them down so I remember to tell you. Oh btw did you guys get my Fathers Day card? I'm not sure how well the mail works. It seems to take longer than usual. sometimes your dearelders don't get to me for like multiple days too. I haven't gotten a single letter from anyone besides a couple from Liz and the dear elders from you guys for like 3 weeks haha sooo I guess I'm a forgotten man already. 

Oh well. such is life. Take care and don't hurt yourself during your awesome summer festivities. Oh also they told us we are allowed to watch the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire here at the MTC on the 4th of July so you can imagine how exciting that is for us missionaries.
tally hoe! (not sure how you spell that).
愛 しっています! 
-トラビス ブルムフイルド 長老

This is the Choir of 2,000 missionaries that sang at the Missionary Broadcast.  Travis was one of them.

Travis is in the upper right corner in the rest of these pictures.

If you go to you can watch the entire "Work of Salvation" broadcast.  The message is wonderful and the choir sings several times.  The first time I watched it, I looked and looked for Travis, but never saw him, then some friends pointed him out to me.  It is so fun to see him singing.  I have watched it over and over.

Thought for this week:

18 June 2013 - Some Great FHE Ideas (Week Five at the MTC)

Well that's pretty neat that one of their neighbors was on the same flight, what a small world it is indeed with this Mormon clan (Hilari and Tucker left the MTC to go into the mission field.  One of Hilari's neighbor's happened to be on the same flight to Calif. and they took a picture and text it to Bryan and Darci). Soo umm Dad said something about poisoning Hershey (we had set up some poisonous bait houses in the back yard to kill some unwanted friends.  They claimed they were dog proof, but not for our dog, Hershey.  He ate the poison and had to have  plasma and two blood transfusions as he was bleeding to death internally)? When were you planning on telling me about that (I sent him a long letter telling him the whole story from start to end, but he did not receive it yet)? Perhaps it will be like a kryptonite sorta thing and he will become a super dog. superrrrrr genki desu (thats what Elder Wood always says). Well this week one of the more odd things occurred, well actually two things, one quite a bit more disturbing than the other. The first one was I was walking in the cafeteria and all the sudden some sister asks me hey Elder Bloomfield! did you by chance happen to grow up in Malaysia at all? I was like ummmm yeah for a couple of years. and she was like yeah and your older siblings are Kara and Kyle?? I was like umm yep that sure is me! So her name is Sister Orgill. She said that you and her mom were like best buds or somethin like that who knows. How she remembers all the way back to Malaysia and what I look like I have no idea either. She was like you used to be so small then! (I was thinkin well yeah you were most likely pretty small yourself sister). Yeah I was quite mind boggled as to how she remembered us all the way back to Malaysia. Props to her. She seems like a real neat sister too. Always so superrr genki desu. The second thing that was just oh so odd was (I'm guessing she had just gone to the bathroom or something) one of the sisters walked by our room and she happened to have the bottom of her skirt tucked up into the top part of her garment. She must have caught her skirt when she was pulling it back up but I thought you might get a lil giggle out of that. The worst part was she was going in to teach one of the pretend investigators but my companion and I didn't know what to say. So hopefully she got that figured out just before she walked in to teach the lesson but who knows. It was pretty funny though. 

Our devotional on Sunday was real neat. We watched various commercials and then had a message with each one. Maybe if you could find them you could use them in a fhe or something but I'll describe em to ya since I still have half an hour.
fhe provided by Elder Bloomfield: The following are commercials the church published like 15 years ago or somethin like that. If possible try to look them up. Not sure if you will find them though.
Commercial 1: a girl practicing the piano and doing an awful job, also a boy throwing a baseball and being completely inaccurate... their teacher yells at them out of frustration and demands that they do better. They then surprisingly execute with exactness. 
Message: "when everything says that you can't, believe in the part of you that says you can."

Commercial 2: two kids who are super embarrassed about how they look, one has braces, one is super embarrassed about his glasses he has to wear, all the kids laugh at them but they smile at each other. Message: "it's not who you aren't, it's who you are." 
- Travis input, don't worry about what others at school may think of you and don't try to impress them, be yourself and who you've been raised to be.

Commercial 3: a child continuously asking their father to play or read to her but he is always working and continuously tells her not now honey daddy is busy, we will do that in a bit just let daddy work for a bit. Message: "it's often life's small moments that you remember most, don't let them pass you by." 
-On that note could you send me an email of some of dad's greatest moments and other neat family memories? just like one line recaps that you guys think of and I will remember what happened and write it down.

Commercial 4: a child calls her parent who is with co-workers and tells him he loves her lots but the dad never says it back because he wants to act tough in front of his co-worker friends. 
Message: "the people in your heart, can't hear your heart, let them know how you feel, tell them you love them."

Commercial 5: they had two little 2 year olds fighting over a toy and such with adult voice overs arguing about small things that don't really even matter. 
Message: "if you think childish arguments don't hurt your companionship, you are wrong." 
-companionship can be any relationship with any friend, sibling, parent, child, or spouse. It drives the spirit away and leaves uneasiness in the room only inviting more arguing to occur.

Commercial 6 (this one was called "splash" i remember): was about a small girl about 7 years old who was on a swim team who never won any relay and made her team come in dead last every time but still brought more to the team than any other swimmer because she had leg disabilities and had very small control over her legs at all. She gave her all in every race. 
Message: "whatever you do in life, just DO YOUR BEST" 
-Elder Bloomfield input, I think now would be a good time to relay a favorite quote of mine that Mason you can find in pmg (Preach My Gospel) on page 146. "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life." -Elder M. Russell Ballard. So if you want to go anywhere in life, one must first set a goal or else he will have no ambition to go anywhere.
Other messages I got from the devotional that weren't directly from a commercial were to always listen to the promptings of the spirit, always, always, do not ignore it. as a missionary, at the end of the day ask yourself, "today... was the Holy Ghost my senior companion? Was he my junior companion? Was he my companion at all? Or did I ignore every opportunity?"  
Also if there is time at the end one could watch the following Mormon messages that weren't from the devotional but I found to be really great.
------Mountains to Climb (my favorite one, watch this one)------------
-Hope you know we had a hard time
-Earthly Father, Heavenly Father
-Men's ears shall fail them
-Moments that matter most - Hey Kara, Kyle and Kyoshi, do you remember Alex from our intramural soccer team? The one that didn't ever play defence? He is in this one for a lil bit. When I was watching I was like holyyyy moly check that out!
Anyway, yeah that's that. Also I sent you guys a Fathers Day card, were you already camping by then or did you happen to get it? The nihongo is a real neat time. I quite enjoy it. After the devotional on Sunday I said goodbye to Tucker and Hilari cause they left in the wee hours of the morning on Monday as you know. It was real cool getting to see Hil and talk to her like 4 times a day, a nice family break from all the strangers we are now with. They will be awesome missionaries. Hopefully Tucker will get his visa soon (his visa for entry into Argentina did not come, so they temporarily reassigned him to Oregon until it comes). Tucker and Hilari cried when they were hugging and saying goodbye. First time I've ever heard of the man crying. It was a real tender moment.  Well time to go now. Talk to you all later. Enjoy the fhe lesson. watashi wa mina san o ai shitte imasu.
Elder Bloomfield
Saying good bye for about 22 months while they all go their seperate ways to serve the Lord.

This is their final good bye.  Such a tender time and incredible experience to serve at the same time.

Thought for this week:

11 June 2013 - Week four at the MTC

Well I decided after my last email that I've pretty much just been telling you about my abouts and such in the MTC, but not much about how my progress is coming along.  I've only been telling my journal that stuff. The Japanese is coming along though. I can pretty much teach almost the whole first lesson now. I cant really go into depth too much and if they ask questions it just gets rough cause its usually vocab I don't know but its a fun time, also my grammar isn't too good but it is getting better because I know more vocab than my companion so lately I have been doing more talking than him in the lessons. I feel kinda bad about it after the lessons and always try to like give him index cards with sentences he can read and stuff because he likes it better to just study the grammar and such and then go into the lesson and talk to the investigator and see where the lesson goes sorta. So I try to help him talk more but I seem to be doing more of the talking most of the time. Oh well. it is a great experience though. Yesterday we used the pen analogy to explain our spirits and getting bodies and then our pen is erasable so we used it to show sin and repentance and he was real amazed when the pen erased haha it was funny. So that's that. I seem to pick up the grammar and such faster than others but then when I get into lessons I will sometimes forget it and just try what I can, so that's fun. But honestly I am loving Japanese. It's cool. I like writing it too its a fun time. For all my vocab words and stuff I don't write in romanji (American letters) any more but only use hiragana and katakana so I can get better at it. I know all of the hiragana and can write it all and I know all of the katakana but sometimes forget it when writing it. but I can recognize it all. 

The elders in my district are still solid. we are all doin good. Hil and tuck leave a week from today so that's pretty crazy. Well actually idk if Tucker has gotten his visa yet, so I'm not sure if he will be going to Argentina. Oh also we have soo many missionaries these days that our Tuesday Devotionals are going to be in the Marriott Center until August, crazy right? Also I have joined the choir so I can guarantee good seats. Also next week the Prophet and Apostles will be there for some special broadcast like a leadership training or something is what we were told at choir practice and we will be singing with other members for some special thing for the viewing. Maybe you will see me on the guy said that the broadcast was for like members involved with missionary work and missionaries across the world so maybe dad will see it since he is YM President. I'll do my best to wear a bright green tie and get myself on that camera. Choir of the century is what were told. Apparently this broadcast is like a pretty big dealll! (gru voice)
As for my visa and passport, they won't give those to us until we get our flight plans so I won't get that stuff till a week before we leave. Lake Tahoe sounds fun. I miss the summer time fun. jet skiing and such. Sounds like a real blast. Oh and the pant clips you sent me haha it was my jeans that broke. that's why I said I only had one pair of pants left. The sliding clips you sent me can't really help with that but they will prolly be good for future use. Thanks for the package it was real neat. Lots of love.
Well that's about all I can think of for now. The church is true. God is great. Jesus is jubilant and missionaries can help you meet your maker!  Not really sure if that's good or bad but that's the first thing that popped into my mind.
Love you all.
See you tomorrow!

Elder Bloomfield

Elder Bloomfield writing his hiragana and katakana

Looks pretty good!!!!!!

A sister missionary (Travis said she was a cousin for the day???) from the MTC with Travis and Tucker

Kyle and Erin, Kara and Kyoshi were driving by the Provo Temple and look who they found Hermana Bloomfield (cousin Hilari)

Great Grandma and Grandpa Ford are smiling from Heaven at this picture.  5 Ford cousins all in the MTC at the same time.  Left to Right - Tucker Bloomfield, Travis Bloomfield, Joey Tafuna'i, Hilari Bloomfield and Jessica Reid.  Many more Ford's to follow!!!!!!!!!

Thought for the week:

4 June 2013 - WOWZERS! (Week three of the MTC)

Well hello there my missionary fan club. This week has been neat. It's getting harder but a fun time always. I guess I'll start with today. Let me fill you in on a neat story. Soooo apparently they like don't want us exercising on our p days (I think because the food they feed us is all fake and fattens us, so by us not working out on p day we can get extra extra fat) but my district.. we love to bond together and play basketball. So we were playing basketball for a bit and then all the sudden I go up for a neat rebound and get a big WHOP to the noggin. So I got two bloody noses and a bloody lip. Moral of the story.. "obedience brings success... strict obedience brings miracles"-Elder Scott. So I suppose next week I won't play basketball or something. But on the contrary to this story it can also be told for a neat sports motivational story. Lets start that story. Andddd here we are folks the series all tied up 1-1 who will win the final game of the series today? Getting pretty heated here, Bloomfield goes up for a rebound OHH!  and Bloomfield takes a bloody one to the face. That didn't look good folks not good at all. He seems to be bleeding on the court that will sure be a mess (5 minutes later) and here is Bloomfield returning to the court, a plug in each nostril and wide grin on his face- folks I think he's up to something.. Can Bloomfield rally his team to a comeback win in the final series game? Bloomfield's team is down 10-14. Oh now they're down 14-19 (the games are to 21). Can Bloomfield's team make a stunning comeback even with his bloody face?? Oh and he hits a three. Ohhh and he breaks his opponents ankle with a fierce cut and hits a lay up! His companion Hanohano then hits a three and they win it! They have rallied back and won yahooo! Yeah so there's that if you ever wanna like motivate your Priest Quorum dad or Kyle if you wanna motivate Erin to play you in b-ball or Kyoshi if you wanna rally Kara to play you in some fifa or Mason if you wanna rally yourself to become good at basketball or Olivia if you wanna rally yourself to exercise sometime or Cassi if you wanna rally yourself well.. Never mind. Mom you seem to usually be rallied. 

Anyways, the devotional on Sunday was really cool. It was a guy who role played Willard (I think that was his name, the doctor who was with Joseph Smith when he died in Carthage Jail) and told of the whole story from first person view about the saints in Navuoo and all of the prophecies Joseph Smith made before he died in Carthage and about Porter Rockwell (reminded me of Stevo and Mason) and about Dan Jones and how he was a fearless man. He told about how he prophesied that he would die in Carthage and how Dan Jones wouldn't die because he still had a mission to serve in Wales and how the governor broke many promises that he would protect Joseph if he came to Carthage. He told how when they were in Carthage Jail before they died he told John Taylor to sing "a poor man's warrying grief" and how John Taylor then understood what was going to happen and how it was such a prophecy and such. It was really really cool. The guy was a good actor too. He reminded me of Mr. Ellerbrock. I wonder if they record those and others can see those devotionals cause that would make a great family home evening for you guys. 

I gave one of the nihonjin missionaries a butterfinger (guess he's never had one) and he started freaking out and was like ohhh ohhh Lehi Lehi Lehi! and was calling me Lehi like I had just given him the delicious fruit from the tree of life or something. I like the nihonjins. 

My lessons with the "investigators" are getting better. At first we had to write down sentences and read them during the lesson and such but I am getting better now at just remembering the vocab and new grammar lessons we're taught and teach as much as I can that way. It's still a struggle but much better than 2 weeks ago. It is sometimes frustrating though because my companion won't want to like prepare exactly what we wanna teach, He likes it better to just go in and see what the investigator wants to hear and then start teaching but its rough cause if we prepared before we could whip out a solid lesson and such but its all in the learning process so that's okay. 

I was practicing my ninja star throwing skills and I like to throw my mtc card (the credit card we use for meals and such) around and lately I've been getting really good, so good that I broke the corner of my card. I whipped that bad boy all the way down the hallway and then it hit the side of a door and chipped off. I was so proud ;) I have since relaxed on the card throwing though.I think I am now good enough to protect myself from any danger from the Japanese Mafia. 

I still see Hilari everyday so that's real nice. 
The button on my pants broke off. and its the metal kind so I can't just sew it back together so I'm not quite sure what I'll do about that. It won't snap back together so that's unfortunate.maybe just safety pin it for the rest of my mission who knows. I also played soccer for the first time a couple of days ago and man might I say.... the competition in the MTC ain't very high. I'm not sure if I broke a sweat. We have some serious work to do. 

Word on the street is there are over 1,000 missionaries entering the mtc tomorrow. Most ever on one day. but most of them are going to y view and raintree I hear. Wednesdays are always so fun though with all the new people. Sometimes I like to put my orange sticker back on my name tag and pretend I'm a new guy. People are just oh so friendly to you its just great. Well not much else I can think of. Hil said she emailed a couple of pictures of me to Darci today. One of me doing my laundry and one with me hil and tucker. I'll send some other pics later as well. that's all I can think of for now though. Everyday is pretty much the same. Just classroom and language studies. Its hard but I love it - love learning the language and speaking it and converting myself more everyday while throwing some fun in there as well. One of the Elders in my district told me the other day (think I may have told you this but I don't remember) that's hes real glad I'm in the district cause I'm real funny and if it weren't for me he would probably be depressed all the time. That was nice of him. This kid is literally hilarious though. he makes me laugh so much he is one of those kids that is so funny but doesn't mean to be. hahaha like yesterday Elder Lewis was saying how he only ever wore skinny jeans and then in all complete seriousness Elder Wood goes "dude how do you even get those on? Do you have to like put mayo on your legs or something?" hahah It was so funny. Today we found drawings on his bed sheets (and I thought they were from someone else but never came off) and teasingly sarcastic I was like Wood why are you drawing on your sheets man? and then he was like oh that? yeah I just got bored so I started drawing on them. It should come out though its fine. haha I was like wait what? That was actually from you? It was real funny. but not to worry it will come out he says. He just got bored. Well this was a long email. It's all good in the hood though. and my hood I mean the brother hood. The kyodaihood.
All is well in the MTC. Love you all. keep up the good work. Every test is only a lesson to make you stronger. 

Oh also, in the morning devotional on Sunday one of the guys was talking about Satan and how God put limits on him. He can only tempt us so much as we can handle. We have more power than he does. Anything in life that is thrown at us we can learn from and show it who's boss. So have at it.
dai sukidesu
ai shittemasu
Elder Bloomfield
Fun in the Laundry Room

Nothing like cousins hanging out together in the MTC doing their laundry

Cousins - Hilari and Tucker Bloomfield
Elder Woods

Thought for this week:
Love this!!!!!!  (found on facebook or pintrest)