My heart ached to think that he was feeling such strong emotions on his own, but I was overjoyed at his realization and that he figured it out without Doug or I there to tell him what he came to realize alone! Oh how I love this boy! Anyway, here is his first letter. I'm still debating. I may begin a blog for his letters. I may just post them here. I'll decide before he gets to California. The letter had to be edited for typos, but other than that, this is Quayd RAW. Some of it may be more personal than I should share, I'll figure out what he wants to share and what he doesn't. We are learning as we go here. And I loved that he said, "Life is good!"
Well, as you know, when I got to the MTC, it was emotional, especially saying goodbye to my mother. In a way, it kinda felt like Maze Runner, when Thomas is in the box (the car) then, the door opens and elders pull you out just like the Gladers did with Thomas. I immediately had to say goodbye to my family and my mom, then I was taken away from them by Elder Spencer. I don’t know why I wasn’t crying anymore, I just wasn’t.
I said hello to almost every elder as they, repeatedly, kept saying, “Welcome to the MTC!” I went to my classroom and meet Elder Aeillo almost like “i yellow”, so that’s what we call him. I talked to him for a bit and met Brother Van Bloom and Elder Tittle. It felt like I had seen them before somewhere. Weird? But, they were my teachers.
They pulled me out of the room to watch a couple videos. I came back and there was Elder White, Elder Aeillo, Elder Taylor and Elder Hill, my companion. You know how we guessed what my companion was going to be like… Well, he is tall, not very handsome, has a very cool personality and talks a lot! At times, I couldn’t say anything because he’s a talker.
Then, out of nowhere, I saw Elder Duncan, a high school friend of mine. I was at his house that New Years Eve party. He is in my district! We hugged and were so freaking pumped to see each other!
After that, we started class, then went to lunch. The food isn’t that good, but, the ice cream – mmm, it is good! BYU ice cream!
I don’t know why, but, I felt some intense anxiety throughout the first three days. The first day was the hardest just trying to fit in. We were teaching and some investigators were asking questions. I think that when I spoke, I recited the whole Plan of Salvation, which must have been overwhelming. Anyway, studying lessons, learning to talk to the investigators, I literally wanted to go home… but, at the same time, I didn’t. It was mentally challenging.
I doubted myself many times. As my district talked about scriptures and such, I really felt like I was going to be a failure. And my companion barely talked to me. And my district were like family, but I wasn’t fitting in. I felt hopeless and a little... not really homesick, but, at the same time, homesick.
We were teaching our lesson of the restoration to Brother Tittle. We prepared and we started our lesson. I talked about Joseph Smith and his vision and recited it. That’s when I knew! …Maybe, I don’t know scripture, BUT, I have a testimony that is strong! Maybe I don’t know much, but, I can feel the presence of the Spirit! Because when I told Brother Tittle that story, his eyes were glistening and I knew that, pretending to be investigator, (even though he was a member), he felt it!
So, I started to make a change. I started to know my personality and now, I’m literally the funniest elder in my district! We have made lots of friends. I have made lots of friends! It’s like my district are my brothers who, like me, are newbies and then, some of the other people in my district are older brothers, who have shared there experiences of teaching, like Elder Fata, Elder Stevenson and Elder Richins. They have been a big help and I’m starting to like it!
Teaching is a little hard when Elder Hill is talking. My district leader is a little too much obedient, but, that’s okay, I still love him. But, I’m so grateful to meet these wonderful people, these wonderful friends and now, literally, my brothers!
I haven’t taken any pictures so I need to do that, but, I have been writing in my journal each day about my wonderful preparation towards the Lord and the people of Redlands, California. It’s been amazing!
I miss you so much. Thank you for the scrap book. It means a lot. I don’t know… being here is like, for me, I have already been here. I know somewhere in my life time that I have met all of these wonderful people. Getting to know them more…it’s literally like I have passed the veil and have seen a glimpse of them laughing and talking up a storm. They love me. They literarily tell me, “Corbridge, I love you, man!” or “Corbridge, I’m so glad you are here!” or “Corbridge, can I date your sister?”
There’s a couple like Elder Aiello and White and Lorenzen, who want to date Grace or ZJ! Haha!
Funny… we were talking about moms and how you were converted by the former Elder Corbridge and they were like, “ooohh really, was she....?” “She was hot!!!!” They all started laughing hysterically and then they asked, “Is she still?” Yeah, she’s still pretty hot. It might have been weird saying that, but…
It’s just been great! I love my teachers! Oh, something the girls should do - if they have a clear glass in a restaurant, put maybe a quarter of ice in the cup, get half cup of Fanta and a little bit of Sprite and then a drop of blue PowerAde in there. It has two colors… just saying.
I love you guys so much I miss you and Zulu. Anyway, life is good! I’ll send pictures asap. Oh! Listen to this band called the Nashville Tribute. They are awesome and I literally cried 8 times listening to their music. It is powerful, especially the missionary one.
Elder Corbridge :^)
Oh, ps. All the elders going to Redlands have contacts for the year! haha