Friday, August 22, 2014

Second week at the MTC

This week's been great. 

Still haven't figured out the photo situation.

I fly out to Toronto early Monday morning, so by the next time I write, I'll be in Canada.

Things have been pretty crazy here. I've had several deeply spiritual experiences. I'm getting more used to inviting people to baptism.

On a not quite so personal level, there's something I'd like to share.

As we've been meeting with investigators, one of the really deep questions my companion and I have been asked is "why would God take his gospel away from the earth?" We initially responded that we didn't have a great answer and would come back. This is what I came up with that I really liked:


We start of by stating the question, and then ask the investigator to read 2 Ne 10:23. We describe what agency is, and then launch into a block quote from Our Search for Happiness (pg 74) in the section under Coping With Adversity that says,

"If there is a God," the empathetic observer might wonder, "how could He allow such things to happen?"
The answer isn't easy, but it isn't that complicated either. God has put His plan into motion .It proceeds through natural laws - which are, in fact, God's laws. And because they are His, He is bound by them, as are we. In this imperfect world, bad things sometimes happen. The earth's rocky underpinnings occasionally slip and slide, and earthquakes result. Certain weather patterns turn into hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and drought. That is the nature of our existence on this planet. Dealing with adversity is one of the chief ways in which we are tested and tutored. 
Sometimes, however, adversity [in this case, read: apostasy] is man-made. That is where the principle of agency again comes into play. Keep in mind that we were so excited about the plan Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ presented that we literally "shouted for joy" (Job 38:7). We loved the concept of mortality and the exciting notion of moral agency. But because we'd never been mortal before, I'm not sure we could fully comprehend the impact of agency on our lives.
We tend to think of agency in a personal way. Ask someone to define "moral agency," and they'll probably come up with something like this: "Moral agency means I'm free to make choices for myself." But we forget that agency also offers that same privilege to others, which means that sometimes we are going to be adversely affected by the way other people choose to exercise their agency. 
Heavenly Father feels so strongly about protecting our moral agency that He will allow all of His children to exercise it - for good and for evil. Of course, He has an eternal perspective that helps Him to understand that whatever pain and suffering we endure in this life, regardless of its origins and causes, it is only a moment compared with our entire eternal existence. 

At this point, I bear testimony that God cares about our agency.

Then, I emphasize that God still shows his love for us by giving us inspired people, such as the Reformers or those of other faiths. 

Finally, explain that when people were ready, God willingly restored His gospel on the earth again.


I know that God loves us.

With love,
Elder Crye

Friday, August 15, 2014

First Few Days at the MTC

These last few days have been great. This is our first Preparation Day, but this is only my third day here.

I haven't taken any pictures yet, but I believe I'll have some by next Friday.

I've been called as the District Leader of our small band of 8 missionaries. I've found out that there are two other districts of English-speaking missionaries en route to Toronto, Canada, for a total of 25 of us. They're a fun group. We tend to eat together. The food's pretty good - just like the Cannon Center at BYU. I've been drinking probably 5 glasses of chocolate milk with every meal. :)

My district has been nothing but supportive. They're great. You can really feel the Spirit in the classroom when the Elders or Sisters share their thoughts. We're all going through the same challenges, so it's great to have someone to talk to about those challenges.

From what I understand from the amount of paperwork I've been given relative to others, the District Leader is the busiest calling you can get here as a missionary. My companion's put up with me admirably. I'm doing just fine keeping up with all the work. My time at college and growing up in the church has prepared me well. 

My companion is Elder Bernards. He's great, and I'm not just saying that because he's sitting next to me in a position to where he can totally read what I'm writing. We get along well and have several shared interests. We both played the saxophone in high school, and we both enjoy running. He's from Layton, Utah, so he's not from too far either. He hasn't given me any trouble. I'm still working on getting him to speak up when we talk with "investigators."

These first few days in the MTC, we've mainly been focused on learning the missionary purpose. It goes as follows: I'm here to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."

The one thing I've really noticed here is that you can feel the Spirit in almost everything you do. I've done some things that I don't think I would've before. Most notably, is that when meeting with "investigators" in workshops, we've covered topics that, personally, have never been a concern in my life. For example, the topic of the age of accountability and how infant baptism is unnecessary just isn't something that I've ever worried about. I've always just accepted it as true since that's what I've learned in church. It never really bothered me one way or the other. However, as a missionary, I've learned that I need to have a sincere testimony of the things I teach, and that those random topics really do come up. So, because of this, at night I've been praying for confirmation that the things we're covering are true. I've received such confirmation through the Spirit. I can say that I know, for sure, that infants don't need to be baptised and that they can return to live with Heavenly Father again. I don't think that I would've been able to say that before, mainly since it had never come up. But now I know those things, because I have a strong feeling in my heart that they are true. That's definitely been a growing experience for me. 

I'm really surprised that we've been encouraged to invite investigators to be baptized within the first (or sometimes second) discussion with them. That definitely still feels sudden to me. 

I ran into Elder Griffin, Elder Clair, and Sister Mortensen from Lehi. Also, I saw Elder Roberts, my ex-roommate from BYU, here. He's going to Colorado. 

Overall, I'm doing just fine here in the MTC. I haven't really had any struggles. Everything's come pretty easily. As I mentioned, I've been well prepared. I know that especially with the Lord's help, I can accomplish everything that I need to. I'm still adjusting to the missionary schedule, but what fresh missionary isn't? 

I love you all and I'm excited to head off to Canada.

-Elder Crye

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Preparing to Enter the MTC


I gave my farewell talk last Sunday on 3 Nephi 5:13. In my opinion, it was pretty good. :) If you wanted a copy and didn't get one, just send me an email ( and I'll get it to you.

I enter the MTC this Wednesday. I'll be set apart Tuesday night. It's finally starting to feel close.

There's not much time until I leave, so things are getting a bit more frantic.

There's now nothing between me and entering the MTC besides showing up at things and tying up some loose ends with packing. It still hasn't really set in that I'll be leaving for two years.

I'm excited.