Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Tuesday January 27, 2015

Dear Family and Friends, 

Time is going by fast! We are on our last week here at the MTC! We got our Travel Plans, and leave the SLC Airport, fly to Chicago, then to London, and finally Lyon! All of us here are super excited and can't wait!

We have been doing a lot of studies, and zone meetings on contacting and door to door approaches. We teach our teachers every day, and have been improving with our French! 

the France Lyon Missionaries!
For our TRC, Elder Tomlinson and I talked with the Ward Mission Leader of a branch in France. He was very nice, and said he would love to work with us. One of the teachers, Brother Adams, gave our  district a concentrated lesson on how to contact. Apparently in France, people don't like to be stopped while they walk in the street. That will prove to be a problem, but with the Lord on our side, I know we will be able to get some Investigators.  

I began to color code my French scriptures. I have a Key on the front page that has stickers. Each color is a different subject, and each side of the book is a different topic of the first three lessons. I then have all the scriptures that relate to the color, marked and easy to access. The only problem is, it's difficult to pronounce the words and know what they mean. At least I have a long day of travel to study. 

Elder Hone, who the is pizza lover in our District, has reached over 100 slices of pizza here in the MTC. 

We have some native French speakers in our zone. I have recently started to just try and have conversations with them. It is getting easier every day to have more fluid sentences, better use of vocab, and understanding the language.

On Sunday, for the evening devotional, the speaker was Elder Steven Allen. He is an Area Seventy, and spoke about being worthy to serve a mission. One great thing he did, was allow all the Elders in the room take off their suit coats. This almost never happens, and was paradise for us all. 

Besides all of that, there really isn't anything else new here! Next week will be a different story! We will leave this country for the next 23 months of our young lives, and begin to really serve the people of France!

I love you all, and hope you have a great week! 

-love, Elder Acheson II
Thank you Aunt Bonnie for the candy letter!

My new friend, Elder Maltelour

Thank you Deurdens for the cookies and thanks dad for the ties!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Dear Family and Friends,

This has been another crazy week in the MTC! We have a new MTC Presidency. This last Tuesday, we practiced Joseph Smith's first prayer, and we sang it for Elder Russel M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve. The Director of all Mission work was also present, as well as many other General Authorities of the Mission Department. The devotional was shown to all the other MTC's in the world. When we sang in the choir, our district was shown twice up close. It was awesome to have our faces seen all over the world to other missionaries. 

On the next day, we had TRC again. Elder Tomlinson and I Skyped with a native French speaker that lives near Lyon. She was a member, but we still gave a lesson about prayer. It was an awesome experience to practice our conversation again. We look forward to actually speaking to people in France!

We have had a District goal of (PVL) Parler Votre Langue, or in other words, Speak Your Language. We had a great day the first day, but it is hard to always speak in French. We plan to keep trying, as our departure date creeps closer. 

We joined in with the new District who are also French speakers, and did a Livre de Mormon pronunciation game. If you messed up on a word, you would go to the back to the end of the line. That was a pretty useful and fun game! 

We have begun teaching our teachers as they pretend to be Inactive Members. It is pretty hard, because it is a totally different situation. I persuaded my inactive to come to church by saying after Sacrament Meeting, by saying we would go back to his house after church, and I would cook for him, and he said yes! Hopefully that will actually work in France! 

My wonderful mom send me my Picture Book of my family and work! Now I can show everyone what it was like to live in Provo! 

Foursquare is getting funner and funner! It's a great way to burn off steam. One time, all three people were ganging up on me. I had to lunge and save the ball when it bounced far out of my square, and did a powerful side arm swing and it grazed the edge of one of the other squares. Everyone cheered because it was so cool! The cool thing is that it was all one handed, since my elbow is still fractured. Just know that whenever you pass the MTC around 8:30 to 9:15at night, there is competitive foursquare happening. 

I am also proud to annouce the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Greenbay Packers in an amazing football game! Brother Markham, one of the counselors in the branch gave us scores on Sunday evening. He also brought us this amazing toothpaste that has super concentrated fluoride in it! So watch out France! You have some missionaries that have really healthy teeth coming your way! 

On Sunday afternoon, we went on our Temple walk. We went on the back side, and took cool pictures with some of the other zone missionaries, and took pictures of our name badges. We have a goal of taking as many cool name badge pictures during our mission! 

On Sunday evening, the new Presidency addressed us all, and we got to know more about them. We then watched the Joseph Smith movie in French. Only understood about 30 % of the movie... but it still was inspiring! 

On Monday, we taught our progressing investigator Nicolas, and found out that he is on track, and reading and praying! He is excited to be baptized, and hopefully wants to marry his girlfriend in the Temple! 

On P-Day Eve, we had the new District sleep in our room, and I talked with all the Montreal Canada Missionaries for the last time. They left this morning at 3:30. It's sad, because we are all good friends. It will be our turns to leave the MTC soon enough.

The MTC is still an amazing place and I am so excited to leave soon to go serve the people in France! I love you all, and have an amazing week! 

Love, Elder Acheson

Monday, January 19, 2015


Hello from the MTC! 

It is now week four for all of us! French has gotten harder, and we are teaching more, and soon will Skype with members in France on Wednesday. To catch you all up, Last P-Day evening, we had Bonnie L. Oscarson, the General Young Woman President come speak to us. That was a great experience for all of us here! 

The day after P-Day is always exhausting, so in class the day after, we all couldn't stay awake. We did start a program called TRC. That is where strangers who speak French, come speak with us companionship's. It's a great way to learn conversation. Later that night, we had Gym. I started to run a mile every night so I can keep up with all the food they serve at the MTC. Once I run, I play with some of my favorite Elders in Four Square. I know I keep saying it, but Four Square can get heated, and hard to play! Specially with Elder Steadman and I at the lead. 

On Thursday, I received packages from my favorite people! I got some fresh bread that was made by MY WONDERFUL neighbors, a new Harmonica from my amazing Grandparents in Washington State, cheese in a can, and some custom stationary for sending letters! I am also proud to say that I am able to play "Praise to The Man" on the Harmonica! I can't wait until I can walk the streets of southern France and play hymns for everyone!

The next day, my companion Elder Tomlinson, was under the weather, so we took a break from teaching our investigators. 

A weird thing about the MTC is the fact that when it's Friday, it doesn't feel like the weekend. The real day for that is Monday! P-Day Eve! One of the best days of the week. Just so you all know. 

On Sunday, we had our Sacrament Meeting in French again, and two missionaries gave talks in French. We have devotionals on Sunday nights, and have a more relaxing day. In the evening, one of our District Presidency members came to our Dorm to give us an object lesson. His name is Brother Markham. If the LDS Church has a "Most Interesting Man Alive" contest, he would win it. He is a Dentist, who bottles his own Grape Juice, and Heliboards with some of the best doctors in the country. He owns a few vineyards, and gave us a lesson on Jacob 5. It talks about vineyards and how to need to take care of the crops. He has produced some of the most amazing Grape Juice! It is called Chateau Markham. It's all made in Utah, and tastes amazing! It isn't sold anywhere, instead he gives it out. Almost all the 12 Apostles have had the grape juice during their retreats, and a good amount of the Nation's Military Generals have had it and love it! He told us a story about when he gave the generals the grape juice. They all took out their phones and took pictures of the bottle to find it online to purchase later. Little do they know, that it is a private label, and not sold anywhere. 

Yesterday, we started a zone wide game of tag. The rules are, you can only tag people in the month of January. If you are it by the end of the month, you have to wait until the next year to tag someone else. This game will continue until everyone playing is dead. So in five years, if I'm it, and I want to get someone else, I probably will need to fly and stalk my fellow zone member and tag them. It will be an interesting game for the rest of our lives. 

On P-Day Eve, its hard to study sometimes because it's the real weekend feeling. Over 50 hours of class, and you are just ready for a break. 

Even thought it's hard here in the MTC, it is worth it, and I love it! All my fellow missionaries are amazing, and I'm excited to serve with them! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and you can use it everyday in your life! I love you all, and until next week!

Please send me Dear Elders at Race.Acheson@myldsmail.net. It's great to hear from people out in the real world! 

- Love Elder Acheson

P.S. If you would like to check my brother's missionary blog,  the "older" Elder Acheson in Albania,  go to barbyacheson.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 8, 2015


To start out, this week, as like the others, been very busy and stressful. It was less interesting as the week before. The main Devotional was the man who is in charge of the Missionary Service Media Department.

He is responsible for Mormon.Org, the pass along cards, all the videos that Missionaries show to investigators, and even the huge "He is The Gift" ad in Times Square in New York.

That was a very cool devotional, because he gave us a view of the future of Missionary service. 
Usually on Sundays, there are movies that we can all see, such as Meet the Mormons, Testaments, or the Character of Christ (The MTC Special). Our District decided to see Meet the Mormons. It was a great feeling to see the outside world. We were happy to see the football scenes, and all the traveling. It get's cramped in the MTC, due to all the class and time in the dorms. 

This week, we have added up that we have been in class for more than 50 hours. We have been teaching  progressing Investigators about the Gospel in French. It has only been 3 weeks here, and my French is defiantly improving. It's hard to remember all the things we learn, so it becomes very stressful sometimes. Yesterday, one of the teachers that helps all the districts, taught me the Grammar Train. It's the master formula on how to make a French sentence. I haven't memorized it yet, but once I do, it should be easier to create sentences in my mind. 

New update with my fractured elbow. For the whole time I have been in the MTC, I have had a fractured left elbow. I have been going to therapy off campus to the Provo Hospital to get it worked on. I am happy to say, that I have had my last session of Therapy! During my scheduled x-ray appointment on Dec. 31, Elder Pieksma, another Elder in my District came with me, and when we walked in to the waiting room, and we went to the fish tank to watch the fish.
A lady who was sitting down when we walked in, had tears in her eyes, and asked us if we would give her a blessing. Elder Pieksma and I were very new with giving blessings. So we looked at each other and didn't know what to do! We told her we would, and so she asked the front desk if we could all go into a empty room. We shut the door, and she told us about her situation she was in. She told us that she was stressed about her kids, because of the situation they were in, and was new to Provo, and was leaving soon after, and just needed comfort. We got her name, and then I preformed the blessing with Elder Pieksma assisting me. She was crying at the end of the blessing, so I hope she received the answers and comfort she was seeking. I am just amazing at how being a representative of Jesus Christ, and wearing the name badge, prompts even random strangers to walk up to you, and ask for guidance and help. I am grateful for the lady for asking us to help her with her troubles.

On a different note,  the Cafeteria at the MTC is huge! There are so many people eating there at one time! One of my favorite things is the drink stations that are dispersed through out the place. If you know me well, then you know I love grape juice!

They have an endless supply. They have a variety of other juices and sodas as well. I soon developed my new favorite drink. Its 1/3 Grape Juice, 1/3 Raspberry Lemonade, and 1/3 Sprite. It is so good! I took me some time to find a name for it. One Elder in my District, Elder Hone, has a hard time saying Acheson... So since we are French speaking, I said, call me Aché! That soon became the name of my drink! So very frequently during any meal, I hear, Aché! can you make me an Aché please? I would suggest my drink, since it is very good! 

Today for P-Day, we went to do Initiators at the Temple, then ate in the cafeteria, and then we hung out at the dorm. Since some people might have different opinions on the matter, I will be vague. There may,or may have not been Nerf dart guns, teams of Elders, or even the moving of furniture while playing capture the flag today. 

After our time in the dorm, we went and got sack lunches for our meal, and now we are writing here on the computers in our class building! 

The MTC is a wonderful place. We work hard, study hard, and even play hard. We eat until we can't eat no more, and play 4-Square like it's the world Championship. I know that this is place where I need to be right now in my life. I want everyone to know, that the church is true, that the Gospel is real, and that our Heavenly Father loves us all! I love you all, and wish you a Happy New year, and look forward to more study this coming week! 

Love, Elder Acheson


Hello family and friends!

 A late Merry Christmas from the MTC! 

This week has again, been super busy, and amazing! First thing to announce, is that Russel M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to speak to us on Christmas Day. My companion and I somehow made it to the third row, and dead center in front of him. We saved seats for the rest of our district, and we were all amazed! He truly is  a servant of the Lord. I am proud to be a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!

Gary Stevenson, who is the Presiding Bishop also gave a devotional on the Tuesday before Christmas.
This last Sunday for the devotional, David Archuleta and Richard Elliot of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (I have two aunts in the same choir) played the organ and sang for us. David even sang his song "Glorious" that was featured at the ending of Meet The Mormons movie. It was amazing to be so close to such amazing talent. David also just recently returned from a tour to France. He gave a special shout out to the Lyon Missionaries (me included). During one of the devotionals, I saw a Sister Missionary in front of me and drawing an amazing picture.
She finished, and I asked her what she could also draw. She said anything, so I have her my watch, and she did an amazing sketch of it! I will cherish this simple gift for the rest of my mission. 

On Christmas day, I received a Seattle Seahawks blanket, a six pound bag of Gummy Bears, and some awesome ties, and lots of other little stuff! My Aunt Penny even made me a cute stocking with gifts that were related to scriptures! Lets just say it was an amazing Christmas.

We continued to teach our French Investigators, and it is pretty tough. It was a surprise to find out that our investigators would turn of to be our new teachers! Now they know how bad I am at French! Even though they were fake in the discussions, you can feel the spirit in them. Even in our really bad French, Elder Tomlinson and I were able to get our message through and have the spirit with us! I still don' know what I will do when I'm in France...

All the Elders in my District are goofballs. It is so fun to be with all of them! It has only been a few weeks, and we all know each other like it has been forever. We know about all their relationships, their school days, and even their family to a good amount! I think some of the mothers are even reading this blog! (Hello to all the mothers to the Elders I serve with!)

Elder Adams and I decided to have a contest to see who can stand the longest in the snow. So we went outside and laid in the snow for a good five minutes. We decided to call it a draw, because the both of us were freezing, but we wanted to both say we won. It was a great bonding experience! 

Elder Tomlinson and I went to therapy again, and this time was even more painful! Elder Pieksma and I have been stretching my arm every night to try and get my movement back in my fractured elbow. It hurts beyond expression sometimes, but I am glad that he is willing to hurt me for the greater good! I think Elder Tomlinson enjoyed his time to take a nap while I did therapy:) We get so little sleep in the MTC, you can not imagine how tired we are!

This morning on P-Day, we had service in the Provo Temple! The French Elders worked in the cafeteria dinning room and cleaned all the tables and chairs. Our supervisor that works for the Temple served in Northern France and Belgium. While we all cleaned, he would tell us tips and stories that would make us better Missionaries in France. It was a great spiritual experience to serve in the Temple and clean it for three hours. It really is the House of the Lord. 

I love all of you, I miss you, but am glad to be finally on my Mission! I know that this Church is true, and that with all your faith and prayers, our district will manage to learn French, and become fantastic Missionaries! 

I wish you a late Merry Christmas, and a Happy New year!

Love, Elder Acheson!