This is the letter we received from Elder Kinney -- written the day he arrived at the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah (August 18th):
I am sitting in my room right now having completed my first day at the MTC. It has been a spiritual and overwhelming day for me. As soon as I was dropped off, I received my name tag and was shown to my classroom. It was very surreal looking down at that tag and realizing that I am now a full-time representative of the Lord . . . a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I met my companion, Elder Samuels, who is also going to Mesa. He is a great, outgoing guy from New Jersey. I think that we are going to get along really well. After we met our teacher for a few minutes (Elder Welling), we were welcomed by the MTC Presidency. I really liked what they had to say. It was the most confident I felt about myself all day. As we left the devotional, I ran into Elder Quinn and his companion. It was really good to see a familiar face. He told me he had never learned so much so quickly in his entire life. I'm sure I'm in for a long week.
From there we headed to dinner where I was finally able to see Elder Edwards. He seemed to be doing really great and was anxious to be leaving the MTC on August 24th. After dinner we headed to a series of live teaching situations where we watched and participated as a group of about 50 missionaries or so. This activity got me thinking that I have a lot to learn. Hopefully when we start Spanish tomorrow I will be able to absorb all I'm being taught. One thing I know I must do is become more receptive to the spirit as I continue my experience here in the MTC.
It's now time for bed so I gotta go. Love you guys - Elder Kinney