November 15, 2011
Como esta? Estoy excellente! (Just have Carly translate all the Spanish haha). Sorry I’m writing via handwritten letter. The laundry here is nuts! I swear there’s like 50 people in the laundry room and there are only 6 computers so it’s going to be impossible to send an e-mail at the momento. But I’ll try my best to send an e-mail in the future. The MTC has been great! The food is good, the spirit feels good, the classes are great and the people are nice. My companion is named Elder Tyler Zulauf and he is from Norco, Ca. He graduated just a few months ago and sadly his Dad actually passed away a month ago, so you know he has incredible willpower and an incredible testimony to be here. He is way cool, he is quiet and shy and he looks like James Franco and he loves sports. We are opposites in that he is a big sports guy and I’m a big music guy but we get along just fine.
Our district is awesome! Our district leader is named Elder Bingham. He reminds me a lot of Andy from The Office….exactly like Andy actually, but he’s a way cool guy. I became friends with an Elder from the district named Elder Young. His favorite band is Fictionist and we just talk music all the time. My roommates (excluding Elder Zulauf) are Elder ----, and Elder -------. Elder ----is a nerdy and smart guy that reminds me a lot of the leader of the ugly girl’s house in the movie “The House Bunny) which coincidentally was the movie we watched on Sunday….or was it a seminary movie? Elder ------- is exactly…EXACTLY! like sharing a room with Rachel (heaven forbid she’s reading this) he’s from Canada and will not shut up about it! I can stand him because he is the entertainment around here but really, words cannot describe the uncanny similarities between ------ and Rachel.
But the MTC so far has been great. The first day I got here I was put straight into the system. I got my tag and I.D. and my host dropped my suitcases off in my room and then he took me to my classroom where I met my district and my companion. They started (they being our teachers) talking to us in nothing but Spanish and we learned some basic Spanish stuff, but not a lot. Then we had an orientation and we sang a revised version of Army of Helaman which has as the new lyrics that “we are now the Lord’s missionaries” instead of “we will be…” and that made me totally want to fall apart… (Rolling my eyes cause I wanted to cry) but then President Hinckley’s son came in with the first lady of Honduras and they just said “Hey..sup Elders,” cause you know they would totally say that but they really pretty much did. And then we met with our zone leaders and one of them is named Elder Kim, and he is from Taejon, Korea. Dad, I said that you served in Seoul and he was pretty jealous you went to the Olympics there too. He is way cool!
That first night wasn’t so bad ‘cause I took an Ambien. But the next couple days were really hard cause I missed you guys so bad but I said a prayer to Heavenly Father during gym time on an elliptical in front of a window looking over Utah Valley and I just prayed that I can focus and not feel bad and that I can have confidence and that I can do what is required of me. And then everyday after that has been great! I feel more confident in my abilities and even though Spanish is hard and learning the gospel can be hard at times I know that it will be all right and that everything is in its right place. I know that the power of prayer is true and that your prayers and my prayers can bless us all. The Lord truly blesses us with tender mercies. I read a scripture that says “I Nephi will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are upon all those whom he hath chosen.” I really love that scripture and it has brought me great comfort.
Hymns have also brought me great comfort. Our classroom window is always open and every hour I can hear the bell tower play Come, Come Ye Saints and I think of the lyrics of that song and I apply the lyrics to my life. I love the hymns so much!!! Also from the window in the classroom (which my classroom building and number is 17M 241 for Mrs. Jones, which that is so cool that she is here!) but from the window I heard the cougar growl from the game going on (ha ha) it was awesome!
In the words of Morrissey I wish “Every day is like Sunday.” It was really nice. We had a sacrament meeting (which every week we are assigned to give a 5 minute talk in Spanish cause any of us could get picked to speak and I was wondering if you mom or grandma could send me like a 5 minute talk on Faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ” and I can translate it. Thanks. If you guys could help me out on that it would be great. But yeah, Sunday was cool.
Our branch president is named President Claybaugh and he’s like a mix of Matt Lauer and Brother Slade, he’s nice and his counselor is named Brother Washburn and he used to live in Pleasant Grove. We had a nice meeting and a nice priesthood meeting where we learned “being of good cheer” is a commandment. We had a fireside with the director of the MTC, I can’t remember his name, but he gave a great talk on tithing. Then we watched a movie about Jose Smith which was good.
And now today is p-day which is really fun (notice how this letter is clearly not written in 30 minutes, we have a ton of time today) we go to the temple today which I’m really looking forward to. In other MTC notes, the gym is great! I run all the time. I love that trick of memorizing Spanish. It’s that “onions-on-my-sneaker” thing and that works, ha ha (thanks dad.) I also got to watch that Brandon Flowers Mormon video which was so cool cause there is music in it (you can’t listen to music at the MTC). Also I have seen a few kids from high school.
This is my big letter for the week to you guys. Thank you for all the kind, beautiful words you guys send to me. I love and miss you guys more than you know but the Lord will bless us so much for what we’re doing. Thanks Grandma for all the letters, and keeping me updated, mark my words, I will wait for you! Thank you Anna and Lauren for your letters, I’m glad the play went well and I hope you beat that cold! Thanks for the letter and picture Molly! You are such an adorable goof and I miss hanging with you and playing with you, but 2 years is only a few Jake episodes away “Yo Ho Mateys!” Dad, thanks for the letters and tell Don to keep his mitts of my Korg! and Mom thanks so much for the inspiring letters. That D&C 84:88 is printed on my water bottle, and it is such a great scripture and I wrote “All Things Are Difficult Before They Are Easy” on a card and I put it on my desk because I so agree with that and I remind myself of that if I ever get frustrated. Thank you so much!!! I love you so much and remember “It’s All Good.”
I’m sorry I can’t write all you guys back. I would love to but it is busy all the time. So if I have time some time I will write more than one letter but till I really slip into the system (which I almost pretty much have) then I’ll just do a big letter. And I might just read the e-mails today and if I have time I’ll respond to them. Not meaning to sound all important it is just that they are really anal (for lack of a better term) about the 30 minute computer time. So if I respond it will probably be just a short thing.
I learned to pray in Spanish and we are teaching an investigator named Faber, it’s a great but entirely awkward experience because I can only understand a little of what he is saying but enough to know the gist of what he is saying. Same with the teachers cause they speak Spanish the entire time.
Also, I remembered that this Saturday is Carly’s birthday. Happy birthday on Saturday Carly!!! I love you so much, you are truly the best!
I think I’m going to wind up this letter with my testimony in Spanish that I am trying to memorize. Yo se que la iglesia es verdadera. Yo se aue Jesu Christo es el Salvador. Yo se que el evangelio Jesu Cristo es verdandero. Yo se que vive mi senor. En el nombre de Jesu Cristo, Amen.
May the Lord bless you buys for your sacrifice to put me here. I’ll give 110% for sure. I love you guys with all my heart, "s’all good".
P.S. Can I send a memory card through like the letter I’m sending you now or does it have to be through a special envelope? Oh, and they have all the caffeine free Coke and chocolate mile I can drink. Sweet!
* This Letter was handwritten and received 11/19/11