Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First Week in the MTC

Wow! This week has been crazy and incredible! I got dropped off at the MTC on Wednesday and only had a couple minutes to say goodbye. Soon after I met my companions. I have been put in a threesome which I guess is pretty rare but I love it. I couldn't have asked for better companions. Their names are Elder Larose (from Pennsylvania) and Elder Burns (from Iowa). We bonded very quickly and we are already best friends!

Everyone says the in the MTC all you do is study, study, study, but even knowing that I had no idea what I was in for. It is nonstop. There is absolutely no time to do anything but study. Even preparation day is very busy. The thing that seems odd to me is that we haven't hardly been studying Spanish at all. Maybe an hour a day in a classroom setting. The rest we have been trying to figure out on our own. It's been somewhat frustrating so far but I feel like It's beginning to come. We all have to write a talk for Sacrament Meeting in Spanish every week which is crazy. Then you just get called out of the congregation to give them occasionally. Luckily, I wasn't called on last week.

The first night I was called as the District Leader, which has contributed even more to the busy schedule. There are a lot of responsiblities and meetings to attend. One of my duties is picking up the mail for my district twice a day which is exciting. I also interview each member of the district every week. My district consists of seven Elders and 4 Hermanas. We really lucked out to get Sisters in our district. Everyone in the district has very strong testimonies and we've really come together in just one week. It seems like everyone has the companion(s) that's just right for them. My zone leader is an Elder named Aaron Smith who lived in the building next to me at BYU. A lot of my friends are friends with him during school. I have also met a lot of people that I know from either high school or BYU here.

So one rule at the MTC that's pretty tough is I'm only allowed to write any kind of letter on preparation day, so if I haven't written back yet that's why. I only get 30 minutes on the computer and there is a timer so this letter is pretty rushed. I think when I get to Arizona this rule will change somewhat.

So as of last week we are allowed to play basketball at the MTC again! Perfect timing! For awhile we weren't allowed to play because of the swine flu scare. Also, as of last night we are allowed to shake hands again. I guess the problem has been nearly resolved.

Last night we had an incredible devotional given by Elder John H. Groberg on service. It was very motivitational. There have been many other great firesides and devotionals but it would take too long to tell about each one. The spirit here is so strong and it's been awesome to just focus 100% on the gospel with no distractions.

The food here is really good but I try not to eat too much of it. One elder told me he has gained 13 pounds in his first 3 1/2 weeks. That better not happen to me! Well, I've got to go get a haircut now and send this message before my time runs out! I'll do my best to respond to all of your letters today.

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