c I came home December 15,2010 //

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

12/30/2008 (Theres no place like the MTC for Christmas?!?)

Hola! I can't believe that it has been 2 weeks!!! 1/24th down. I am glad to hear that your Christmas went well. I am sorry to hear that it has been a pukefest there. The food here is not bad. I have not had that big of trouble with getting up at 6:30. I actually haven’t minded wearing a suit and tie. It feels weird when I wear normal close already.

I forgot to tell you what exactly happened after I left. I walked to the other side and it was like a rush of wind dried my eyes. I just couldn't cry anymore. We had to go get the white hand book, shots, the standard works in Spanish, a new name tag (we only have 2), and just some other odds and end things. I live in the building that was just south of where I put my bag. On the fourth and final floor. Then we just unpacked, had a meeting with the MTC president, met the Branch president, then saw our class room and went to bed to start this glorious and profound work.

Spanish is coming pretty well. I was just thinking yesterday how much I have learned. We only pray in Spanish and we have to testify in Spanish as well. My teachers told me that they want me to help the others because I am so much farther ahead. I know I have a lot to learn and Ii am excited to teach it to them because I know it will just help me get better. We do some language training on computers. We can listen and talk so that’s neat. Church is different. It kind of just feels like a fireside since we just dress like we do any other day. I have gotten a few letters. We do have a little bit of time outside but not much. I am excited to go to the temple. That’s sweet about the T-Mobile thing. Hopefully I can get some money.

Well Christmas was pretty sweet. I started crying because Sister Holland said that she speaks for everyone’s mother that all they can think about is us today. But I have done pretty well besides then. Gym time here consist of basketball with 20 missionaries on 3 courts battling to see who can hit each other harder or who can dribble between their legs the fastest. There are too many egos. We went to the Referral Center (RC) last Monday but no one answered. We went yesterday and 3 out of the four answered but only one wanted me to send something again. And a lady called in and I talked to her and sent her a Book of Mormon and bore my testimony of it to her. I got one of my black pants dried cleaned because they got something on them.

I bought some sandals from the MTC Wal-mart for the shower. We get a card that has 6 dollars a week on it so I got those and laundry detergent and I still have 41 cents left. All of the other normal things are free, i.e. barber, laundry, meals, etc. This letter isn't as long because I read all of the six that came to me and that also counted for my time. It has stopped snowing and started to melt away which is pretty neat to watch. I printed some pictures and will just send them home so I can write on the back. I gave my companion a priesthood blessing on Sunday because he was just so upset that he couldn't learn Spanish.

Well I hope there is a peace and calmness in Arizona. The lord works in mysterious miracles. Remember, missionaries are called to teach not to find so find people to have them teach. I know that Christ lives. I know Joseph Smith restored this church and if you believe in that, everything just falls into place. I know when you have enough faith in the Lord just like the 55 thousand missionaries serving right now. The lord can do things that you wouldn't even imagine and I testify of that. I love and pray for you all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12/23/2008 (Week 1)

Hello from the Great Tundra that they like to call Utah!! It has snowed everyday so far except today. I am really enjoying what is going on so far. My companions are Elder Beckstead and Elder Fuller. Beckstead is from Lehi, Utah and Fuller is from Seattle, Washington. I really like them both. Beckstead reminds me of the Christensen boy that was really into horses. His dad is a Mink farmer and he helps on the farm. He also does team roping at the rodeo. He has a twin brother that left 5 months ago serving in the Chile Santiago West mission. He is really awesome likes to laugh and all sorts of stuff.

I was a retard yesterday and today. I wore short sleeves with my suit coat. I only have 6 long sleeves apparently so I had to do it. I have 2 teachers.

Hermana Amupuno from Ecuador and served in long beach and Hermano Hildago from Mexico who served in Riverside. And next week we will loose hermano Hildago and get Hermano Vance but I don't know who he is. I got all three of your packages and your letters. The cookies were really good. Carol sent me a package as well and I got a letter from Scott on Saturday.

This week has flown by. The Spirit is really strong here and everyone seems happy. I surprisingly have seemed the least anxious/homesick out of my companions. By the way me and my 2 companions are our zone. On Sunday I played the piano for sacrament meeting. I butchered Joy to the World and I think it is because everyone was singing in Spanish and it through me off. Then I played I Stand All Amazed for the sacrament hymn and Silent Night for the closing hymn and played those fine.

We have a pretty big zone I guess. We have 2 districts that are fluent Spanish speakers. One kid in my zone I had seen at EA. I had never talked to him there but I have talked to him here. He is from Mexico and is going to the mother of all missions. New York City south Spanish. (actually New York City North Spanish would be the best because it is actually Manhattan) We have had some good devotionals. Tomorrow there is supposed to be a big one with I am guessing a General Authority. And the Christmas I am guessing some more Authorities. I have heard that every missionary in the MTC will receive a gift of Christmas. (It is snowing again....shocking!) There is a kid in my zone from Idaho Falls who knows Tyler Lythgoe.

We have been pretty busy. Our classes have been in all Spanish at the request of myself. If we are going to learn Spanish we mine as well here it all the time now ya know. How is everyone doing? How has Grace been? Are you excited to go to Stacy’s for Christmas? Did you guys put my address in the ward program? Did a lot of people ask how it went on Sunday?

Some observations-
1. All the clocks in every church building are the same
2. The MTC is like its own little city complete with a store, cafeteria, toilets, barber, laundry, missionaries, workers, etc. etc.
3. There are a lot of missionaries here
4. There were 483 missionaries that showed up with me from 22 different nations
5. I will be sending things home because we got the four standard works in Spanish along with Preach My Gospel and everything else English missionaries got, we got in both English and in Spanish.
6. I am having separation anxiety from the Suns.

Please send-
1. Athletic socks, we go to the gym 5 days a week and then there is p-day and I only have 4 pairs of socks so 2 more would be great

Well I am done with my first week and so far so great. We will not be able to call on Christmas. We are however to going to the temple on our P-day once it opens again on the fifth of January I believe. Well I think Ii have gotten everything I can in the thirty minutes that I have. I hope all is well at home. I love and miss you. I know that Christ lived and died for us and there is no greater service you can do then to serve the Lord. I hope you have a happy safe and Merry Christmas.

P.S would you like prints of pictures because I can print them here in the MTC.

P.P.S.S. President Packer once said. It takes a really good meeting to beat no meeting at all!! I like that!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12/17/2008 (Entering the MTC)

We got up this morning, dressed and ate breakfast before getting a couple things at the store. Matthew did really feel like eating much. I think he was quite nervous. We then made our way to the MTC and started the check-in process.

We took some pictures outside the MTC. It was quite cold and there was snow on the ground.

When he checked in, he got a name tag in Spanish which made him happy. Lisa had the honor of putting it in his suit pocket.

We met Matthew's cousin and her husband, Aaron and Carol Stewart. Who joined us for the "Introduction to the MTC" meeting. After the meeting, we said our good-byes and watched Matthew disappear as he walked out of the auditorium. We went our way and caught our flight back home.
We flew from Phoenix to Salt Lake City today. It was raining in Phoenix and there was snow on the ground in Salt Lake when we got there. The airline had equipment problems so we left Phoenix three hours late. Matthew's cousin, Carol, Picked us up at the airport. From the airport, we went to Provo when Matthew met with four of his cousins and their spouses. After dinner and visits, we check in to the hotel.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pictures (December 2008)

Matthew with his gifts from the First Presidency

Our Christmas card from the First Presidency

Elder Fuller, Elder Beckstead, Elder Bair

MTC grounds

Most of our zone (Christmas Eve 2008)

My Christmas Tree

Our Spanish teacher, Hermana Apuna with Matthew

Elder Bair in front of the Provo temple.

Elder Bair, Elder Beckstead, Elder Fuller

Elder Bair, Elder Beckstead, Elder Fuller