Thursday, July 2, 2015

Week 1

It has been a whirlwind of a week. Today is the first day we get to do laundry which at this point is a necessity.  The host took me to get all my books which weighed about ten pounds of language materials. I have scriptures and dictionaries and lots of resources. I still haven't gotten my preach my gospel in Czech because they were out of them, not exactly sure how that happens. From the moment I walked into our classroom our two teachers were super enthusiastic. They were gabbing away in some language that made no sense to us. We immediately began learning how to greet each other. Now for the details you want. There are ten missionaries going to the Czech Republic. Two are sisters and then four sets of elders. There are 3 missionaries going to the Slovak side but they are in a different classroom. 10 missionaries is quite unusual from what I hear and see. Our zone is probably the most diverse zone in the MTC. We have four missionaries going to turkey which a new mission was just formed. There is one elder speaking sloven. Single elders and sisters are solos and we have 5 in our zone. We have a few Bulgarians who are also speaking Croatian. Polish and a few other languages are all covered. It is pretty cool. In some ways its nice to be in a bigger group but you definitely see how small the church is in other areas. 

My companion is Starsi Plewe (the si should both have accents on it) Elder is pronounced as Star-she. All of the languages in our zone are very similar so that is cool. My companion is from Cortez Colorado. Hes a pretty nice guy, but really likes to talk. We get along pretty well. We are a really close district and zone and have a place of belonging. 

The first week was pretty abnormal due to mission presidents training. They took over 1M which holds the cafeteria and a lot of other things. We were not allowed to set foot in it until Monday. Over those three days all of the general authorities were here including President Monson on Sunday, But being lowly missionaries we did not see a single one. There was a special choir that sang for them but it was organized before we got here and was the best of the best. Even the devotional on Sunday wasn't with one of the apostles which was slightly disappointing seeing as they had all been here. On SundayElder Stephen B Allen, the managing director of the MTC spoke which was a very good lesson on keeping our heads up and doing good. It was a little unusual because he really liked to sing and we sang lots of songs together. On the Tuesday devotional Elder Sitati spoke to us about building our foundations but I cant say i heard every word

Back to when we first arrived we had a meeting with the MTC presidency and that was the first time we sang Called to Serve. Singing here is amazing with so many missionaries. I think right now there are about 2000 missionaries in the MTC but that number grows every Wednesday. The first two days in class we learned how to testify and greet each other. Our third day Friday we taught our first investigator Alese. It was quite the experience but we took a stack of books with us in to figure out all the phrases we needed. We have now taught four total lessons and some are good and some are not as great but it is the spirit as the teacher. After today we can no longer take our phrase books into the lessons. But our speech is becoming more advanced as we learn helping verbs. we can pray and talk and understand a fair amount of what is said. We have two girl teachers who are very nice. One of them got engaged the other day which is slightly humorous.

Everyone says they wished they had studied more scriptures or more preach my gospel before there mission. I now understand why. There is almost no time for any studying. We have and hour of personal, companionship, and language but it is all for our investigator which is something i am learning. Nothing is about us as we serve, study, or learn. Church on Sunday was slightly interesting as we normally have sacrament in 1M. But instead we had it in another building. where the fire alarm preceded to go off. We moved to our hallway by our classrooms and set up something that resembled an airplane to continue. On Sundays there are lots of meetings and lots of study time. We also get to go on temple walks with our district. The temple is currently close for cleaning which i think we get to do next week. If not that is where i would be right now. Sunday nights we get to watch movies. They recommend we watch character of Christ by elder Bednar which i no highly recommend for you all to watch. It describes how to become converted unto the lord and turn outward instead of inward. It was definitely a change of thought for me. I have already begun to dislike the notion that baptism is the definition of success. We have a baptismal date for our investigator but sometimes others just feel likes its a check list and they want to teach the lessons to make it happen or shy away from things so they don't. But hopefully we can work on that attitude. I have tried to make a change to focus more on the language of the spirit instead of Czech and I seem to be keeping up with both. 

Just so everyone knows, dear elder is a site that prints letters out for missionaries. They get delivered twice a day. So if there's every anything immediate you can tell me that day. I got my pants from Mr. Mac, my retainers, a letter from Jamie as well as the letter from dad. Thank you for my pen, the old one is not up to par. There is no time like I said to think about home or myself except in my nightly and morning prayers. I cant believe its been four years.

A few questions:
Whats going on in the world? I heard gay marriage was legalized
Where does Babe Live? one of the solo sisters in our zone is from around her.
Pictures I want: House, water polo, pictures of friends or some that I sent to dad

Your questions
I think i am the only one that has been to Prague. The two sisters in our district, one is from England the other is from Guatemala. The one from Guatemala speaks four languages and already did the MTC learning for Czech over Skype because she was supposed to report in April and is basically fluent in Czech. The other sister is from England and also speaks three languages. They are far ahead of the elders. The food, like i said the first week was a little weird but we had cafe rio, taco bell, chick fil a and papa johns for a meal. Back in the cafeteria some are good, some are not so good but we are finding the balance and working to not stuff ourselves. WE have gym time for about an hour almost every day. Sometimes we play soccer, basketball or spike ball. we sang in the choir on Tuesday and when we rehearsed it sounded good but when we performed we had choirs of angels around us because it was ten times better. I make my bed and hang up my clothes. we are not allowed to listen to music in the residence so i don't know what others do. The teachers are fairly young. I'm not sure how long ago they served. Any questions just dear elder before next Thursday and ill try and answer them. I am trying to work hard and i'm keeping the rules. Exact obedience is definitely stressed and my companion feels the same way.

Some things that i could use:
Another pair of basketball shorts (the blue or red ones), something to hold a bar of soap, gold bond foot powder or something to help keep odor down. More athletic socks. The short black ones. my slippers, water bottle( maybe it could or could not be useful.
Ap scores and IB scores should come out this week i think you have everything to be able to check. IF not talk to brinn or steven.

Thank you for the letter,
 The language is coming but it is difficult but it is cool to hear it. Its not as foreign as it seemed on the first day.
In Mathew chapter 8 it says Jesus was taken to a high mountain is that a temple? or an exception?
 I hope to hear from anyone and everyone. Please send my letter out to anyone. Ill try and give more details about gospel learning next week or in a written letter.

This week "We share the apostolic calling to share the gospel throughout all the world" we are the only people that share the title Elder with the apostles. I hope all is well and love hearing from you


It is hard to look at lavell Edwards when it is so close

All the Elders in our district

This is how I like to study, IS that enough materials for you?

WE use a software called TALL. We are on the copmuter for about an hour every day to work on the language. This is the view from the computer

Me and our District Presidnt

My companion and I at the end of our first day

Love you all,