Friday, August 19, 2016

Week 3 - Almost Halfway Through the MTC

Manahoana Everyone!! It has been an overall good week here in the MTC! It is hard to be able to send a very detailed email of what we did this week as most of the days and the weeks are pretty much the same haha! I guess I will start off with my favorite parts of the week, the devotionals!! Sunday we heard from Brother Judd, honestly can't quite remember who he is exactly. He gave a very good talk on missionary work though! Tuesday was the day I was pumped for though! Elder Holland was supposed to be coming to speak to us!!! But for some reason he bailed on the MTC and the Young Women's General President came and spoke. I was pretty bummed at first but quickly got over it as Sister Oscarson gave a very good talk. She talked about having no regrets out here these next two years and she showed the Mormon message about the gardener cutting down the bush to make it better. Both of these parts of her talks made me feel the spirit a lot. I took to heart what she said about having no regrets. The night before that devotional I was laying in bed and the thought and voice of my dad came into my mind. He had often told me that I have two years to serve the Lord and the rest of my life to think about it. I wondered why that had came to my mind as I was laying in bed and I am usually so tired when I got to bed I do not have a lot of thinking time after my head hits the pillow. Then after hearing this devotional about having no regrets, I knew the Lord was trying to tell me something. I made a promise to myself that every single day these next two years, I would look myself in the mirror at night and ask if I had given the Lord my very best. If I could not answer yes to that question, then I am simply wasting my time. I hope to give the Lord my everything these two years, so much so that I will have to crawl off the airplane when I get home. While I still have many times in the MTC which I do not enjoy as much, I know that this is where I need to prepare myself so I can do all the things I would like to when I get to Madagascar. The MTC is fun but also very long. This week went by much faster since we finally have our second teacher for language classes! We had only one teacher our first week and so we had 6 hours by ourselves each day. It is much better having two! Our second teacher is a sister who served in Madagascar about a year ago. She is originally from the Congo. It is definitely going to help learning from her as she has a heavy African accent and likely talks the way I would imagine the people in Madagascar talk. She is a really cool lady and makes us laugh often. We also taught our first lessons this week without notes! Wow that was hard. We basically just memorized lines and did our best to answer our pretend investigators questions. I have a fairly good memory so the memorization was not hard for me. My companion does not have as great of a memory as me so he struggled a little bit and I had to do most of the talking which was hard but a good experience for me! Another one of my favorite times of the day is what we call our district bonding time! After we plan for the next day we all go around and we will have a question of the day or something like most embarrassing moment. It is awesome to hear stories from everyone and we all usually laugh a lot. This is my last week as District Leader, I believe. I think I will be released Wednesday. From what I hear in the MTC, they like to give as many Elders different callings they can so I will most likely not be getting another calling which will be kinda nice at times. I have enjoyed being district leader though as it has forced me to get out of my comfort zone and get to know and talk to more people. Well that is all I can think about for this week! I will attach some pictures! Thank you to everyone for the dear elders and packages and so forth! They make my day! I will try and send an email or letter to say thank you for them to everyone but know that it means a lot to me!! You are all in my thoughts and prayers! Have a great week! Veloma!

Oh I forgot to add this! Our teacher from the Congo told me that this is Shoemaker in Malagasy! Mpananokiraro! I wish it said that on my tag!

This is me and Elder Hunter with our floral Friday ties on. He wants to be on the blog. Him and Elder Wolfgram are my best friends in the district. Elder Wolfram is the bigger kid you see in some of our pictures. Wolfgram played football at PG and he was 5A state wrestling champ his senior year. Elder Hunter played basketball at Murray until his sophomore year and played soccer for Murray throughout high school. They are both cool guys! Elder Wolfgram reminds me of Kix! (my cousin) I don't know why but his personality is a lot like Kix's!

Figured we would just get a picture of all three of us! haha. Me, Elder Hunter, and Elder Wolfgram! Oh and I have some time so I wanna share some of the stories my teacher told us about his mission in Madagascar! So first off, he is like up to my shoulder and not a very big guy and he said that little kids would see him and run away and scream because they had never seen a white guy before hahaha! He said the kids will think me and Elder Wolfgram are Goliath or something. He also said they have some weird tradition of digging up their dead ancestors and dancing with their corpses and skeletons. And once a tall missionary, like myself, was walking by and they asked him to hold up the dead corpse since he was closer to heaven. Not sure I am going to want to touch a dead Malagasy corpse, (haha don't worry mom) maybe if I am bored I will, but probably not.