Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One week in...

Hello all!!
I've almost completed my first week here at the MTC and it is fantastic! I love my district more everyday and we are getting along just fine. We do literally everything together. I am the oldest in the group, much to the surprise of the sisters, and we all bring something to the table. I wish I shared their natural enthusiasm about being a missionary. (I'll mail some pictures in a couple days so you can get faces to the names-- we can't transfer pictures from our cameras to the computers. They're built like Fort Knox.) Elder Bacon in my companion and he is the District leader. Then Elder Freeman, who is going to Croatia, and Elder Nichol are the Zone leaders. Elder Meiling is companions with them until he leaves. He really appreciates the thoughts and prayers. He checks on his visa and health status everyday-- still no word. :(

Slovak is HARD! I've spent the past week struggling in my class. I feel like I'm picking up the language slower than everyone else in the entire MTC. My district can already pray and stumble through a testimony in Slovak but nothing seems to stick with me. And what up with verb conjugation??? I'm trying to remember that I am being sent to Slovakia for a reason and that I can learn Slovak.

Some things about the MTC:
-It is FREEZING in Provo. Every time I wake up I feel like I'm frozen solid. I'm sleeping with socks, long sweats and a sweatshirt. I doubt its even in the 50s. Best part is that my teachers have told me that Slovakia is colder than I thought....
-I am so hungry here! They give about 30 minutes for meals. And that's to get your food, eat and clean up. But the food is so good and there is so much of it-if only I had more time. So I might be losing weight rather than gaining it. So much for getting looser pants...
-We are in class ALL day long. I'm probably taking notes 10 to 12 hours a day. I've almost filled an entire notebook! I wish I could say that we just do language but we spend the majority of our time studying Gospel principles or Preach My Gospel or having personal/companionship study. Its frustrating because I feel those are my strong points and I really just want to get immersed in the language. But you can't teach something you don't know or understand, right??

The MTC is such an inspiring place to be. The prayers of literally thousands of our loved ones are felt and lift us up for sure. It's amazing to be around thousands of peers who have the same intentions and goals.

I'm glad Logan is enjoying my clothes but I have a few requests of some things I forgot: My blue striped shorts. They're the Van Huesen brand, a couple extra hangers (4 would be perfect) and throw in a couple extra t-shirts. And a blanket! (remember how cold I am!) I know I'm forgetting something else.... but I'll let you know.

**A note to blog readers and other emailers: I appreciate all of the emails I've received, but I only have 30 minutes to check my mail once a week and can only email family ( I only have 5 minutes left!) So please write me a letter or go on dearelder.com and write me there with an address so I can write you throughout the week!**

Hope all is well and everyone is doing great! How has school been? etc.


(with a minute to spare!)

ps get me the rest of the family's email! Thank you!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Beginning: Missionary Training Center Provo, Utah

First Letter
August 25,2010

I love the MTC! Before coming here I was terrified about what my experience here would be like. I didn't know the schedule or what it would be like so I was having a lot of anxiety. Would I be able to adjust? Will I be able to learn the laguage or the lessons? After my first day I know that I can! I won't be fluent, or be the perfect teacher, but I will do better than I previously thought...I hope. I promised myself I wouldn't be that missionry who geeks out about the MTC, but oh well-- I love it and I don't care who knows!
So here's the rundown of the day--I'll try to be as specific as possible, per dad's request. I was the first one at the gate waiting to board. and slowly more and more missionaries joined me. I guess a young guy in a suit just screams missionary. There ended up being about 10 Elders and at least one Sister (pretty positive there were two though) Isn't that insane?I didnt know any of them though, except Elder Phelps-Bill Ferrin's nephew. They must have thought I was a loser in high school becaue I didnt know anyone they knew at Highland. But when I told them I graduated in "07 they understood. Hahaha.
The plane ride was a good, uneventful trip. At the airport it was easy enough to find the shuttle to the MTC. We had an interesting shuttle driver who has driven probably thousands of missionaries. He was from South Africa or something.
When we arrived at the MTC we were guided by a host missionary through different stages: getting our name tag, (mine is in Slovak! Ah!) keys,picture taken and our language books. Then we met with the teacher and got a run down on what the next few days would be like. The host that took me through was an Elder going to Russia. They try to learn 20 new vocab words a day. Oh boy... ("I can do this, I can do this" is all I was thinking.) I was dropped off in the Slovak classroom and met my companion and the other Slovak Elder. We three Elders are the first goup of Slovak missionaries since April so our teachers are anxious to teach us. Then all of the new missionaries met with the MTC presidency and their wives (who double as the Relief Society Presidency for the Sisters) There are probably 400 new missionaries from all over the world. And a large group from Japan. After that meeting we met our district. My companion is Elder Bacon. He is from Provo and is very excited about being a missionary. He strives to be where he is supposed to be when he is supposed to be there. So he's a good person to be paired up with. Then there is Elder Nichol from Portland, OR. The three of us are the "Slovak Elders" He is in a tri-companionship with Elder Freeman, who is going to Croatia, and Elder Meiling who is going to Czech. He was supposed to be gone already but has some visa ad health issues. I was told not to worry as it is very easy to get approved for a Slovak visa. (After you jump through the U.S. government hoops) Finally, we have two sisters, Sister Anderson and Sister Bartholomew. Sis. Anderson is from Fruit Heights, UT and Sister Bartholomew is from San Diego.
Today has been a blur, so I am ready for some shut eye. I'll write you all again soon!
P.S. I forgot my Endure to the End ring. I left it on the bathroom sink the morning I left. Plz send it. thanks!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Time to Go: The Airport Goodbye

After a few months of getting the required immunizations, sending in copies of birth certificate and passport, getting FBI clearance and apostilles (we learned what those were), buying lots of white shirts and other needed clothing, saying goodbye to co-workers, and friends, and taking pictures with family, Adam was packed and ready to go. Thanks to everyone who helped him in these efforts and joined in the excitement. It was a wonderful time of preparation.
He successfully left Arizona early August 25th for the MTC in Provo, Utah. For the next nine weeks he will prepare to serve in Slovakia. He has much ahead of him, but he was excited and ready.
There were 8 or 9 other missionaries at the airport also. We talked to a few of them. They were going to Canada, Argentina and New York. There was a nice feeling there with all the families around. It was nice to know Adam had lots of others to be with when he arrived at the MTC.

To view life in the MTC go to http://www.mtc.byu.edu/