Loving the pictures you are sending! I miss you guys a ton and i love hearing from you guys. You apologized in your last dear elder about sending too many...please keep sending them. you have no idea how much they mean to all of us missionaries. when elder lyons (our district leader) comes in with mail, we all freak out. We love hearing from family. especially having something we can look over.
SO thank you! its been awesome hearing the going ons in ferndale and with the family.
Okay on to the fun stuff! ill explain through the schedule so you can understand what i do every day. Occasionally we have a random class or workshop, but the routine usually goes like this.
630-930 ish (study/breakfast)
During this time we are given time to do language study, companionship study, and personal study. For personal study i am doing 30 mins of b.o.m reading and then 30 of personal STUDY. for the b.o.m reading i am starting from the beginning and searching
for 1) scriptures where people are converted unto the lord and 2) scriptures that testify of christ. This is because of a challenge from elder bednar. He advised the elders to start from the beginning with a certain topic in mind. Its been great so far. especially scripture about christ. 1 nephi chapter 11 really stood out to me this round of reading. It always humbles me to read about how much christ cares for his people. The love and compassion that he felt is demonstrated really strongly in that passage.
In personal study I have been studying a variety of things but had a really good one yesterday. I was studying how to be more compassionate and how to be more in tune with spiritual promptings. I read in 3 nephi 17: 5-7, where the lord is visiting the nephites.
He is about to leave, when he feels that the people desire him to stay. he is immediately filled with compassion and desires to bless and heal them. He understood not only the desires of their hearts but how to love and help them. Since reading that it
has been my goal to be more spiritually in tune to know the needs of the missionaries around me and how to minister to them. Whether it be making their bed, writing them an anonymous note, or just complimenting them, excersising christlike love is the best
way to feel the spirit. a couple days ago i felt prompted to write our district leader a letter about how great he is and some of his skills as a missionary. That night, before i got the chance to write it, elder lyons approached me and talked to me about
how he was feeling down about himself and how he admired how i got along with all the elders and how i'm apparently good at tagalog. (which i think is crazy talk haha) getting the opportunity to talk to him about it and later write him was very humbling to me. The spirit knows the needs of those around us far better than we do. it was a blessing to turn outside myself and to remind our district leader of how fantastic of a guy he is. (which he is a SUPER great guy). personal scripture study has been such a blessing so far. Companionship study has also been great. It is an interesting process to study with a companion. we are both different so it has been cool learning the gospel from another point of view. during this time we do a lot of preach my gospel study and then study by topic. I love both of those. I will talk about language study when i talk about class.
10-11 exercise (aka bball)
This part of the day is a wonderful break. I love the mtc with all my heart but bball is a good breather before coming back to work hard. A lot of the elders have played high school bball so it has been fun to challenge myself against them and to hold my own. We are all excited to play ball against the tiny philippines people and are practicing hard to become better.
11-130 (lunch/language study)
The food here hasn't been bad! the chocolate milk has been excellent! I've also gained 7 pounds since I've been here. I think i might be hitting a little bit of puberty round 2 which is cool! gotta develop into a manly man someday! Language study consists of a few different things. We have to memorize phrases from tagalog basic core. These phrases introduce ourselves as missionaries, teach us how to pray, and how to testify of Christ. They are really really long but not so bad after you go through word by word and translate. We also use 2 books. Tagalog for missionaries and conversational tagalog. These books teach vocab, but also a lot of sentence structure and stuff like that. Tagalog is hard but it has a lot of elements of english and spanish. especially a lot of the food vocab and stuff is really easy. its as if they were written by illiterate spanish people, which i guess could be the case. I am loving that stuff.
130-915 (dinner and class)
we have a ton of class a day. Class is actually really fun though! we do a lot of spiritual things in addition to language. We usually start with a devotional by one of our two teachers (brother frei or sister standage) and then share thoughts and scriptures from our own studies. This creates such a strong brotherhood between all of us elders. We are all best friends and stay up way too late talking and laughing. in class we also have tagalog lessons, read tagalog scripture, and and practice basic core. Also this week we started teaching mini lessons in 100% tagalog! they aren't super well spoken at all but the spirit is definitely there. lour teachers say that our progress is very exciting and that they can feel our love while we teach our simple little messages. We have to teach volunteer tagalog speakers a 20 min lesson on Monday though!!! yikes that will be humbling haha! But seriously its so much fun. I am with this group for a reason. there are so many wonderful elders and our teachers are both angels.
930-1030 (journaling and more study)
this is the wind down time where we all talk about our days and journal our experiences.
1030-too late (talking about family, home life and gospel stuff)
Its insane how close we are. Its as if we've known each other forever. this time of night has been super special for us. We talk about all of our sadness and more importantly all of our joy. We tease each other and make jokes. we share personal experiences and testimony. all of it is awesome. This part of the night i wouldn't trade for the world. the 6 of us are like brothers. we go everywhere together. love these special guys
there is a saying that says "survive till sunday" and wow is it true. sunday is the best day ever. We get to listen to hymns and musical numbers!! you know how much that uplifts me! i love sunday so much! we also have a ton of class focused on teaching
doctrine, not just how to teach. we also got to fast and i got to pass the sacrament in my zone. The best part by far was the "movies" portion of the night. every sunday night we get to choose an hour long talk or church video to watch. last sunday i went to "the character of christ" by david bednar. It was the single greatest talk i've ever heard. the full version is not even available to the public, only the mtc. Try searching for the written version though! it is worth it! the spirit was SO strong!! we all
felt the saviors love so strong and it made the missionary life a little easier. also this week we got to hear sister bingham talk in person!! it was really good, but i actually liked her husbands talk better. his talk was about how his family was converted to the gospel and not to give up on "the little farming family" that we would find in the mission. it was super good! I also got to share my testimony of eternal family in the mission sacrament meeting which was awesome! shed a little tear for my momma at home. I am trying really hard to put off comfort and just live every moment to its fullest. one of our elders had a motto that says, there is not growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone. That is definitely true so i am trying to push
myself so that i can grow into the missionary i am supposed to become!
I am really enjoying it here. the spirit is super strong and i am feeling closer to my savior every day. Through exercising Christlike love, i have felt more lover towards my companions than i though possible. we are all very different people, out here at different levels of preparedness, and for different reasons but it has been a humbling experience to put aside frustration for patience and love. There are hard moments for sure but as long as i keep my prayers long and sincere, and tackle every day with a smile and a helping had Ill be okay! This is where i am supposed to be. I am so grateful for the mtc and cant wait to grow more and to become a better missionary. send my love to everyone at home! and please please send the pictures! i love you all!