Friends, Family, acquaintances and whatever other category you may fall into, Hola!
Elder Bigley here at the MTC in Provo. Wednesdays are my P-days, so that's when you can expect to hear from me (sorry mum and dad if you were worried I wasn't going to write you!)
It's definitely not easy being a missionary 24/7 day in and day out-- It's really taken some adjustment, but there's a lot of good folks back home or abroad rooting for me so I could hardly let you all down!!
MTC life is interesting. I've been learning a lot of Spanish this week, though am by no means fluent yet (so please don't email me in spanish! Unless you want me to suffer 😁 The first three days of MTC life were pretty rough, but day 4 was the worst-- I got super sick and had 12 hours of classes that day so es no bueno. Days 5, 6, and 7 were amazing. They cleared up all doubts I had about serving a mission, and I've never been more proud to be a missionary of God. Also, if you guys want to see me singing, I hear I showed up 4-5 times on screen in the choir in the devotional on Tuesday. I don't know if they've uploaded it yet, but I reckon if you look up "Missionary Devotional 11/1/16" It'll come up. Sorry if I looked wierd, I was (and still am) recovering from being sick. Also, if you're wondering why I'm grinning like a loon while singing, I encourage you to be in the midst of ~1,100 singing missionaries and trying not to smile at how powerful it is. Maybe it's just me, yo no se.
There's people headed to all over the world here at the MTC. Some are headed state-side while others are going to Tonga, Australia, China, Russia, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Botswana, South Africa, England, Italy, The Adriatic islands, Chile, Argentina (Woop woop), Brazil, Ecuador y mas otras naciones.
I got assigned to a district of 11 other Elders (No Hermana Missionaries in my district) and we all clicked on the first day. We're all headed to south America, some of us to paraguay, others to costa rica, but most of us are headed to Argentina. Some to Resistencia, Others to Beunos Aires, and 3 of us (including me) so Mendoza. On one hand it's pretty fun in a class of all guys because we all mess with each other, but on the other hand I fell for Hermana Tolk (our maestra de espanol) because she has to corral us and keep us focused. She's a remarkable teacher, and is really good at keeping us focused. She even puts up with our madness of having 12 18-22 year olds in the same room at once.
Also if any one of you want to learn a language, you should try the MTC-- The military has come here to learn the methods the MTC uses to teach missionaries all sorts of languages in 6-9 weeks. Granted it's a little dodgy at first because the instructors (maestos/maestras) start speaking at you in rapid fire Spanish as soon as you walk in the door. Hermana Tolk is very kind with beginners and helps us understand but at the same time it feels relentless.
Some of my best feelings memories, and experiences have been forged here, and this is only week 1 out of 6-- and then it's oxfords on the ground in Mendoza, Argentina. Choir is awesome, my companion, Elder Krambule, is amazing, and so is my district; Elder Tew (we call him Elder Dos, this guy is an amazing impressionist and is the source of most of our laughter) Elder Stoker (Sometimes called elder uno, but mostly Elder STOKED), Elder Reynolds (The really buff guy from Texas- literally using his companion as a weight set-- seriously this guys is strong as an ox), Elder Gilliand (we call him Elder Giligan because noone can get his name right) Elder Scott (This guy is amazingly good at spanish-- even though he's the most palangi guy ever) Elder Cook (He's often the source of the newest most hilarious forms of entertainment, details to follow), Elder Webster (Really good voice-- seriously this guy should be in motab-- sory Mormon Tabernacle Choir), Elder Larsen (Absolute legend in futbol, enough said), Elder Garcia (great guy, loves to draw), Elder Bowler (Came on his mission despite having fungal pneumonia in the side of his chest for a solid 2 years) and last but not least, mi companero, Elder Krambule (This guy is why I'm still sane and why I have my head screwed on straight still. He's quiet, but has the best sense of humor, wrecks me on the basketball court, and is a really great friend. Also he's got some killer puns so you can see why I like him).
But hey! enough about Elder Bigley (odd, I don't feel very old), how are all of you? Send some emails my way guys, I can read them on any day, I can't respond however, until Wednesdays (
Anyhow, Espanol is the language of kings, and would highly reccomend it (especially to you guys in cali-- you could use it more than most). I'd like to tell you all about everything but I've gotta run. We're always busy here, even on P-days (Preparation days where we missionaries get to take a day and take care of shopping, laundry, housekeeping, emails, and so on.).
I hope this gets through to all of you, and I wish you all a very fond buenos dias and Happy Halloween. I'll write you legends in a week. Adios! Nos Vemos!
- Elder Bigley
P.S. I love and miss you all! Take care of yourselves! Pictures to follow as soon as I figure out how to get my camera to talk to the computers!