Sunday, July 8, 2012

Letter #2 from the MTC - July 2nd

Hello family,
Things are still going good at the MTC. We had another very long week, but I guess it was long in a good way. After a while, all the days just started blending together so this might seem like a very unorganized letter. Last Tuesday we saw L. Tom Perry, he was speaking to us because of the huge mission president training thing that happened last week here. There were 10 apostles in the room, everyone except Boyd K. Packer and Robert D. Hales (for health reasons). The talk was a lot of statistics about the church and then a testimony.
Sister Stay (our Polish teacher, and our new "investigator", Ola) has been doing a great job at teaching us. I feel like the progression is slow, at least for me, and for some reason whenever I can't think of a word in Polish I tend to use Spanish. She did say something reassuring though, she says that in Poland they pride themselves in how difficult their language is and they have a lot of respect for someone who is honestly trying to learn it so they really try to listen and help you out when you speak broken Polish to them. She said they are not afraid of correcting you, but they are generally very patient and just want to help you speak it correctly. That's good because I don't know how much Polish I will honestly know when we leave the MTC.
Our time as zone leaders has been interesting. We got a new district on Wednesday and are getting a new one this Thursday, so we have to miss a lot of class time and study time for orientations and leadership training meetings. Luckily we were only assigned as zone leaders for three weeks, so we have just 2 to go.
Our branch presidency is awesome. President Jones is the most loving man in the whole world. Then Brother Stice (look him up, he is a high up at the BYU business school), he is really intense but loving in his own special way. It took our district a while to warm up to Stice, but I liked him from the start.
Yesterday was amazing. We had a great fast and testimony meeting in the morning, the spirit was so strong there. Then for our evening devotional we had a man named Ted Gibons come and tell us the Joseph Smith story through the eyes of Dr. Willard Richards. He is an author and storyteller and gave an amazing, descriptive, and heartfelt version of the story from the time that they were chased out of Kirtland to the martyrdom in Carthage. When he finished, our closing hymn was Praise to the Man. Everyone spontaneously rose out of their seats to sing without any direction (which I have been told by some 12 weekers that they have never seen that before), it was so powerful, it felt like angels were singing with us. Seriously, that moment was indescribable.
The food is still mediocre... The chocolate milk is still good. I have not lost or gained much weight from what I can tell. Today we tried the "tower challenge" where your district is supposed to eat an entire tower of cereal, until we were told that the cereal was too expensive to be doing that.
Something that is funny is that the solo sister in our district is like an exact replica of Hannah. Same height, same build, totally athletic, and addicted to chocolate milk and ice cream... It's weird.
My companion's name is Benjamin Clark Tingey (Ben Tingey). Our room mates are Alex Cieslak, and John Weir (he gets dear Johned almost every day).
I still need to send you my memory card, I will probably do that today or tomorrow since I have extras with me. Some of the people in our district thought it would be a good idea if you shared our pictures on the missionary mom site. We can't listen to music here at the MTC, but I was wondering if the Sister Hazel christmas album and other Christmas music would be mission appropriate, maybe I can send the micro SD card home and you could put some of that on.
I am anxiously looking forward to Poland, and hope that I get this language down better.
I am out of time, sorry. I love you all, I pray for you everyday, and I am doing great here. How are things at home? Are the animals ok? Erik still doing ok? Did the Welles ever come back? Can't wait to hear from you.

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