Thursday, May 12, 2011

Messages Left On Walls ... Messages From The MTC!

Dear Everyone,

Things are still busier than ever here, but it’s kind of amazing how it works. The days are long but the weeks are short. It’ll be 3 pm and I’ll think it’s 8 pm. Yet, last week flew by so fast. Those first couple of days, from Wednesday - Sunday, took FOREVER … and then last week just flew. I’m guessing it was so slow because I was getting used to the schedule and new way of life that, we at the MTC, come to love. Not to mention the fact that I couldn’t understand my teachers since they wouldn’t speak English. Now, it’s no problem to understand them. It’s amazing how much we can learn so fast, when you have that extra support from on High.

Now, to answer everyone’s question … the food. It tastes good but not so good with the after effects. Although, Peter … it’s not the Jell-o ... and Bishop … it’s not the syrup ... and Chad … it’s not the cereal that messes you up. I have a few theories:

1. It might possibly be the eggs since eggs go in just about everything and after breakfast once, I was pretty messed up.

2. The food may or may not have gone bad. We got some Yoplait yogurt once as a side and it was expired! That quite possibly could be the culprit.

3. A combination of exhaustion (because everyone is tired), eating way too much food (just because you can), and then going and sitting in a small classroom for 90% of our day on uncomfortable chairs.

Our schedule for the day goes … Wake up at 5:55 am and go for a jog. Get ready and then breakfast at 7:00 am. From there we go to class for three hours. Followed by many hours of study time and another class later on in the day. We go to the gym five times a week, and that’s pretty much our schedule. Of course our schedule also includes lunch at 11:40 am and dinner at 4:40 pm.

Things get changed up a bit, but for the most part, we’re in our classroom, which we lovingly refer to as “The Interrogation Chamber”. We call it that because we’re in there mostly all day with no windows, except a one-way mirror on the wall. Haha We went into the classroom next to us and, sure enough, we can’t see who’s in that room, but they can see us when they open the doors covering it. On top of all that, there’s a microphone hidden in our room somewhere. When you turn up the volume in the other room, you can hear us. It’s pretty funny. If anyone’s observing us, hopefully we’re on topic. We usually are but every now and then, we take a break from our studies. You can only take so many hours of studying. When we are just mentally fried, we’ll go out and practice contacting people in Portuguese on random Missionaries in the hall. It’s good practice.

My companion, Elder Downer, and also Elder Krusi are going to the same mission as I am. Three of the other guys are going to Salvador South, Brazil so I’m surrounded by guys all getting ready for the same adventure.

To answer your questions about the responsibilities of being District Leader … I’m not just the mail retriever. I do weekly interviews. I keep tabs on how everyone is doing and getting along, and how their health is … and a bunch of other stuff like that. I report everything to the Zone Leaders and our Branch President. There’s lots to do! I kind of wish someone else was the District Leader. Haha But it’s where the Lord wants me to serve so I’ll do my best and learn from it all that I can.

I’m not using the bed sheet yet. They give us sheets here and have us change them every week. Sister Nielson’s son-in-law said his companion got scabies (or something like that) from sleeping on just the mattress and not having a sheet under the blanket. So, I don’t want my sheets touching that! Haha

Cinco de Mayo was awesome! We had so much fun! That piñata was great! We hung it down the stairwell so it could hang, and the mess would be on someone else’s floor. All the Missionaries loved it!

Like I said about being exhausted, on my theory about food messing us up … I’m slowly getting adjusted to it but every now and then, my exhaustion gets me and I start to drift. In the scriptures it talks about how after a Prophet receives revelation or has some big spiritual experience, they are exhausted afterwards. Well, I must be having tons of spiritual experiences and revelations. Haha Also, my internal clock is messed up because I’m still used to staying up late and sleeping in. I’m slowly getting used to it.

It also makes me laugh how much you miss out on being in the MTC, as far as current events go. One day, part way through our lesson, our teacher was like, “Oh, by the way, Osama Bin Laden is dead.” We were like, “WHAT?! You’re joking!” That spread through the MTC like wildfire. And during our service, when we’re with the Service Director (guys who are BYU students), everyone asks for updates on “the real world”. Haha

Mom … Thank you so much for the story about President Hinckley. It was neat because we were just having a talk about different church related topics and someone brought that story up but couldn’t remember all of it. Later, that same night, I got the story in your letter. I used it the next day for my spiritual thought in class.

Brittin … What do you mean, what was I thinking spray painting my walls? I told everyone ahead of time that I was going to do that when I leave. By the way, good job on the mile! Way to go and suck it up! That’s so cool.

Belle … I miss you so much too! It’s too bad I can’t pick you up from school on the bike now, huh? I also love the packages you sent me and all the pictures you have drawn for me!!! They are so PRETTY!!

There’s a lot more I want to write about, but my hand is killing me and I’m running low on time.
Love you all!

Elder Fox

PS - That feels really weird writing Elder Fox but I’m not sure if I’m suppose to use my name, so …

Tavin … or Elder Fox

PSS - A Missionary named Elder Rocha from the other District in our Branch, went home because they found he had a tumor and is having surgery today. And Sister Rattigan (also in our Branch) is having some serious health problems and she’s struggling. She really wants to work and participate even though it’s really hurting her. If you guys could remember them in your prayers, that would be awesome because they’re both great people

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