Hello family and friends-
I'm not really sure this email makes since, so I am just writing whatever come to mind
This week has been one of the best in my life. The amazing feelings of peace and spirituality are so strong it's amazing. Right now we are waiting in line to use the washing machines so I decided to write you.
The food here isn't too bad- like Elder Oldroyd said- it does things to your body... and we all regret eating some things. Our district leader, Elder Madsen, got some real awful sickness from eating the seafood salad here- so it is now "forbidden" to say the word seafood around him. (It's things like that which help being a little humor to the day) Sarcasm is something we are told to avoid, so that makes conversations more difficult since we are all sarcastic people in our district.
My companion's name is Elder Derr from Hyrum, UT (near Logan or something)
The first day was crazy but fun. We got pushed around from person to person being given our name tag, room key, ID access card, etc. We have 10 elders in our district and we are all getting along really well and learning and growing together. The main thing being pushed here is teaching people, not lessons. It really makes a difference when you are trying to plan a lesson and personally catering it to the investigator's needs. Right now we are teaching a progressing investigator named Jose and his wife Hely. They struggle with finding God's love for them in life and I think we are starting to get through to him by showing him that God knows him and loves him personally. We also are practicing on 2 other "investigators" in a role-play situation that actually helps us a lot.
We were told our first day here to make it to 3 main "checkpoints"
-Gym time (on Friday)
We have made it to all 3 and now can relax. Gym time is only 50 minutes but helps us relax and unwind after being in class all day. Sunday was amazing. Since it was Fast Sunday we had Mission conference. All 2500 missionaries got to hear messages from the MTC presidency and we learned a lot about emphasizing the main points of the Gospel. We also had Testimony meeting which was really uplifting. Lastly, we got to hear a really cool "reenactment" of the days of the early church from the point of view of Willard Richards. We got to walk up to the Provo Temple and walk around on Sunday (It is being cleaned so sadly, we won't get to go in while we are here.) Nonetheless, it was still very cool and very nice outside.
Side Note- It's really cool to walk around and hear all the different languages being spoken. There are 2 elders right next to me now speaking Korean or Japanese or something.... (also- I found the ASL missionaries and talked to them for a minute, they looked a little lost but it is still cool to see them signing along with the hymns in conference/devotionals.)
We were moved from our first residence hall which was perfectly placed right next to our classroom, cafeteria, bookstore, and basically everything. Now we are the furthest away from all of that, but the better accommodations make it worth it.
Each day we spend about 8-10 hours in class, teaching. or studying. It gets pretty intense but has helped me immensely.
Thank you for all who have written me so far- I have received the most amount of letters out of anyone in my district, and the other elders are starting to think I left a lot of girlfriends behind (ha ha!)- I told them it was just my awesome family!
Even though we are right here in the middle of Provo, it feels like we are in a separate world. which I think is a good thing. The only problem has been the smoky air from all the fires in the area.
We all enjoy getting up at 6:30 and going to sleep at 10:30 (......not really) It pushes us to make it though each day when sleep is something we all miss and often need,
Aunt Jill- I found that painting you wanted me to look for and pointed out the discrepancy to my district.
Wow- 30 minutes goes by fast.
Mom- please post whatever of this you want on my blog.
Everyone- letters are great (DearElder.com works best)
I saw Elders Chandler and Oldroyd on Wednesday and Elder Kaiiahue (sorry if that's spelled wrong Sister Oldroyd) on Sunday.
Thursday will be nice because we get a new group of elders in and will no longer be the "newbies" (As if the Dork Dot on our nametag on day 1 wasn't humiliating enough)
I love and miss you all. I am so excited to be out here serving the Lord and learning lots.