Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another week at the MTC 10/26/2010

Zach and Elder Roberts (Zone leader #2 and obsessed with bubbles)

Salsa Parties! (Our Zone's version of FHE)

Another week at the MTC  (Letter dated 10/26/2010):

To start off I'd like to give you a story about what happened today. So, my companion has physical therapy for his shoulder and we go every Monday and Wednesday. But we had to go today to the hospital to see the progress of his shoulder. It looks fine and now we only have to go once a week. Here's the cool part of the story: as we were waiting for the shuttle to come pick us up from the hospital, there was a lady  that started talking to us. Her name was Jillette and she asked us if we were really missionaries and what we were doing in the hospital. I told her that we are, but in theMTC waiting to go to Ukraine and that my companion had to get a checkup on his shoulder. She told us to sit down by her and that she wanted to tell us a story. So we did. She told us this story of how she got in this totaled car crash, almost died, the paramedics had to use the jaws of life to rip her from the car. She went into a coma for 17 days. She described the coma experience as being on a white road and walking along the road with her grandmother and aunt, who were deceased. She said she could see the veil, but then heard a voice saying "go back, you're not done." She awoke from the coma, obviously, and she also said that she was heavily addicted to drugs. This experience helped her get rid of this habit. She choked up a couple times. It was amazing experience. We both bore testimony, in a subtle way, about the healing power of the atonement and how God gives us second chances. She grew up in the church but then fell away. She said she is now coming back. I thought of a quote by President Eyring "Through the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, our natures can be changed and our power to carry burdens can be increased." It was true with Jillette. She had seen the grace and hand of God heavily in this instance. And on our drive back, we picked up a couple more missionaries and I swear I must have seen 3 or 4 cars with a "just married" painted on the back. I then thought to myself "Yup, I must be in Provo..."
So about the questions, I think they give us cards or money so we can use the pay phones in the airport during the layovers. I'll give you more info when I get my flight plans, which should be in a couple weeks! Oh, and when I said I mailed the photos last Tuesday... I really meant yesterday. I mailed them yesterday, promise. You should receive them today or tomorrow. As for Halloween, I don't know. I doubt the MTC will celebrate it in anyway. But my district probably will. I think I might put on the bed sheets and go trick-r-treating as a "ghost". 
Sorry to hear about the Maxima, I hope everything turns out fine. But I'm glad Paxton is okay. Isn't his birthday today? or soon? Give him a hug and tell him happy birthday.(Speaking of birthdays, can you tell me when everyone's birthday is so i don't "accidently" forget one.
Tell Bishop Smith and Davis that I say hello and I wish them well. Say hello to Brother Fitt and Brother Hill for me.
As for language, I've learned to give directions and ask for directions in Ukraine. The TRC task for tomorrow is that we are giving directions to someone in Ukraine, the directions are to the church. We are also teaching the plan of salvation to them in Ukrainain. So we learned that as well. My brain hurts from all this language practice. 
So the new missionaries are here, it's a little weird being the senior district in our zone. But whatever, in only like a month I'll be in Ukraine!  It's weird but by the time I leave theMTC I'll be 1/8 done with my mission. That's definitely a weird thought.
Dad, I'm sorry that I never asked you about your mission. I realized this a little while ago. Were you in theMTC at all? Could you tell me a little about your experience? I think above all the rules and little things, what kinda gets me down and is hard to deal with here is missionaries acting like they're better than everyone else. It's not common, but I've seen people thinking that they were sent to judge this "Babylon". Acting like that since they have a call from God, they were automatically better than everyone else. We are not sent as missionaries to sit on a pedestal and condemn the world. We are not sent as judges, but as servants and friends.  To find the good, which is in all people, and bring them closer to Christ. Did you ever run into missionaries like these?
Anyways, sorry to bring down the mood. Better news would be that I have actually been making my bed and cleaning my room more! We have pop room inspections once a week and I'm like never prepared. But I've been doing better these past couple weeks. And I've been getting to class on time these past three weeks!
I hope you all have a great week.
Elder Zach McEntire

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Half Way Thru the MTC! 10/19/2010

Zach and Elder Ostler

Zach and his companion, Elder Shurtleff

Zach and Elder Mills (a friend from Utah State)

Zach and Elder Rhodes

Half Way thru the MTC! (Letter dated 10/19/2010:

I hope you all had a great week! Thanks mom and dad for sending me Dan's address. Could I also have Tyler's E-mail? Just making sure, you haven't forgotten about that. So anyways, I am at the halfway point in the MTC! Only six more weeks and I'll be in Ukraine! Crazy. So yeah, last week for the TRC we were assigned Natalia, crazy Ukrainian lady, but it wasn't as bad as Ithought it would be. It actually went pretty well for our first time teaching in Ukrainian. I had to pull out the dictionary a couple times to understand what they were saying. Our language went really well, but we didn't get very far into teaching. All we talked about was God, families, and prayer. Which wasn't very far since we were supposed to talk about the restoration. But it went alright. Natalia told us that we needed to focus on listening better. Listening to each other, so we don't cut each other off, and listening to the investigator. I find it a lot harder to listen to someone when I can barely understand what they are saying. But I suppose that will come when we expand our vocabulary and study more words. So that's something me and Elder Shurtleff have been focusing on  a lot this past week. Learning to listen to people and understand them, we've been doing a lot of listening exercise, and trying hard to study and expound our vocabulary even more so we can listen better in Ukrainian. She, Natalia, said she was impressed with how much we already know and well we speak. So that was definately a confidence booster. And she wasn't as mean as I thought.. so no I didn't cry. We saw her as we were in the temple this morning, she definitely gave us a warm welcome. Oh, just a couple things I would like to tell you: first, I found out that I can call you from the airport(s) during my flight to Ukraine and the layover hours between flights. I'll probably either fly to New york, then to Vienna, Austria, then to Kyiv. Or to Atlanta, then to Paris, France, then to Kyiv, Ukraine. I'll let you know what time my layover hours our and what my flight route is when I get my flight plans... which should be in like 3-4 weeks. Also, I hear that in addition to calling, the mission allows skype(webcam chat) on Christmas and Mothers day. I also hear that they prefer it because it is cheaper. So I would install it onto your computer just to make sure, ask Jay he would know about it.
Anyways, I've been learning how to shop in Ukraine and make purchases in Ukrainian. The money there is called грувня (hryvnia) and one dollar is like 8 hryven. So, I learned how to talk about clothes and buying clothes in Ukrainain. I'm teaching the first lesson again in Ukrainian tomorrow, which I feel better about then last week. But it could still use practice, just my language and grammar. Something interesting that I learned last night is, while we were practicing teaching the first lesson in Ukrainian to one of our teachers, brother Higgins; after we bore our testimony for the first time in that lesson we noticed a change in the mood of the lesson and the Ukrainian, from that point on, became easier to understand and use. Bearing testimony during a lesson is a definitely a game changer and invites the spirit. Which then can help with the language and what we need to say and talk about. I'm surprised how better the Ukrainian was after we bore testimony, it was like we went to another level of understanding.
So, the new districts come tomorrow, which means that we will be the older/senior district in the zone. This is weird to think about. But, we will give them a warm welcome to the MTC just as the older district did to us. Anyways, I was wondering if you could send some, a modest amount, current family pictures and a photo of the dog, Paxton. That would be great. I sent my pictures this morning and they should arrive perhaps tomorrow or Thursday.
шастливо! (Love and Blessings to you)
старійшина макентаєр (Elder McEntire)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

MTC Week 5 (10/12/2010)

Zach and Elder Scovil (His parents and friends sent him packages of food that kept the zone well fed)

Ukrainian Name Tag!

Zach and Elder Saltmarsh

Zach and Elder Reeder (a friend from Utah State)

Zach and Elder Bahr

MTC Week #5 (letter dated 10/12/2010):
Alright, so I'll start off with this sweet dream I had in Ukrainian a couple nights ago. It goes like this: I was in Ukraine and I was in the line for a restroom. The guy in front of me turned around and said "чи вам допобається пиріг?" (do you like pie?) and I answered "так я люблю пиріг" (yes I love pie) and he asked me "чи вам допобається моррозиво?" (Do you like ice cream?) And I answered "так я люблю морозиво" ( Yes I love ice cream) And then he told me "пиріг і морозиво важливий" ( Pie and ice cream are important) That's when I asked him " чи ви знаєте що важливий також?" ( Do you know what else is important?) Then I pulled out a Book of Mormon and said "книга мормона!" Which means Book of Mormon. Sweet huh? That's the second dream in Ukrainian I've had so far while being here in the MTC. The other one was about me testifying about the Book of Mormon in Ukrainian to random people on the street. You're probably wondering how I typed in Ukrainian, well there's a program on this computer that allows you to switch which language you type in. During this week I wondered how to put all of your names in Ukrainian. Side note, I wondered this because I got my new Ukrainian name tags that have my last name in Ukrainian. So here it is: Bryan -- брайєн Darla - дарла Jay - джай Anna - анна Erin - ерін Cam - кам Tyler - тайлер Paxton - пакстон and Chelsea - челсі. So there you go. What else is new.. well the older Russian district in my zone left today. Some went to Novasebiiersk Russia, Eyakertaburg, Russia, Moscow, Russia, and Donetsk, Ukraine. It was sad saying goodbye but I know they will all be great missionaries. In a week or two a new district will come in, which means we will be the senior district. Crazy. I almost at the half way point. As for the language, I learned how to talk about food, more grammar principles, how to tell time, and we are teaching the first lesson in Ukrainian tomorrow. I'm excited but nervous. There is this crazy Ukrainian lady, Natalia, who comes to the TRC every week and I have a feeling that me and my companion will be teaching her this week. She has a reputation for making missionaries cry... yeah. She is just really harsh with her criticism and her vocabulary is way over all the missionaries heads. Which, thinking about it, might be good because I won't have to respond to her because I won't have any idea what she is saying. So I remembered that I promised you pictures last week. I will send them this week. promise. I love you all!

Elder McEntire

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

MTC One Month! 10/05/2010

Zach with Elder Vargin and Elder Maxymov 

Zach and Elder Turner (a friend from Utah State)

Awesome Zone 9!

Zach and Elder Shurtleff holding the Ukrainian  flag

District 9
One Month  (10/05/2010):
Crazy that is has been a month since I left, but I am getting use to mission life. Conference was awesome, ecspecially here at the MTC. It was awesome because class was cancelled on Saturday and they let the elders actually sleep in a little! Oh, and the talks were really good too. My favorite were both of President Uchtdorf's, the one on Saturday morning about simplifying life and the one during priesthood about pride. I also enjoyed President Eyring's talk during priesthood too.
So, the older Russian district in our zone got their flight plans for Russia and Donetsk, Ukraine. Seeing their flight plans and also hearing about the Kyiv temple during conference made me even more excited to get there. It's weird to think that in a couple weeks a couple new districts will be coming and my zone and my district will be referred to as the "older district". It feels like I just got here... and now a month has gone by.
Please send my condolences to the Hilton family, it is sad to here that brother Hilton passed away, but I'm sure that the knowledge that they will see him again can comfort them.
Not a whole lot else has been happening of late. I've just been trying to get a hang of this language. I learn sooooo much each day. But, right now we are focusing more on grammar principles. My head feels like it's going to explode by the end of each day, I pray really hard that I might be able to expand my mind and grasp all these concepts. Our new TRC task is tomorrow, we are suppose to help "investigators" move and talk about our family and teach them the importance of prayer in Ukrainian. And then we are to teach them the second lesson in English. I'm little worried, cause it's kinda hard to move and speak Ukrainian at the same time. I just have a lot of studying to do and prep for this task, all the past ones have been cake and I haven't really stressed about them. But I know that if I do my best and study hard and have faith, I'll be around. Oh, and we also start teaching the lessons in Ukrainian next week! I'm excited and also a little nervous, I don't exactly feel like I'm ready to teach in Ukrainian but if my teachers fell like I am, then I am. Just a lot more studying.
It's real good to hear from you and the rest of the family and that you're doing alright, and that Paxton is staying out of trouble. So, the computer doesn't allow me to send pictures, because it's the MTC and everything is really restrictive and controlling. I'll mail you some pictures soon though. Just a reminder, I hope you are forwarding these e-mails to Erin & Cam, Jay & Anna, and Tyler so they know that I'm alive and well. If you could, that would be nice. Oh, and if you could e-mail me back just so I know that you get these e-mails. Thanks! And, I'd also like Tyler's e-mail so i could wish him a happy (late) birthday personally. Oh, and if you could get me Dan Dudley's address, that would be nice.
I love you all!
старійшина макентаєр