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)

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