|Mikey, a friend from Utah State|
Two Months at the MTC! (Letter dated 11/9/2010):
It's been a good week, just a lot of studying and language practice.
So, as i mentioned last week, Elder Nelson and Elder Scott came to speak to us. Elder Ballard came to speak to us as well this past Tuesday. All of their talks were really good! Elder Nelson's was pretty basic, he pretty much just stated our purpose as missionaries: To invite other to come unto Christ by helping them receive the message of the restored gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. He went into each topic with detail. He then talked about the importance of listening and maintaining eye contact while speaking, which was something I think I needed to hear. He compared us to these lions that him and his wife saw while traveling in Africa. He said that we need to be alert, ready and attentive at all times. Elder Scott's was really cool. It was about the importance of listening and following the Spirit. He gave us all a copy of his talk, which was just a compiled list of notes from his journals on how to follow the spirit. He also gave us a lot of "Apostolic blessings" which were: protection for the sisters, confidence in being guided by the spirit, to retain what we have learned in the mission and using it through our lives, and the gift of tounges if we study and have faith in it. As I thought about it, both Elder Nelson and Elder Ballard gave us apostolic blessings, but it was the ways Elder Scott worded it that made it stand out. It was a very spiritual talk. I review his hand out often. Elder Ballard's was on the importance of being a "Master Communicator". he said to keep the message of the restored gospel simple, and he talked about how to talk unrelated questions and tie them in. He talked about some of his experiences doing this and shared with us some of his, what he calls, "Ballardisms". It was cool hearing from three apostles back-to-back. The all left us with big smiles and a wave. Elder Ballard gave us a thumbs up and yelled "You'll do Great!" as he was leaving.
So I should get my travel plans this week! We are all really excited to go to Ukraine. I just buy a phone card before I leave, from the book store, and I would use it to call you from a pay phone in the airport. I think the call would be about 30 minutes, depending on my flight schedule. So expect a call from Chicago, D.C., New York, or Atlanta. I'll let you know about my flights next week
The weather here as been kinda odd, it's been getting pretty cold pretty fast. It snowed a couple times too. My district all loves going outside and playing in the leaves, since we are stuck in the same room for about 10 hours everyday.
The language is coming along great. I already start to think in Ukrainian quite a bit. We starting doing 100 percent SYL. It's that way from now on, except for P-day and Sundays. We've had a couple SYL days(SYL is Speak Your Language) but now we are going 100 %. It's kinda hard but it's fun and the teachers are pretty understanding and help us out. These TRC task, we plan a day in Ukrainian and share our plans with a newly baptized member. It should be fun and then we go back and teach.
Everyone keeps asking me for family photos, I just tell them they are on the way... right? It's okay, Just make sure you send them before I leave for Ukraine. Tell more about Dad's thing as the FHE activity it sounds interesting.
So, our native Ukrainian teacher, brother Shelyakin says we'll probably run into his family, only his sister is LDS. So he gave us scenarios of what would happen teaching his various family members. It's fun but hard.
That's about it, that's all that is new. I'll let you know about my travel plans next week.
Love you all!
Elder Zach McEntire