Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Zach goes to the MTC!!

The first Sunday with some of my district.

Free time: Balancing books on heads and having races. It's a great way to practice posture, pass the time and stay awake.

MTC trick: May the force be with you...

Zone leaders, Elder Noren and Elder Bangerter.

This says: Listen to me...

Elder Daniels, a friend from Utah State

Zach entered the MTC 9/8/2010. He was excited to learn the language. He was nervous to have a scheduled routine. But, he was ready!
His first letter home written on 9/14/2010:

My first week here at the MTC is going great! I'll start off with a little quote: "If I have learned anything it's not to mess with mother nature, Mother-in-laws, and Mother-freaking Ukrainians!" - The Italian Job. Anywho, I'm lovin it here. The first couple weeks were a little overwhelming, but I'm trying to be like a sponge and absorb up everything. My teacher, Brother Shelyakin, is a native Ukrainian. Which makes him a little more difficult to understand, because of his accent. But, I learned that it's gonna be helpful because I'll be use to the accent. The first day here shared an old Ukrainian proverb: "The two greatest lies are that you are better than everyone and that you are worse than everyone. Be yourself." And that's true because you learn at your own pace. The thing that I'm trying to get use to the most here is all the structure and rules because I'm not use to having every second of my life planned and on a schedule. My companion's name is Zach Shurtleff, so we have the same first name! He's a really nice guy, but our personalities are pretty different. He's more of a red personality, assertive and a take-charge kinda guy who believes all the little rules are important. And then there's me, white personality, laid-back, easy-going and I try to be more about the spirit of the law rather than the letter of it. But we get along great! We taught the first lesson yesterday, it was just on the fly, and our teaching styles are pretty different as well. I tried to ask the "investigator question to get him thinking and followed it up with scriptures. Compared to my companion who just lectured him the whole time. So we've got find a complimentary system were we can balance both are strong points. We giving the first lesson again, tomorrow. But I'm not worried because it's in English. As far as the language goes, we didn't start the first day, but the second! I already learned to pray, bear my testimony, contact people, introduce myself and read/write in Ukrainian. We don't pray in English in our class anymore, so they pretty much just thrusted me into it. I'm surprised at how quick the language is coming and how the Lord helps and blesses me. My district is also pretty sweet too. We are all Ukrainian speaking and going to the same mission the same day! We all got here the same day too. It's comforting to know that I will be with and go there with the same people. The rest of our zone/branch is Russian speaking, either going to Russia or other parts of Ukraine. We got a really warm welcome because the other Ukrainian district, before us, left week. So, they were all excited to see the new Ukrainian missionaries. The first night, in our room, everyone was like "Get out of the way, I want to meet the new Ukrainian elders!" Oh, and I was called to be the senior companion over my companionship. I wish I could write more but, I've only got so much time on here. Tell the rest of family that it would be better to Write to do dear elder rather than e-mail because I don't get a lot of time to e-mail people back. Oh, A couple suggestions for stuff would be: My Utah State sweatshirt because sometimes we have gym in the morning and it is freezing outside! Oh and my journal, the one with Jesus on the front. Thanks! I love you all so much

Elder McEntire

We love you Zach!!!

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