Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week 2

February 24, 2011


So first of all I'm going to scold all of you. It is now 1:10 on Thursday 2/24/2011 and no one has sent me anything explaining, or even telling me, that Deron Williams got traded. Well that's the rumor in the MTC underground sports world. I would like a little confirmation or something. I'm on a mission, but I still want to know whats going on. It gives me something to start conversations with investigators. So by not telling me you are hindering the work. hahaha
Well I'm not going to lie, this week has been rough, but no worries, the Lord has taken care of me. My companion has been awesome, as well as my district. Mom I got your package on Tuesday, as well as some cookies from my favorite friends in 228 Tingey hall, and Trent's mom dropped off 2 dozen fresh Krispy Kreme donuts yesterday, so I have an abundance of blessings. Now I know what the scriptures meant when they said that the windows of heaven will be open, and you won't have room to receive the blessings. That is definitely a reference to not having room for all the food. But keep sending it, because I'm sure it will all be gone by next week :)
So yeah, I can't believe it is Thursday again already. I felt like I had my last P day like 3 days ago, but it also feels like I've been in the MTC for a long time, so I don't really know. Time works differently here than in the rest of the world. Kinda like Santa Clause or something, I haven't quite figured it out yet, but once I do I'll let you know. Saturday we had our weekly zone activity thingy, where we practice street contacting. My companion and I were on fire! Our German is coming along great. We practiced our street approaches on some of the teachers, and we didn't do have bad. One of the teachers destroyed us with a whole bunch of issues we couldn't answer very well in German, but other than that we did really well. But the language is so frustrating at the same time. We are teaching two different investigators now, and it's so frustrating because there is so much I want to tell them, but I just don't know how to say it in German, and when I do say stuff, I'm not sure I'm saying it right. But that's why I'm here, to practice, so I guess I should stop complaining. It has really made me study a lot harder though, so I guess my frustration can be a good thing.
Sundays in the MTC are sweet!!!!!! I can't tell you how nice it is to just take a day off from German, (well kinda off, sacrament meetings is still nur deutsch, but we don't have class or study German) and just be rejuvenated. The fireside was this pretty sweet musical fireside where people just shared a short testimony of their favorite song, and we sang one verse of it. Just like in my BYU ward. It wasn't as cool though because a lot of missionaries weren't very reverent. But it was still cool. Monday was... interesting. We have been teaching this investigator named "Felix", and although our teacher told us he didn't speak much English, we were all sure that he spoke a lot of English, and that he was some MTC volunteer. It turns out he is our new teacher. Yeah, it was definitely really weird when he came in and started talking English. I couldn't understand him for a while because I was used to hearing only German from him. But then he switched back to German so its all good now. But I'm pretty sure that everyone in our district is exhausted. It gets really obvious late at night. On Monday night we were practicing teaching, I was the investigator, and Elder Jacklin and Elder Rosenvall were teaching. But right off the start Elder Jacklin looks at me and says "Wir haben eine Botshaft fur uns." Which means We have a message for ourselves. I looked at him for a second, and then I started laughing, and then all three of us started laughing, and we could not stop. Bruder Wickes, our new teacher who used to be Felix, kept trying to get us to stop but we couldn't. It was just one of those times when you are so tired and you just start laughing and keep laughing because everyone else is laughing.
The exact same thing happened Wednesday night when Elder Jacklin and Elder Rosenvall were teaching my companion, Elder Sanderson. Elder Rosenvall said something weird, like "Ich konnten haben" which doesn't make any sense, and everyone just started laughing and we couldn't stop. Hopefully we will get some more sleep tonight, or else tomorrow is going to be interesting.
Tuesdays are probably my favorite day. We go to the TRC that day, which is where we just practice talking in German with volunteers about different church related things, this week it was inviting members to help us. It was fun. The best part is the devotionals though. We are always hoping for Elder Uchtdorf, but no matter who comes it is amazing and I always feel like they are talking straight to me. This week it was elder Kearon of the seventy. He has a sweet British accent and he talked about how we need to be our message, that the joy of the gospel needs to be evident in how we look. It was way good.
Well time is almost up, so I just wanted to say I love all of you and thanks for keeping me in your prayers. I know this church is true, and I'm so grateful for this chance I have to spend two years getting closer to my Savior and Redeemer. Thanks again to everyone.

Elder Terry

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Week One

Well I survived my first week here at the MTC. The first few days were really hard. I forgot what it was like to go to bed so early. And no music, movies, books, girls... what was I doing here? (oh and no super smash bros with Riker) But it has gotten a lot better. Well back to day one. My companion is Elder Sanderson. He is 24 years old, he graduated from Penn State. He wrestled in college, which is why he is 24. He is an amazing artist, and has sold a few paintings for money $$$$. And he is Cael Sanderson's little brother. So yeah, pretty much I got the best companion ever. We have a whole room just to ourselves which is really nice. There are 4 other elders in our district. Elder Jacklin from AF, Elder Rosenvall from southern utah somewhere, Elder Sullivan from Highland, and elder Esplin from Idaho. We are all going to the Alpine German speaking mission. We are also part of this pilot program, where they are trying out a new way of teaching language and stuff. So for like the first 40 minutes our teacher only talked in german, which wasn't too hard on me, but a few of the guys had never taken german before, so they were so lost. Then she spoke a little bit of english and explained what exactly was going on. But this program is crazy. Thursday, day 2 here at the MTC, and we had to teach a "investigator" ( who is really just some actor, but he is really good and it feels totally real) totally in german for 30 minutes. Luckily my companion and I both speak quite a lot of german, so we were able to communicate, but it was way hard to teach gospel things in german. I don't know how the other guys managed. Okay, actually I do. Its called the spirit. We have all decided that they designed this pilot program to force you to learn how to teach by the spirit, because there is no other way that 2 guys with no german experience could teach anything in german, unless its through the spirit. 
So thursday was interesting. Friday we had to teach an that investigator again. Day 3, and we had two lessons totally auf deutsch. This place is amazing by the way. I didn't feel like it of friday, but I am really loving the MTC. But back to my week. Saturday our zone did practice street contacting, once again totally in german. You and your companion are either missionaries or random people, and the ones that are missionaries try to spark some conversation with the random people and talk about the church. Once again, this is a very hard thing to do, considering that we still haven't learned any german. But that is the way this pilot program works. We have a little vocab book with gospel lessons and sentences and vocab that might be used in that lesson, and then our teacher talks to us in german. That is how we are expected to learn german. And by using a computer program called TALL, which just has german people saying words and you try and say them and record your voice so you can hear how you are doing. Its really helpful.
Sunday was amazing. I love sundays here. We had a great lesson about recognizing the spirit, and then we had sacrament meeting totally in german, and then choir and a fireside. The fireside was awesome. Some head guy here at the MTC had recent converts come up and he asked them questions so that we could learn what an investigator had to feel in order to be converted. It was great and I took lots of notes. Monday was another busy day. We taught our investigator again, and we had gospel classes and TALL lab and personal study and companionship study and all of that good stuff. 
Tuesday was the best day here by far. We had study and class in the morning like always, but after lunch we went to the TRC, or Teaching resource center, where we practiced our door approaches with 4 different investigators in german. It went well. Oh random german story. So we were teaching our investigator on the first day, and i was trying to bear my testimony. I said "Ich weiss, dass Jesus Christus hat fur unserer Sünde..." which is I know that Jesus christ has for our sins..." and I couldn't remember how to say died, so I said "getotet." The investigator looked at me really weird, and i didn't understand why. Then he explained to me that I just said that jesus killed someone instead of died. I used getotet instead of gestorben. I blame Mr Sigafus and his Finger des Totes. 
Well back to tuesday, tuesday night was the devotional, and Kevin Pearson of the seventy spoke. It was probably the best talk I have ever heard. I have never heard a talk like it. He was almost yelling, telling us that we had to be perfectly obedient in order to gain faith necessary to be good missionaries. Faith is developed through righteousness, and that is why its so important for missionaries to be 100% percent obedient. He said a lot of other cool stuff, and everyone was so fired up. My companion and I wrote a few quotes from his talk and taped them to our wall.
  Overall I'm loving it here. My testimony has grown like crazy. I'm learning tons of german, and I getting alot of experience putting the two together. Elder Liddle is in my zone, so I see him everyday. Elder Porter has the same lunch and gym schedule as me, so I see alot of him too. I've also seen Elder Dowd, Elder Burdett, Elder Sorensen, Elder Townsend, Elder Byers. Yeah its pretty much a reunion in here.
Well I love all of you guys very much. Thanks riker and sidney for the letters, and mom thanks for the little inspirational notes in all of my shirts. They really help me out. Well my time is almost up, but feel free to write me letters. Our branch president says we can write letters at night, so i have a few minutes every night to write a little bit and then I can tell you guys more about what I'm doing. Love you all

Monday, February 14, 2011

First Letter Home

Andrew's first letter FINALLY came today!  His address is slightly different now.  Instead of 0412 it needs to be 0411, I guess he's going out a day earlier than planned?  Anyway, here's his letter.  (He filled in the blanks to a letter I sent with him to the MTC.)

My companion's name is Elder Sanderson.  He is from Heber, UT.  He is serving in the Alpine Mission.  We both like to exercise.  I don't have any other roommates.
For dinner tonight I ate potatoes and chicken.
I saw the following people:  Elder Porter, Elder Liddle, Elder Hamilton, Elder Burdett
My first impression of the MTC is I'm going to get lost.
The most important thing I learned at my first meeting was be obedient.
My P-day is Thursday.  I will write more later, but it will be a week.