Thursday, March 31, 2011

week something, because my mom complains about my numbering

 Hello Outside world!!! How is going out there? Man the weather is beautiful today. It’s been pretty cloudish the last few days so I'm glad its sunny again! Okay so about the numbering of the weeks here at the MTC. I am deeply sorry if I confused anyone last week by saying that it was week 7. You see, we number weeks here at the MTC a little differently.... haha actually the short explanation is that you come into the MTC on a Wednesday, but they count that as your first week, so the second week starts on Monday. So this right now is week 8 for me, but I have really only been here for 7 weeks. I hope everyone understood, it’s a little weird I know, but the MTC is just that way.
            Well the past week has been amazing! By far the best week of my whole mission! We got 10 new missionaries, and they are a lot of fun, and we have enjoyed being the oldest German district of missionaries. We have been cracking down on the German language, trying to get in a lot of nur deutsch days in preparation for our nur deutsch week, which will begin next Monday and go until we leave. Its tough, but we learn a lot of cool words. Most of you probably think I haven't learned anything in German because I never talk about it, but you would be wrong. I've learned tons, I've just been saving it all for this week to share with you!  So first cool thing about German, as the prophet Joseph Smith once said, "the German bible is the most correct of any bible", so that makes German the best. Sorry just had to say that because everyone has this wrong idea that Spanish is the best. You know who you are. Anyways, something cool about German, when you invite people to be baptized, you don't just say "Will you be baptized?" you use the phrase "Werden Sie sich taufen lassen?" which most closely translates to "Will you allow yourself to be baptized?" It is neat to me that Germans phrase it that way, with the emphasize on allowing yourself to be baptized. Kinda neat. Another cool thing is the verb vorstellen. It means introduce. So if you say "Ich vorstelle mich" you say "I introduce myself" like to a group or something. But if you say "Ich vorstelle mir" It means "I introduce to myself" or "I imagine" see how cool that is? It’s imagine because you are introducing something to yourself. Preeeeettttyyy sweet eh?
            Well that’s all for German class today. The really cool stuff that has happened is how strongly we have felt the spirit these past few days. Sunday started us off great. It was Fast Sunday, and we had a great mission conference, where our mission president, President Brown gave an amazing talk about the last hours of Christ's life. It set our mood for the entire day. Then we had a really amazing district meeting where we were all just bearing testimony to each other, and the spirit was so strong. Then we had Fast and Testimony Meeting, and our whole district stood up together and went and bore our testimonies in German. It was sweet. Then we had a sweet Fireside and watched the Joseph smith movie, which concluded an awesome day. Since that day we have taken time each day to select one person from our district and try to help them come closer to Christ. Monday we did our teacher Sis. Christopher. It was an amazing experience.  We could all feel the spirit so strongly it was almost overpowering. And every day since then we have just had great spiritual experiences together that have strengthened our testimonies. I know that it is the Lord blessing us and helping prepare us for the work that He has for us in the Alpine Mission. We are all super excited to be going to Germany in 11 days.    
            Unfortunately our travel plans haven't come yet, but they should be here by dinner time, so I will tell you about it in my letters. I want everyone to know that I know that my Savior, Jesus Christ, the Creator and Redeemer of all mankind and all creation, lives. He left His throne above to come to Earth, in a solo rescue mission for the souls of all men. He trod the winepress alone. He suffered for my sins, and in some incomprehensible way, atone for my mistakes, failures, weaknesses and sins. He died for my sins, but now He lives to bring me hope. He is my rock and my salvation, and I love Him with all of my heart. I say these things in his glorious name, the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love all of you and thank you so much for the prayers and letters and of the support. Truly this is the Lord's work, and we all are involved
Love Elder Andrew Terry

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Week 7

(Editor's Note..We aren't sure why he is calling this week 7 when his last letter was week 5, but whatever)

Hallo mein Familie und Fruende, wie geht es Ihnen? es geht mir sehr gut.
The MTC is the place to be! Actually it’s been kinda lonely these past couple of days. A very large group of German elders left on Monday, almost 30 of them, and that is over half our zone. So needless to say we have been very lonely until yesterday when some new German elders arrived. 9 elders and 1 sister, all going to the Alpine Mission!!!!! It’s still the smallest our zone has been the entire time I've been here, so it’s kinda weird. And it was sad to say goodbye to the other elders. It’s crazy how quickly you become friends when you are together all day everyday for 6 weeks straight. Anyways, its going well here, we are excited to have some new Germans here, and this is also my companion's and mine last week as zone leaders. Our replacements got called last week, and we are training them this week, and then the show will belong to them. I guess we must have been REAALLYY bad to replace us so soon... hahahaha actually our branch president just likes to give a lot of people a chance to serve and calls new ones every 3 weeks. And maybe we were bad... who knows? Actually we got a new assignment from our branch president. Our branch is in charge of our residence hall, called the agent branch, and our branch president talked to Pres. Brown (the MTC president) and he wants to try out something new. He has assigned us to be in charge of our residence hall. Just to make sure all the rules are being followed, people are getting to bed on time, etc. We are called the Assistants to the Agent Branch President. hahahaha doesn't that sound cool? No actually I thought the branch president was joking when he told us, but it turned out he was serious. It shouldn't be too hard. We just walk around the building at night and ask the elders to make sure they are in bed and such. It would be really really nice if everyone just did that on their own, but I have been surprised by how many elders think the rules are optional. But everyone has been improving, and I think it will keep improving.

So apparently mom doesn't recognize me anymore, because that is definitely NOT the back of my head in that picture. (Editor's Note..he is referring to a picture in the Deseret News that I sent him)  And that is not Elder Liddle either. I have never seen any of those elders, I don't know what class room that is, so I am very sure that it’s not me. But if you pay careful attention you might see some pictures of me either in the New York Times or the MTC special thing during conference. We have had a lot of photographers come to the devotionals the past couple of weeks, and they took a lot of pictures. One was from the NYT and he said they were going to do a special on the MTC soon. I don't know if that has come out yet or not, but if it hasn't, keep your eyes open. My companion and I normally get pretty good seats, on like the 8 or 9 row on the floor, so look for me there. No one will probably recognize me though because I got a dreaded MTC haircut. Yeah, my hair hasn't been this short since.... probably the 4th or 5th grade. That’s okay though, I kinda like it. It’s growing on me. Literally :) hahaha sorry our teacher tried to institute a Kein Spass policy (No fun) because he thinks we have too much fun, so I have to get my jokes our somewhere. We don't follow his policy anyways so that doesn't even matter.

Well everything is going great, the language is... still not natural, but progressing. I'm excited to get to Germany soon and drown in it! Anyways I love you all and thanks for your prayers! Die Kirche Jesu Christi ist wahr. Ich weiss dass durch viele beten und fasten. Jesus Christus ist mein Erretter, und durch ihn kann ich alle machen.  Alles fur den Herrn!

Elder Terry

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Week 5 of 104 :)

March 17, 2011

HAPPY ST PATRICKS DAY!!! I totally forget holidays here. Apparently we don't have holidays, isn't that a bummer? Luckily I have a green tie though so I've been safe from pinching. Some of the other elders... aren't so lucky.
Well my time here at the MTC is just flying by, I can't believe how quickly it is going. 24 more days and I'll be on a plane to Germany. Yeah that’s definitely very intimidating.

Okay well funny story for the week. Last week my mitarbeiter and myself were working on a lesson for one of our investigators, and our lesson was centered around the plan of salvation. He asked me if I would do the section on "the final judgment". But when he said it for some reason I thought of the song, "The Final Countdown." Then I thought about how funny it would be to make a music video about "The Final Judgment" set to the music of the final countdown. Hopefully I can explain this imagery right.
Everyone is going to be walking around, doing their normal stuff, living life and such, and suddenly from the Heavens you are going to hear the " da da da da! da da da da da" (you know the music from “The Final Countdown”) Everyone is going to be looking at around, confused, and then we are all going to be jumping up and down like we are at a rock concert, while some angels play "Its the final countdown" on their trumpets and choirs are singing "Its the Final Judgment!" everyone is going to be having a blast, and then the pyrotechnics start. The wicked people just start spontaneously combusting, one by one, like fireworks at a concert. So here we are, everyone jumping up and down, singing along, and wicked people just "whoop" spontaneously combust.
HAHAHAHA the image was SUPER funny in my head, and when I told my district they all busted up laughing. We have been singing the final judgment ever since. Hopefully all of you understand that, and hopefully it’s funny. I think it might be missionary humor. There isn't really much we can joke about so we have to work with what we have.

Well besides my future job as a music video director, life here at the MTC is amazing. This place is a spiritual powerhouse. I'm learning so so so much, its really quite fun. It’s amazing how you can read the scriptures and study the gospel everyday and not get tired of it. It must mean the church is true. I've really learned to love my personal and companionship study time, and I learn something new and exciting every day. The language is a little bit harder though. I think the new program is to just not teach German, but force us to teach in it, and assume we will teach ourselves. Just kidding, it’s not that bad, but sometimes it feels like it. There are days where we don't learn any German at all. But that is starting to change, and we are starting to get to the grammar principles that I don't already know, so I'm guessing it will get harder. Okay it’s probably not as bad as I made it sound. We really do learn a lot, and it is cool to teach in German, Its just frustrating because you have this cute little lesson plan, and you have studied the vocab, and you are teaching, and suddenly your investigator asks some random question, like "doesn't the pope say he has the priesthood authority?" and my companion and I just look at each other because we can answer in English, but how are we supposed to answer questions like that in German? Most the time we try anyways, and then end up confusing our investigator more, and in the end we just say, "hold on to the question and we will answer next time." hahaha yeah its tons of fun though. I'm excited to teach the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity in German. Unless we get some "new investigators" aka our teachers pretend to be someone new, we will probably teach those lessons sometime this next week or so, so everyone pray for us so that we don't say something offensive.

The MTC really is great though, and I'm learning a lot about German, and the gospel and life. My companion and I will probably be replaced as zone leaders sometime next week, since the branch president talked to us, and said he likes to change zone leaders every couple of weeks. He says he has a new job for us though, so we will have to see what it is. Anyways, thank you everyone for the letters, the prayers, and the support. I love all of you. The church is true, it’s important, and the work will keep moving forward. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a part of it, and I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to focus on "the things that matter most" in my life.

With much love
Elder Ander Terry

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Middle Week

Guten Tag meine Familie and Fruenden!
How is everyone doing? I am doing great here at the MTC. We are almost at half way here at the MTC. It’s crazy how fast time flies. Things have been going well here. I learn more everyday, and Elder Sanderson and I get better at teaching in German everyday. By the time we leave I might be able to avoid saying anything too embarrassing. First thing first though. Today is a BEAUTIFUL DAY!!! None of you should even be checking your email right now. Go outside and get some rays from that gorgeous sun! The sky is so beautiful! Seriously. Everyone who is reading this, stop, go outside and do something outside right now! Especially my friends down there at BYU, you know who you are. Get outside and enjoy it!!!

Well back to life here at the MTC, things have been going well. My companion and I tried to have our first NUR DEUTSCH TAG (only German day) last Friday. We definitely failed at speaking only German, but it was good to try, and it really pushed our limits. Hopefully we will have more of those. Saturday we had our zone activity that we do every week, where we practice street contacting. This was the first one for our new elders, but I think it was a good experience for them. It was crazy to see how far we have come in just 4 weeks. I can't even believe we were ever like that.

Sunday was Fast Sunday, and mission conference. Needless to say I was praying all day that I wouldn't fall asleep. Sleep has probably been the biggest problem for me. Because we are zone leaders my companion and I go around and talk to all of the missionaries in our zone, this doesn't leave much time for us to get ready for bed, and then we also have to make sure everyone else is in bed, and we have to turn the lights off, etc. It just makes bed time really rushed. And we have had some issues with the elders on the floor right above us. They seem to make a lot of noise late at night, long after quiet time, and it makes it hard for us to sleep. My companion and I went up to talk to them last Friday night, and they said they would be quiet, but we ended up going up their again on Saturday night. I don't know what they were doing, but it was loud and we couldn't sleep. We try our best to be nice and ask them nicely, but my companion gets grumpy if he doesn't get his sleep, and he isn't the kind of guy you want to make upset. I think we solved the problem though because they haven't been as loud the past few nights. Anyways back to Sunday, mission conference was cool. The mission presidency talked to us, and it was neat to get to hear from them. After that we had a testimony meeting in sacrament, and I bore my testimony in German. It’s pretty cool how easy it comes now, sometimes I don't even feel like I'm speaking German, I feel like I'm just talking. That only works when I bear my testimony though, the rest of the time German is a struggle. The fireside Sunday night was SWEET. Pres. Daines, the president of the Provo Temple came, and he told us some sweet stories and stuff about the temple, and showed us some cool scriptures proving they had the temple ordinances in the New and Old Testament. Then we watched “The Testaments”. Overall it was a pretty great day, definitely a spiritual recharger. 

 Good news! The TRC, which is where we go once a week to practice teaching in German, has been completely changed, at least for us. They used to have volunteers come, and they would pretend to be investigators and we would teach them. But some of these volunteers were not very good actors. To tell the truth, some of them were down right terrible. There was this really old man who would come every week, bless his heart, but he was the worst investigator. You would start teaching him a lesson and all of the sudden he would just ask you a random question, about the Trinity or baptism by immersion, and then ask you where to find the answer in the bible. Then he wouldn't even wait for us to answer, he would "help us out" and tell us where to find the answer. So it was pretty much him just having a conversation with himself. I think I normally got in 10 words in like a 20 minute lesson. Hahaha one time he asked us where the golden plates were right now, and my companion pointed to his scriptures with the gold pages and said "they are right there" it was pretty funny. Well I'm enjoying my time and I love the MTC. Thanks for the support and I love you all

Elder Terry

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Week 3

Date: Thursday, March 3, 2011, 12:24 PM
Well this week has gone by really, really fast, probably because I am super busy. Let me tell you why.
So I've decided you need to be careful what you pray for. Okay that's not true, but sometimes we have these preconceived notions of how the Lord is going to answer our prayers, and then they are answered in a totally different way. So in my personal study I had really been intrigued by an idea that I had come across in 2 Nephi 31, verse 21 I think, where it says that we should "rely wholy upon the merits of Him who is mighty to save." This really intrigued me because I knew this was something that I needed to work on. I like being independent and I would rather do things on my own then get help. But that's not the way the Lord works. So last Friday and Saturday I prayed that I could have that, that I could be humbled and learn to rely more on the Savior and less on my own talents and abilities. Praying for humility?? I know you all think I'm crazy. That's like asking for more trials. Yeah I realized that, but I knew it was something that I needed, so I might as well as admit it and ask the Lord for some help. So of course, guess what happens on Sunday? The branch president calls me into this room, and my companion is already sitting there. I sit down and he says "Elder Terry, I know you don't know why you are here, but could you give us an opening prayer?" And you guys think sacrament talk topics are vague? What am I even supposed to be praying for? But I said the prayer, and then the branch president informs us that he would like to call us as new Zone Leaders. I'm pretty sure that for the first time in my life I was overwhelmed by the responsibility that I was given. How in the world was I supposed to be a zone leader? I've only been here for 3 weeks, everyone else has been here for 6 weeks, and new missionaries were coming in the next week. To say the least, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to fulfill this assignment. But immediately the Spirit bore a strong witness to me that this was the right thing, that this was the answer to my prayers, and that I would be humbled, but the Lord would help me grow from this, and that the Lord, through me, was the Zone leader. It wasn't just me being the zone leader, or me being the zone leader with some extra help from the Lord, but that it was the Lord being the Zone leader, I just had to let him work through me.
So to say the least I have been very busy since then. I've done a lot of studying about what kind of leader I am supposed to be, read a lot from D&C 121, and I am beginning to understand more about how I can rely wholy upon the Lord. On an normal day everyone is done with everything by 9:30 pm and we all head back to the residence hall. We then have an hour to get ready for bed, write in journals, relax, have companionship prayer, etc. Well as Zone Leaders, we walk around to every room and talk with the members of our zone, check up on them, and see how we can help them. We barely have enough time get ready for bed before its lights out. Our time to prepare for lessons has been lessened, because we now have to go to extra meetings, check up on people, etc. Today and yesterday have been really bad, since we got 19 new German missionaries yesterday, and it's our responsibility to take care of them and teach them everything they need to know. But the amazing thing is that the busier we get and the less time we have to prepare, the better our lessons have got. We now are super focused, use every spare moment of time, and rely on the Lord a lot more. And our lessons have gone much better. The spirit is stronger, we speak better, we work together better, truly I am learning to rely on the Lord.
Things here are going great. I love my companion and our district. We have the best district, the best teachers, and the best branch presidency. My only regret is that I don't get to be outside very often. I hope all of you are enjoying your time out in all of this beautiful weather.
I hope Riker had a splendid birthday.  Anyways German is going great, I wish I could speak better, but I'm sure I'm going to be feeling that way for the next year at least. I love all of you and thanks for all of the support and prayers. Can you believe it’s been 3 weeks? Time has flown. Hold to the rod, keep loving one another, and don't pick on the other kids, unless they start it (inside joke for the family.  If you want to know what it means ask Sidney or Riker)