Well this week has been interesting. We had a schedule change so our schedule is now different than most peoples to make room in the cafeteria and to make room for the teacher’s college schedules. So while normally we have PLC is the morning (personal, language, and companion study) we have class some mornings. But it actually isn’t that bad. I usualy have the most energy in the morning and when we get our lessons out of the way it makes the day seem so much faster and boy do they get fast. It honestly felt like this week has blown by in a day. In fact, one of the Danish Elders Eldste Evans is still in denial because he currently believes that it is monday today. The prank with the russians has gotten hard because they are learning Russian really fast and they are trying to figure out why there are words that they now know aren’t russian. They are catching on too fast. We are going to break it to them but we want to do it in a way that would be great. On a similar note one of my new friends, Elder Hanzel who is going to Hong Kong decided to play a similar prank. He has been here for 2 weeks more than he is supposed to be because of a leg infection. So he is now part of the new group of cantonese missionaries. I kept the orange sticker that I got on my first day that I wanted to keep as a momento but I figured that this would be better so I let him have it and he wore it to their first day of class. The teacher asked him to pray and he started to pray and he said “God, please give us the gift of tongues that we can—-” he then switched entirely over to Cantonese and afterwards all of the missionaries were shocked because they thought that this was his first day as well. I wish I could have been there but oh well, you can’t have everything. But we have had a lot of injuries this week. Vanhin Ashby had to go to the doctor because he has shin splints, and also my companion broke his thumb because he was sprinting in the rain and slipped on some gravel. It has been sort of nice because we get to go off campus but he’s pretty miserable. But he experienced a miracle. He had to go to get a cast and they were trying to figure out if they were going to have to hold him back a few weeks. When we went to the hand specialist and he said that he has somehow managed to only break things that will heal and the one thing that should’ve been broken because of the pattern of all the broken parts was untouched. So instead of needed several months of therapy, he will only need a cast for a few weeks. Literally the definition of a blessing. But time is winding down here. We now only have 2 and a half weeks. Now we just have as much time as the english speaking missionaries do. It is really weird, I am not used to time going this fast. Everyone has told me that time crawls when you are in the MTC and it gets a lot faster in the mission field but if it is going fast for me now, I don’t want to know how fast it is going to go in the future.
-One last side note, I met another Finn here and he is also the only missionary I have met that has served a mission in greece. I have never met someone who has served a mission in Greece. EVER.
Also this week I was released from being zone leader. It honestly is weird going from being zone leader of the biggest zone in the MTC to doing nothing. Now don’t get me wrong, I like doing nothing but it makes me feel pretty uncomfortable with the change. But the new zone leaders, Eldste Erickson and Whitaker are definitely going to do a good job but Eldste Erickson has been really worried about it because he said that we set the bar so high he honestly doesn’t feel up to the challenge and still runs things by me. But I know he is going to be a better zone leader than I was. Also our 1st counselor in the zone just became a grandfather this week. It was amazing, he looked so worried during sacrament meeting then he gets a text and you just see the biggest smile in all of the world come on his face. The last real thing that happened is that Eldste Smith’s best friend just entered the MTC and is in the same apartment as us. I like how the more time we spend here the more interesting the mission gets. But love and miss you all!
1) My annoyed companion in his new cast.
2)My companion’s mother is Swedish (Vanhin Jaccard also speaks fluent swedish btw) and for his birthday sent him Bullar. This really great and weird pastry that tastes sweet but has a spice that tastes like pepper.
3)My beautiful classroom
Well another interesting week at the mtc! Not too much different happened this week. It was sad though because my friend Elder Dugquem left for Thailand. He was one of the very first friends I had here and would always help out when I needed help. We helped them until midnight packing and as a favor they gave us a ton of stuff and I mean A TON. My companion got several sweaters, shoes and dress pants and I got from one of his roommates, Elder Earl a parka. This was no average parka, it was very obvious that someone shelled out serious money for this. But he was going to Thailand and really didn’t need it so he just gave it to me. Also our friends the Ukranians also left, so we inherited all of their stuff. The main thing we inherited was a nerf sword. Now this isn’t any sword but this sword is part of the history of the mtc. It has been passed down from Elder to Elder. The oldest one was an Elder who entered the MTC is 2014 meaning there is a good chance he finished his mission. One of the weird things about the MTC is that everyone wants to leave a mark on the MTC. There is graffitti everywhere and items get passed down. Of course graffitti is a serious punishment and one of the previous mission presidents sent missionaries home so for the most part that stopped but items keep getting passed down. Also an interesting fact, my mind gave up when I needed it the most. You know when you have a lot to do and you just end up taking a nap? Yeah, that was this week. I had so much to do and I flopped on most of it. We have to do this thing called TRC which basically means we teach members who are either from Finland or they served missions there. I worked really hard on my lesson with whatever mental energy I had but it wasn’ good enough. (Cute photo of TRC report below). But one of my best friends here now is Elder Lee (picture below). Elder Lee is probably one of the nicest human beings I have ever met in my life. I have never seen someone go so out of the way for anyone else in my life. He greets almost every Elder by hug and is honestly concerned with everyone’s problems. If there was someone who would probably be translated it would probably be him. The last real thing of interest that has happened this week is me and Elder Farkas are going into an extensive prank. There is a new group of russians in the floor below us and the old russians who have only been here for 3 weeks wanted to look like they were experts in the language. So Farkas who combined his little knowledge of russian with his native hungarian and was able to convince the new russians that he only could speak Russian. The old russians would just bear parts of their testimonies to make it seem like it was a fluent conversation and Farkas would respond with something different and when they asked what they were talking about one of the old russians would just say something random. I feel sort of bad because the new russians had the “what did we get ourselves into” look. Becuase to them it looked like they were expected to speak fluently by week 3. I don’t think they’re really going to appreciate it but they will probably find out when we are long gone. Also we somehow get randomly selected for everything. Our entire district was in charge of the people and purpose night. That meant that we had to teach an investigator in english in front of a crowd or around 80 people. We had to do this twice. I was shocked because I thought they only chose good missionaries but I guess we were good enough.
The first picture is the stuff we inherited from all of the missionaries that were leaving. That night was very interesting.
A picture of our little piece of MTC history.
This is a picture from a really awful Thai book. There are some books the Church made that they haven’t changed for 30 years and the drawings are awful. I got one from the Thais, I didn’t get it because I am interested in learning Thai but actually because they’re so awful that they can make any day good. This is probably the worst picture I found and I just had to share it.
This is me and Elder Lee.
Sorry about not having pictures last week, I forgot to bring my camera to the computers. But it has been a wonderful but emotionally trying week. Everyone in our zone left, literally I mean that besides the new Danes there weren’t anyone else in our zone but us. The other two groups:the Danes and the Nords left. But we just got the new group last night and it was MASSIVE. We are now one of the biggest zones in the entire MTC. We now have 38 people including us and the Danes. One interesting note is that one of the Danes, his name is Eldste Cooper, he is a convert! He is from around Cocoa Beach Florida and he has officially been a member for a solid year. I have a lot of respect for people who are willing to leave after only having known the gospel for that long. My friend Elder Dugquem was the same way, he has only been a member for 1 year and will be leaving to Thailand on his mission in a week. On that same note, the only other original group that we still have is the Ukranians, and among them is someone from Finland! Have I tried talking to him in Finnish? Nope. Despite the fact that he is only 5’5 he always was in a grouchy mood and told us on the day that we met him that we shouldn’t bother learning the language because we never would be able to learn it. But he has warmed up to us and is pretty funny, but he still is pretty grumpy most of the time. But it has also been a crazy week because one of the people in our zone had to have surgery. It was not anything major, he just has throat issues and they had to stretch out his throat. We joked that whenever someone asked why he wan’t in class that he was pulling the good old surgery excuse. But it’s also weird when me and Vanhin Jaccard remember we are zone leaders. Language is coming in good as well, I want to thank all of you for your prayers for me in learning the language. I am learning the language a lot faster than I know I normally would, and I know it has a lot to do with everyone praying for me. My time in the MTC sure is going fast and I am excited to be out on the field.
miss and love all of you,