Week 2 at the MTC has been even crazier than the first few days and I have so much more to say and still only 30 minutes to write. I will try to answer as many questions as I can because that is pretty much all I have time for. Before I do that -
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS WRITTEN ME!
It has been so nice to read all of your words of encouragement and love;
it makes the days so much better to know and to hear from you all,
so thank you so much for all that;
it really has kept me going on the long hard days;
I hope to hear more from all of you even if I can’t respond to each letter you send.
P-day is going to be Friday for the next 9 weeks. I have until 6pm to do all my personal stuff and then its back to the classroom for another 4 hours. I am actually liking classroom time a lot more than I thought I would. It is something I look forward to each day even though it is sometimes 6 hours in a row.
I am in a threesome now and probably will be for the rest of my time in the MTC. For a while there was a chance of us being split up but now that new missionaries have come and none have been moved up I think el trifecto is secure. That is what we call ourselves. I learned how long I would be in the MTC on the first day I got here when they gave me my 9 (10) week schedule. I will be here for 63 days but that is over 10 weeks—if that makes sense.
Daily routine is boring to read but actually fun to do I get up every morning at 5am and make some soup.
I get up and 6:30 am and get ready for breakfast at 7:10. After breakfast, we head to the classroom for study time or for classroom time—it changes. Some days it’s different. On Tuesdays and Fridays though after breakfast is either temple or service time. But the other days it’s classroom time. If we study first, we have class after and then gym time. If we have class first, it is study after and then gym time. It’s actually pretty easy to remember. After gym we have time to shower and go to lunch and after lunch is either study or class time. So for most of the day, we are sitting in the classroom being taught or trying to teach ourselves. Sometimes, we have class time after dinner, which we use to teach our investigators. After dinner we have class or study or sometime until 9:30 pm when we go back to the residence and get ready for bed and get to sleep by 10:30. It’s hard because I often can’t write in my journal because there is never enough time. That is the basic schedule. 2 three-hour blocks of class per day with a gym time and about 3 hours of personal and companionship study. It’s a lot of butt time.
There are 3 in our room but there are 4 beds, which is nice because we are not too cramped. Elder Harvey and Noyes sleep on the bunk bed closest to the door and I sleep on the bottom bed across from the window.
The MTC food is awful. I have been sick this past week, and it has been so hard to eat food that is gross while wanting to puke before and then even more after. I haven’t been able to eat too much because most of it just ends up coming back up. So lots of PowerAde and salad. For some reason those 2 things don’t upset my stomach very much although they do not lead to exciting meals by any means.
About the sickness. This week has been really hard because have been feeling so sick and so sad. It’s been really hard to not feel sorry for myself and still be an example and a leader. It is a good thing I have that leadership-ness to hold on to other wise I might have broken down a long time ago. Life is hard here. But I can feel myself learning and growing each day which makes it all worth it.
I don’t really need too much, although a few more pairs of socks and some more shorts and t-shirts would allow me to not have to wear the same gym clothes everyday hahaha. That also might help the bedroom not to stink as bad. It’s not a big deal, I can definitely survive without them. I get all the dear elders you guys send usually the same day, which is so nice, although if they had dates on them it would help me a lot, because Dear Elder doesn’t say when they were sent.
I am in the intermediate district, which is between native and beginner. We speak Spanish 100% of the time but we are still in the MTC for 9 weeks. Native speakers are only here for 3.
Wednesday was Independence day so we did get to watch the BYU light show/fireworks and eat ice-cream it was fun but they didn’t want us returning to bed until it was over and the show didn’t finish till after 11:15.... so Thursday was a longggg day. I don’t do too well with less than 8 hours of sleep. Before the show there was a fireside/devotional thing, which was pretty cool. Not as good as the one on Sunday about Joseph Smith.
Gym time is fun. I have been playing volleyball and it is such an experience. There are some real athletes here. I hope in 9 weeks some of that skill can rub off on me.
Thanks Cameron for the Dear Elder letter. It was so nice to hear some things from home and be reminded of the things that make me happy. I laughed till I cried over the quotes you sent me. I am glad that you are having a good time.
Thank you also uncle Adam for sharing your MTC experience. You don’t have to apologize I love hearing tips and tricks and ways to make the most of my MTC experience. As long as its different than the mantra "be obedient," it is something new.
I hope I can some how get across how much I love being here. I was thinking about this part specifically yesterday how awesome it is to be able to sit and bear testimony whenever I feel inclined. Or talk about Jesus Christ openly and deeply without the fear of being over bearing or anything like that. It is an amazing blessing and only begins to scratch the surface of what is so special about this place. There is no better testimony of the sacredness of the MTC than the constant spirit that is here. Even when everything seems bleak there are still things to make it all seem worth it. I am so happy to be here. Weeks I’m sure will drag on but they will be worth it and full of growth. After all they are to help me better serve and there is nothing I like more than doing that.
Something that I have been thinking about a lot lately and that has helped when I miss home a lot is the corny but awesome saying
“Missionary: someone who sacrifices time with the people they love, so those they teach can spend eternity with theirs.” That is the best way I think I have heard it put, because it truly is a sacrifice to be here. I feel that whenever anything reminds me of life before June 25th. It stings but then thinking about the blessings and the happiness that I could bring to people reinvigorates me. In the scheme of it all then my 2 years seems like a bargain for anyone's salvation and their opportunity to live with their family forever. What a blessing that could be for me to bring just one person into the fold. Just one person who can have that hope and joy that I feel. If I could teach 1 family of their divine potential I could die a happy man because I know that their lives will be changed and they will have such a great happiness with the knowledge that not even death can separate them. What a beautiful blessing this is.
The gospel is true and restored and it is on the earth to bless everyone. I hope to be able to fulfill that.
I hope to hear from all of you. All your letters mean so much. Dear Elder is pretty awesome.
To everyone I didn’t get to address I am sorry. Know that I love you all and I am thinking about you all the time.
See you all soon..ish.
Elder Anderson /// Sam.