Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MTC Email! - June 25, 2014

Hey family!
I'm super excited to finally send another email to you guys! A lot's been happening around here, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Okay, now for what the MTC is like! Two words: AWE - SOME

A typical day goes something like this:
6:30 - wake up, take shower, get dressed, shave, etc.
7:00 - Breakfast, always serves cereals, yogurt, and toast, but sometimes other things. I usually get either the cocoa krispies or the honey frog cereal (can never remember the name of that one)
7:30 - Personal Study time. Most of our day, starting here, is spent in our District Room. More on that later!
8:00 - Depends. We either teach a "random" investigator or we have a lesson on, oh I don't know, revelation through prayer.
10:30 - Exercise. We play "real" football, volleyball, basketball, etc.
12:00 - Lunch. Always different.
12:30 - Companionship Study. We prepare to teach our reacurring investigators for the day.
1:30 - Coaching Missionary Study: we study with one of the teachers listening to give us pointers
2:00 - Teaching Prep: Short lesson before we begin teaching
3:00 - We teach our investigator. My companion and I always go first, so afterwards we just wait for everyone else to finish.
5:00 - Dinner!
6:00 - The Sisters teach their investigator. This leaves us elders all alone in the room, which often leads to very interesting discussions...
7:00 - Another Lesson
8:30 - Book of Mormon: Every other day, we all read a chapter of the BOM as a District aloud. We go around in a circle, and after going all the way around, discuss what we read. We get really deep into it, and we've yet to finish an entire chapter in one sitting. This is my favorite part of the day
9:00 - Planning for the next day. There isn't much to plan for, its mostly just to get us into the habit once we're in the field.
9:30 - Head off to bed.
10:00 - All the Districts in our hallway gather together for Zone prayer.
10:30 - Lights out. Doesn't necessarily mean that's when we go to sleep though...

Obviously, the schedule varies but that's the jist of it.

So, now for the stories!!
First of all, my District, Abinadi. My companion is Elder Clarke from New Zealand. He's our District Leader, too, and has the only accent in our district. The other two elders are Elder Nogueroles, from California, and Elder Jamieson, from Canada, who flew with me from Chicago. There were four sisters: Caffrey, Slack, Johnson, and Petch. Sister Petch is from Cambodia but lives in Finland, and speaks both. However, her Visa isn't working, so she had to return to Finland on sunday. Her companion, Sister Johnson, is in a threesome with Caffrey and Slack. Me, Elder Jamieson, Sister Petch and Sister Johnson are all heading to Scotland/Ireland, while Elder Clarke, Elder Nogueroles, Sister Caffrey and Sister Slack are going to Birmingham, England.

Of the fiftyish missionaries here, around fifteen are going to German-speaking missions all over Europe. The rest seem divided between the Scotland/Ireland Mission and the Birmingham Mission. Also, if you thought our flight was delayed, two sister missionaries arrived YESTERDAY MORNING!!!!! Their flight from Chicago was delayed five days! The MIssion president said this was the greatest trickle of missionaries he'd ever seen.

The staff here are great. Their accents are awesome, and they do a great job at keeping us in line and focused.
I don't have that much time so I'll just get to the stories! So, first of all, on Saturday we had our fist Exercise. We didn't have access to any of the other equipment (apparently they'd lost the keys!) so we all played a LARGE game of "real" football. I was excited! My first game of football in England!

Sister Johnson was very sick the first few days. She missed nearly the entire time that Sister Petch was here, so we didn't have many times to be a full District. But anyhow, on the first day, the first time we all met, she asked us Elders to give her a blessing. And we did! It was great, and was a good way to build District unity right at the beginning. She's perfectly fine now, though shy because she missed out a lot. The other sisters have been great for her, though.

 We teach a ton of lessons, and learn a lot. Our investigators are played by our teachers, and are real people they met on their missions. Right now we're teaching Ramani, who's from Sri Lanka, and Michelle, who's from Greece and speaks very little English. It's funny, because when we practice in the District room, if the guy's playing Michelle we change the name to Michael, and already it feels so weird to hear that!! There was one time when we were teaching Michelle about prayer, and I said "We close by saying 'In the name of Jesus Christ amen'" and she asked "Who's Jesus Christ?" And me and Elder Clarke looked at each other like  "oh my gosh we forgot to teach her about Christ!!!!!"

I have to go, but I want you all to know that I miss you, love you, and am really enjoying myself out here! I can call all seven of my fellow district members my friends, and we all have a lot of fun. I love the gospel! Love you all!!
Elder Bates

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