Elder Gardner

Elder Gardner will enter the MTC on Wednesday, June 23rd. We will keep this blog up-dated every week with his letters and pictures. If you would like to write to Elder Gardner, please click on the "write a letter" link on the right hand side for directions and his address. If you don't know much about Mormon Missions read the "about missions" page to learn more; it may help you understand some confusing terms in the letters.

Monday, July 5, 2010

MTC, Week 2

Happy day after Independence Day everyone!

It's been a good week, quite a bit better than the first few days. Time is weird here at the MTC. There is a common saying here that is very true, "the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days." On one hand it feels like I just got here and on the other it feels like I've been here for a year. But I love it. It's pretty much just class all day every day, but it's fun.

We had a really cool experience with the power of prayer. When we met our mission president last Friday he told us that he and his wife hadn't gotten their visas yet so they couldn't go to Argentina for another month or so. They asked us to pray that there visas would arrive quickly. Well that was Friday and we all prayed for them, then on Monday my companion and I got called to the Travel Office at the MTC. They told us we no longer needed visas to get into the country, all we need is a passport. The other missionaries in our district going to Argentina still need passports, just the ones going to Buenos Aires don't. Apparently the province of Buenos Aires just passed a new law where all you need is a passort to enter the country, so our mission president doesn't even need a visa anymore. We were rather amazed when we found out.

On Thursday we had our first appointment in the TRC (Teaching Resource Center?) where we had to talk to people in a "park" in Spanish. I thought I was ready for it since we had praticed a bit in class and I understood most of what was being said. But when we got to the "park" and talked to people I didn't understand a single word. In class it's easy since everyone just says phrases they taught us so we know what they mean, but the people at the TRC spoke real spanish and I was way lost. Fortunately my companion (Elder Kelly) was able to carry on a conversation with me saying a sentence here or there. Then we taught the first lesson in English. That went well, I can speak English.

On Friday we played soccer during our gym time, like we usually do. And Elder Kelly and I both scored a goal. They were both really easy goals that never should have gone in, but their defense wasn't very good. That was probably the only goal I'm going to score in soccer for the next two years.

On Saturday we had a special devotional for Independence Day. It was all about how America came to have religious freedom which allowed for the gospel to be restored. It was good, lots of singing. Afterwards they let us watch the fireworks of the Stadium of Fire. That was way fun. I saw some new shapes I hadn't seen before (a crescent moon type thing and a spiral). Fireworks are awesome. We even got to stay up late because of it. I didn't go to bed until 10:50 (gasp!).

Yesterday was fast Sunday, so we didn't get to eat for a full 25 hours. Usually I start to shake around 18 hours and barely have enough energy to walk by 24. But I was fine yesterday; I was just really really hungry. I don't know if that's because I didn't use much energy during the day or if it was God strengthening me, but either way I was surprised. Every fast Sunday we have a Mission Conference where the MTC Presidency speaks to us. It was pretty good, nothing too interesting to report. Except that we sat by the teleprompter and I look inside it and figured out how it worked. It was pretty fun; I was tempted to start calculating things to see at what minimum angle the glass had to be titled for it to still work, but I decided I'm taking a break from physics for two years. At least the calculating part of physics.

Every Sunday we also have a district meeting and Elder Kelly and I were assigned to teach the lesson yesterday. We taught about the importance of the Book of Mormon, both in our own lives and in the lives of the people we teach. We did a pretty good job.

This morning I saw the hot air balloons for the 4th of July. (Since it's Mormon land they didn't do it yesterday because it was Sunday) There were lots of them. It made me remember that there actually is a world outside of the MTC. At least that's what they tell me.

Well that's all I got. Hope everything is going well back in the real world. I heard Argentina lost in the world cup :( O well, then they'll just be more humble and willing to listen to our message.

Elder Gardner

"My soul belongs to God I know. I made that promise long ago. He gave me hope when hope was gone, He gave me strength to journey on."

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