Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I am officially over half way through the MTC!! I have less than three weeks to go! 20 full days including today.

The days are starting to blur, and starting to become all the same. It's so crazy because it seems like it has been so long since I've seen my family, but at the same time it seems like it was just yesterday..quite odd. I have continued to meet new people and make new friends. It's so awesome because it feels like we have known each other forever. I have been running into friends from school all over the place, and so it doesn't seem so bad here. Unfortunately there's not a whole lot of time to stop and talk. Most of the time we have to talk is during mealtimes. That’s also the time where we can become very mischievous...

Just yesterday we were sitting down at the lunch table and one of the elders in my district spiked another elder’s tapioca pudding with a bunch of salt. I didn't even notice anything, but he’s like, "Oh nasty who put salt in my pudding!". Right after he spat out what was in his mouth he began hurling into an empty bowl. It was quite disgusting, but at the same time it was just so funny for some stupid reason. Note: Everything in the MTC is far funnier than in the real world, and this is known (by me) as "MTC Humor".

Another example of dumb things we do, is modify our surroundings. Just this weekend, the departing Russian missionaries put duct tape and paper towel over the vents in the bathroom, and duct taped bed sheets to the doors. After that, they then turned on all of the showers and faucets on as hot as they would go. They made their own sauna, and it was so awesome!! I took my camera in, and I got one good shot because the lens would fog up so fast. 

When we aren't goofing off, which is never, we are studying. We actually do hold together pretty well, and we study in the classroom for about 10 hours a day. To me this is astounding, let alone impressive if you can command my attention for 5 minutes. We sort of split the time between learning the language and learning to teach/preparing to teach. I can tell that I have grown so much in my ability to teach.

We made some goals this week, and I think they can really help me out. I personally have never been a goal person, and have a hard time setting goals for myself let alone keeping them. I am hoping that by being more obedient to the rules we have here, the more I will be able to succeed.

I can tell you one thing, I have been praying ten-fold, and that is not an exaggeration. We pray almost every hour of the day I think. I have also been reading through the Book of Mormon and I have found some really awesome chapters. 2nd Nephi 31 and 32 are pretty awesome, as well as any chapter in Alma between 30-42. Alma is the man! I think it's probably my favorite book

I'm really hoping to change my character, because I know that through the experiences I will have out in Germany will only make me a better person. I'm really grateful for the friends here that put up with my child like behavior, and hopefully I will become the mature adult that I will need to be in order to do this work. It is tough, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I love it here, I love what I am learning, I love German, and I love what I am becoming. Keep me updated friends and family!

Also, I can respond daily with written letters, but I usually throw away the envelope as soon as I open it. So if you write me, write your address inside so I can reply! I got a letter but I don't have an address to send it to!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Well I have officially begun week 3 today!
Today, I have two friends entering the MTC! Both of them are going to the Toronto mission. One of them is actually my old roommate, Quinn! 

Things are going by slowly but quickly, it's a weird thing to describe. I leave on Tuesday the 17th for Germany, but I don't have any other details on that. Unfortunately another member of my district got sick and was diagnosed with tonsillitis. Just this morning my throat started hurting, so I am really hoping I am not getting sick for the second time in two full weeks. 

This week for devotional we watched a talk that David A Bednar gave. Right as the talk ended, everyone began to stand and there he was! It was crazy! For another hour, we had a Q&A with him because our group in the MTC is so small. That was really neat, and really fun too. I have run into a few friends from school here, and they are serving missions all over the place. One is going to Florida, another in Romania, and the other in France! The environment here is really crazy. It's really stressful because we are always working, but it is also really happy and upbeat. A little stress is ok, and even good, but too much and I'll go crazy since this place is so small. Luckily, I am 1/3 done and still love it here. 

I have been teaching mach lessons this week, and it is crazy how scary they actually are. It's only my teacher, but they never break character and it feels so real! I have been trying to break the "Me" kind of thoughts and think more on what the "investigators" need to hear, but that is kind of a difficult thing to do. I think this is true for just about anyone, especially an 18 year old boy like myself! I know it can be done, it's only a matter of time. Like a really long time. 

Learning German has been coming along. I remember words here and there, and I am speaking faster and putting sentences together faster in my head, but words are the thing that I just keep forgetting! I am actually kind of bummed because it seems like we aren't learning as much German as we used to. I really like learning the language, and I hope I improve soon!

So last week I wrote about a Narnia hole in the wall. Basically its just one of those electrical outlet covers that slides open and has candy and a note inside. Well I found another and once I did that the entire hall was looking for these stashes! One elder pulled off the air vent and found a red tie! In a secret compartment in the cabinet, one elder found Thomas The Train matching game cards. Jackpot! After that, we began tearing apart anything that looked like it might hold a secret. Eventually we found a note that was part of a scavenger hunt. It told us that the next clue was behind an exit sign. At that moment there were probably a dozen half naked, slightly chubby 18 year olds, running down the hall at full speed ahead. We started dismantling the exit signs, searching for the next clue that would provide us with entertainment for the night. Eventually we found it, and then we found the next one underneath a microwave. The creator left his email for when we complete it, which we still haven't, only because the scavenger hunt leads to another building at the top story in the highest number room. Hopefully there's something good! 

Other than that, things have been pretty unspectacular, but I feel like what I am doing right! I'm so excited to get out and go to Germany! Only 27 more days, but who's really counting? The food is good, but I think I am packing on a few...oh well I suppose I will just have to bike it off after I fly over. Send emails and keep me updated! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Today's Letter from Kevin at the MTC (Missionary Training Center)

Hey All,
Not that long since I last wrote, so there doesn't seem to be a whole lot for me to write.

The MTC is very strict, and we are supposed to be working every minute we are available. This has been really hard for me, and I would have to say that the MTC is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. Still, I am learning lots and I would say I have gotten used to almost everything. It has been really awesome getting letters here and there, and it is one of the things we look forward to most. It's kind of like a "Who is missed the most" contest, or something like that. 

I really can't think of much else to say, just because it has been pretty uneventful. But, I did find something in my room that we like to call the Narnia box. A Narnia box is when you take out the screws from a metal panel that would cover an electrical outlet that doesn't have any circuits or live outlets. So just a flat metal cover in case you want to activate it later. Anyway, I noticed three out of the four screws were missing, so I rotated the panel and behold! There was gum, candy, and a note and testimony from another Elder that had stayed in our room at one point. He is in the Bakersfield California Mission, so I am eager to hear If Elder Angus knows him!

Here at the MTC we do just about anything for fun. We tell stories, make jokes, eat candy...or you can play dodge ball with the balls some missionary got in the mail from his mom! That was pretty fun, but it's kind of hard when it is just a long hall. Another thing here is to establish a reputation for yourself. Here in the German  zone, I am sometimes known as "The Black Ninja" because I have my black Sunday socks, my black PJ bottoms and top, and a German banner around my head.  

Well, that's all for now. Today the new missionaries come in, so it will be nice not to be the newbie. Write me if you can and hope you enjoy the letters!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Few Pictures

Kevin at Detroit LDS Temple

Last Day at Home

Kevin sent us Letter #1 from the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center

Well, I guess you are hearing from me more than you imagined, but today we got our scheduled preparation day time moved to today because we have a service project on Wednesday, which is our normal day for preparation stuff. Not a whole lot of things have been happening over here except for learning German and how to plan and prepare to teach. I did get sick the night that I arrived, so I have been feeling a little bit more down than usual. Luckily, I got to take a little time off from all of our studies, so I was able to rest up and help myself feel like me again. Today I am feeling much better, and my companion and I will be teaching a lesson in German to a girl who is fluent in German. We know she's really not an investigator in our church, but it still is a little nerve wracking. Crazy to think that with only two or three days worth of German they are already having us teach lessons. I think I am starting to get a better hold on the language, and I pray every night in German now, or as much as I can anyway. I have also gotten used to the sleep schedule, I mean when it comes to sleep, I will take what I can get! After all, it is one of my favorite things. The schedule seems to vary each day, but at the same time it is very similar each day.  I was chosen to be the district leader over our small division of six elders including myself. I still don't know what this responsibility asks of me, and what I need to be doing, but I know that I could take my responsibility a little more seriously. I get along with my fellow elders pretty well. Perhaps too well! Yesterday, we spent a good time just messing around when we should have been studying together during various times of the day. I guess that's what happens when you stick a bunch of 18 and 19 year-olds together in a small room for 12+ hours a day. Still, we are here to work, so today I think I will divide us up so that we can function in the way we are supposed to. Not much else is new or has happened since I entered on Wednesday, but I did get to walk off campus to go to the Provo pharmacy, and it was so nice to be out in the sun and see the mountains. I say that because here at the MTC, we have covering over almost all of the sidewalks, and there are hardly any windows. Sometimes I forget that the mountains are really right there. This week is moving along though, and besides being sick I would say I have had a decent time here. Everyone is excited to be here and ready to learn. I just hope I can learn everything I need to survive out in the German field!