Tuesday, January 6, 2015

December 23, 2014 First week in the MTC

Danai was able to visit Johnny the day after he entered the MTC.  Both were set apart missionaries at this time.

Well I guess the whole mission idea is finally here!  It's already been almost a whole week which is crazy.  It's been so busy I haven't even had time to think about anything but studying.

I'm actually in a 'tripanionship' which has been pretty interesting (Elder Hull and Elder Morrison).  It's going to feel so weird once we get to New York to only have one buddy.  It has made it a bit difficult to keep up with the schedule - getting three people places is just harder than two.  One of my companeros had 15 feet of his intestines removed.... let's just say hacemos mucho tiempo en el bano.

Our schedule is opening up a bit now, but the first few days were insane.  From 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. we were running around desperately trying to be on time to all our workshops and such.

To add to it, our zone is in a predicament - the last districts left a week before we got here.  So we have nobody to train us, and the branch presidency doesn't even really know - they've never been missionaries here.  Oh, by the way, tell Uncle Ronnie that President George Stewart says hi.  It was pretty funny - I now play the piano for our branch and President Stewart asked me if I had a Grandpa that played the piano really well.  Apparently they grew up together.

The first day we had dinner at 4:00, which was a little concerning starting around 8:00 later that night.  Now our dinner is at 4:30.... count my blessings!  (thanks for the granola bars mom!)

We've already taught 4 lessons in Spanish!  All I can say is wow.  The first one was the the third day, and at that point we had had maybe two hours to prepare it.  Needless to say, we opened with a prayer.  As fervent as it gets in three-day-old Spanish.  And it went super well.  I pray for the gift of tongues every day and the Lord has blessed me. It's almost weird - I'm actually teaching in Spanish. There is definitely a long way to go with the language, but I have faith I will get there.  I think God has decided to give me other challenges.

The MTC has been amazing.  I look forward to spending the next 5 weeks here (I also look forward to getting to New York).  There is a good spirit here.  A lot of people were giving me their condolences that I was going to be stuck in the MTC for Christmas, but I am really looking forward to it.  The Christmas program will be very good.  Actually, I auditioned to play "O Come, O Come Emanuel".  The wife of the MTC president is an incredible musician (she reminds me of a nicer Mrs. Barnes).  She said she liked it, and I'm waiting to find out if I will play for the Christmas program or a devo the next week.  Also she asked if she could recommend me as an accompanist, so a couple of sisters in my zone saw my name and asked me to play "I Need Thee Every Hour" for their duet.  The arrangement they have is incredible and they are both exceptional singers.  It is a beautiful piece of music.

To all future missionaries: don't forget your running shoes.  No bueno.  I rock my tracting shoes and church socks with gym shorts with the best of 'em, but it's just not the same.  (Thanks again mom for sending my running shoes... my man pride has been restored).

Thank you everybody for the support.  I am so blessed to have so many people at my back.  I know that Jesus Christ is our savior and loves each of us.  I know that through him, our weak things can be made strong.  I testify of that with all my heart.  I know that work is a celestial principle and brings great blessings.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Sirrine

Additional note sent:

For the eyes of only those authorized. Which is anyone, really. Discretion advised.
The MTC has been great.  But it has been curazy.  I was asked to be a district leader, and that has made it seem impossible to do everything we are supposed to.  Like I said, having no previous D.Ls to train us has been hard.

One of the hardest things about it is trying to get all the Elders (and sisters but they aren't nearly as prone) to focus on our purpose.  There are a lot of rules, and it's hard being "the bad guy".  But strict obedience brings miracles.  I believe that.

I have been blessed with great comps but yeah it's hard!  I'm trying to figure out how to get them to speak more Spanish.  We are in the intermediate class and a lot of them are struggling.  Unfortunately in our lessons, if I don't talk, nobody does.  But I know that it needs to be everyone involved or they won't learn.  If I've learned anything here, its that its not about me.  It's about my comps and our investigators.

I love you guys.

Elder Sirrine

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