Monday, February 28, 2011

MTC Week 7

So I woke up Saturday, thinking it was Wednesday.  This week has gone by so fast.

First of all, we're the oldest district now.  All the older districts are gone now.  It's a weird feeling.  We got a new district in this week.  Because we're zone leaders, we got to orientate them and teach them a couple lessons on Wednesday and Thursday.  It was a cool experience.  They have a pretty cool district.  Their district leader, Elder Willardson, is pretty cool. 

So we have 15 days left.  I can't wait to get out of here.  15 days left.  I love this place, but I'm ready to leave.  My Spanish is getting better, but yesterday I tried talking to some nativos, and realized that even though I'm the best in the class, I don't know anything.

We're feeling the spirit here a lot.  I'm learning a lot.  I'm learning a lot from being zone leader.  I like everyone.  Oh.  I got sick this week.  But I'm feeling better today.  I decided to get a blessing...turns out those work really well.   

Hopefully I'll get my travel plans this week. 

Love it here.  So my companion and I were talking yesterday.  Turns out we've both changed a lot.  That's what the MTC does for you.  It turns you into a better man. 

Yesterday, during priesthood, we learned about remembering.  Read 1 Nephi 17:45, Helaman 5:6-7, 9-14.  Remember Laman and Lemuel?  They were swift to do iniquity, and slow to remember the Lord their God (or something like that).  There is a reason we've been asked to pray morning and night, read our scriptures daily, and attend sacrament once a week.  As humans, it is so easy for us to forget.  All we have to do is start getting casual in these things, and we will begin to forget our covenants.  Like Alma said to his son Corianton, we need to cross ourselves (check ourselves) often to make sure we're not slacking off.  So, if you're reading this, think about the last week.  So make sure you're not slacking off.  Make sure you REMEMBER your covenants and why you go to sacrament every week.  Like Mufasa said once, "Remember... remember."

Elder Bailey

Monday, February 21, 2011

MTC Week 6

The Four El Salvadoreans
Hola!  So this is it, the three week mark.  21 days from now, I'll be on a plane to El Salvador.  Wow.

So pretty much every week at the MTC is kind of the same, and I've been here for so long that it's all a blurr... and I can't remember what happened when.

Me and my companion, Elder Gealta.
So, at the beginning of the week, my companion and I switched positions.  He became senior companion, and I became junior.  I let him take the lead with planning and stuff now, and he's gotten a lot better.  Our studying is really effective now!  He got pretty sick on Wednesday, so we had to go back to the room and miss class.  I ended up studying Spanish.  

Another district left this week, Elder Lulla and Abbot, and Crofts.  We also got a new district this week. They're awesome...but honestly, I miss all the old ones.  But they're in a better place now...their mission fields.  

My district, and the sun.  Yeah, a terrible place to take a picture.
Also, since the last district left, we needed some new zone leaders.  So last Sunday our whole zone was trying to figure out who the branch presidency was going to pick.  Well...they picked me and my companion.  So yesterday, our schedule went from busy, but not stressful, to busy and stressful.  There's a lot for us to do. 

Being zone leaders also meant we have to be examples, which means we have to clean our room and use it as the example to the new district that's coming in.  Well, our room consists of me, Elder Gealta, Elder Mendenhall, and Elder Parry, and we've never really cleaned it since we got here.  Usually, the day before the cleaning check, we'll vacuum the floor, I'll clean my stuff, stick our clothes in the closet, and put a big bag of candy with a note saying "take all you want" to the cleaning staff.  That usually got us acceptable scores with smiley faces, but that's got to change now.  So we cleaned our room today ...which took forever.  I don't know how excited I am about being a zone leader, but I know that my companion and I can do great because we know what we're doing.
Nordstrom's magazine cover...cause it's that good

Our branch presidency is awesome. Our new president, President Stone, gave our priesthood lesson today, and it was absolutely awesome.  

Also, I do weights and run/bike during gym every day, so I'm pretty much ripped.  I have a six-pack again.  Not that it matters here...

In our classes today, there's been a lot of focus on using the scriptures and asking good, inspired questions from them.  So if I could give one piece of advice, it would be to learn your scriptures.  Know where things are and how to use the scriptures to answer any questions.  The BOM is probably the best tool we have in teaching.  The Book of Mormon is the key to anyone's conversion and can answer any question you have if you take the time to read it.  So if you're not reading the BOM every day, and learning from it...try it out.  It'll make your day.  

The four El Salvador t-shirts, on three attractive missionaries
Well, I'm having a good time here.  Yeah, I am counting down the days, but I'm enjoying them too.  And I know I'm going to enjoy serving my zone and being an example to them (now that I have a clean room).  

Bye.  Adios,
Elder Bailey

Elder Nelson, Elder Dehart, and me.  This was our photo shoot.  We look good.
Elder Stoke's camera looked like a phone. It felt weird to put that up to my ear.
High school friends.  Elder Richards, Elder Me, and Elder Reusch.  I saw them all at the temple, so we took a picture together.

Monday, February 14, 2011

MTC Week 5

Buenos Tardes!

This week has been excellent! Tuesday, one of the older districts in our zone left.  It was kind of sad that they were leaving, but at the same time we were all jealous that they finally got to leave to the field. They were some awesome people...Elder Wilkinson, Makahilahila, Rock-Ward, Coy, Stokes, Fowler, Hermana Berg, Pack.  They were awesome.  The new district is pretty cool too.  At first, I thought they were all nerds.  Then I started talking to them and remembered that I am a total nerd, and that I actually get along with them really well.  Of course, I would get along with them anyway, but...they're cool.

So, a couple days ago our teacher, Hermana Nilsen, made an announcement that she's embarazada.  We all knew what that meant because the first week here I thought embarazada meant embarrassed, and... turns out it's pregnant.

Friday was our one month mark.  We had a party (as in...we all ate food, then went to bed at 10:30, just like every other night).  The MTC is the weirdest place.  On one side, you love it, and you love the atmosphere, and all the learning, but on the other, it feels like you're in voluntary spiritual prison.  The days just blurrrrr together.  But I'm over halfway now, and soon I'll be out in El Salvador wishing for a warm shower.

On Sunday, President Romney (our branch president) was released and his 1st counselor, Brother Stone, took up his throne.  It was a really cool sacrament meeting because we got to hear the testimonies of the MTC President, President Romney and his wife, and President Stone and his wife (this was the first time we've met her because she has cancer, so naturally she has a very interesting and awesome testimony).  It was definitely a cool meeting.

My companion and I were also able to teach a lesson to our district this Sunday.  It was on Christlike attributes.  We've gotten pretty good at teaching together.  The only problem is that he's not very good at Spanish, and I'm good.  So, because of that our Spanish lessons don't work out as well as our English, but we'll get it.

So it's going good here.  I'm learning, having awesome experiences, and helping others...except there's not very much service we can really do here.  But it's cool.  I'm enjoying life.  I'm stoked to get out in the field and start teaching real people.

Elder Bailey

Monday, February 7, 2011

MTC Week 4

Buenos tardes!

So I'm still enjoying the MTC.  But it feels like I've been here forever.  During class yesterday, our teacher's phone rang.  I knew what it was...but it sounded so foreign.  My companion says he's starting to feel like a fish in a cage.  But we only have one month left.  No, but for real.  It does feel really long, but I enjoy it.  I love the devotionals we have every Sunday and Tuesday.  I love learning Spanish, and I love teaching the gospel, but I wish I could teach a real investigator.  I just want to get out to El Salvador and start teaching!  But I'm not ready yet.  Our fake investigator is going well.  We challenged him to read the BOM and pray, and we'll see if he really kept his commitment tomorrow, but I suspect he will--because between me, my companion, and the Holy Ghost, I don't think he can say no.  

My companion and I teach so well together.  I taught him about rapport, we study the doctrine a lot, we are always so excited to teach, and we pray a lot.  It's great.  Plus, I always let him teach the First Vision, cause he's guaranteed to cry:)

So on Friday, Elder Pearce left.  He was one of the elders in our district.  He's going to the Spain MTC for the last month.  He's gonna do great.

Our teachers are amazing.  I learn so much from them.  Our newest teacher, Hermano Moen, has taught me so much in the past week.  He's only been off his mission for about six months now, but he is probably the best teacher I have ever had.  He is always just so excited to teach.  

I'm gaining weight.  I hit 160 last Friday.  Wow.  I'm fat.  We've come up with an amazing drink. Yesterday, my companion asked me if I could get him some milk and some Powerade.  I didn't want to let him down, so I got him some milk and Powerade in the same glass.  It was a joke, but turns out it tastes really good.  It's like blueberry milk.  Try it someday, 2/3 milk, 1/3 blue Powerade.  It will change your world.

Elder Lulla is sitting by me. He's our new zone leader.  He is a stud, and has style.  You'll probably see his face on the cover of a Nordstrom's magazine in a few years.  

I guess since I'm on my mission I should give some spiritual advice, so here it is:  pray a lot.  'Cause God answers prayers.  I'm serious.  He does.  It's impressive how good He is at it.  So have faith, and pray when you need help.  So there is a bright star in the south that we see every morning on our way to the classroom that I don't remember ever seeing before.  We're pretty sure that it's Kolob, and that you can only see it from the MTC, but I'm not totally sure.  Anyone know what it really is?

That's all I got for this week.  G'bye.

Elder Chris Bailey