Saturday, June 26, 2010

June 20, 2010

Holy moly!!! I can't believe it'll be five weeks on wednesday. Time flies but it at the same time it seriously feels like I've been here my entire life. If I didn't have pictures of home and a slight memory I'd almost be sure I was born here. jaja but I love it. Each week gets better.
Real quick. All the shirts here are long sleeve so what should I do? Can I return these shirts? I've only worn them twice but I definitely need new ones. I've actually lost weight here which is crazy so even my pants are looking big on me now. So let me know soon what I should do.
Alright! I hope father's day was awesome!! Did you get my letter and the pictures in the mail? The MTC has been getting really great, sometimes it definitely is not fun but you have to keep a good attitude so you can have the spirit more. That's one thing I'm really learning right now is how to rely on the spirit. Especially since we've started teaching all our lessons in spanish. It was super rough and frustrating at first but I'm starting to learn how to just rely on the spirit and teach to investigators needs so the spirit will be able to work through my lack of language skills. But it's still crazy how much spanish I've already learned here! In class our teachers pretty much only talk in spanish and we're all almost to the point where we can understand everything they're saying. The hard part is just coming up with a response. All the rules of conjugations and sentence structure is hard but it'll come. I'm not too worried. It's a very humbling experience especially for me because I always liked to rely on my own brain, but now I have to rely just on the spirit and the Lord. I have to be careful all the time to not think or do or say anything that will make the spirit leave and I think that's a really good lesson to learn in life. But speaking of teaching.. The family we were supposed to teach wednesday didn't show up. The mom did because she's like the "investigator" hired by the TRC, but she told us that her children didn't want to. It was hard to understand fully beacuse her spanish was so fast, but from what we got her children are awesome!!! (They play harp and cello, volunteer at hospitals and with handicap children, they are smart and do well in school and a bunch of other things!!!) but just aren't interested in religion. I think just because they don't think its important. They have so many priorities straight and I think would accept everything if they could feel the spirit and the love from the gospel. It's hard though for Claudia (the mom) because her english isn't great, but her children's spanish isn't great. So they kind of have a language barrier. So we tried telling her that the best thing would just be an example and to share her testimony with them as best she could. She said she'd still try to bring them every week so pray for that!! It'd be a great oppurtunity and it would make her family so much happier!
So what else? OH! so this week is the training of like 116 new mission presidents here at the MTC. They've shut off half of the main building and cafeteria for them and all the apostles and the first presidency will be here this week!!!! Crazy!!!! We're having a special devotional Friday night. We're all banking on the prophet talking. jaja it would be amazing but probably not. It'll be cool though just knowing that they are all in the same building even though we can't see them. Who knows mabye we will!!
Not much new here though. Just learning A LOT!!! Every experience here makes you learn something and every day before I fall asleep it takes like 20 minutes just because I think so much. But it's so awesome! You have to appreciate the MTC especially if you're going to Mexico. Two elders in our building have been here for 17 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!! and just barely got transferred. Visas just aren't working at all and I guess there are like 60 elders who have been here over their scheduled time still waiting on visas. So we're probably going to be here for a while. I hope not, but we're going to Mexico. That's the joke here. "Where are you going?", "Oh Mexico..." , "Ouch, so how many weeks are you SUPPOSED to have left?". jaja ya it's sad but its ok. All in the Lord's time. It'll be nice in a way though because if we get delayed long enough we won't have to show up in Hermosillo in the middle of summer. I've heard from 6! ya 6!!! different people how insanely hot Hermosillo is. And 4 of those people are from Mexico. One teacher said you should actually pray to get delayed because it sometimes gets up to 130 during the summer. I'm pretty sure you can cook food at that temperature. jaja so either way: if I get my visa or not I'll be happy.
Summer sure sounds fun at home! sorry everything is breaking though... That's no good but we have lived there for like 8 years or something so it kinda makes sense. I haven't seen Robbie a lot here. I talked to him about 2 weeks ago and I haven't seen him since. Trek sounded great though. Thanks for telling me about the testimony meeting. Sorry to hear about the lab too. For some reason it's taken me till now to realize how important the gospel is, but it's amazing. I wish I would've been a better example of that when I worked there. Without living the gospel of Jesus Christ and without living with the spirit, life just isn't going to be great. I'm so excited to go share that with people and see it change their lives!! Hopefully i'll eventually get a visa so i can do that. jaja but it really is great though.
But how is everything else?? what have you guys been up to? Last night for the closing hymn after the fireside they played a clip of MOTAB from I think music and the spoken word. There was a close up of mom but only the left side of her hair. Not even the face. Super bummer. jaja but its all good. I hope they do it again so I can see you!
Speaking of music tomorrow Elder Mobley and I are trying out for a special musical number for Friday's devotional. We're really hoping we make it so we can be right up there next to all the apostles. It'd be crazy awesome!
Well that's pretty much it I think. Life's great!!! Love you guys!
Elder Florence

June 13, 2010

Wooooooooowwwwwwwwwww...... thanks for writing me this week...... not even a hey ya doin?!?!?!?! jaja its cool. so this week has been pretty
crazy! stuff wasn't great after the peruvians left. our district is now only 6 people and so its a lot harder to get along. Stuff wasn't going so well and it was making me super frustrated till pretty much yesterday. Actually Wednesday was AWESOME!!! but hold on. so yesterday all of a sudden our district started getting along. Companionships were going a lot better and we just seemed to get along. It was great! I started praying harder for our relationships and it worked. The lord answers in pretty crazy ways because yesterday Elder Scott and I also got called to be Zone leaders. We got a new district of 11 this week so we have a pretty big zone now. I think it'll be a blessing in a way. It'll help our companionship a lot which I think will be better for everyone.
So thats pretty much it for yesterday. Sundays are just really nice. The temple was great this morning! It was our last time I think. They say we'll be able to go to Timpanogos but it might just be a rumor. I hope it's not but we'll see.
so Wednesday!!!! K every wednesday we do this thing called a TRC where we have a "situation" and we'll basically do like a big scenario in spanish and then go teach a lesson in english to "investigators". Who are just members. So Elder Scott and I are teaching the Plan of Salvation to these two mexican ladies. It's going very well. Our spanish didn't get us that far but they understood english fairly well so we continued in english. The lesson went really awesome and everything and the spirit was super strong. It felt like a real lesson!!! so here's the cool part. After we were kinda done we were just chatting with them in broken spanish and one lady goes off on how good we did and how we spoke with the tongues of angels. It was in Mexican spanish so we only got half of it until all of sudden the other lady started translating in english wondering if we'll teach her children. We didn't know what was going on and were really confused. She started to clarify and said she really wants you to teach her children! She's been baptized but her husband is a strict catholic. The children have heard the lessons but didn't really like the missionaries. She said she'd beenlooking for missionaries to teach her children and she wanted usto do it! We were speechless!!!! We agreed and got it cleared with the people over the TRC. So thats pretty much the story. So now this wednesday instead of doing the scenario we're going to be teaching her family. Her husband is in Iraq but she said she'd bring all her kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There's four children, but we don't know their names or ages yet! So it'll be pretty crazy on wednesday. But i'm so excited for this opportunity. We're going to teach real people!! This gospel is so amazing! Teaching it makes your testimony grow so much stronger and I'm excited to see the power of it when we teach wednesday. How cool would that be to get 4 baptisms in the MTC!?!??!? jajajaja. I can't wait.
So what else?... i need new shirts! all of mine are waaaayyyy to big. I thought they'd shrink after washing but they haven't. The short sleeves are practically long sleeves. I look really dumb. jaja I should've checked before I left home but so it goes i guess. So what do you think I should do? Possibly exchange them???? They sell shirts here with a missionary discount but let me know soon what i should do so i don't have to wear them again. It's bad... jaja. So ya let me know.
Halfway point is this week!!! time has flown!!!!!! spanish is getting a lot better and everythingis pretty much going great right now. except my family doesn't write me. jaja Well i still love you guys!
I hope all is well. keep doin the work. Try writing me sometime this week.
Elder Florence

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hola me familia!!!

Thanks so much the package. It's so nice having all this food and stuff to eat and get fat off of. haha but seriously thanks a bunch! I did notice the ribbon. I hung it on my bed haha. Well where to start...
Life has been really nice here this week. I've realized the more i focus my energy, thoughts, actions, and studies around the Savior the easier everything else becomes. You're no longer tired, frustrated, sad, etc... Its amazing all the things you can learn just being here at the MTC. To many people get into the routines of the seemingly crappy schedule and forget why they're really here. You can learn so much when you work hard. Being here is part of the mission and is truly an amzing experience with the right attitude. For example... Elder Christofferson spoke in our devtotional Tuesday night. It was AWESOME!!! He spoke about repentance and teaching repentence. It was so cool. Big things like that are nice, but also the little things every day you realize you need to improve. When that's our goal life becomes so much nicer. When we works towards Christ everything seems like a breeze. Its already been a week since last letter!!! Time flies!!!!
Spanish is coming along a lot nicer and we keep improving on things everyday.
Thanks for you letters too.
Shayla, good job earning money! Keep learning how to work hard and I hope you did well on your recital. I miss you so much!
Savannah, Thanks so much for learning Spanish. Keep at it and we'll be able to talk when I get home. It's a very fun language. I miss you so much too. Have a very fun summer and be safe! No more catching food on fire. haha.
Matthew, Good job on scouts. That's so awesome! It's crazy how the weather has been. We got some cool pictures up by the temple on Monday with the snow. I'll send some home next week hopefully. I hope tryouts went well. We play soccer almost everyday here. Its a lot of fun. I miss you soooo much too. Keep working hard.
Rachelle, Thanks for your prayers. Good job on the therapy. Pretty soon you'll be all fixed! haha let me know how life is going. Hope you're having fun at home.
Padres, I think thats it. haha spanish is fun! Silly dad on not sending me all my candy at once. haha no i'm kidding I appreciate it. Everything is great!!! You're probably just down the street right now but once again I'm inside doing laundry. We didn't get to go to the temple today which was a huge bummer. Dumb memorial day. that was joke. It's a good holiday even though we don't get it off. But it's nice not having time off. When you work as much as we do here, even a 30 min break feels like a sin. haha but seriously...
Mother I am not able to watch Music and the Spoken Word. It's a huge bummer becuase we have priesthood right at nine!! I'll just have to wait till conference i guess. I've told everyone how cool you are though. haha, it's a bummer too though cuz i figured I'd just be able to listen to Motab if I can't watch it, but I just found out we can't listen to music. Too many dumb kids here are immature and can't handle just a few rules and so they have to make more. Oh well, it'll make me better in some way or another.
So you wanted to hear more about me campenero? He's a pretty cool kid. We have different personalities but we get along pretty nice. It's difficult having a companion all the time but its awesome being able to learn all the lessons from it. We also have a whole room to ourselves!!! So much space and an extra pillow haha.
I really have enjoyed this week and look forward to learning more. The MTC is totally necessary and I appreciate the expierence. Pretty soon I'll be out of here and in Mexico in the hottest weather ever. Quick story, So this Hermana from Puebla, Mexico came in our class the other day to bear her testimony in Spanish. After she asked where we were going and when we told her Hermosillo she strait way said, "Ahh!! Muy calor!!! Muy muy!!" "You'll lose 20 pounds!! haha so great. we're going to be in the hottest place ever.
So i've got to see all the guys here! Jarom a bunch, and Dan Gabe and Robbie a couple times. Its super cool seeing them here. I'll send pictures of everything going on here soon. Oh and if you could send me my mexican flag, refill the prescriptions, and send a record of my immunization. MMR date. another one to fax 8014220860. Thanks 20 secs AH!!!! Love you guys. BYE!!!!
Hold me familia! Thanks for your letters!! First thing i want to say is while I'm in the MTC i've heard its easier if everyone sends you letters through Dear Elder. Look it up, I don't know what it is but i guess they print the letters out and put them in our mailbox so i can read them the hour after you send them so I can spend my time on the email typing and not reading. I only have half an hour!! but it's all good... i'm in the laundry room right now washing clothes. There's like a billion washers and dryers. Literally. haha well where to start... The MTC is crazy!!! From the moment i got here its been non stop all day. These last couple days have been tons of orientations, classes, etc... Our schedule from now on is the same for the next eight weeks which will be nice. But ya mom its pretty much wake up Personal Study, breakfast, Companion study, language study, class, lunch, class, dinner, class, and then companion planning for half an hour till bed. Its been different everyday but that'll be the set schedule pretty much everyday. We also have a gym time for an hour everyday except pday and sunday which is nice. We played soccer two days and then basketball the other. Our district is SO awesome!! We've got a ton of cool elders. Its ten of us. My companion is elder Scott from Middleton, Idaho. He's a pretty cool guy, i mean elder. (they don't want us saying guys haha). He's also going to Hermosillo. Then there's Elder Mobley and Wanamaker going to Leon Mexico. Then Elder Ames(ya he's in our district haha) and Hoehn going to Monterrey east and west. Then Elder Merrill, Burton, Scrivner, and... shoot I blanked Elder Merrill's companion. I just woke up from a nap so I'm still super tired. haha but they're all going to peru in two weeks. We're super jealous of them because they get to go spend the rest of the time in the Lima MTC. We'll be down to only six which will be weird. I got set apart as district leader this week. Amongst all the crazy things happening they also had to make me district leader. I appreciate the opportunity though. One day with language and everything I started going crazy but then I said a prayer at dinner and felt a ton better. We pray a million times here. Its actually really cool. They've taught us how to say basic prayers in spanish and so we practice in spanish praying and bearing testimony all the time. They said we're at a fourth week level already. All the elders in our district are really smart and its cool to see us progress so quickly.
Ah.. what else. We've just been learning spanish and learning our purpose as a missionary. We finally know where everything is and where to go which is nice. I've seen so many people here!!! Tons of elders from BYU... I saw James Ricks two days ago walking and then yesterday on our Sunday temple walk i saw him up there and we talked for a bit and took a picture. Its so cool seeing all these elders here, its a very strong spirit. Today we got to go do a session at the temple which was really awesome. Sunday and Monday are the best! Super chill days where we don't have to worry about hardcore studying and just get to read, nap today, and get caught up on letters and goals and things like that.
It seems like we've been here forever already so I don't know if I'm missing anything. I saw John Porter too! That was cool. The fireside last night was really awesome and we always get to watch a movie after which is cool. Going to bed at 1030 and waking up at 630 isn't that bad until after lunch when we're in class and you start nodding. That's the worst time of the day haha. Monday is the only time we get to nap and we pretty much crashed today. You don't ever remember sleeping here. Ever. You fall asleep and all of a sudden you're awake and showering again. Everything just blurs together. Sometimes it doesn't even seem like real life.
Thats a bummer for jarom though. That'll be cool seeing him here though!! I'm excited for gabe and dan and robbie to come too. It's an amazing place here. I don't super love it but you do have very neat experiences. I wish I got to have garden food dad. haha the food here is already old. We have to train ourselves to eat just until we're not hungry anymore cuz its really easy to overeat. Um... what else? So ya check out the DearElder thing. Oh and for my package just lots of candy and snacks i guess. During class you need something to chew on or you'll fall asleep. They don't allow gum so just candy and things like would be nice. gracias. Other than that just the pedigree chart and I'm doing pretty well. I'm going to need to send back a shirt and some scriptures. They gave us spanish scriptures and one of my shirts is a size 18 if you could exchange it so look out for that.
Well I think thats all i have to say. I'm really happy to be here and be with an awesome district. I still need to get used to the schedule but once you get over how much time you spend in the tiny classroom you can focus more on the spirit and learning the language. If you have any suggestions to learning the language I'd appreciate it cuz sometimes it gets very overwhelming. Tell people to write cuz its the highlight of the day when you get mail. All I've got is my congratulations on being a district leader letter from the branch president but I was excited for that. haha well my timer is down to only one minute. Its good to hear from you guys. Talk to you next week. Adios