Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 2 - August 19, 2013

Time sure does fly by here! We've got a lot of work done this week, but it still feels like there's so much to do. I learn more and more each day about how I can strengthen my own testimony as I strengthen the testimonies of others.

The French is coming along nicely, I think. It's still pretty slow, and I'm sure my grammar is pretty bad, but I'm progressing. I should have the First Vision memorized by tomorrow, and I've made it a goal to learn 3-5 new words a day for my entire mission. And I officially started Le Livre de Mormon in French a couple days ago. It's a tough read, but I can already tell that I can do it at least twice as quickly as I could when I got here. Our "investigator" is now our teacher, and he's really great. His name is Frere (brother) Starita, and he's got a really strong testimony of missionary work and the right way to do it. He's definitely lovingly whipping us all into shape.

I thought Tyler and Kevin would appreciate that this place is a lot like Band Camp, except that you're mentally tired instead of physically. And it goes on for six weeks. :) It's so much fun. We get to hear so many amazing lessons from so many amazing people (Vai Sikahema was here last night), we get to go to the temple every week, we get to study the scriptures so much (and I've never seen a group of guys get as excited about reading the scriptures), and we just generally get to give all our time to the Lord and just get showered with blessings.

The food is still a little bit rough. My body seems used to it now, but it sure does get old. And we're all starting to feel fatter. I DO miss those Sunday dinners we have at home though. It just doesn't compare here.

I think I should tell you a little about my district. Here in the MTC, your "district" is just the people that you're in class with, and your "zone" is just a bunch of districts put together (and we go to church together as a zone). We have 8 in our district. Elder Hendershot and I, Elder Adamson and Elder Stephens, Elder Moffitt and Elder Kwang, and Elder Olsen and Elder Wohlfahrt. Elders Olsen, Kwang, and Wohlfahrt are from Canada, Singapore, and Germany respectively. They all awesome guys. It's interesting to learn more about each other and start to see all the different things that led us to coming on our missions. We all have different things that we're missing, and different things that we want to work on, but we're all in it for the long run. We're a good group of guys, if that's not too prideful for me to say. We've got a lot of work to do, but we'll be able to do it.

Adam's MTC District

San Francisco was lots of fun! We had to meet at 2:30 AM to get on the shuttle, which means we had to wake up around 2:00, after going to bed at 10:30. That was rough, but we had lots of time to sleep, as you'll find out in a minute. We rode the shuttle up I-15 to the airport. That was probably the most homesick I felt so far, driving almost close enough to our house to be able to see it, and then spending all day close enough to phones that I could've just called you if I had wanted. But it wasn't too bad. I was probably a 6 or 7 out of 10 for being homesick when we went past, but I'm usually around a 2 or a 3, so no need to worry about me. :) We got there, grabbed some McDonald's breakfast, then got on our tiny airplane to head to San Fran. It was so cool! It accelerates so fast and the view is just incredible (I had a window seat, right over the wing). I really enjoyed it. Once we got there, we got shuttled to the French Consulate to finish up our visa stuff, talked to the security guard there about his family and stuff and gave him a pass along card, then left. The coolest part of this trip was just getting some real experience as a missionary, out in public wearing our name tags. Once we got done with that, we were going to head to Chinatown (yes Tyler, THE Chinatown) because we had a Mandarin speaking Elder with us to get some real Chinese food, but there was one Elder who didn't want it, so we ended up going to Jimmy John's, which was still pretty good. Then we went to the airport and found out that our flight was delayed for two hours (time for some missionary work!). We saw a Ferrari there too. Total mission Ferrari count: 1. We also got $25 vouchers for being delayed, so we all just bought a bunch of food and stuff. About an hour (and a few conversations with non-members) later, we found out that our flight was delayed another two hours. Then another hour. It was quite the adventure. So, we all had lots of time to nap, write our talks (did I mention that we have to write a talk in French every week, and then they randomly choose two Elders (or sisters) from the congregation to give their talks?), read our scriptures, talk to more people, eat some food, and just chill. We had lots of fun, I think, while still being mature and respectful and keeping our composure. It still amazes me that a group of guys, at this age, are trustworthy enough to just be handed plane tickets to California and then show up again at the end of the day, and go to bed right on time, ready to wake up at 6:00 AM again the next day. It's impressive. Anyway, we eventually got on our flight and headed home. We had to take Frontrunner all the way down to Provo, but that was kind of fun for me too. Most of that was new for me. So, that was my Wednesday.

Adam in San Francisco. Quick trip to get his Visa for France.

The rest of the week was pretty normal. We all got a little sick this week (our district), but I think almost all of us are better now. I've been running and playing soccer a lot, but I think I'm gonna stick to mostly running so I can gain less weight and cause playing against a team of European guys is impossible (Elder Wohlfahrt was almost a pro).

Also, thanks for all the packages! The popcorn and doughnuts were a bit crazy, but a bunch of the Elders on my floor appreciated my leftovers. :) I don't really need the food though; we get PLENTY of that here. So if it's a hassle, don't worry about it. :)

Tell the brothers to write me! I want to hear about marching band and how DCI ended and how many seasons of Digimon Brian has watched and all that. And I expect pictures of Tyler at dances and stuff. I have to make fun of him somehow. :) And I want to hear about Dad's car and if mine ever came and all that.

I miss you guys so much, but I know I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do. This is exactly where I need to be. The MTC is a bit like a prison, albeit a really spiritual one, but I'm still glad to be here. :) I can't wait to get out into the field, but I definitely have a lot to learn still. I love you all, and I can't wait to hear from you again. Don't have too much fun without me. :)

Elder Bigler

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