Friday, June 8, 2012

Midway through MTC Stay

Pictures have arrived!  Elder Schwartz has shipped a memory card home.  Here are some MTC photos....
Our first pic of Elder Schwartz with his MTC companion Elder Matthews from Wisconsin.

Here is the email message from this week:

I still can't believe that Andrew is graduating tonight!  I just graduated!  Wow does the time fly.  Give Andrew a big hug for me and tell him that hid big brudda is so proud of him :')  Oh and he better take a nap today, grad night takes a lot out of you.  He's coming to Provo soon, right?  It's great to hear that you're recovering from your surgery well Pops.   Elder Peterson had the same surgery as you at about the same time as you so I know how tough that must have been.  Elder Peterson and I were living in the same room at the time and every 3 hours throughout the night Elder Matthews and I had to make runs to the cafeteria to get him ice, and he couldn't walk very well for a few days, he was basically bedridden.  Now he's fully recovered and left for Carlsbad on Monday morning, and Elder Nelson left for Guatemala too. (Elder Nelson was in a 3-way companionship with me and Elder Matthews for the first 2 weeks).  In our district we do this really cool thing where we sing "Hasta Ver" (God be with you till we meet again) to the missionaries the night before they depart to the mission field.  There's a lot of crying involved, its really sweet; we did that for Elder Peterson and Elder Nelson on Sunday night.
This week Elder Jensen of the Seventy and Brother Doty were our devotional speakers.  Brother and Sister Doty discussed the life, love, and example of Christ and how we need to strive to be more like him.  He told the stories of many of Christ's miracles and how they werte able to be because of the faith of the one's receiving them.  He made it very clear how vital faith is in our work as missionaries, it was a great devotional.  Elder Jensen (who is soon being released) simply shared with us advice about maximizing our missions through stories and examples from his life.  He was a great speaker with an awesome sense of humor.  He made a very interesting point that one day everyone that we affiliate with in this life will know what we know (the Gospel), and they will know that we knew about it too.  That hit me really hard that there a lot of opprotunities that i've already passed up, and also that our standards and beliefs are shown through our actions too, so even if we aren't literally teaching people about this Gospel, we still are just through our behavior.  Devotionals are one of my favorite parts of life here in the MTC.
Regarding the pictures:  We have THE BEST service job at the MTC, we get to clean showers.  I know that doesn't sound very appealing, but it is.  The best way to explain it is basically that I'm a ghost buster for 75 minutes every Thursday.  We get these huge hoses with gun-nozzles attached to the end and we shoot pink foam at all of the showers out of them and then rinse them down with water and scrubbers.  Its a good time.  I'll have to send you guys a picture of me using the spray gun sometime. 
In the pictures with us with headphones on is in the TALL lab (Technology Assisted Language Learning).  It's a kind of really outdated program but it's helping me a lot with my pronunciation.


The spanish is coming along muy bien.  Both Hermano Brown and Hermana McGuire have told me during coaching sessions that they're really impressed with how fast I'm picking up the language concepts, so that's a good thing.  The conversation is flowing a lot more naturally in our lessions with progressive investigators; no more awkward silences or major mispronunciations.  I don't use spanish notes anymore, but I bring my pocket dictionary just in case. Oh!  But here is my dumb moment of the week:  I was asked to give the closing prayer in class yesterday which was fine because I've said like 1,000,000,000 spanish prayers since ive been here, but instead of saying "we thank the for this beautiful day" (Estamos agradecidos por este dia bonito), I said "Estamos agradecidos por este dia novia" which translastes to "Thank you for this day, girlfriend!"  everone laughed, and it was kinda really embarassing, but whatever!  At least I did it here and not in Chile!
I saw Kelly again this week, we talked for a good half hour, she told me a little about her mission in Germany and gave me the updates of the NBA playoffs.  It's great seeing framilliar faces.  I haven't seen anyone new lately, but apparently Grant Jones is coming in this Wednesday, so I'll be sure to snag a picture with him.  I've will have officially been here for a month tomorrow, boy has the time flew.  Only one more month until your son is in CHILE!  I'm so excited.  By next weekend my district will be the oldest one in the zone, we'll be the top dogs here. Weeeeeird, i feel like i just got here.
My reading of the Book of Mormon is going by swimmingly.  I just finished Alma 20, so I just finished the story of Ammon and King Lamoni, wayyyyyy good story.  I want to be as good of a missionary as Ammon was, maybe without cutting off people's arms.  Anyways, I'm getting more revelation and insight from reading from the Book of Mormon this time than I ever have in my life.  I am actually learning from the stories and applying them to my investigators and my calling.  I really am doing what I hoped, by developing a stronger knowledge and relationship with the Book of Mormon. 
 Thank you all so much for your prayers, you're love and your support.  I love you all so much.  I know that I am doing the Lord's work.  I'm growing a lot and I can't wait to share my message with the people of Chile!  Talk to y'all next week!
xoxo, Elder Schwartz
A few more photos......

Happy to get lots of mail....

Our zone in front of Provo Temple

Me and Matt Bell.  He teaches here at MTC

Me and Elder Cody Brinkerhoff

"Chance Encounter" with big brother Phil
Happy to see a nice picture of my little brother....

Click here to see more photos from the MTC.....


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