Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 9, 2010

Excerpts from Oliver's latest letter:

Howdy Family! Here comes another P-day at the MTC. The weeks go past like days and I've already been here a month! Wow! Pretty soon I'll be hitting the halfway mark, which I'm excited about. I'm really ready to get out there, except I need more Spanish...

Most everything is the same. I'm working on the language, though it's hard for me to speak it more. I just need to renew my efforts. I want to learn more and become fluent, it just takes hard work and patience. I'm also loving learning more about the gospel and teaching with my companion, Elder Reed.

On a more somber note, someone in our district (a guy from Las Vegas) got the flu! It's really a big deal here, and he was put in to quarantine for 2 days and the clinic gave everyone else (10 of us) boxes of tamiflu pills as a preventive measure. The church really does not want a flu outbreak. I myself am feeling fine and healthy; I just need to take one pill each day. I'll keep you updated, but most everything is fine now (except for the sick elder - hope he gets well!)

Some more elders from our zone are leaving next week for Mexico. It's exciting but I'll miss them! They're very cool and fun guys. They've also given Elder Reed and I some wonderful advice on studying and teaching.

We had a great Devotional Meeting this past week from Lowell Snow of the Second Quorum of the 70. I sang in the choir for it, which was mucho fun! I look forward to doing it more. Anyway, he talked about "choice". Like, how have the choices we have made led us to where we are now? What have I learned about myself as a result of my choices? What have I learned about God? What choices will I make in the future? A really though-provoking talk; I really liked it. He also talked about a couple of other important things - like the essential importance of charity and the power of the scriptures.

So I think that's about it for this week. Sorry the letter isn't that long, but I do love you all and miss you bunches. I'm excited to be here and can't wait to get to Mexico - 5 more weeks!


Monday, September 6, 2010

September 2, 2010

Excerpts from Oliver's letter of September 2, 2010:

Hello! How are you all? I'm doing marvelous! I went to an awesome session at the Provo Temple just this morning and ate a delectable breakfast in the cafeteria there. Honestly, temple food is better than MTC food so I enjoy it while I can.

Let's see - current status: 146 pounds, 6 feet height (I think), wearing blue suit with red tie, one jammed ring finger from goalie-ing in soccer yesterday. Happy and feeling fine! Like I said in my last letter, time has sped up considerably, and I'm enjoying my time here, with a couple tough times when I'm tired or whatnot. The spirit is great here though, and I'm starting to really feel like a missionary!

I think I'll tell you a bit more about me at the MTC. The daily schedule is mostly the same: wake up at 6, prep, breakfast @ 7:30, personal study for 4-ish hours (a bit of a marathon), lunch at 12, gym out at the athletic field for an hour, quick rinse, class, dinner at 5, more class, planing @ 9, prep, bed at 10:30. Some exceptions include Large Group Meetings, Devotionals (on Tuesdays, and are super awesome - last time we heard from Richard Hinckley of the 70, Pres. Hinckley's son) Teaching Resource Center (Wednesdays) for role plays and Spanish tasks, and of course, Sundays (which have the usual Sunday meetings and a fireside) and P-days. The majority os the same but the little details are always different! Like what I learned on day (importance of listening to the Spirit) to meals (french dip sandwiches for instance) and other stuff.

Gym is fun! There's lots of stuff to do. I've played beach volleyball, jogged, thrown a frisbee around (no ultimate however) and recently I've played soccer (futbol.) Soccer is a lot like ultimate in some respects and its fund to play (kicking, running, cheering on teammates.) I had some knee trouble about a week ago (pain while running) but I've tried to stretch and warm up before getting into it and now I'm pain-free! My only beef with gym is that its smack-dab in the middle of the day and showering and stuff is a hassle. Oh well!

Obedience is a big deal here, but I don't mind. I've had several lessons/talks about how important it is to bring the Spirit and power to you teaching, so I'm striving for that. Sometimes its kind of tough because I always feel like I'm learning and I don't quite have it yet. I'm still pretty new to this though, so I just need to have patience (which is my Christlike attribute of the week) and keep up the hard work.

I'm really liking my companions. A lot of times someone starts whistling or singing a song from some musical and other people join in! There's even some people who have heard of "Newsies" - WOW! I enjoy singing Disney songs or West Side Story with people especially one of my friends, Elder Rowley.

Well that's it for now - It's almost time for laundry and you know how I feel about that :(
I love you all so much! Your letters always make my day. Keep on being awesome and good luck with everything.

Much love,