Thursday, July 17, 2014

THE TWELVE: first MTC emails

No MTC photos yet so you get Portland Temple ones
I want more mail!!!!!!!!! Haha I love mail so much its THE best thing everybody needs to DearElder me because I want mail so bad haha.
Elder Spencer Richard Henry
2023 N 900 E Unit 834
Provo UT 84602

1. Have you been getting my letters? I've sent a couple.
2. I will tell you later I am only using a half hour right now mostly to read & left my list of things to write about at West (I'm on main campus right now)

3. Again I'll tell you later, teacher is Hermano Holman and he is AMAZING. Baptized 30-per-month-2nd-year-of-his-mission amazing. yeah.

4. Please send me GRANOLA BARSSSSSSS!!!!! And Panda Express :'(

5.  Dani's address and if you can get Dani, Drew, and Valerie's e-mail too that'd be great.

MTC west is THE BOMB
Everybody there is speaking Spanish (well more of spanglish haha) but it's great. I am learning SO MUCH holy cow! and I feel the Spirit so strongly so consistently it's unbelievable. Our classrooms are apartments (Raintree I think) and obv we're living in the Wyview apts. It is so great and the A/C is MMMM good. I'm gonna miss that in Costa Rica haha. We have a district of 12 YEAH TWELVE YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT elders YEAH NO HERMANAS YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT and my motto for the district is "No habla(n) con las hermanas" and occasionally just say "diablo" when an Elder is looking at an hermana hahaha (Mom is going to have a little letter about this to make sure it's under control)

I am just loving it here.. I can't even explain. We study ~9 hrs/day and that took some serious adjusting to but its so great being able to focus in so much on the gospel. Our first 'investigator' is named Yanet and despite the fact that she's probably a member me and my companion feel so much love for her it's amazing. 

I love my whole district.
Elder Carter (companero)
Elder Haskell (District leader) (same apt)
Elder Kleinman (I am putting companions together in the list) (same apt)
Elder Tullis (same apt)
Elder Giles (same apt)
Elder Tueller (apt above us)
Elder Crawford(apt above us)
Elder Haderlie (he looks like ferris bueler) (apt above us)
Elder Roberts (he complimented a girl on her hair and let me tell you he got some flak for that) (apt above us)
Elder Henderson (NORTH STAKER!!! :O) (apt above us)
Elder Johnson (apt above us)
I won't bother telling you schedule or any of those shenanigans. I'm glad that we don't have any hermanas in our district just because it makes it easier for me to get along with everybody. Since we are all in a teensy little apartment living room for class it is SUPER crowded. We all arrived last Wednesday, and half (or maybe just 4?) of us are Costa Rica bound while the rest head to various Mexico missions. We don't have any elder who don't want to be here, they're all putting their 100% in and it's great. We all get along really well.

I am just gonna spew stuff out and let you have to go around and put it in an order for me :)
MTC main missionaries are MISERABLE its funny and sad. We made eye contact with dos elderes today and said hola and they STILL didn't respond. Everybody says hola and such on West. It feels like since we are all one language and we are so small we are all pretty tight it's cool. 

It's pretty crazy to think that I've only been here a week. It feels like I've been here at least a month. I love it though, the mornings are getting easier as my circadian rhythm gets used to everything.

For exercise we can play baloncesto, (basketball) volibol, futbol latino, y weights. as I said my companion is a football player so I indulged him and lifted 10 pound weights while he pulled out the 50's haha.
Volibol was SUPER FUN we did it yesterday and it was the first time but MAN i was all SMASHIN IT and stuff.

I have had some pretty insane instances this past week. Not all of them I feel comfortable sharing in such a rushed medium like E-mail, but it's been so great. My testimony has never been stronger (I even enjoy reading scriptures now which like NEVER happened before haha!) I miss everybody pretty bad but on the bright side the lord has blessed me to not miss my cats too bad haha. At least I don't have to lint roll, right?

So everybody in my apartment is pretty tidy and I'm super thankful for that. Me and Elder Carter basically live out of our suitcases because we don't have desks in our room. The other two rooms have more stuff about but they also have desks but everybody picks up after each other so it's good. For some reason Elder Carter assigned us to toilet duty today (you do service in morning on P-days) and I'm still lost about that one haha silly Elder Carter.

Elder Carter is so great mom. I am a total nerd and he is a total jock (starting corner for Timpview -- back to back state champs for football) but it just gives us experiences to help each other with and bond even closer. Every night the first week we were supposed to have companionship inventory which is basically just a heart to heart but then you only have to do it once per week but we have heart to hearts daily without even planning it. It's great.

The language is coming along. They say that basic, rudimentary, kind-of get along Spanish is 500 words, 15 phrases (or 50?) and 15 verses of scripture with all the grammatical understanding and right now I went through the sheet and I think I'm at about 200 words. A lot of this came from the other Spanish classes, obviously, but Hermano Holman is SO GOOD. He is setting us at a 33% faster pace than the other missionaries so we'll get done with all the curriculum in 4 weeks and then review for two. The goal is to learn 20 words per day and I think 5 phrases. The phrases is difficult but the words is pretty easy to get 20 (well IDK this is the first day we're doing it but its P-day so we arent really focusing on it but frankly you just pick words up on normal days). I don't want to set my goal too far ahead of where I'll be able to reach but if I could get 1,000 words by the time I'm out of the MTC I'd be at about (or maybe a little above) a level for on whatever scale they use -- which is the baseline of fluent. Hermano Holman promised us that if we put the effort in we could get to level 4 and I agree with him and how cool would it be if I was (baseline -- barelyyy) fluent when I got there?!?! It seems attainable to me right now. Then again, anything is attainable with faith so long as the Will of God is on your side. It's pretty great to be able to see him have such an active part in my life.

I will email my other half later today! Ask me any more questions you wanna know about!

So I've got my notes now. I should be more coherent haha
(yes this is how Spencer numbers things, starts with negatives...nerd much?)

-3. So talking more about Elder Carter, um yeah he's a pretty great guy. He seems like a stereotypical jock from Utah (he lives like 10 minutes away from the MTC haha) but in reality he has a heart of gold and a compassionate mind (see: Not Utah Mormon). He's taught me so much, even though I'm ahead on the language and he thinks that he doesn't know that much he has taught me SO much. Plus I am learning good workouts from him and he is a total social butterfly haha it's crazy he knows like EVERYONE haha.

-2. Since we have 12 people we are called 'The 12' and also our district leader is "Elder Haskell" so we are the "little Haskells" like little rascals haha.

-1. Yeah so it's pretty toasty here in Utah. We get sweating pretty hard playing futbol because the field is outside haha I wish we had 7AM exercise like Main'ers (that's what I'm calling em now) but we have it at 11:30 instead. But the A/C is solid so it only really sucks when we're in suits walking to the Marriott center ewwwww.

0. Elder Tullis in our district (and apartment) is a tennis player. Wait for iiittt. He won state 3 times. THREE TIMES. He's in the top 50 IN THE COUNTRY. It's so much fun to talk to him about tennis!!!! He's a super loving guy and even though we're on totally different plains he's so humble and it just makes me want to go grab a racket haha it's great. I love Elder Tullis man, he's really solid. Also he's like a SPITTING image of pre-mission Mike it's really strange haha.

1. When we were walking back from the Marriott center for the devotional on Sunday Everybody was honking and waving at us and it was a HUGE pickmeup after a GREAT talk on charity, which leads me to point 2

2. The devotional on Sunday was on Charity and I didn't bring all my notes on it but it was sooo good about how we have to sacrifice for charity and how it isn't something we obtain so much as passes through us from Christ and oh my gosh just SO good. My favorite scriptures from the talk were 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 and I later read verse 13 which is REALLY powerful. The other verse was Mosiah 28:3, which talks about how (i can't remember who haha oops) (the sons of Mosiah) quaked and trembled at the thought of anyone being unable to live with God again. This was an example of charity because charity is the Christlike love that would make you feel that sorrow, but it really hit me. I feel a little bit that way about the people in Costa Rica already, but especially so many of my friends back home. I thought to myself that night as I was falling asleep about how I'd feel and it went a little bit like this (although words won't be able to do justice to the power of the emotions that overcame me):
I imagined myself standing in the Spirit World, chillin by the pearly gates or whatever it actually looks like. And while I'm just waiting there, minding my own business, feelin pretty good about how I lived my life overall, a person would run up to me. Their eyes would be filled to the brim with tears, and it would take them a while to get past their own emotions to say to me "Why, Spencer? Why couldn't you have tried just a little bit harder, so that I might have known the truth and come closer to God? If only you had put yourself second and given everything you had to help me, I could be standing here happy. Instead I am in a pit of misery wallowing about the sins of my past. Why, Spencer? Why?" and it filled my heart with so much grief. It was good, though, don't get me wrong. I am so motivated to do all in my power to help the people in my life, both from Costa Rica and whoever else I run into, so that when I'm hanging out by the pearly gates I can instead have my friends and family run up to me with tears in their eyes saying "Thank you, Spencer. I don't know what else to say -- Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

The Lord's work is great. I'm far from perfect, but the Lord still wants me as His tool and I am so excited to be sharpened and refined into something far more spiritual than I am right now.

GRANNY AND ACE ARE GETTING MARRIED?!!?!?!?!??! I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY I yelled out as soon as I read that "oh my gosh!!! My Granny's getting married!!" And everybody laughed but my heart was so full of joy. So full. Ace is such a wonderful man, I'm just so happy about it. Ah, man. So happy.

That's my life right now, you know. So happy. Back at home my days were riddled with sadness, because I didn't put the effort in to be in close proximity with God. God is kind of like the sun in the fact that the closer you are to him, the stronger you will feel his love. It's still there for you even if you're lightyears away from him, but it feels great to be close to him. Spiritually toasty :)

I love you mom! Tell Tori to write me!!! I want more letters :) Tell dad I love him soo much and his letter brought a huge smile to my face, but I'm running pretty slim on time I think. 
Love, Spencer

 I LOVED your letter. Or rather, Padre, lo AMO su cartera. It was so great and it's great to hear you still have that romantic touch with Mom haha it was so cute to read about all the little things you're doing. It's alright Dad we know you're solid on the job situation because we've got the Lords hands tied since he has to keep you employed to keep me on a mission haha :) I love you dad. Keep you head up even though times are tough and remember that Christ has infinite strength when it comes to carrying our burdens for us. Please make Tori write to me, I really miss her a ton and want to know how she's doing! I love her I love her I love her! Make her write me (letter or e-mail whichever) about girls camp, please!

Love you dad!

Mtc is awesome!


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