Friday, June 18, 2010

Elder Huntington is the funniest Atheist I have ever met.

June 13, 2010
Dear Saydei, Hair ison, Chefferson, Bensin, Wulson: . .

As you probably see, I messed up spelling your name Saydi. So I had to mess everyone elses up to make it legit. Last night as I was falling asleep (except for you really don't fall, you just kind of slide into it) I thought how cool it would be if all you my brothers were here in 13M room 441 and we pushed the 2 bunk beds together and had a real good time . . . Well I started this morning, now it's 6pm and we are waiting for a fireside to start. So usually the food is decent here (I like it better than the Cannon Center food because it is the Lord's food) but tonight was the 2nd meal I was disappointed in - and it was spaghetti! It was swimming in oil unsuper healthy - and just no good. But other than that the food is decent.

Something interesting is that sacrament . . . (like 20 minutes later because we just taught a lesson to Elder Huntington and Elder Bagley. They were Athesists and it was hard. But they were so funny. Elder Huntington is the funniest Atheist I have ever met) is first in Spanish then in English. Our Branch President is fluent and awesome (served in Mexico) so he gets up and says everything in Spanish, then says it in English. The sacrament and prayers are obviously said in Spanish. The way talks are assigned is pretty neat. There are two topics to choose from (usually Christlike attributes). Each member of the Zone must pick a topic and prepare a 4-5 minute talk on that topic. But here is the fun thing. So we do church then after the sacrament the Bishop gets up and announces who the two speakers will be. Then they get up and give their talks. If you have been here longer than 3 weeks you gotta give your discourse in Espanol. So that makes things fun. I hope I get to give my talk next week so I get to give it in ingles! The two topics this week are tithing and chastity. . . . . hummmmm. I think I'm going to do tithing.

You know we actually go to less church here than we do at home. My zone has Priesthood at 10am and sacrament meeting at 3pm. But going to church here is no different than just living life here. Because everything is church. From when my little eyeballs pop open in the morning to when they slide close at night - all we do is church! And it is Awesome! We even start gym with a prayer.
But church here is different - there are no boring High Priest talks (Dad, the last comment hardly applies to you). There is no blubbering Sisters at the pulpit, only rock solid RM's who are Awesome! There are no crying babaies (except Elder Bagley). Probably you don't get that joke but Elder Bagley is so funny. But there are still Deacons------I'm not kidding. I talked to this kid yesterday who looked like he was 8! Jefferson and Jacob Rowe could fit in better here than this guy. Wow.

Every Sunday we go on a temple walk. Last week it was so hot (but it was good taking pictures there) and there is an awesome rule that says no matter what, you have to wear your suit coat to the temple. So last week when we all got home we all rung our clothes out and almost filled a canteen!! But today's temple walk was good, it was cool and cloudy outside, it was real nice and relaxing.

Our old district is leaving to Chile tomorrow and it's sad, but also really sweet. They've been here 8 weeks and are ready. They deserve it. I am so excited for when it is my turn to leave! 50 days today!
What other secrets of the CCM should I tell you? Okay, here is a daily schedule.

Thursday June 10
  • 6:30-7  Arise & Prepare
  • 7-7:30  Personal Study - we go to the classroom and try to study our goal of 10 pages out of the Book of Mormon per day
  • 7:30-8   Breakfast
  • 8-8:30  Personal Study
  • 8:30-12  Class w/Hermana Bailey
Class is always amazing.  We always learn about teaching and practice it.  The teachers always have amazing insights about teaching and the Gospel.  And then sometimes our maestros will usually throw in a little Espanol.  It is amazing and I have learned quickly here that we are not here to learn Spanish.  I am here to convert myself so that I can help God convert others.  We are only helpers.

I am here to learn the Gospel.  I am here to learn how to teach.  I am here to learn to entice others to faith, 2 Nephi 2:16.  I am here to learn how to Invitar a las personas a vevir a Cristo a fin de qu recibn el evangelio restaurado mediante la fe en Jesucristo y su expiacion, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, la recepcion del con del Espiritu Santo, y el perseveror hasta el fin. (Note from Delene, Jackson's writing is hard to read so trying to decipher his Spanish is painful for me. I don't know what I just typed, but if you understand Spanish and I misread something, email me so I can change it.)

My companion just called me a pee brain monkey lover.  Just an aside.

  • 12:00-12:30  Lunch - What a party!
  • 12:30-12:45  Gym prep - basically just go back to the room & change
  • 12:45-1:35  Gym - basically own!  Just got back to the room, everyone at basketball
  • 1:35-2:05  Shower
  • 2:05-5  MDT, language study, companion study, memorizing, PMG, etc.
  • 5-5:30  Dinner - Good times happen in the dining hall
I will finish this tomorrow.  But the coolest thing just happened!  You know that district leaving tomorrow?  The whole zone, 40 guys, I mean Elders, just went to the ZL's room and sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again."  It was so powerful & amazing! ! !  It was incredible & I can't wait 4 when it is me leaving!!!!!

June 11
  • 5:30am-7:30am  MDT
  • 7:30-9  Hermano Estevez class time
  • 9-9:30  Plan for the next day
  • 9:30-10:30  Brush teeth, companerismo oracion, mess around (last night everyone was in the hall jumping up and down and trying to hit their head on the ceiling.  The cielo wasn't hard, it was those foam tiles.  Elder Huntington could do it, but not me-it was fun).  Lights out.
Before I forget I got some things you could do for me.  I saw one of my Zone Leaders with a handheld 1 hole, hole punch and a binder and he was hole punching all his letters and putting them in a binder.  I want to do that.  Could you send me a single hole punch and a binder?  I don't need any flash cards, I learned that you can pretty much buy everything you will ever need at the bookstore - besides hole punches and binders.

As you've surely noticed, I have written this letter periodically throughout the last 24 hours.  The reason is that you cannot find 90 minutes to just sit down and nicely think and write a letter.  That just isn't going to happen.

Coolest thing ever - last night we found out we are getting a new district on Wednesday, 4 hermanas 8 Elders.  We found out most of them are serving state side espanol missions.  I got so excited because my friend from BYU, Sam Swensen comes on Wednesday and is going Chicago Spanish speaking (Amanda's mission).  I talked with the guy and found out that an Elder Swensen going to the Chicago North mission is going to be in Zone 23!  I am so excited.

Oh yes, one more thing. . . after I finish my "race to the finish email session" I usually cannot remember what I said.  So could you send me the emails I send you?  Please.  And also could you also send me all the emails you have sent me thus far and then every week till I leave could you send me a hard copy of the email so I can take time to thoroughly read it.  And yes, I got the picture on that last email.

That is so exciting school is out!  I can only imagine you guys basking in the freedom.  Just remember, tocar su piano!!!!  The only person that knows how to play the piano in our zone is getting shipped to Chile today (a hermana of course).  So now the only people that can play piano are me and Elder Larsen - and he can only sorta play like me.  And we have already been asked if we would tag team play for Priesthood and sacrament meeting.  So boys, practice now so when you are a 19-year-old missionary you're not scarred!!

I just got back from breakfast, it was pretty ok - not quite pretty good.  I had chocolate leche and a blueberry pancake.

Later.  We just had class today from 8 - 9:30 with Hermana Bailey and it was great.  So now I guess we are going to zone practice teach where we will all teach 1st lesson to companionships of other districts.  But before that I think we are singing para siempre dios este con los 1 more time because the 4 sisters leaving today with distrito Chile didn't get to hear our song last night.  So we get to sing it again today!

Here is a picture of my distrito.  It was at the temple that one super hot Sunday.  All companions are in opposite rows. So my companion is above me. Elder Allen.

Elder Tanner - Elder Bagley - Elder Larsen - Elder Allen - Elder Clyde - Elder McArthers
Elder Rammel - Elder Huntington - Elder Salter - Me - Elder Jacobs - Elder Beutier

Elder Rammel reminds me of Renton so much!  Sometimes he is so crazy, especially when teaching.  Elder Bagley is so so funny-that picture tells everything.  Elder Clyde is such a character!  So funny.  Elder McArthers is a Ute fan.  Elder Jacobs is a way cool Elder, loves the gospel and scriptures and Spanish.  He rocks.

Later...we just did the zone teach and it was good.  The old zone has all their suitcases in the hall and it is so cool!!!  They just came in and shook all our hands, so sad!  They are the best.

Bytheway, I don't remember any Mexico names.  Also Bytheway, I love my scriptures - the separate Book of Mormon and Bible.  It rocks having them separate.  I feel like I'm running outta things to say.  Um. . . . . I get to eat lunch in 30 minutes, yeah!  And also bytheway, I never use my english hymn book.  I hope your virtual 'friendship' with Elder Huntingtons Mom is good.  We think that's funny.

Well, enjoy life.  I am doing good.  Sometimes it's hard but the people here are good.  But,


I love you, Always,
Elder Ostler