Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nov. 23, 2010 to Jan. 25, 2011 Excerpts of letters from MTC

We are only allowed to speak Spanish, with the exception of P-day (once a week they have “preparation day” in which they do laundry, e-mail home, relax, etc), after 9:45pm, and at interviews/meetings.  Other than that we can only speak 50 words of English a day.  I am starting to remember my Spanish, and sometimes speak in Spanish during our English time without realizing it. 
And let dad know that 8 years ago when he thought that the cow had broken the sprinkler in the pasture, it was me. 
I'm enjoying the MTC (Missionary Training Center) a little more now.  There are less and less people at gym each week, so there is less waiting in line to play volleyball.  I figured out a pretty good system for eating.  I have grape nuts and toast for breakfast, soup, salad and bread for lunch, and the dinners for the most part are edible.  As far as classes go, we don't really have culture or religion classes.  We just work on different things in Preach My Gospel (missionary handbook) and on the language.  My Spanish is coming along well because we are only allowed to speak Spanish most of the time.  My companion and I got to practice teaching someone who was pretending to be an investigator of the Mormon Church.  He spoke really fast and really quietly, but I was able to understand most of it.  I spent 2 hours making a visual aid for the Plan of Salvation lesson, and it makes teaching a lot easier. 
12/26 (this was after we let Eddy know we had traded in the mini van (his name for it is “Crappy”) for a 2011 Chevy Equinox
THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU.  I was so happy when I pulled back the corner of my letter and saw "Crappy" and "Equinox"  You picked out a good color.  Can you send me a few pictures?  What features does it have?  (OnStar, Nav, power seats)  Is it a push button start or a key?  Tinted windows?  My companion's dad has a huge wheel business in Huntington Beach.  He said we could design our own wheels.  I think having chrome spokes in the shape of Tina would look good.  [For those who don’t know, Tina is a large stuffed animal llama which is practically part of the family]
We got 650 new missionaries, so it's very crowded.  Everyone is getting Christmas packages, and people are literally giving all of their food away.  I got both of your packages, and a package from Rachel. 
At last Sunday's fireside we had Ted Gibbons come and do a role play of Willard Richards and we got to learn a lot of details of the last couple days of Joseph Smith's life.  It was really interesting.
The elder that got moved to our district got his visa so he left yesterday and I'm back in a trio.  We got to have a really neat prayer experience before he left.  He had lost his belt and we were looking for it for 2 days.  It was Sunday night and he was leaving the following morning.  We knelt down and I said a prayer.  Within a minute my companion found the belt. 
I got to meet my second cousin here, Jacob Gubler Frei.  He is Aunt Jewell Frei's grandson.  I was a host for new missionaries and I saw his name on a paper.  And that same day Aunt Linda sent me a letter telling me about him.  I went to his classroom and said hi to him the next day.  Hosting is really fun and my district has been assigned again to do it tomorrow. 
I talked to one of the teachers that served in Merida and he is also going to give us a list of the Mayan words we will use.  He said that he taught parts of some of the lessons in Mayan.  Tonight the MTC presidency is getting changed so there will probably be a lot of apostles there. 
This is probably my last email to you from the MTC...because next week I should be calling you from the airport on my way to MEXICO.  Our permission from the Mexican government came in last week so I should be going to Salt Lake this week to be getting my Visa. 
Last week we got to have Elder Holland come again.  He gave another really great talk about the missionary program.  On Sunday we had a fireside with the new MTC presidency.  They are really good.  Today our district went to the temple together for the last time, so we all went to the same session and had breakfast at the temple before hand.  It was the best breakfast I've had in a really long time (Belgium waffles, biscuits and gravy, and an omelet).  The weather was really nice today, but nothing near as nice as it will be in Mexico.
I found out that the missionaries going to Merida are going to the consulate tomorrow.  My trio is the only ones from our district going to the consulate.  Hopefully I'll be in Mexico before Sunday.
Until I leave, my district has free time all day.  We had to leave our classroom and teachers for the new district coming in.  It's a good thing that I get to leave soon.

Elder Gubler 

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