Monday, December 28, 2009

MTC: Week #6

Hello!!! Sorry but this is going to be a short email. The computer that I am on is being retarded. Also I am helping to clean the temple this afternoon so I have a lot of stuff I have to do right now. First, Happy 20th Anniversary Mom and Dad!!! Hopefully you see this today. I am also going to be sending some letters home today or tomorrow and they will have a lot more detail about what went on during Christmas. I don't have enough time to email it so maybe you can forward it to everyone. So this week has gone by really fast. I only have 3 more weeks left in this place. Hurray!!!
Hopefully in the next week or so I will get my travel plans so I can tell you for sure when I leave. I'll share a little bit about what happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Chirstmas Eve, we had a fireside at night and Sister Elizabeth Smart played a song on the harp. It was very good. Also an Elder (name?) played a song on the bagpipes. I think it's called Highland Cathedral. It's a way good song! After that I had a slumber party with my district. We put all our mattresses into a room and partied. Haha it was fun!!!!
Christmas morning I opened my presents. Thank you for all the goodies. Then we went to a morning devotional and Elder L. Tom Perry spoke about the life of Christ. It was very good. We had a really big Christmas lunch of turkey, potatoes, veggies, and stuffing. Boy was it good! In the afternoon, we went to the Christmas talent show. In my letter to you I have more detail on all the talents shared. In the evening, we ate sack dinners and then went to another fireside. Greg Olsen, who is an artist and had painted a lot of pictures of Christ came and spoke to us. It was really cool and he told some stories behind the pictures he has painted. It was a really cool Chistmas!!!! I really wish I could have spent it with you all but oh well--I only have one more Christmas left on my mission. I love you all and stay safe!!!! Love Elder Anthony Smith

P.S. Write more letters, even if it is only one sentence!
P.P.S I want to share one more thing. Since coming to the MTC I haven't really eaten all that much during meals. I eat a lot but not as much as I did at home. Well yesterday I broke down and had 5 serving of Chicken Cordon Blu with rice and veggies. Haha my district went wild after I ate it all. I also had a bowl of ice cream and cake. So now I'm only going to eat salad for the rest of my stay here.

More About MTC Christmas Day

Last night there was a big Christmas Eve Devotional with lots of musical numbers. One Elder played the bagpipe and like I mentioned before Sister Smart played on son on the harp. it was really good. A chorus of Elders sang "Still, Still, Still" and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful". They weren't that good, but oh well. Then a Sister sang "O Holy Night". It was probably the highest I've ever heard anyone sing. She had kind of an opera voice. We also sant the Twelve Days of Christmas MTC style. It goes like this: "On the first day of Christmas the MTC gave me, a rock solid testimony". The rest of the days were two haircuts free, three new companions, four chocolate milks, five hours of gym, 6:30 wake-up, seven lukewarm showers, eight hours of rest, nine outbound calls, ten more commandments, eleven loads of laundry, twelve hours of class.
After the devotional, I went back to my room. As a district we had a secret santa. I had Elder Bever so I got him a Parker stainless steel pen and a case for his Spanish hymnbook. Elder Lafrance had me. He gave me cough drops, those strips you pu on the bridge of your nose so you snore less (Ha Ha). He also gave me a telescoping zebra pen. Pens were a hot item to give, especially the zebra pens. After that we brought our mattresses into one of the rooms and had a big slumber party. It was lots of fun and spending Christmas Even with my district made it easier to be away from home. In the five weeks I've been here, I've come to love every single Elder in my district and I can't wait to hang out with them when I get home because most of them are going to schools in Utah after we get back.
So I woke up Christmas Day and opened my presents. Thank you for the stocking and goodies. Then I went to breakfast with my district and to a morning devotional with Elder L. Tom Perry. He talked to us about the birth of Christ--it was very good. We then went to lunch and then off to another afternoon devotional where lots of missionaries shared different talents. My favorite was of an Elder playing his own arrangement on the piano of "We Three Kings". After the talent show, I went back to my room, ate a sack dinner and then went to another fireside with Greg Olsen, the LDS artist. he shared some stories behind his paintings of the Savior. It was a pretty good Christmas. Hopefully everyone at home had a good Christmas. I love you all!

Monday, December 21, 2009

MTC: Week #5

Standing in front of Provo Temple (l to r): Elder Holbrook, Elder Brazington, Elder Johnson, Elder Romney, Elder Sangster, Elder Lafrance, Elder Bever, Elder Whittier, Elder Smith (me), and Elder Duncan (my comp.)

Another week has come and gone and suprisingly it went by really fast--also I'm more than half way done with my stay in the MTC. Hurray!!! 5 weeks down only 99 more to go.

So I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there are only a couple days till Christmas!! The bad news is that two people from my zone went home this week. The first was an Elder who
I guess had some personal issues that he didn't resolve before he came out here. Then the next day, a Sister from the same district left for home. That district has lost a total of three missionaries in the past four weeks. Another Sister Missonary went home to marry her boyfriend. So ya, it was kinda a rough week for that district.

I'd like to tell you more about the Elders in my district:

ELDER SMITH and ELDER DUNCAN: I'm amazing and Elder Duncan is amazing. First he is related to Cove Reber of Saosin and he is also an All-American water polo player and is an amazing swimmer. He is from Vista California.

ELDER HOLBROOK AND LAFRANCE: Elder Holbrook was the district leader and is now the zone leader along with Elder Lafrance. Elder Holbrook is 23 and went to BYU before coming out here. He is studying to be a dentist and also loves dance( ballet and modern) He is from Spokan Washigton. Elder Lafrance is a way good story teller and is super funny. He is from Pennsylvania and just graduated high school this year.

ELDER WHITTIER AND BEVER: Elder Whittier is 21 and is from Morgan Utah. He loves to ski. Elder Bever is from Oregon and went to BYU last year. He took Spanish in high school so he is way good at speaking the language.

ELDER SANGSTER AND ROMNEY: Elder Sangster is from Montana and went to state in tennis doubles this past year. Elder Romney is from Mesa, Arizona and played basketball and baseball in high school this past and was all-state in baseball. And yes, he is related to Mitt Romney.

ELDER JOHNSON AND BRAZINGTON: Elder Johnson is from Kanab, UT and played football and baseball in high school. His baseball team took state this past year. Elder Brazington played football all through high school. He is pretty shy but is still cool.

Thank you for all the packages and letters. Write more. I LOVE YOU ALL and stay safe and have a Merry Christmas! Love Elder Smith

Monday, December 14, 2009

MTC: Week #4

This week has gone by really, really FAST! I'm still learning lots of Spanish and I've been doing lots of conjugation and stuff like that. On Tuesday a member of the Seventy came and spoke to us. His name is Elder Costa and it was a very awesome devotional. He shared his conversion story--it was really amazing. On Wednesday, Elder Duncan and I "practice" taught a guy the second lesson. It’s about the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement. We did a really good job and at one point in the lesson, Elder Duncan almost started crying. On Sunday, the BYU Men's Choir sang Christmas songs for us. It was really awesome and I liked it cause in the MTC they don't let you listen to music. I have to either sing it myself, listen to music in my head, or when I get on the computer to use the language program, then I get on the website and listen to music. After the Men's choir sang we got to watch the Joseph Smith movie again. It is really awesome and I've cried every time that I’ve watch it here.
Mom, you asked me to tell you stuff that I learned at church and share it to you like we do on Sundays at the dinner table. Well, this week I've learned a lot about Jesus Christ. I finished reading Jesus the Christ and it is an amazing book, I think I'm going to read it again. Also last Sunday we watched The Testament movie and I like how it is all about the Resurrected Christ’s visit to the people of the Book of Mormon. I've been teaching about the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement this week--the second lesson from Preach My Gospel is about the Atonement and I'm looking forward to teaching it to people. I wish I could talk more about what I've learned but I only have 4 minutes left to email. So I love you all and I'm thankful for all the letters and packages you have sent me. I love to read what everyone has been doing at home. Also before I forget I can’t call home on Christmas so I'll just write letters. Love Elder Anthony Smith

Monday, December 7, 2009

MTC: Week #3

This week has gone by really fast! It seems like I just wrote you a couple days ago. This week has been really good. I memorized the First Vision in Spanish and I have been reading from Jesus The Christ and am almost finished with it.

I want to answer the questions you asked me. My roomates names are Eric Christensen from Midland, Texas and Ammon Johnston from Provo, Utah. They are going to Sacramento California.

During gym time I have been running a lot and lifting a little bit. I play lots of basketball and 4-square. And every night I do pushups and situps.

Sacrament meetings are good. We are assigned a topic each week and have to write a 3-5 minute talk. For the first 4 weeks it can be in English but after that it has to be in Spanish. The Branch President then randomly picks 2 people to speak each Sunday. I haven't been chosen yet.

When I got to the MTC, I received Spanish editions of the Book of Mormon and Bible, Preach My Gospel, a dictionary, a book that has phrases and vocab for each section of Preach My Gospel. I bought a book that has 300 verbs and has them conjucated in all the different forms, and I bought a Spanish hymn book since we have to sing all the songs in Spanish for class and sacrament meeting. Cheryl C. Lant the General Primary President came and spoke to us. It was a really good devotional.

On Wednesday during class when we were practicing Spanish, one of the Elders in my district named Elder Johnson said, "I feel like a snail, tied to a rock, trying to climb up a wall." It was really funny. My distict has a hard time keeping our laughter in during really innapropriate times. Laughing has been hard to control even during prayers when the wrong Spanish word is used or while listening to others teach a lesson--we couldn't help it when the some sisters were practicing giving a lesson in Spanish to our teacher. We just all like to laugh a lot.

On Thursday while waiting in line for food I talked to an Elder Conder who is going to Germany and I found out that he is related to the Yardleys. So that was cool. On Saturday a guy who used to work at Baileys named Stephen delivered some cookies to an Elder in my district who is friends with him.

On Sunday I watched the First Precidency Christmas Message and saw Brother Russon from our stake singing in the Tabernacle Choir. It was really good and I liked the songs that were sung. Thank you for the sweater vest and for the Christmas decor. I've been decorating my room all day. Please send my ab roller wheel and that black jump rope in one of the drawers in the laundry room. WRITE MORE PLEASE! I WANT TO HEAR WHAT EVERYONE DOES EVERYDAY! Please! I Love you all and please stay safe.