Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Learning Continues in week 3

Ok, missions are definitely super HARD! This has been an amazing week of WORK!! I am consistently working, always tired, keep on moving!! I love it! The work presses forward no matter what state you are in! My companion and I are getting along amazingly! He makes up country songs and we sing them as we walk around or get ready for bed! We have a nightly routine of how we say goodnight to our roommates! It’s a blast! We play hard because we work really HARD!! Spanish is a very difficult language! Elder Fuqua calls it YODA talking since it seems like we talk backwards with all of the rules about verb and adjective placement in the sentence structure! I have new goals for my self! I read 5 chapters in El Libro De Mormon everyday in Espanol! And I read 1 chapter In Predicad EL Evangelio every week! I memorize 1 ordinance saying a week, like the sacrament prayer or baptismal prayer, and I try to memorize 30 new vocab words a day!! It is the most ridiculous thing ever! It’s not a physical exertion but it is at the same time! I am always worn out at the end of the day! And our class is on the 5th floor! So we get 10 flights of stairs every time we go to class! We go up the stairs atleast 4 times a day! We feel the burn!

Yesterday Elder Richard G Scott came for devotional! It was insane! He used his office of being an apostle and "Invoked the Gift of Tongues upon all those that are leaning a new language!" As soon as he said that the room was all like wow!! That was amazing! Right now I am really focusing on my Spanish, I have good days and bad days when it just clicks or I forget everything! I am really working on it! It is so difficult trying to preach the Gospel in a different language and explain words in Spanish that I don't even know what they mean in English!! It truly is a difficult work but I am loving IT!! Our napkin Poetry is doing AMAZING!! We have 4 new members in our club as of last night!! Elders from other District somehow heard about it and are join in! It’s so much fun!! All of us Elders get along amazingly!! It’s a great time! We all are really pushing each other to really work! We work hard and then we play hard! Everything here is in its intensity!

Last night it SNOWED!! We will be having a white Halloween! We are getting prepared for trick or Treating! Elder Smiths parents sent him a box of candy so we can have Halloween party! Thank you for the cupcakes by the WAY!! We eat well here; everything is a well balanced diet! I love it! I am having a blast and learning and growing all at the same time! I am working on my patience. We have group lessons that we give, so it 10 Elders that go practice on an investigator. When we go in I want to talk and get involved with the investigator but I also have to be aware of the other Elders that are in the discussion too, so I have to balance my talking, with trying to keep the conversation on track with our limited vocab that we have. Because we know very little vocab, we just say what we know sometimes, I feel that my vocab is doing well in Scriptural things because I am really studying hard out of Predicad El Evangelio and EL Libro De Mormon so I can discuss Gospel things decently but the others are better at conversational talking than I am! So it’s difficult trying to be aware of the other Elders but then again I’m like "This persons salvation is at stake, we must strengthen here relationship with GOD even if we don't know how to say that!" So I am working on balancing it all out! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be serving my Lord and Savior! He truly does have masterful and wonderful Work!

We watch films after Sunday Devotionals! We watched the Joseph Smith Restoration video! It is so good! The quote after the movie was "Why would we not go on in such a marvelous work!" That is exactly how I feel! I am diving right into! All of the Elders after the movie were so pumped up to do missionary Work! We did all of these cheers and stuff like “Hurrah for Israel, and Joseph Smith will not die in vain!” Just fun chants that got us pumped up to be better! I loved it! All is well and grand! I love the gospel and everyday I grow closer to my Savior Jesus Christ! As I study more of him and about him I understand the divinity of His restored Gospel! I miss you all but I love being in the Service of my God!

--LOVE Elder Hammer

Thank you for all of the DEARELDER letters and keep updating me with those, those are my favorite ways of receiving letters from ya'll. I don't have much time to read on email but I can read DEARELDERS easier! Love YA!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Second week in the MTC

Yesterday was so awesome! For devotional we had Elder Russell M. Nelson! It was so cool! We sang "Called to Serve" for our opening hymn! It was so powerful and strong! There is nothing like singing "Called to Serve" with 2500 missionaries anxious to get out into the field! It was amazing to hear from an apostle of the Lord! He talked about the blessings of a being a missionary! I loved it! We were very grateful for such a wonderful surprise speaker!

This is now week 2 at the MTC! I feel like a Pro at being here! I know where everything is, how it all works and all! It feels like we have been here forever, yet again it feels like a feel like just yesterday I said bye to y'all! Everything here is so jam packed scheduled! Every minute of the day is planned out for us! We are the Pilot class! The only ones in the whole MTC! It truly is a privilege to be here. I know that the Lord needed me to be in the MTC at this time with these people! The Lord has chosen his Elect sons to be in this District with me. We all are best friends and get along great! The Lord knew that we would do our best in this pilot program! We try new things all the time that other missionaries haven't even done! It is crazy! The other day Elder Fugua (My companion) and I were contacting other missionaries in Spanish, we can bear a simple testimony, carry on a decent convo and say prayers and all in Spanish! We are learning so quickly! The other day some missionaries that have been here for 7 weeks talked to Elder Fugua and I and told us of this new technique they learned how to teach the 1st discussion in under 3 minutes! We acted excited and all, but then Elder Fugua and I were like we've been here for 10 days and we learned that yesterday! Its insane, we're learning things that Elders usually do in 7 weeks!!

The Napkin poetry is a big hit here! We have almost 10 Elders in our Club! About 2-3 nights a week we have poetry reading in my dorm before bed time! It is so fun! we turn the lights down low and everyone Snaps to the beat! I love the Elders here! We are all very anxious to get out and preach! I love it here in the MTC but I need some air!!!! We love going to the Temple on P-days cuz we get out of the MTC and go for a little walk! We are seriously in a little bubble! The other day Elder Tag and Elder Smith were allowed to go onto BYU Campus to get a prescription for Elder Tag! they walked over there and were only gone for like 30 min. but we were all like "Tell us how its going out there!! How is everything, how d other people look!" We are all in this bubble! But I love it here! Elder Fuqua and I get along good. We don't fight, everything is fun! We don't have much in common, he's kind of into sports and knows a lot about all the teams and stats and stuff! He reminds me a lot of Luke! He thinks I'm kind of weird cuz I tell him about my mopeds and my Poetry readings and Stuff!

The food here is awesome! It's like a personally cooked meal for me every night! It amazing! I did my 1st load of laundry last week and my clothes still fit and they are still the same colors as when I put them in! We have a lot of time to personally study! We are in class for about 13 hours a day! about 3 of those hours are for language/personal/companion study! We study what we feel will best improve our teaching and help with our investigators we teach! We have to teach in Spanish! We were teaching someone in 3 days sense we've been here in Spanish, Other missionaries don't even teach in English for about 1 week and Spanish in 2 weeks!

The Spirit is so strong here! It is always guiding you what to study, how to study, it helps you learn! The Holy Ghost has so many different ways that it can help you! I love the companionship of the Holy Ghost! We learn so much by the spirit! If we ever have a doctrinal question, our teacher will help us for a little and then will say " Ask Heavenly Father to help you find out for yourself" So we do and then we know what we need! It is so awesome!! Everything we do here is to invite others to come to Christ!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary for my Savior Jesus Christ! It is such a wonderfully great opportunity to be where I am with who I am with! None of us take this calling lightly! We have had many spiritual discussions in our district about the hand of God! It is so great to talk about these things with people my own age! We have came up with a little theory kind of! Our saying is "If you're not happy, you're not living the gospel!" The gospel is the light of Christ and will only bring joy into people’s life! Everything that is good comes of Christ! his gospel is good, therefore you should only be happy when living the Gospel!

I will try to send pictures soon! I have to mail them to you! We're not allowed to email them to people! Mom/Dad if you could mail me a sweater, that would be much appreciated and if you could also send me my poetry book! Its in one of my bins!

Thank you all that have been sending me DEARELDER Letters! I love getting those! They are the best! I really feel loved when I get those! I Love and miss you All!!! I think and Pray about you every night! I look forward to your letters.

Elder Hammer

P.S. Can you send Eric McGill’s address?? I need to write him and also our cousin Aubrey’s address too! She mailed me some cookies and I need to thank her!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The First letter!

Hola mi Familia!! Yo soy Elder Hammer de Clovis, California!! I just said hello family I am Elder Hammer from Clovis, California in Spanish!!! The MTC is great and fun!!! I have made some very close friends this past week! I am in a Pilot District!! I am with 10 Elders that are the genuine pigs for the new way missionaries will be taught! We have a custom schedule that only my district has! So we are doing things no other elders have done! We are the first Pilot group with this new program!! Our class is on the 5th story of a building and has a celestial view of Provo!! We get a bit distracted looking out the window but it is gorgeous! Our classroom has 2 cameras in it that we are being monitored on. There are people watching us study and learn to see how this new material helps new missionaries being trained! We are the only ones in all the MTC that they are doing this too! Our room is kind of high tech with a nice T.V and we have new custom books and everything! 

My Companion is AWESOME! His name is Elder Fugua! He is from a small town in Texas, and was Quarterback at his high school. He is fun and we get along great! We bunk with 2 other Elders named Elder Tag from New Hampshire and Elder Smith from Kansas! They both are good Elders! Our class is the Best of the Best! We are really get sucked into the work and have a blast at doing it! We are in our classroom for about 13 hours a day! We only leave for  ½ hour of exercise a day and for an hour each meal! We are extremely busy but we are learning a lot! We have a blast learning though! I am better friends with the Elders here than I have ever been with anyone else in my life! We all have one purpose, one goal, and one God! We have started new traditions already at the MTC! We make our whole floor gather together now to say a "family Prayer" every night! It is so awesome! My best friend here is probably Elder Galati from North Carolina! He is awesome! We have a lot of fun together! We started to do this thing called "Napkin Poetry!" We write a poem at every meal on a napkin and make it sound all deep and profound and recite it and give it to random Elders! It's so fun! Elder Allred is from Canada and yesterday we Canada's Thanksgiving so we had to have Thanksgiving party so we all made Cards and decorations and had a "Canadian Thanksgiving in our dorms last night! 

On Sunday we lost about 25 Elders from our Zone! We used to have about 45 Elders in our District but we get 10 new Elders today so our numbers will go back up! On Sunday our Zone gathers in a dorm and we sing "Haza Ver!" Which is “God be with you til we meet again” in Spanish!! It was the coolest thing ever!! We all we screaming the song at the top of our lunges the 1st 2 verses then we sing softly the last 1 calmly! It was the rowdiest yet most spiritual thing I have ever witnessed! As these young missionaries were going into the field the next day! It was so cool! 45 Elders crammed into a little 30ft by 20ft room singing there hearts out! Elder Fuegua was a bit homesick for a while but he is doing better now! He is a great Elder! All of the Elders here are such great examples to me! When I first got here I was too excited to be home sick, now that I'm getting into the flow of things it’s hitting me a bit but I am too anxious to get to work to really think about it! Everything here is awesome and divine! We say prayers like none other! Before we go anyway when we arrive before we eat, it’s always with a prayer! The spirit is constantly here and is felt! 

We have fake investigators that we teach and we are allowed to teach in Spanglish! I am pretty bien con Spanglish. I’m picking it up ok here! We are only allowed to speak Spanglish in class! With this investigator Elder Fuegua y yo had a hard time connecting in our teaching style. He likes to disprove people with scripture and I like to testify. But the other day we finally found our balance and are making huge progress with our investigator Manuel! We get along great! I love him! I am only allowed to be on the computer for ½ hr a week and I can only write any type of letters on P-Days! So My P-day is Wednesday so I can only write Wednesday! I will be sending a huge letter to the family every week and I will handwrite everyone personally each week! I just need Kens and Jays address so I can write you girls! Love you tons my time is almost out! They have timer on the computer that counts down then will kick u off! Love you all and miss u!!

Yo se que JesuCristo es mi Hijo, y Jose Smith is un profeta! Yo soy un Missionario de JesuCristo.
Elder Hammer!