Monday, June 27, 2011

27 June 2011 Letter (MTC)

Sorry this week’s blog post is a bit late.  There was a miscommunication with some of the other companionships, resulting in us arriving to our 30 minute session, and me being journal-less.  But, while the sharing of my experiences may be a little later, it does not at all change what has happened.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Today has been the hardest day yet.  We spent over 10½ hours in the classroom, and even though we learned the most today, I feel completely overloaded.  We taught our first lesson today to Joszef.  The lesson lasted 15 minutes.  I said the opening prayer, four lines of a brief testimony, and read two verses, but his answers and questions were, of course, unrehearsed and I got lost immediately.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The gospel is true and prayers are answered.  I felt much better this morning.  I tried to keep a prayer in my heart as we studied Hungarian this morning, and while we memorized fewer lines for our lesson with Joszef, all three of us felt like it went much better.  (On a random note, I found that Hebrews 11:34 talks of Flying Alien Armies!  First time I’ve heard that one before.)  Studying on the computer has been my fastest and most successful way of memorizing vocabulary.  Unfortunately, we only get three to four hours per week.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Today was my first Sunday here at the MTC.  Sundays are my favorite days here.  It is a day of rest (from both Hungarian and classes) and allows plenty of time to personally study the scriptures.  We have to remain in suits all day, but it’s not too bad.  It rained today, and while it limited opportunities to take pictures of our first temple walk, it was still a nice experience.  The fireside was enjoyable.  The speaker was Kay McIff, the younger brother of a counselor here, and we finished by singing a powerful version of “Called to Serve”.  We finished the evening by watching the “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration” movie.  Also, during sacrament meeting our Branch President asked me to give a five minute talk on the Holy Ghost.  After the sacrament, he got up and said: “We will next have a five minute talk by Sister ____, followed by a talk from Elder Shipp on the Holy Ghost.”  Lucky for me, I was able to remember enough parts of my farewell talk to give a good impromptu lesson.  Apparently, in three weeks it will be someone else’s turn.

Monday, 20 June 2011

I’m just going to start by saying that today was AWESOME!  After doing our first service assignment this morning, we started just talking about and discussing fun scriptures.  Gym was outside, where I played Frisbee (but not Ultimate, as it is not allowed for some reason), ladder golf, and 4-square.  I covered about thirty sections of the Doctrine & Covenants during personal study.  While I failed completely at reading the Book of Mormon in Hungarian (A Mormon Konyve), we still had a great lesson with Joszef.  Days are starting to go by faster and I feel the Spirit more strongly.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Random Fact: Today was the Summer Solstice.  Things are starting to be blocked off for the Mission President Orientation that is happening the second half of this week.  We learned past-tense compositions and conjugations today.  Also, tonight we had a devotional by Elder Paul Sybrowski of the Seventy.  He spoke of Moses 6 “Walk with Me”, preaching of the strength of missionary work.  These past two days I’ve really come to notice the importance of the Book of Mormon.  It is the physical manifestation that each missionary, each member, can carry and hand out to show that there is modern day revelation, there is more than just the Bible to testify of Christ, and that it shows there is an important difference between us and other churches.  We are not “just another Christian Chruch”.  Tomorrow is our first P-Day.  I look forward to a day of rest, going to the temple, and replying to letters.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Today was my first P-Day here at the MTC.  Looking at the schedule and from what usually happens on a P-Day, we expected it to be a fairly relaxed day… it wasn’t.  At all.  Within half an hour of waking up, we began cleaning and vacuuming our rooms.  Quickly went and got breakfast, ran to sign up for haircuts, did laundry, ate lunch, experienced that fastest 30 minutes ever trying to email, went to the temple, ate dinner, gave a 45 minute lesson to Joszef and his wife Tundi, had class, followed by planning, and now I’m back here (in my room).

The trip to the Provo Temple was good.  Tonight we taught our lesson to Joszef and (for the first time) his wife, Tundi, on the Restoration.  We didn’t, unfortunately, feel the Spirit nearly as much as we would’ve liked, but we have a new plan to try teaching tomorrow.  I did find it really cool that three to five minutes into the lesson, Tundi asked me if I spoke French.  Apparently, I have a very French accent when I speak Hungarian (in addition to my English accent too, of course).

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Today we had our fifth and final lesson with Joszef.  It went much better than yesterday’s. 
We read only a couple scriptures, then continually testified of the Holy Ghost, God’s love, the importance of families, and of baptism.  We opened our lesson by singing “I am a Child of God”, and closed by inviting him to be baptized.  He said he wasn’t sure, but he would try to be later.  Things are crowded with the 600 missionaries that arrived yesterday.

Since my last letter, I have had many more opportunities to get to know all the other Hungarian missionaries.  One of my companions, Elder Harvey, is 23 and is from Michigan.  He’s already graduated from BYU-Hawaii in automobile mechanics/repair, and spent three years in Japan.  My other companion, Elder Swett, is from New Hampshire.  When he was born, his family lived in Denmark, but they moved to the States while he was a kid.  He attended Tuff’s (?) College near Boston this last year, has studied French for six years, and has close ties to Hungary.  His grandparents are both Hungarian, and his older brother served his mission there.

There are three other missionaries in our group.  Elder Rosen is from Sandy, and is the tallest in our group.  He enjoys mountain climbing and attended the University of Utah for a year.  His companion is Elder Snyder, a short read-head.  He’s from near Atlanta, Georgia, and attended BYU this last year.  The last missionary in our group (the Kisci, pronounced “Kee-chee”, meaning “young ones”) is Sister Hudspeth, who is from a small town about an hour and a half south of here.

The Osi (pronounced “oo-shee”, meaning “old/ancient ones”) is made up of seven missionaries, who will all leave for Hungary in three weeks.  Elder Walker is the District Leader of the Osi, making him pretty much the head of the Hungarian Missionaries.  He’s originally from Idaho.  His companion is Elder Knight, who is from England and is very competitive.  Elder Peterson is from St. George, and lived in Texas this last year.  His companion is Elder Johnson from San Antonio.  Elder Orban and Elder Bullock form a companionship.  Elder Orban is from Idaho.  He’s the shortest of the male Osi, but by far the strongest.  He works out every morning, gym session, and evening.  Elder Bullock is the tallest of all of us.  He is from Alberta, Canada, and has played baseball and basketball.  Last is Sister Hall, the only sister missionary in the Osi and is Sister Hudspeth’s companion.

I have also seen many missionaries who I’ve know before coming here, including some new ones in this last group of 600 that arrived Wednesday.  Now that I’ve had a chance to get into the groove of things, I get an enjoyable half hour of personal time before bed.  This week and next we’re having a variety of teachers as our main one is getting married! J  There is also a no-handshaking rule still in effect.

Finally, because of the New Mission President Orientation, we have heard that many General
Authorities were here.  We just barely finished a special fireside, at which, half of the Apostles were present, including: Elders Nelson, Oaks, Ballard, Scott, Holland, Bednar, and Anderson (along with their wives).  Elder Bednar was the speaker during this devotional, giving an amazing and inspiring talk which he titled, “Becoming a ‘Preach My Gospel’ Missionary”.  He divided his talk into five main steps, and concluded by repeating his testimony that “we can do this!”

I think that about finishes this letter.  While it was late, I think that it was much longer and more detailed than I ever could have typed in a 30 minute email.  Talk to you next week!

-  Shipp Elder

No comments:

Post a Comment