Saturday, September 25, 2010 1:28pm
Subject: I'm alive!
Wow, it's hard to believe I've only been here for a 3 days... It seriously feels like it's been a week or two. But everything is going great! Before I forget, the letters everyone is sending me is awesome!! We've been getting our mail since yesterday and I've already gotten 4 letters and 10 dear elders (yes, everyone is jealous and make me feel bad. Maybe you guys should start writing my friends too? Just kidding). Thank you everyone who has written me. It's nice to know there's a world outside of here. It DOES slightly feel like a jail, but a good jail that I'm happy to be in. And also thank you for all understanding that I ma extremely busy and can only write letters on my Preparation days (p-days). Today we have a short p-day but while I'm in the MTC, it'll be on Fridays. Once I'm in Ohio, it'll be on Mondays. So I'll write you all back as fast as I can! Also, when you write on dear elder, can you tell me what day it is? That including the day of the week? Because time here is slowly meshing together and it's nice to figure out who sent what when.
Okay, I'm sure everyone wants to know about the MTC. First, the basics: the food - it's bearable... I guess considering the cook has to cook for thousands of missionaries three times a day, it's pretty good. My companion - Elder Kitchen is from Santa Rosa, California and went to BYU-I before this (he's good friends with Taylor Cain! It's a small world). He's awesome, we get along great. We're both going to Ohio Cleveland Mission. In my district...(for those of you who don't know , think of this like middle school. District = your class that you do everything together. Zone = your "team" that are full of kids who all have the same teachers) ... so in my district, there are 15 guys. 8 of us are going to Ohio, and the other 7 are going to Denver North Mission (Denver, Colorado, and there are 7 instead of 8 because one guy didn't show up the first day. So the leftover guy became a three-some companionship with two others). But we all get along really well. Everyone is able to be serious yet have fun and nobody seems to get on each other's nerves - this is way good since we're together ALL the time. Our zone has people going to Canada, Philadelphia, aaaand possibly other places that I cannot think of because the timer on the top of this computer is freaking me out a little. Everyone in our zone is English speaking and there's 3 districts n the zone (this is our first week, one's second week, and another's third week, so each week, one district leaves and another joins). My district can't wait for Wednesday when we're not the newbies anymore. My district has two teachers (Sister Page and Brother Murray. Page served in Tennessee and Murray in San Diego. They're both AWESOME!) That's one thing I really like about the MTC so far, all of the teachers are amazing and so caring about you. And they're geniuses. Definitely were awesome missionaries.
The first couple of days here were crazy (we entered on Wednesday, today is Saturday or Friday, I can't remember ... I think Saturday. At first, it was just a lot of orientation stuff and then showing us how things will be working for the next three weeks. The first couple of days were kind of rough, just because we were all tired, very confused, and we all just wanted to start learning. Now, we've been learning and things are getting better. Everyone says to just make it to Sunday and time will stop going so slow. Tomorrow is Sunday. Thank Goodness. A daily schedule for us so far will go like this:
6:30 - Wake up
7:00 - Missionary Directed time (MDT) - companions can choose to study whatever they want)
7:30 - Breakfast
8:00 - Classroom Instruction (our teachers are in charge)
12:00 - Lunch
12:45 - Gym (50 minutes long. I may not have done that math right)
1:25 - Prep for the next activity (shower)
More classroom instruction or MDT
5:00 - Dinner
More classroom stuff or MDT
9:00 - plan day for tomorrow
10:30 - in bed, lights out
We're kept pretty busy. For MDT you and your companion (I only have 8 minutes left to write! Ahh!!) will go over lessons, scriptures, teach each other, etc. Lately (lately, ha! Lately as in yesterday and today) we've been doing a lot of teaching and pretending to be investigators. For example, me and Elder Kitchen will teach elder Prat and Elder Helton and they'll critique us and we'll switch places. It helps a lot. Monday we'll start doing a lot more, and I'll fill you guys in on that next week.
Well everyone, I'm safe and happy. The MTC truly is a special place. There's such a strong spirit here and everyone is so excited and happy (although those who have been here for 7 or 8 weeks are starting to go crazy. I'm so lucky I'm only here for 3 weeks!) Over just the past few days my testimony has grown so much. If I didn't know that this church and gospel was true, I wouldn't be here right now. I've said that before, but I mean it. I know that our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and has provided us with the means to attain this joy. Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and I am so blessed and feel honored to be serving where he walked. The Book of Mormon is true and we can learn so much from it, as well as strengthen our relationship with the holy ghost.
My time is up - the timer is flashing. I love and miss you all! I hope all is well in the real world! I love your letters! Until Friday, Bye!
Elder David Dransfield
P.S. Sorry, I don't have time to upload pictures! I'll try next week! Also, that you grandma and grandpa in-law something-removed Smith for taking me in before the MTC and driving me here! Okay, 1 minutes left. Got to get off the computer!