Thursday, July 25, 2013

First E-mail Home! MTC 07/25/2013

Kamusta Pamilya!
1 week down, 103 left! I was told this week that the mission consists of three parts that all seem of equal lengths. The first four days at the MTC, The rest of the time at the MTC, and the actual time in the field. The MTC so far has been great though. The first four days were probably four of the longest and toughest days of my life, but once we got to sunday everything was great. The spirit here is strong and I am learning so much. Every day when I we go back to our residence hall I am on spiritual overload.
My district and companion are amazing. It's only been one week but we just as well have known each other for years. I won't be able to tell all of them but I think there is a funny story for every day that I've been here that has happened in our district. My companion Elder H. he is also the District Leader. He is super cool. His mom speaks Cebuano and so he knows a few things. He is picking up the language pretty quick and so it's nice to be able to ask him questions. He is an amazing example to me and helps me focus. Our companions are definitely inspired. When ever we study, we don't even have to talk to each other and we're always on the same page or topic. We only have one other companionship in our room. It's nice only having four as opposed to six people in our room. Elder P. and Elder B. are the other Companionship in our room and they are hilarious.
Elder P. is from American Samoa and I love his guts. I have never met such a kind and chill guy. He's always giving us stuff and just making us laugh. We wrestled, but I didn't rip my shirt, and despite the 70 pounds that he has on me, I did pretty well and was able to pin him a few times and then we had to stop because wrestling isn't aloud on the playing fields. One night he pulled out four lava lavas for everyone in our room so now when we get back to our residence halls we all chill in our lava lavas. They are super comfy. He gets distracted pretty easily and is in his own little world sometimes but I don't think you'll find many more people who are as loving as he is.
Elder B. who is Elder P. comp. is a fireball. He is the one who sets himself up thus making him the butt of our jokes. He is hilarious and can take the jokes too which is nice and makes it fun. He's from American Fork. Him and I have a lot in common as to our social groups and types. He'll tell stories of things that he did in high school that remind me of similar things that I did. He didn't wrestle but he was in choir. If you think I sing a lot, you haven't met elder B. Him and Elder P. are funny because when one is focused the other is distracted and visa versa. They're getting better though and they add a lot to our district.
Then in the other room of our district is Elder Mu. and Ma. and Elder H. and Vander V. Elder Mu. is my favorite. He is 230 pounds and super ripped. We do work outs together during gym time and it's a lot of fun. He can do push ups while I'm on his back doing push ups. He's way funny and has an awesome testimony. He is from somewhere in Arizona. He always has a good joke to share that helps lighten things up after a long day.
His Companion Elder Ma. was in mine and dads 2010 National Jamboree troop. I really like him, but he can be kind of a stick in the mud. But that's a good thing for a district with as much energy as ours. He is always there to help us maintain the spirit in the classroom which is essential to learning everything that we need to learn in six weeks.
And then there's Elder H. and Vander V. I really like them both but I don't have much to say about Vander V. other than he's from Indiana. Elder H. is great. Everyday on the chalk board in our classroom he rights a quote and they are always really good. He played Rugby and has played on a National Championship winning team.
As for the food, it's good but it's heavy. I stopped eating the main courses regularly and usually just eat wraps and fruit and hardboiled eggs when I can. I will not let the MTC make me fat. I didn't expect there to be so much. If you go away hungry it's your own fault. I feel bad for the workers for having to feed a few thousand missionaries three times a day but they do a good job. The food has wrecked my digestive system. Excuse me, but I haven't had a solid poop since I got here and it is really frustrating and that's why I switched to wraps and fruit which still don't help the consistency. The food as well as Elder Mu. have had Moses 7:41 dedicated to them. This scripture is what Elder H. calls the Eternal Farts scripture. And that's all I have to say about that.
The schedule is busy but regular. It's gotten a little harder to write in my journal because it's the same routine everyday so I mostly just write about specific stories or instances that happen in my day. We have personal study time in the morning and then breakfast. After breakfast we have three hours of class and one hour of language study then lunch. After lunch we usually teach our investigator. Talk about learning a language by immersion. They had us start teaching in Cebuano on the third day. On the first lesson we crashed hard. It was a very humbling experience but it helped us to learn what we needed to do the next lessons. The third lesson has been our best one. We didn't have to rely so much on notes and the spirit was able to guide. On that same day, Elder P. and Elder B. weren't very well prepared and so after Elder H. and I had a successful lesson we went and said a prayer of gratitude in which I also prayed for Elder P. and B. Later when they were telling us about their lesson they said that it went great and that the spirit guided them even though they weren't very well prepared. My eyes filled up with tears as my testimony of prayer was immediately strengthened. We pray so much. Before and after everything. When you have a question you pray. When you are stressed you pray. When you're about to teach a lesson you pray. And the spirit is with us. I love it. I've prayed my whole life but never like this and it's something I could get used to.
Yesterday morning during personal study I was on my knees praying and Elder H. was at our desk studying. When I finished my prayer I stood up and bonked my head on the bunk above me and it hurt so bad! So I was laying on the ground in pain for a second and then I got up and Said "Faith! we need to teach our investigator more about Faith!" And Elder H. looks at me and said. I just turned to Faith in Preach my Gospel! So we concluded that Revelation must come from hitting your head really hard.
I have seen Elder Reid Once because of the Tuesday night devotional. It was so good to see him. We got a picture with his Camera but I didn't have mine on me at the time. Elder Patey lives in the building across from me so we see each other all the time. He has gone two weeks without speaking English so it's really hard to communicate with him but we manage because I know a little bit of Spanish.
The hardest thing about Cebuano is that it is completely new and unlike anything I have ever seen. You have to learn it by translating from English but it doesn't translate directly so you have to understand things how they are in Cebuano and not in English. This will get easier as I learn more of the language and can start understanding things and thinking things in Cebuano if that makes sense.
I will write more next week but I am out of time. I hope all is well at home and that everything went well at the Rodeo. I really missed it this week but I know I am in the right place. I love you all.
Continue writing me on dear elder so that I can read your letters before email time. That works really well.
Love Elder Lowe

A note from JaNae- I abbreviated the names just to protect the other Elder's privacy since this blog is on a public domain. To clarify the ripped shirt statement when he was talking about wrestling... My brother Mason (Elder Reid, Ethan's really good friend) ripped his shirt wrestling someone from his district the first couple days in the MTC. 

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