Friday, August 28, 2009

Elder Mayberry checks in. English will die soon!

Well here I am again at the end of another week. The time here is flying by like CRAZY. It seems like just a couple days ago that I was doing laundry but alas, here I am doing it agaion. Everything continues to go great here at the MTC. Not too much happened this week. Well not anything different than the last haha. Same schedule same everything. We did get to see the temple dedication on Sunday though, so that was exciting. My first one. Spanish is coming. Not miraculously fast though. We've basically learned all of the spanish grammar now so now I just have to practice conjugating and saying stuff. I'm excited because English dies not this week but next. Scary but I know that that will be the period where my growth is the most. Because I already knew most of the grammar and stuff, I just need to talk spanish all the time. So I'm excited for that and to see how much my ability grows in that time. Our class has shrunk big time. Our district used to be 12, but now its 8. It makes the room a lot less crowded, which is very nice. Four of the girls left on monday night to go to the guatemala MTC for the remaining six weeks so thats why the class got smaller. They're all going to Central America on their missions so thats why they headed down there. Only the sisters do that mainly though. So now theres only one girl in our class which means that she is a solo missionary and has to basically join a companionship of 2 elders. Thats most likely gonna be us because there's already a trio in our class and the other two elders just got called to be the zone leaders. We had 21 people from our zone leave this week, including the zone leaders, which is why there's new ones now. A cool thing about the people that left is that a bunch of them were delayed and finally got to leave. Like one companionship was having trouble getting their visas to Argentina (I guess its hard to get them there) and they had been here for 14 weeks when they were supposed to be 9. So they were really excited. A couple of the others were native speakers that are also going to Argentina, but they are also having visa trouble. They were only supposed to be here for 3 weeks since they're already fluent, but visa trouble kept them an extra 5 weeks. They still didnt get their visas, but they got temporary mission transfers to Salt Lake City south mission. They were just excited to get out of here too. One of our teachers left this past wednesday to go to Mexico and propose to his girlfriend so we didnt have him all week. We had this other guy named Brother Dallon. He's crazy. But in a good way. His teaching style, both to us and to investigators is very different but its pretty interesting. He told us this week that when he was on his mission to Ecuador, the most effective way to knock doors was the following: (In Ecuador it gets hot and people just leave their doors open and their culuture is a lot different then ours so this is acceptable haha) Him or his companion would say this "Hola hermanos! Somos de la iglesia! Venimos a conversar! Con permiso!" They would say this as the walked straight into the house, no knowcking or anything. Basically just being all friendly and walking straight into the house saying "We're from the church, we come to converse, with permission!" He showed us this a few times and the whole class was astonished haha. Its crazy how different cultures are from ours. He also said a couple times that they'd just barge in and yell "Con permiso!" Just yelling "with permission!" while entering the house. And people don't even care haha. Its normal to them. Anyway, I really like him. All the teachers here are good. Yesterday we had the opportunity to go to the Referral Center for the first time and make calls, in English of course. No one answered mine haha, all answering machines. But my companion got a ton of answers and actually sent some missionaries to some people. So yeah, thats about all the excitement that we had this week.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Aaron going strong! 8-18-2009

Hello again from the MTC!
Another week done here! I'm that much closer to leaving this place haha. I can't believe I've already been here two weeks. But this week has FLOWN by so thats really good. A pretty accurate description of how time goes here is as such: the days seem like weeks and the weeks seem like days. That pretty much hits the nail on the head. Days drag on and on and on but it seems like just yesterday that I was in here typing my last email. Things are going great with me. I'm finally pretty much used to the schedule now. I'm not tired during the days, well not too tired, but I'm not dozing while in class anymore so thats good haha. Except on Sundays, there's just something about them that makes me really tired. I dunno. Today I had a nap and let me tell you, it was AMAZING. First nap in two weeks haha. I didn't know I could survive that long without one. Things are going good with me and Elder Erickson. We're very alike in some areas that I'm thankful for. Like how he wants nothing to do with choir and neither do I haha. I'm thankful to not have a companion that has to drag me there, oye that would be miserable. We're doing well teaching together. We both have teaching styles that kinda compliment each other so thats good. We both have strengths and weaknesses that we help each other with so I'm glad to have him as my companion. For example, he's much better at teaching and talking to "investigators" than me, but my spanish is a lot farther along so whenever we do something in Spanish I carry the conversation and in English he does haha. Whatever works I guess. Speaking of the Spanish, it's going great. I'm suprised at how much I already know. Like we do grammer stuff almost everyday and its mostly review for me and for others, but I seem to understand it better. I can comprehend Spanish SO much better than I can speak it. Like I understand almost everything that my teachers say (except for Hermano Hidalgo when he starts speaking super duper fast cuz he's from Mexico) but when I try and say something its just so much harder because you have to be able to know which tenses and words and conjugations to use and stuff. Just a lot to think about when trying to say something haha. But yeah, it'll come eventually. Still got tons of time here. I'm just glad I'm not Chad or Marshall and have to learn Japanese or Albanian, that would be so hard. Jason left for phoenix on Tuesday. I wrote him today and asked how the field was so I can have some idea of how different it is from here in the MTC. I've made a lot of new friends here so thats good. All of the guys in my hall are either intermediate or advanced. But a bunch of the guys going to Argentina are delayed and have been here longer than they've supposed to be because of visa trouble. A lot of the advanced guys, who are only supposed to be here three weeks, have been here about 6 now so they're pretty much going crazy haha because they just want to leave. Thank you for the package! I've been wanting something to be able to eat at night while in my room since I got here and now I have something so muchas gracias.I can't believe Jordan cut his hair haha, I bet he looks pretty funny. Send a picture ASAP! And tell him good job :) So yeah, all is going great here at the MTC. I'm very happy to be here. We watched a great talk by Jeffrey R. Holland that described the importance of Missionary work so that was good. I am growing so much here its crazy. Everyday seems to add more and more to my testimony and for that I am thankful. But yeah, I want to hear from you all so please write! Letters really help get you through the time here haha, its the only connection to the real world. I'm interested in how things are going with everyone back at home, what they've done, how they're doing, etc. So yeah, write por favor. I'm excited to hear from you all. I'm doing great, having fun and learning all at the same time. Thank you for your support, it means a lot. But alas, I must finish this email. ¡Muchas gracias por todos! Hope you all are doing great back at home! Best of luck in all your endeavours. You shall hear from me again next tuesday!
Love, Elder Mayberry

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Greetings from the MTC !! 8-11-09

Hello! So much to tell you about! So basically this week has been quite crazy and hectic and amazing. First I'll tell you about our schedule here at the MTC. So we wake up at 6:30 everyday and half an hour to shower and get ready and stuff and we have to be at class at 7. We're there for 45 mins and then go to breakfast. Then at 8:15 we go back to class. Each class we start with a hymn(en espaƱol) and a prayer. I'll tell you more about classes later. But we're there til lunch which is at 12:30 everyday. Lunch lasts 45 mins then back off to class til dinner at 5:30. After dinner is even more class until we finally get back in our rooms at 9:30 just in time for lights out at 10:30. So yeah, we basically live in our classroom and sleep in our regular room. we do however get 50mins of gym each day so thats a nice break from class. That time varies day to day.So class is great, we have two teachers, Hermano Hidalgo and Hermana Cochrane. Hermano Hidalgo is from Mexico and served in Riverside and Hermana Cochrane is from Utah and served in Argentina. So we get to learn from both a native speaker and someone who had to learn Spanish so that's quite helpful. So far we've been studying lesson one from Predicad Mi Evangelio(Preach My Gospel) and been practicing that in English. The teachers switch from Spanish to English throughout class so we're kept on our toes. We study the books(Book of Mormon, Bible, Preach my Gospel) in both English and Spainish though. So we get lots of practice in in both languages so thats good. The Spanish is coming back amazingly so I'm really happy about that. I understand most of what is said during class and can kind of read the stuff in the books well. I just need to look up verbs when I dont know what they mean. Oh, yeah, I can pray in Spanish too so thats good. We only pray in Spanish now. Like I was saying, we're learning how to teach the lessons first in English, so that we can fully understand the doctrine, then we're going to learn them in Spanish. That'll be around week 5 or so and at that time, English "dies" and we can no longer use it in class and stuff. Hopefully my spanish is good enough by that time. I think it will be.Life here is good, its a lot of fun but I've also never learned so much so fast. Meals here are good, theyre basically the same stuff we ate at BYU for 8 months so I'm used to it. I'm not so used to the schedule though haha. Its hard for me to get up and when I do I'm tired throughout the day, but its getting better as I am here longer. And naps arent allowed haha so i just have to suffer through it.My companion is Elder Erickson. He's lived a lot of places throughout his life but most recently lived in Utah but attended two and a half years at Westpoint. So this schedule is cake to him haha. He's a little older (he turns 20 this month). We get along pretty well, no real problems so for that I am thankful. Oh, he is also going to Santiago East.The district I am in is made up of 7 elders and 4 sisters. Two going to Chile, three to panama, five to honduras, and one to virginia. We are an intermediate spanish class so Im glad about that. We are still here for 9 weeks though.I've gotten to see all my friends that are up here! elder Mayberry(Ryan) and Elder Velez(Mauricio) live the floor below me and go to class in the same building and have the same schedule as me so I see them often. Marshall I've seen a few times and talked to, he's doing good and he says his albanian is coming pretty well. We (mi compaƱero y yo)actually were sitting on a bench today and Elder Klein(Marshall) and his companion came and bore their testimonies to us in albanian so that was cool. Elder Martinez(Chad) is doing well but says the Japanese is quite hard. He already leaves at the end of this month. Elder Brase(Jason) just left this morning for Phoenix so i got to say bye to him and take a picture with him yesterday. He's speaking English sop he was only here for 3 weeks. Elder Anderson leaves on thursday so thats neat too. It feels like the time will never come for me to be able to leave for chile haha. We arent supposed to say first names to eachother, just Elder so and so, and I can't get used to that. I still call ryan ryan cuz thats just too weird if I called him elder mayberry. funny side note, me and ryan have another set of twins in our classes, so one's in mine and the other is in ryan's.Well my time is almost up so I'm gonna wrap it up real fast. Im doing just fine here. I love it. the Spirit is so strong and your testimony grows so much and so fast here its crazy. But yeah, I hope all is well at home! I can only access email once a week but I can read letters any day so choose whichever but I'll respond! I look forward to hearing from you all and best wishes to all of you! Youre in my prayers.Much love,Elder Mayberry

Monday, August 10, 2009

8-10-09 First handwritten letter from MTC

Hello Family!

Well, today has been crazy to say the least. We have been so busy that it is hard to even think straight or realize that we're actually in the MTC. We were given lots of things like an ID card thingy, room key, nametags, lots of books, schedule, etc., etc -- lots of things. That was basically once we got dropped off, we went from station to station getting these things, then dropped everything off in our room. I already got the chance to unpack and everything is hanging nicely. So, from there we went to do some training activities, which was basically an orientation. The first half was a mock teaching of an investigator in front of the huge group that some RM's did. Then we learned all about the gym and rules and regulations and such. So, then it was 3:30 and we had to go to an orientation by the MTC presidency and that was great. They talked about the importance in serving a mission and a bunch of other things. There are so many people that reported today. Well, after that was dinner and we just got back from that. I got a chance to talk to Ryan and Mauricio, who are neighbors one floor below me. I even talked to Jason, who leaves on Tuesday already cuz he's speaking English. My companion is Elder Erickson; he's from New York. He isn't much of a talker so we'll see how that goes between us.

Oh, yeah, in an envelope we got is our address so I'll give that to you now.

Elder Aaron Louis Mayberry
MTC Mailbox #119
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Also on that paper is a thing that says my estimated departure date is October 5th, so I should head to Chile around that time. Later tonight we have an orientation with the Branch presidency so that should be good.

Well, I love you all and hope that you're doing all right after today; I know it was hard. I shall e-mail you when I can. I think my P-day is Tuesday.

Elder Mayberry

P.S. Just got back from Branch orientation; it was quite good. Learned more about schedule and stuff and procedures. Then got a tour of the whole MTC and where things are. My P-day is Tuesday so I'll e-mail you then!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Arriving at the MTC 8-5-09

Elder Aaron Mayberry entering the MTC, Provo Utah.
8-5-09 12:30pm

Missionary Mom, Elders Aaron and Ryan.


Lynette, Elders Aaron and Ryan, Brad.

Elders Aaron and Ryan at Provo Temple