We got to talk to Jeff on the phone today. He called home from the airport before his plane left. I was at work, but I was able to talk. I also conferenced in Neil so that the 3 of us could all talk together. I made a few notes so that I could write about some of the things that he said.
Jeff loved the MTC. He had a great district and they loved to play practical jokes on each other. The night before they flew out, Jeff sprayed shaving cream on everyone's hands while they were sleeping and took pictures. Then he tickled their faces until they recahed up and smeared shavin cream all over their own faces. Jeff said that about 500 missionaried arrive to the MTC each week and he estimated that there were around 4000 there at one time. Jeff said that the teachers there are really awesome. They are using a new system of teaching where they bring in actors from BYU and have them play the role of investigator and then the Elders practice taching them. Jeff struggled with the role-playing concept in the beginning but as he learned to teach with the spirit, he became better at it. He is still looking forward to having actual people to teach though.
Jeff's district also had some hardships while they were in the MTC. One of the boys brole his ankle while playing basketball at the MTC. They took him to the hospital and when they did the scan of his ankle, they found a cancer in one of his bones. Jeff said that it was a miracle because thy found it early enough that he will just have to have some treatment and then he will be able to continue his mission in about 6 weeks. If he hadn't broken his ankle they would not have found it this soon. Then this same Elder had his uncle die while he was in the MTC. Jeff was able to give him a blessing so that he could feel at peace. Also, another Elder in his district found out that his 19 year old brother overdosed and died while he was in the MTC. Jeff was able to give this kid a blessing too and it was a spiritual experience for both of them.
There were 13 Elders in his district all going to St. Louis on the same day, so they nicknamed their flight the Apollo 13. Jeff said that he has been able to help a lot of the Elders in his district deal with some of their emotional trials such as the deaths above, but also with things like some of them had left girls behind and a lot of them were stressed out with the schedule that they have in the MTC. Jeff said his motto is to make every companion his best friend and help them as much as possible. Jeff also hasa kid in his district named Elder Romney going to St.Louis with him. I think he said that his mom is Mitt Romney's sister.
Jeff also mentioned that they have a bunch of recorded talks from the church general authorities that are special topics just for the missionaries in the MTC. He said that Jeffery R. Holland is his favorite speaker now. Jeff also got to go to the Provo temple a few times while he was in the MTC. I have never been to that temple before, but Jeff said that it is really pretty. He said that there is a very large chandelier that rotates slightly when you look at it and that it is very pretty.
Jeff had heard that St. Louis is pretty bad for crime, Pick pockets are very common so he asked us to send him a belt that we saw in the missionary stores here that has a zipper hidden on the inside of the band. That way he can keep some money in their and not get robbed as easily. Also, he said that a portion on the East side of his mission has been closed from having missionaries due to the crime and danger in the area, but they are re-opening it as soon as his dictrict arrives from the MTC. I hope all the missionaried serving there are kept safe!
Neil had to get back to work, so he got off the line so I called up to may parent's house because the rest of the kids are staying up there with them for the month of June. Jeff got to talk to all the kids and his grandparents, so that was good for him to. The kids were really excited to hear from him!
We don't know what area he will be assigned to, but I will post again when we get a letter from him and know where he is at. He will get any letters or packages sent to the mission home, so you can write him at that address. It is posted on this blog under the "write to Jeff" tab at the top of the page.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wow another week down... this is my last p-day at the mtc crazy! I'm so glad to be leaving to ST.louis though:) Love getting every ones mail!! thanks for all the support and mom i loved the package you sent me we ate everything within like 30 minutes ha ha everyone was wondering why the potty train joke was on the tag ha ha that's my mama!! I'm doing a short email today i will be on a 1 to check it again so if you reply before then i will get back to you. I finally got my camera up and running so i will be sending some pictures back then my mom will be uploading those to facebook. So this week was crazy hard because i was a host for the new missionaries coming in and their families were all crying and when i see them cry then i want to cry but as everyone knows i don't cry ..... the on top of that we got our dry cleaner day taken away:( so Ive been washing my clothes in the sink and shower all morning ha ha Teaching our investigators in so much fun now that i know what I'm doing I'm no longer just teaching lessons I'm teaching people and its by the spirit I'm loving it!! this place is like a spiritual prison!! Ive never been this in tune with the spirit my whole life i hope i can keep these study habits with me forever!! hope to hear from you soon!!
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Wow its so crazy to think a week has already gonna by time truly flies in the mtc. I'm loving the food and there is soooo much of it to eat i havent gained any weight yet though so thats good. The spirit here is so strong i love it i envy the elders that are here for 12 weeks they are so lucky but idk if i could handle this food for that long im definitely missing the home cooked meals!!so ill tell you a crazy store that's happened here in my district. Elder dahle that is from west Jordan Utah broke his ankle playing volley ball and went to the hospital today to get it checked out and they found some cancer in his leg! The lord must really be looking out for him because they found it early enough that there wont be any major damage caused. He is very lucky!! Anyways im loving the basketball time there is another elder in my district his name is Elder Sims and he and i have been teaming up and sweeping the courts ha ha! I wish we had more gym time because 50 minutes is nowhere near enough time!! But that's no the main reason you come to the mtc i guess.. ha ha I love my teachers they are so great Brother elton is crazy and he always has s much energy he truly keeps the room alive. I'm getting use to the mtc life and schedule its hard only having 7.5 hours of sleep everyday but its soooo worth it! There are lots of cool things in the mtc like there is this one tree and the sap from the tree smells like creme soda its sooo cool i want that tree at my house hint hint mom and dad..... This MTC also has the most diversity of all the mtc's in the world the kid sitting next to me on the other computer is from Thailand and no body can understand him so he has this microphone that translates everything for him lol. We have people for alll over the world its so cool meeting them and talking about their culture and how different everything is. My testimony has gotten so much stronger the mtc is like a gym for your spritual muscles ha ha I cant wait to go to ST. Louis and meet all the people their! We also pray about 20 times a day which i wasnt use to but its nice to be in the spiritual mode all day! I miss my music for sure! at the mtc you cant even listen to the hymns but i guess you wouldn't have time for that with how busy you are. my address is on Facebook is you want to write:) i miss you all so very much and hope to hear from you soon!!!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Dropping Jeff off at the MTCThis was Jeff's last look back at his family when we dropped him off at the MTC. We had all the kids and Jeff's grandparents there as well as his uncle Casey. We parked across the street at the Provo Temple and walked with him over to the MTC. A missionary met him there to help him with his luggage. He gave all of us a hug and then he was off! It was weird driving away knowing that he was only a few blocks away from where I work, but that I wouldn't be able to see him or talk to him for the next 2 years!
We tried not to be too emotional, which would make it harder on him leaving. Tori had the hardest time and was pretty much a basket case on the walk back to the car, but she is adjusting now. They were really close before he left, so it hit her the hardest. We are not sure when we will hear from him next because their P-days are staggered while they are in the MTC.