Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MTC Letter 4

Can you believe that today is the 20th day I've been here???!!!? It's so crazy to think that I've been here that long. The days seem to go by pretty fast and the weeks go by ridiculously fast. It seems like it was only a couple of days ago that I was writing my usual email home. The time flies by here so darn fast. Everything is well.....everyone in my room is pretty much sick or recovering from sickness. I blame the shot that I got when I first came here that made me sick. Stupid shot. However I'm getting better. I bought some nyquil the other week and that is helping a little bit. Being sick stinks f.y.i. The sickness starts with one person and then moves incredibly fast through the district. It's no fun.

My classes this week have been awesome, as per usual. I learned how to count up to 20 yesterday. That was awesome. Everyone is probably thinking that I'm a loser that I'm so excited to count up to 20, lemme tell you how awesome counting in Russian is. Oh it's just too amazing. Have Chris explain it. So what they do is when they get to the 'teens' or anyother double digit number what they do is 7 on 20-that would be 27. It's just pretty cool, to me at least. Also yesterday we learned more verbs and nouns and adverbs and anything else that helped us "teach" in Russian about the Plan of Salvation. It was pretty cool. It's crazy though, there is so much conjugation and relfexives and word order. It's a bit confusing but amazing none the less! The Russian language, or any language is just a big huge honkin' puzzle with all of the pieces displayed before you and slowly one day at a time you put the pieces together to form this amazing immaculate beautiful work of art.

We had some pretty cool devotionals this week. On Sunday we had the General Director of the Mission Training Center, some old guy, but he was rather funny and interesting. That day was Fast Sunday, or slow Sunday depending on how you see the world, but anywho the devotional was good. I "payed" attention, meaning that I doodled some awesome doodles. I'll have to get them copied and send them home. Don't shake your head in disgust at me for those who are. I payed attention, I learned something new and the big thing is that I WAS AWAKE. It's hard sometimes to stay awake here at the wonderful MTC but somedays are harder than others. I find myself dozing off in class but then quickly wake up. During Sacrament meeting is the worst though. Elder Smith nudges me when I start to doze off, I told him to nudge me so that I won't fall asleep. He's cool. So...I'll try and get those awesome doodles copied and sent home. There will probably be more doodles tonight because there is another devotional. Every Tuesday and Sunday night! Don't worry I pay attention too.

Elder Smith and I are getting along quite well. We joke and laugh and what's going on and we're starting to work together more when we teach which is pretty awesome. One of our teachers said that he's excited to see the real Elder Smith and Young come out when we teach because now we're kind of finding out what's going on and what is the best way to teach. It's a work in progress and we're getting better at it everytime we teach. The same teacher that said the stuff earlier is doing this mult-personalitly investigator where he has a different person for every companionship in class. We teach in front of the class and try to make it understandable for him. He portrays a "Russian" character all with different language capablities and everything else. So some words we have to say in Russian and others in English. It's a great way for us to start speaking more Russian. I'm excited to learn more and more Russian everyday. I made some flashcards with verbs so now I'll be able to start working with verbs instead of nouns. I'm thankful for Heavnly Father and his kindness in blessing me with learning the Russian language. I can't wait to learn more. I'm starting to get that anxious "okay let's go out in the field and teach in Russian" feel but yet I'd crap my pants if I did because I would know nothing and would be a huge hinderance to senior companion. So I'll wait.

Thank you everyone for the letters through out the week. It's good to know that all is well.

The MTC is so rad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMGosh I love it here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Sarcasm) I'm kind of getting bored of it because it's the same thing over and over. But yet I'm learning A LOT so it's fun. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love you,
Elder Young

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

MTC Letter 3

Congratulations on recieving this message! You are part of a selected few to obtain this special notice (Mom could you forward this to like everyone!). So....this week has been your normal seven day week. It's a bit backwards because in the "real world" the week starts on Monday, but here I'm not sure when the week really starts. Weird huh? Today is Tuesday right??? See I don't even know what day it is!!!! AHHH!!!!! I can't believe that I've almost been here two whole weeks. It's amazing how fast the time flies away here. You wake up at 6:30 a.m. MST and then do your morning thing and then go to class. After that is lunch and then class and then dinner and then class. Basically I'm in class all. the. time. On the flipside, class is pretty cool. I learn so much. My brain has a funnel attached to it and the teachers pour everything Russian down that funnel and into my brain. It's a Noah's boat load of information. Some of it leaks out, because really who has a brain that is outrageously large and can retain all of that information. I'm able to retain some of that information and remember it! Yay!!! We've learned how to bear our testimony in Russian, as opposed to Spanish, and how to say other phrases. I would recall some of the phrases but I guess I haven't quite retained those yet. I'm working on it. During the stagnat lunch line I pull out my flashcards and try to memorize some words. It's working, the other day in class there were some words we were working with (wow that was like 8 'w' words wait now 10 in a row) and I remembered what they meant. It was pretty awesome! The other day towards the end of the class time one of the other teachers came in and said that if we read the Book of Mormon in Russian aloud then we will be able to speak Russian amazingly. The teacher is originally from Ukraine and served his mission in England. He said that he struggled to learn English but he read from the Book of Mormon in English aloud and by the time he finished he was able to speak English like anyone else, but with a Russian accent. It was superb hearing that, it made me feel good to know that someday I'll be able to speak Russian. On Sunday during our wonderful heaven-sent Temple walk I went over some flashcards and talked to the other district about what ever. On the way back from the Temple I had this little epiphany where I saw myself reading the Book of Mormon in Russian aloud and then eventually I was speaking flawless Russian. It hit me that I can do it and that I will do it. I've started reading from the Book of Mormon in Russian aloud, it takes forever but I know that I will be able to get through the Book of Mormon and that I will speak Russian.

Okay where was I????....Oh yeah, this week has been better with Elder Smith. We're actually starting to get along! I think that the first week of the MTC is probably the hardest because it's such a transistion change. He said that he was a bit homesick at times but is starting to feel better. I like to play the piano at night, that's the only time that I'm able to play really, so after "planning" Elder Smith and I go and find a piano for me to play on. It's amazing playing here, 1) the pianos are in tune (sorry Mom) and 2) the Spirit testifies of the message through the sweet music from the piano oh and 3) it helps me unwind from the day and relax and have no worries. I'm hoping that when I get to Ukraine in 10 more weeks or so I'll be able to play the piano quite often. So after I played my selected songs we got up and left and headed back to the dorm. Elder Smith and I are a work in progress, I am going to say that by the end of the time that we are here he and I are going to be great friends.

The last snipit---I've been a bit under the weather but everything is okay. I'm getting better. I love being here it's amazing.

Love you all. See you in 2 more years.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

MTC Letter 2

September 14, 2010

Hello!!!

This is my very first email being sent out from the M.T.C. My time here so far is alright. I like to refer to my Russian learning as a dive into an Olympic size swimming pool here, because high school language learning is like putting your feet into a kiddie pool. This is so drastically different from high school language study.

However, my teachers are great! Brother Toone is amazing, and I feel like I learn the most when he is teaching. Brother Wood is a super happy guy that loves life; I think that would be a good way to share how he is; and Sister Chenina a native Russian. She scares me to be honest. Even though she only comes up to my shoulders she still is like the typical Russian, scary and strict. On the happy side she's pretty cool and is helpful when it comes saying the words. I've learned how to testify of the Church, like: "I know this church is true" I'd type it in Russian but then I'd end up wasting my time on hunting and pecking for the correct letters so just say it in a Russian accent or have Chris say it for you.

The classroom is like my second room besides my dorm room. Talking about my dorm room, it's a lot like USU's dorm when I was up there but longer!!! The extra space is occupied by two other Elders. Those other two Elders are AMAZING! Elder Bangeter and Elder Noren are companions. Elder Bangeter is from Melba, ID a small town with no stop lights (Chris and Rob laugh uncontrollably) and Elder Noren is from Houston, TX. Elder Bangeter is your typical Idaho kid, worked on a farm and is super awesome. Our first morning here he said that he felt like he was waking up to go move water, irrigation. He has a cornucopia of stories that he loves to share with everyone. Elder Noren went to West Point Military Academy. His bed is super clean and crisp and so is he. He's awesome. I've copied him with his bed making, so when I make my bed it's clean, crisp, and awesome (Mom, yes this is true, I'm making my bed).

My companion is Elder Smith who is also from Houston, TX; If you were wondering Elder Smith and Elder Noren do not know each other. Elder Smith took two semesters up at the U of U. Any time we're walking around and someone else has a U of U shirt on he's like "Hey! I love that shirt you're wearing!"

Today as you guessed it would be my preparation day! I went to the temple with the District and did a session. I saw Brother Hadley there and smiled at him. It's always so good to see familiar faces around here. Speaking of familiar faces, I saw Timmy G, oh I mean Elder Gervais yesterday. He gets shipped out tomorrow (Wednesday) to Birmingham AL. We snapped some photos together and then went along our way. I see tons of kids err...Elders from Springville. Have I told you how nice it is to see a familiar happy face?? Oh it's amazing. Back to the temple story; so we did a session and then went and got food. THE BEST FOOD EVER!!!!! I had an omelet, hash browns, three sausage links, and a slice of cranberry something bread. The food there is tons better than the M.T.C. food, I wonder why?

Waking up in the morning isn't too hard since I had to wake up every day at 5:15 a.m. MST so it feels like I'm sleeping in a bit, but not really. I had my alarm set for 6:20 a.m. MST so it would go off a bit earlier so that I could wake up and be ready. Waking up at 6:30 a.m. MST does not work for Elder Young because I just hit snooze and go back to bed. That's why I had my alarm set early so that I could hit the snooze button at 6:20 a.m. MST and then go back to bed, but not really. I just laid there awake, and then when the alarm went off again I would be able to easily get up and out of bed and continue with the day’s activities. However, the other Elders in the room did not appreciate the early alarm and asked me to make it go off later. They were like "Okay no more 6:20 a.m. MST alarm stuff." So I complied.....for now!....and now I have a little bit harder time waking up. Oh well, who really cares any way??? I SURE DO!!!!

On the bright side of this week I was able to find a piano last night and played for a 15 minutes. Oh, it felt great playing. I wish I had anytime access to a piano so that I could play. It helped me get my stresses and angers out of me. Hopefully today I'll be able to play again. Tell Sister Gage thank you very much for teaching me the great valuable skill of piano playing. I love to play the piano.

I'll write letters home a bit because I feel like it will be easier and I'll have more time.

Question: Did I leave my camera cable at home, I can't seem to find it here or maybe I just haven't looked hard enough yet.

Love you all so dearly!

Elder Young

Friday, September 10, 2010

MTC Letter 1

FAMILY!!!!!!!!!

Yes I am alive and all is well. My campanion is Elder Smith and my roommates are Elder Bangeter and Elder Noren. More on them later. This is a "yes I am alive message". So this is all. On Tuesday I'll write more, PROMISE.
Hope all is well back home, it's going great here and I love it. Russian is quite the language.

Love Elder Young

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Last Pictures


Elder Young made it to the MTC today. Here are some pictures of his last moments before being whisked away.

MTC


Elder Young reports to the MTC today!! Wish him luck!!