Thursday, May 29, 2014

Second Week at MTC

Hi everyone!  Hope everything is going well back home!  Happy Birthday Olivia!  Its too bad I'm not there for everything, but I'm there in spirit.  This week, nothing super exciting happened, except for a couple things.  It was pretty much like last week with the same type of lesson schedule.  I did figure out how to put pictures up!  Guess who came for our Tuesday devotional this week?!  Russel M. Nelson came and gave us a short talk about being missionaries, and how we need to teach investigators, or people not lessons.  There was one quote that was super funny, "having character is better than being one".  I thought that it was pretty funny.  During my P day last week, after I was done emailing, we went and played volleyball, and then to the temple.  It was very nice to finally have a day off. 
The hermanas that were in our zone left this past Monday for Mexico!  It was cool to have them in our zone, and we got 6 new missionaries this week!  4 hermanas, 2 elders.  One of them is 6'7"! I'm not the tallest person in our zone anymore!  They all seem like nice people, and I'm sure they are.  I also got to see Tevin yesterday!  He was one of my roommates in school, and I knew he was coming in, and I saw him in the Cafeteria, and went over and talked with him for a bit.  It was good to see another person I knew.

Okay, so in this email I have 5 pictures included, I will send another email with just pictures because I can only get 5 to fit.  There are some pictures of me at the temple, and one of my companion.  Oh and by the way, he speaks 5 languages now, swahili, kerundi, french, English, and Spanish.  In the next email I will send some pictures of us at the big map.  I'll try to remember to get lots more pictures with the rest of my district today.

Spanish is coming along pretty good so far.  We did this thing on Monday, where we meet some volunteer members who let the missionaries teach them a lesson in Spanish, and it was pretty cool and fun.  Our teachers also pretend to be investigators during the first hour of each class, and 2 companionships are assigned to teach them.  I think those are coming along well.  We can understand the questions that they have for the most part, but the hard part is responding in Spanish.

I realized I might need a couple things in the package you send me.  I could use some more socks for gym time or P day, some of my socks disappeared, and they might be in my room but I don't think so.  I could also use some eye drops, I don't know what it is out here, but my eyes get itchy a lot.  Also, send lots of pictures of back home.  Some of the elders in my district got pictures of them, and their families and should them to us, maybe you could send some to me like that.

Thanks for all of the letters, keep writing lots!  That's great that other people want to know more about the church because they hear that I'm serving a mission!  Tell lots of people to write me!  Getting letters is the best.  My time is almost up, so goodbye!  Happy Birthday Olivia!! don't have too much fun without me!  Good luck with school, its almost summer!  I'll email again next week!

Love- Elder Austin Carey

Elder Carey and his companion at the Provo Temple

Elder Carey and his companion at the MTC

Thursday, May 22, 2014

MTC First Week

Hi everyone! 

Sorry I haven't been able to write yet, today is my first P day, because they didn't want to give us a p day right after our first day.  First let me tell you about my district.  There are 4 elders and 4 hermanas.  We only have 14 people in our zone.  It was funny because when I got to west campus (where all the Spanish speaking missions are, I walked off the bus and one of the hermanas in my zone was a friend of mine from BYUI!  My companion is Elder Habonimana, and he is from east Africa, Tanzania.  He has lived in Salt Lake City for 6 years.  The elders in my district are Elder Cummings and Elder Slade.  They both are from around here and are great people.  Sorry, I don't have any pictures for today, I forgot to bring my camera with me to the computer lab, and I only have one picture on it anyway, but today, we are going to the temple and will get lots of pictures.

  So far this week has been very good, on my first day, when I walked into the class,  the teacher was telling me to do something in Spanish and I had no Idea what she was talking about, but now, I think I am learning Spanish quite well.  How is everything doing back home?  Be sure to send lots of letters, dear elder works great so far.  That's cool that you and Dad were able to see a general authority!  During Sunday evening devotional we watched a movie called the Character of Christ.  It was a talk given by Elder Bednar two years ago in the MTC.  It was REALLY GOOD. Then at the end of the movie, Elder Bednar walked in!!!!!!!!!  We were able to have an awesome question and answer session with an apostle of the Lord!!!  It was so cool, he answered all of our questions perfectly!  It was cool because he always had a scripture or a talk from somewhere to relate to the question.  He made some very cool analogies about faith and the gospel of Christ. It was one of the coolest experiences ever!

My whole district also decided to be in the choir for Tuesday devotionals, and this week we sang Where can I turn for peace, and it was great!  the only problem is that the seats for the choir in the auditorium are horrendous, and are possibly the least comfortable chairs I have ever been in.  We were sitting there for so long!  Oh, and for Tuesday devotional, the speaker was Elder Evans of the Seventy, and he taught us about teaching people, not lessons, and that now is the best time to be a missionary.  It was a very good talk.

OK, so on our 2 day, one of our teachers told us that on the next day when he came back, he would be Jose, and investigator we were supposed to teach.  The hard part was that it all was in Spanish!  This was on our 3rd day!  we were able to understand a little bit here and there, but for the most part, it was just reading Spanish scriptures and telling him stuff that we had already translated.  But as we progressed, we gave him 4 lessons, the last one being yesterday.  Each one I feel got progressively better, but now our teachers, both of them are going to be new investigators for us to teach, with 20 min lessons before each class.  Our first lesson with these "new" investigators are tomorrow.  It is pretty good practice to teach someone in Spanish.  There are also people who live on the campus and pretend to be investigators.  We weren't sure if they were members at first, but we talked to one, and asked him, and he said he was required to tell the truth, so he is a member, but gets to stay here and help new missionaries practice  giving lessons to him.  He isn't the only one, there are lots of these people, and we are supposed to talk to them and have them let us give them lessons like we would an investigators.  My companion and I have already talked to two of these people besides Alan( the one who told us he is a member) and they said we could teach them!  One of them, his name is Jorge, said we could once we learned the language more, but he has been helping m companion and I get the hang of Spanish.  The other, whose name is Mercedes, said she had a friend who wanted to here from us, so we will go teach her friend next week sometime.  It will be cool to get to teach them all. 

     As for things I need, I was told that I couldn't use my backpack, so I need a shoulder bag, I also wouldn't mind some good snacks!  :)    As for the shoulder bag, you can either send me one, or I could just wait until I get to Mexico, and get I nice one for cheap.  So far I have been able to make it without too much hassle without my backpack, but we will see.  I can't think of much else for you to send me, but if you think of anything, let me know.
Yesterday was the one week mark, and was when all the new elders and hermanas came, none of them are in my zone, but it is nice not to be the newest group anymore haha.  I hope that next week, we get more missionaries for our zone.  I will let you know, but now, my time is just about up, be sure to write lots, dear elder is probably best for now in the mtc.  Can't wait to here from you next!

-Love Elder Austin Carey

Monday, May 12, 2014

Officially a Missionary and Heading for the MTC in Provo, Utah

Today I am being set apart as a missionary, so I will officially be a missionary before the end of the night.  I would like to thank everyone that helped me get to where I am today. 

Provo MTC

I am grateful for this opportunity to go and serve the people of Guadalajara.  I have heard a lot about missions being the best two years, so I am excited, but that doesn't mean I am not sad that I will be leaving everyone that I know.  I know that this is the right thing for me to do, and that I will come back having changed for the better.

Thank you everyone, and see you in two years!

Elder Carey