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Monthly Archives: December 2011

R&R at the MTC: Rules and Regulations

I’ve always understood that laws and commandments are there to protect us or bless us or maintain our freedom, but here at the MTC, sometimes it’s all just a pile of less than desirables. I remembered my camera, but the restrictions on file searching and such, I can’t access my camera to attach pictures. Graaagh. Frustrating. Maybe one day I’ll figure it out. So sorry for the lack of pictures, errbody. I’m sending some physical photos home today, so maybe they can be scanned and sent to the appropriate destinations.

N ways, I’m still having fun at the Empty Sea, learning Spanish and Gospel things. E. Edwards and I are now teaching with Hermana Jensen, which is a new and exciting experience. She’s helpful and pretty cool, but she has “this problem where she doesn’t smile enough.” Her words, not mine. It’s a little funny, but mostly I just think she’s perpetually sad sometimes. We’re now teaching Douglas, Gloria’s brother. It’s going well so far. We’ve met twice and he’s read from the Book of Mormon and learned to pray and recognize answers from the Spirit. We taught last time about Joseph Smith and the gold plates and the translation into the Book of Mormon, and he’s committed to read the introduction and title page of the BoM and pray about it. We’ve extended the invitation to be baptized and he said he’d think about it. Bueno!

Apparently it’s a normal thing to gain a bunch of weight in the MTC… As of this Monday (I believe) I’ve only gained 3 lbs. But I have yet to weigh myself since. Still rockin’ the four square! I hope my metabolism is good enough to allow me to work out minimally and still maintain a healthy BMI and all that health related stuff I don’t know about.

So my district leader, Elder Lundberg, does this thing every so always where he asks Gospel Would You Rathers. The currently popular one is this: Would you rather talk with the Three Nephites for 3 hours (they answer every question completely, no ‘I can’t tell you that’ answers) or see Abraham’s vision (the one with all of the people on all of the planets and all of creation and whatnot)? He gets us so offtask… Our district is actually really bad at focusing. On a completely unrelated note, we’ve had 16 teachers in the past 2 weeks.

OH so I continually realize how small the world is. The other day, I was walking out of dinner, and I see an Elder who looks kinda familiar. His nametag says “Elder Day.” I ask, “Do you, perchance, happen to be related to Craig Day?” And Elder Day says, “Uh, yeah. He’s my father.” WHAT? I just happened upon my cousin in the MTC. Crizazy! He’s headed to Argentina, I believe he said. It’s ridiculous. Also, as a zone leader-to-be, we picked up the international missionaries from the front desk, and there was a British elder there. Today, I saw an elder who was in my ward at BYU. Lo and behold, the Brit was his COMPANION. It’s ridiculous. But awesome.

And that’s all I have time for today, folks. Love you all and miss you lots!!
Elder Pickett

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in general

 

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Peanut Butter and Bacon: The MTC at Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS, WORLD!! We get a bonus email session today, so that’s why I’m here. This week has been crazy. We’re gonna meet 2 new investigators on Monday, Douglas and a mystery investigator. Douglas is the drunk brother of our previous investigator, Gloria. Me and my companion, Elder Edwards are PUMPED. Mostly because our Spanish is coming a long way and we feel loads more confident.

This morning we had Sacrament meeting. FOR 2 HOURS. WITH ELDER BEDNAR!!! Holla!!! It was pretty much the best. Super crizazy spiritual, about being truly converted unto Christ and His character. He told us that the epitome of the natural man is the Cookie Monster. Previously, his wife related a story in which her grandaughter found an Elmo costume before acting out the Nativity and instisted on wearing it, and hence she was Elmo the Angel. ‘What the irony?’ I said to myself as I sat in my nearly front-row bleacher seat and chortled. Then we closed the meeting with “I heard the Bells on Christmas Day” my absoLOOT favorite Christmas hymn ever. I was pretty much bawling. In a good way.

Which brings me to the next tidbit: the worst part about the MTC (in my opinion). I cry. EVERY. DAY. Just kidding. It’s the music. Not the singing every class period, no. The singing in the halls. Why? Because the first song that is sung in the showers to begin the day will be CONTINOUSLY HEARD in the halls throughtout the day. It wouldn’t be too bad if they were good songs, and complete songs. But the elderes decided that it would be an awesome Idea if they sang songs like Feliz Navidad–quite possibly the WORST Christmas song ever written (excepting Blue Christmas, of course… ick.)– and they all sang it every night at the top of their (mostly) out-of-tune voices. AY! It’s incredible how infuriating it can be. But, I figure if that’s the most irritating thing, I’m doing alright.

NEWS FROM THE DISTRICT: So the other day, the districtfolk were conversing and they said, “You have to be a district leader first in order to be a zone leader.” And I retorted, “No you don’t.” And they were all, “Yeah, you do, twit.” ( I added the “twit” to emphasize my point. B the w, Elder Lundberg is our district leader. Lo and behold, what happens on Friday? My companion and I are extended the call to be zone leaders after our current ones leave (Jan. 2nd or 3rd.). shaZAM! So that’s pretty cool, I guess.

Food still good; lunch today was Thanksgiving, take II, which was tasty and delightful, since my first Thanksgiving was lacking in these departments due to my fantastic wisdom teeth surgery 2 days prior =P Life is awesome, right? Anyways, I’m liking it here, but missing y’all and wishing that I could’ve been there on ACTUAL Christmas, though our mini family Christmas was quite lovely =) We had a district Chirstmas party-thing this morning for to open our presents together and SHOOT I just remembered that I forgot my camera. But this isn’t on the normal schedule, so I think I get a pass. But I discovered that my camera was dead when we got there, so I only have like 3 pictures… sadsies. Oh well. It was fun, but I felt bad for Hermana Jensen cuz she can’t be in the male residence halls… =( que triste. But she’s doing well despite this grand and terrible trial.

We’ve had 15, COUNT ‘EM! Fifteen different teachers in the past 10 days. Ridiculous. But understandable because Hermano Tidwell, our real teacher, and Hermana De Leon, our second teacher are both on Christmas Vacation with their fams. I feel bad for our teachers yesterday. And all those who have to work today and had to work yesterday in whatever job they may be occupied. And those who are not employed. Yikes. My heart goes out to you.

N ways, I’m pretty much out of time. I’m having a gay old time here at the MTC, so don’t worry about me. I miss you all and I’ll be back before you know it!!

With amor abounding,

Elder Pickett
P.S. The title: two delicious things that really don’t mix together–a symbol of the paradox of emotions I feel being away from family in the MTC.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2011 in general

 

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General #1 (22/12/11)

Hola folks! So I’ve survived one week in the MTC now. Everyone told me when I came in, ‘just make it to Sunday, and you’ll be fine.’ How true that was. I was drowning in Spanish and working out kinks with my companion, Elder Edwards, meeting hordes of new faces… Yikes. But then Sunday came around, and it was a really nice and much needed break. Most of it was in english, and we had a devotional from Richard I Heaton, who directs something here at the MTC. He said things that were directly applicable to my situation. I honestly can’t remember any of them, but it’s written in my notebook. Essentially I learned that my focus was wrong and that I needed to focus on the Spirit and learning about people and the Gospel and how they’re related and such, instead of the language.

Speaking of, Spanish is coming along nicely. I feel a minimum level of confidence going into lessons with Gloria, our investigator-turned-teacher, and I’m always learning SO much everyday. I thought about how much I was learning the other day, and the thought came to my mind about how after this life we’ll learn and we’ll learn at ludicrous speed and I realized that the MTC is a little like that. I’m not learning at ludicrous speed, but it’s pretty close to hyperspeed. It’s wunderbar. But I am enjoying it, and my half-hour is up.

Missing you and having fun,
Elder Pickett

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2011 in general