Monday, December 31, 2007

And So It Begins

November 16, 2007

So, they're forcing us to write to our parents after our first day, ha ha :). Our P-Days are Tuesday so I'll probably send most of my letters then. The MTC is really cool so far. We have mostly been at orientations and meetings and such so it's been a very full day. Tomorrow we start classes and stuff. We also have an hour of gym time five days a week. My companion, Elder Maynes, is from Spokane, WA. We also have two other Elders in our room who are going to the Long Beach mission Spanish speaking.
I ran into Kayla Green (from Seattle singles ward) in the cafeteria at dinner. She still has one more week before she leaves. I hope all is well, tell everyone I say hi. Love, Ryan

November 20, 2007

I hope this letter finds you well. Today (Tuesday) is our first P-Day. We just got back from the temple this morning. The Celestial Room reminded me a lot of the Seattle Temple.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, I'm sure that we will, mostly because we get bigger meals and more free time. Every day we wake up at 6:30 a.m. and pretty much have class from 7 a.m. to 9 or 9:30 p.m., with meal breaks and one hour of gym time. So needless to say, we have a pretty full day each day.
I'm learning Spanish really fast. It's amazing how much I can remember from High School. We do these things called "English Fasts" at lunch, where we can't speak any English for the entire meal, so that really helps. We also use this computer program called TALL to help us with words and phrases. They challenged us to learn at least 25 words a day.
I had an interesting experience the other day. We went to this placed called the R.C. (Referral Center) and basically whenever someone sees one of the commercials that the church puts out or calls the phone number on the back of a pass-along card, the call is directed to the MTC and missionaries and BYU students get to answer the phones. We get to go once a week for about an hour or so. They have a lot of great resources for missionary training here, and I can only imagine how well I'll be able to speak and teach in January.
There are so many missionaries here! If you send a letter or something expect an extra days delay in me receiving it, because they have so much mail to sort through. A few missionaries receive mail through, which allows you to e-mail letters to the MTC and they print them out and hand deliver them. This brings me to some bad news. Since there are so many missionaries, we aren't able to call home on Christmas. However, they said if there is enough time when we go to the airport to fly to Texas, we are allowed to use the pay phones at the airport to call family, so I'll let you know what my flight plans are as soon as I receive them. As of now, my estimated departure date is Jan. 16th.
We have e-mail capabilitiy here at the MTC, but they have this program that times you, and when it counts down to 0 it shuts off the computer whether you've sent your e-mail or not, so I'll probably stick to writing letters for a while.
Every night we have quiet time at 10:15 and then lights out at 10:30, and for the past few nights at about 10:25 or so, somebody outside throws water balloons at all the open windows on our floors. Nobody can figure out who is doing it, but they do it almost every night.
Since we don't have much media, we have to invent things to keep us occupied, so some of the elders make up games, like trying to steal your name tag off your jacket and stuff like that. A bunch of the Elders in our zone also like to see who can find the most attractive sister missionaries in the cafeteria. It also gets super competitive during gym time. We have tons of different games we can play such as volleyball, soccer, and basketball, but the most competitive and popular game, and game with the most injuries is four-square. They said almost all of the gym time injuries come from four-square.
I hope all is well in Seattle and tell everyone I say hi, and that we need their prayers. I'll try to write as often as I can.
Love, Ryan