Troy’s Letter: December 15, 2009

11 01 2010

Hola familia,

Well it’s almost our halfway point here at the MTC. This Friday will be one month exactly from when we got here and from when we leave. Everything is starting to fly by and I feel like we will be out of here by tomorrow. I honestly can’t explain the time here. It feels like something we did 2 weeks ago was yesterday but also like it was a year ago. Weird.

So each Wednesday a ton of new missionaries come in and we feel older and older each week. Yesterday like half of our ward left for the field and I’m told we’re getting like 25 new missionaries in our ward tomorrow. Apparently they are all natives too so that should help us with our Spanish. No one from my district is going to Vina so January 18th will be a really happy and a really sad day. None of us is looking forward to saying bye to each other.

I’m sorry that I can’t call on Christmas. I have no idea why this is the rule- probably because Christmas is just another day here (besides a special fireside) and everyone would be extremely distracted if we could all call home. I don’t even know what phones we would use I don’t think I’ve seen a phone since I’ve got here, haha.

I have to say this Christmas season is definitely entirely different from any other Christmas season I’ve had. Sadly, it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all. Every day is just another day to study the gospel and Spanish. The only time that I’ve felt like it was Christmas was this last Sunday. The BYU men’s chorus choir sang Christmas songs and I actually felt homesick and felt as if it was Christmas for the first time, but sadly, that didn’t last long haha.

I’m glad dad actually told a funny joke, and yes, he definitely should have walked away after that. It’s so funny that you should mention it being like George in Seinfeld. We had a talk by a member of the 70 recently about leaving the lessons when the spirit is strongest. That way the investigators are left feeling as if we carry the spirit with us wherever we go. Later my companion compared it to George on Seinfeld, haha–he said instead of leaving after a joke, we need to leave after the spirit testifies the strongest to leave the same effect.

I loved President Monson’s story this Christmas devotional, I don’t know if you guys had time to watch it. It was the story of Gate 67- if you didn’t have time to watch it I suggest that you do for FHE or something. He truly testified of the true spirit of Christmas, which we should all have.

While thinking about Christmas I realized that there are 2 kinds of people in this world- people we love, and people we just don’t know yet. I truly believe that by getting to know someone we get to love them. This is why we love our families the most, friends the second most, and then so on. It’s because the better we know someone, the more we love him or her. This is why our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have such an amazing love for each and every one of us; it’s because they know us better than we know ourselves. Just a cool thought.

I highly enjoyed Savannah’s and Dad’s Dear Elder letters.  They both came the day after you sent them and I liked having time to read them during the week. OH just something that is pretty cool I thought you guys would like to hear. Do you remember Elizabeth Smart? The one who was kidnapped for 8 months and on the news all the time? Well guess what she is at the MTC! She is going to be serving a mission in France and is actually very attractive. I had a conversation with her yesterday. Her younger brother is also at the MTC, Elder Brown taught him and his companion yesterday in the TRC. How cool is that?

Well I had some pretty sweet experiences this week in the RC. The RC is a place where we chat with people who get on Mormon.org, take incoming calls, and make outbound calls. We make outbound calls to people who have ordered things like DVDs, a bible, a BOM, etc. We all make a million calls a week and sometimes, when we’re lucky, we get to testify, teach a lesson over the phone, or send missionaries. This week I was able to testify to a black woman in the south about the truthfulness of the BOM and I also was talking to someone who ordered a DVD from the church. I asked him if he received it yet and he said no. It turned out that his address was wrong. So I just asked, well I apologize about that, how about I send some representatives to send it to your door that way we know it will get there? Ha ha ha. So, I deceived someone into receiving the missionaries. Just kidding, we talked about the missionaries and what I was doing and what they would be talking to him about.

So next week will be all Spanish, we might be having a funeral for English on Monday. I feel like I know so much more Spanish than I came when I got here but I still have a ways to go. I’m praying for the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues every day. It wouldn’t help if you guys prayed for me as well, haha.

Well I have seen a ton of friends from BYU since I have gotten here, I just had my friend, Roy Copans, (Elder Copans now) come in on Wednesday. He is going to South Africa English speaking and will be leaving before I am even though I’ve been here for a month. What a punk. We’re all so jealous of the people who head out to the field, what an awesome day January 18th will be.

So my district leader just gave me a letter from the Choraks haha. John emailed me last week saying that he sent me a letter but I didn’t get it until just now. But it’s all good, tell him to expect a letter from me this week. Well my time is running out, but tell the girls that I will be sending a letter home in complete Spanish, including a church talk that I wrote for this last Sunday. Church is pretty interesting here. Our prayers, hymns, sacrament prayer, and talks by the elders and sisters are in all Spanish. The only English part of the meeting is a talk by one of the members of the Branch presidency. Two of the members of our presidency don’t even know Spanish so I love looking at their faces during the lessons haha. Well anyways, I love you all and I will talk to you next week.

Con todo mi amor,

Elder Teeples

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