First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIGUEL!!!
I'm doing great here in the MTC. Hopefully all the photos and videos went through OK. A lot has happened here over the past week.
Time is flying by so fast. Every day this week has seemed so quick. For TRC we are teaching Patricia. She's an amazing lady and a golden investigator, so to say. She reads all the pamphlets and scriptures we give her plus way more. Patricia is super easy to talk to and we have great discussions. It's pretty cool because in addition to the regular lessons, we got into deeper questions like science vs religion, how God has shown glimpses of truth to people all over the world (eg. Buddha, Mohammed), why the apostasy was so long and what happened to the good people then, and near-death experiences. Thanks so much Mama for all our discussions late at night! They helped a lot with answering her questions.
During our first lesson, we were planning to talk about the Restoration, but because Patricia was talking a lot about life after death, we did lesson 2: The Plan of Salvation on the spot instead. It was really cool teaching on the fly, with no pamphlets. But it went really well and the message really comforted her. When we talked about the spirit world, we renamed spirit prison spirit school 'cause it's a place of learning, not a prison! We're also teaching Samson and he's a great guy. It's super cool how sometimes we go over something in class, such as role playing invitations to go to church, and then talking about that during TRC lessons. Also, Patricia and Samson were invited to be baptized, and they said that if they get answers from God that our teachings are true, then they will accept, which is awesome! Even though I'm teaching in English, not Hungarian, it's still good because I get to learn tons of teaching skills. I'm pretty comfortable teaching lessons now and TRC is one of the highlights of my day.
Sunday was fast and testimony meeting. I got up and bore my testimony. Then my entire district (10 including me) came up and spoke too. It was a great experience. As a zone leader, I also taught the priesthood class. At night we watched a movie about pioneers called Legacy. It was a good movie and was a nice break from all the talks and devotionals.
We got a few new missionaries this week and now there are 4 elders in my room :(. But the new guys, Elders Tingey and Reynolds are great and they're going to Montreal. New missionary orientation and tour went much more smoothly now that I did it for the second time. Being a zone leader is a good assignment and lots of new missionaries ask me for advice and questions too. I'm also the keeper of the peace haha. Just as a side note, there were 41 missionaries in our zone, but a few have left and more have come, so 50 is a good estimate for the number of missionaries. There's about a 2:1 sisters:elders split. The age change for sister missionaries has significantly increased the amount of sister missionaries and I predict that we'll approach a 50/50 ratio soon. But it's even possible that there may be more sisters than elders one day 'cause the church is about a 60-40 split for women and men. That's just my two cents.
It's getting hot and dry here, so I'm drinking a lot of water. It hits 100 Fahrenheit or over 30 Celsius here already. Luckily we got AC.
Some elders in my zone are off to the field already and I've sent pictures of them. Elder Mocellin is going to Montreal, so some of you might see him if you go to the summer Montreal conference. I've also met a Bulgarian sister who knows Sister Mamorova really well.
I got a package from the Nymans. I was so excited when I got it. They gave me some fudge treats and Mrs. Nyman and Dan gave me short letters which was super nice of them. Thank you so much Nyman family!!! The treats were really good and I shared them with my zone and everyone really liked it. See, I'm a good person (and I'm trying to stay healthy too). ;)
On Thursday we had an in-field orientation where we had a series of workshops on planning, goals, doctrine of Christ, and working with members. It really pumped me up for the mission field. The Hungarian missionaries were there and I did a practice role play in Hungarian with Elder Lister, I mean Lister elder haha.
During class our teacher printed off the hymn "Joseph Smith's First Vision" in all the languages people in the class had. So we sang in English, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Samoan, and Ukrainian. It was really cool.
On Tuesday we had the MTC devotional. Elder Bednar was there! His talk was called "One by One" and he talked about how the Lord reaches out to the one, and how as missionaries we go two by two to teach one by one. Also I learned that there's no such thing as a coincidence when you're on the Lord's errand. We concluded by singing a song he wrote called One by One for the very first time in public, which was really nice. It was a great experience and I was looking at Elder Bednar while singing One by One. The song will be published in the next issue of the New Era.
I'm excited to go to Hungary and there's only 3 days left for me here in the MTC. I've done no lessons in Hungarian, but I've read over the pamphlets and some of PMG in Hungarian. Now that I know who the Hungarian missionaries are and where they are, I see them often. They're all great elders and sisters, and in total, there will be 9 of us going to Hungary (4 elders, 5 sisters). I bought a phone card, so I'll call at the airport on the 13th. So don't turn your phones off!
Happy birthday again, Miguel! You're Forever 21 now! Enjoy your day and drink two sodas today at Subway (but work on your drinking problem lol: Mama I'm on your side).
Congrats Pablo on your graduation from Hungarian school. And good job with seminary!
Thanks for all the sports updates. I have a friend from Colombia, Elder Robles, and he always asks me what's the current results of Copa America. Also the politics updates are really good too! DearElder is working just fine and I'm getting all the letters. Go Harlequin baseball and go Jays!
For those of you who have the day off or are skipping school (cough cough Pablo), relax enjoy your day! For the rest of you, have fun too!
Take care everyone,
Elder Gonzalez II
|With my companion, Elder Tuimoloau|
|With Elder Hernandez, from London, Ontario, who flew with me from Toronto.|
|Escape from the MTC haha|
|With Elder Robinson, Miguel's former companion in Hungary, and who now teaches at the MTC|
|With Elder Szuch, whose grandpa is Hungarian|
|Meet the Magyars! Elders Szuch, Graham, Lister, and Gonzalez|
|I got a package from the Nymans! Thank you so much Nyman family!!!|
|Departing missionary from my district: Elder Garcia Jimenez|
|Departing missionary from my district: Elder Brock|
|Departing missionary from my district: Elder Mocellin|
|Departing missionary from my district: Elder Rocha|
|I finally got through all 17 of my ties.|
|Meet the Iron Man|