Friday, 3 June 2016

MTC Week 1

Hello everyone!

First off I'm gonna write about what I did this week before answering questions y'all wrote.

This week sure has gone by fast. Lots of classes and teaching. I sent a schedule, so that you could have an idea of how much time I spend where. Basically a ton of classes and study and a little bit of time for everything else. I'm no a tie tying pro and each week in the MTC I use a different tie. I can iron too now, so all's good in the hood. I can get around the MTC easily now. It's really quite small, but every building looks the same.

On Sunday we watched a talk called “Character of Christ” by Elder Bednar which was super good. It's about how in hard times we would normally turn inwards and complain, but Christ would turn outwards and help others. It was a great talk and it made me want to be more like Christ. I'm also in the MTC choir and we are practicing a new song called “One by One” by Elder Bednar. Next week he's gonna come which is gonna be awesome! On Tuesday night there was a devotional with Elder Bennett of the Seventy. I was in the choir and you can probably see me singing "Sweet Hour of Prayer" if that devotional is available online. I looked at the camera a bit and smiled haha.

We have something called TRC where we teach investigators. Some of them are legit, but a lot are members. They all get paid, so it's not too realistic, but still it's a good experience. We have Austin, who is a Baptist and I think is legit. Our very first lesson was kinda shaky as we talked about the Restoration, but the 2nd time we had a more low-key, Bible study sort of discussion where we read 2 Nephi 31 together. It went really well and the next lesson we taught him the plan of salvation. He was kinda surprised by all the Biblical references of the plan of salvation we gave him. So it's going really well with him. I'm pretty sure our other investigator, Catherine, is a member by the way she answers questions. Still it's a good experience and we've taught her the first two lessons already. My teaching is improving a lot and sometimes words just come into my mouth as I talk. They have cameras in the room so our instructors are watching us haha. One time I'm gonna give the camera a thumbs up and a wink. We gave them both Book of Mormons, so now my count is at 3.

My teachers are Sister Bain and Sister Allred. They're great. We read 1 Nephi 2 together and discussed how Lehi and his family leaving Jerusalem for the wilderness is kinda like missionaries leaving their homes for two years to serve the Lord. I can basically substitute Nephi's name with mine in 1 Nephi 2:16.

We also had a quiet lesson to make the Holy Ghost the teacher. So no one talked, everything was text based, and the only sound was from videos we watched and when we did role plays. It was actually real good and I could self-reflect a lot and feel the Spirit. From one of the scripture passages I read the thought came to me that "missionary work is essential in the plan of salvation." God's plan is for us to return to live with Him one day and missionaries help bring souls to Christ. It was a really neat experience. Brother Goldthorp would be so proud of me right now haha. #institute #onmymission... #deep

As a zone leader I had to pick up the new missionaries, take them to the residence, get their luggage, look for them, take them places, give them a tour and an orientation, and change their diapers (just kidding). Lots of running around, but I gotta admit: it was really fun.

Here are the missionaries in our district:

Elder Tuimoloau: American Samoa (lived in California for the last few years) - Anchorage,
Elder Alfred: Atlanta, Georgia (originally from Sri Lanka) - Las Vegas, NV
Elder Soto-Monet: Puerto Rico - Reno, NV
Elder Gregoriev: Ukraine - Salem, OR
Elder Leota: American Samoa - Napa, ID
Sister Torres: Montreal, QC - St. George Utah
Sister Snickers: Montreal, QC - St. George UT
Sister Gaytan: Mexico (lives in CA) - New Jersey
Sister Aybar: Dominican Republic - New York

And of course me, Elder Gonzalez: Toronto, ON - Budapest, Hungary. ;)

Our branch president is president Schow. There are maybe half a dozen districts in our zone and at least 20 zones.

I'm eating healthy, but after a week you'll get bored of the MTC food. Always fruits (pineapple, cantalopes) or salad, main dish, and then juice or chocolate milk or milk, and sometimes dessert or soda.

I didn't leave anything at home, but it would've been nice to bring my quad scriptures. I can borrow them here and it's all good, but the Hungarian Bible has no Bible dictionary or nothing. So I bought a quad with the mini scriptures at the bookstore for $6 (missionary discounts for the win!). I couldn't find my shampoo (maybe I left it at Nyman's house), so I just bought a shampoo and body wash too (Old Spice oh yeah).

I met the Hungarian missionaries! There are 3 elders and 4 sisters. One elder apparently never came to the MTC, so with me included that makes us 8. A Russian elder from my zone told me that they were looking for me, so I went up one floor where my classroom is and I found them there. It was great to speak Hungarian. They speak great and are all super nice. I met Elder Robinson* (*Miguel's former missionary companion in Hungary who now teaches in the MTC)  too which was cool. I see them often now and we greet each other in Hungarian. They can speak pretty well, so Elder Robinson's been doing a good job. 5/5 stars, would recommend to a friend. xD

So for the Temple story, there was a Temple worker who we call Mama Andrews. She helped us out get our temple clothes and at the end treated us out for dinner in the Temple cafeteria. It looks just like a restaurant. Too bad you can't take photos there!

DearElder is working well and I always love getting mail. The district leader picks it up twice a day. Sometimes a letter gets repeated, so the program's a bit glitchy, but still it works and I love hearing from y'all! Last night I made a list of all your questions and topics, so that saves me a lot of time when emailing. So feel free to reply and message me on DearElder instead of email. I got a dozen letters already, so I got a lot of love back home. :)

There are two zone leaders, me and elder Gregoriev. We have to guide the new missionaries, be good examples, and help the branch president. And meetings too which are kinda boring. But I get an awesome flip phone. I can only call information desk lol. I made the wallpaper a pic of me and my comp and a French missionary recorded a missionary wake up song so that's a really funny alarm.

Great job Miguel on getting your job! Subway sandwiches all day every day! We had em one time in the caf here, but they were cheap, so they added only a bit of meat haha. ;)

Happy name day Anita! I only realized my name day was on the 26th just before I went to bed and wrote in my journal.

I'll send some individual emails to people to reply to the things they did. This big email is mainly for general stuff and the blog.

I'm getting all the photos that I've been sent, but for videos it says: restricted access, so I can't view them. Try sending a 10 second video maybe to see if that works.

Thanks for all the sports and politics updates. I get NBA playoffs news from the cafeteria workers, so I'm ahead of the game.

I took a quick look at the blog and it looks great! Thanks for making it, dad!

I'm writing in my journal every day and wrote over 20 pages. It helps me with emails to remember what I did.

Thanks for the messages from the Don Mills ward and the YSA! Be good everyone!

My MTC departure date is Monday June 13. I arrive in Hungary on the 14th.

I'll send replies to all y'all emails shortly!

Have a great week,


Ponderizing: D&C 100:6

The graffiti for my name was made by my gangsta comp yo.
Even more diligent student ;P
The District (we're better than the one in The District videos)
With Elder Lister, also going to Hungary
And with Elder Graham, going to Hungary, too.
With Elders Alfred and Soto-Monet
Leaving for Hungary on June 13th
With my companion, Elder Tuimoloau

You used to call me on my cell phone....
A picture of my schedule
I use a different tie for each day at the MTC (thanks Mr. Fernandez!)

Went to the Temple today and did a session in Hungarian (asked for headphones)

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