Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Loving It

Hey Familia,

Sounds like you've been pretty busy! I'm fully settled into the routine now and time just seems to go by so fast here, four weeks already! It seems like I got here yesterday. On sunday I was assigned to be the district leader for my district. In the MTC that means get mail and interview people once a week, and a couple extra meetings. Not too difficult. I guess the only thing that I might worry about is being the best example I can to the other missionaries. I'm finally understanding what "teach with the spirit" actually means. Yesterday Elder Moss and I taught Lesson 2 (the plan of salvation) to another missionary in our district, as himself, not pretending to be an investigator or anything. Because of a series of circumstances, we had no time to prepare our lesson. Nevertheless, as we involved the other missionary and taught him according to his needs and understanding, the spirit lead us in the best lesson we have yet taught. I actually learned something I didn't know and taught it in the same sentence. How does that work? No se. Anyway, spanish is coming along quite nicely, all the reflexives and subjunctives that don't exist in english are loads of fun. Dad, I don't think I'll have time today to write a spanish letter for you, but maybe. If not, thank you so much for answering my questions. Very Bednar-esque "Quit worrying about it." Sorry this letter is short because I had a few emails to read this week. One from the TRC investigator I told you about. This is very poorly organized writing. Anyway, take good decisions, have luck, make your prayers. God wants that you are happy. Speaking English in spanish is fun. It makes 4 weeks that I am in the center for training missionaries, and I love it.


Elder Brandon "The Power Convertor" Fine

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Visas and Rumors of Visas

Querida Familia,

There's an investigator I need to email today so that should save some time at the end. Also tell Sister Beecher I've been meaning to write her back and thank her for the donuts but time just disappears on P-day, I can't email pictures in the mtc because there's no way to get them onto the computers here and then into an attachment, but I should be printing some in the next week or so and I will send those home :) The food here is abundant, sometimes questionable, and extraordinarily unhealthy, I think I have actually managed to gain weight for the first time in a while, I'll keep doing resistance band curls and sit ups to prevent it from becoming a problem. This week in visa rumors: The head of the Mexican Consulate is taking a 2 week vacation starting sometime this week, and the Consulate in Utah is a mormon hater. Speaking of Mormon haters, the big concrete signs in front of the MTC are gone. Rumor (which is all we really get here) is that we got hate crimed and the signs were vandalized badly enough to warrant replacement. Well, I love you all and hope you are well. Dad, if you could read up on whether or not taping a memory card inside a cracker box or a pringles can or putting stickers of Jesus across the seal or any other variation of that and shipping it actually works? Let me know what you find out. Thanks!

Elder Fine

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Miracle of a Mission

Hola Familia,

Good to hear from you! The family reunion sounds like it was a lot of fun, sorry I couldn't be there, but I could still feel your love, so I guess that's all that matters. Speaking of temples, we get to go every week on P-day and it is buenicimo. Did I tell you Cathy Beecher sent me donuts last week? yeah. that was awesome. Especially since Elder Moss was kinda frustrated with me that day because I don't do anything quickly and he's a lot more task oriented than I am. also, he's 6'3" and walks really fast, or faster than I do...oh well, of all the things that could be wrong with a companionship, walking at different speeds isn't really the worst one, is it? Regarding visas, Mom, you're right that they used to send missionaries somewhere else once their time in the MTC was up and then send them to their mission. They are no longer doing that, first, because there are so many missionaries that are having this problem, and second, because they want missionaries to get to their assigned mission as soon as possible. If they have to wait too long for a visa, they will simply be reassigned permanently to a different mission. So, to answer your question, yes, there are missionaries that have been in the MTC for 16 weeks. I can't believe I've already been here for two weeks! At the same time, I can't believe it's only been two weeks. @Dad, I won't have time to write a spanish letter today, but you'll get one next week. Regarding parasites: One of the things they gave us along with our language study materials (which are brand new and really useful, Adam didn't even have the spanish materials that I do) was a water filtration bottle and an extra filter for it (so I have two charcoal filters). Supposedly you can put anything in this bottle and drink it. I read up on it and there is definitely nothing getting through that filter alive. Just to be safe though, I'll try to avoid stuff that has to be filtered in the first place. Well, my half hour is already almost up. Oh, and my departure date is 0919, not 0921, I guess it changed between the friday they sent it to me and the wednesday that I got here. So make sure to put that on letters, I don't think you have to worry about it on dearelder. And if Lauren could let facebook know, that would be nice. I miss you all, but I know that I am doing the right thing. I can feel myself changing for the better, and I know that the spirit is guiding me. My teachers, Hno. Hunt and Hno. Pace are awesome. They're very passionate about missionary work and I can tell that their missions meant a lot to them. We watched a video yesterday by Jeffrey R. Holland that he gave to the MTC in 2000 called "The Miracle of a Mission." If you can find it and watch it, I think you'll really enjoy it. He speaks more directly and passionately in it than I have ever seen him, and that's saying something, because he's Elder Holland, and he does not mess around. It really made me think about my purpose and what God wants for me. I have a minute and a half. Anyway, I am so thankful for all of you in my family for what a great example you are to me, especially to Dad and Adam, thank you for serving missions and being so respectable. I love you. Have a great week!


Elder Fine

The Joys of a New Life

Hi Family!

Since I don't have any email addresses, I'm just replying to your work email. Thanks everyone for the letters. I heard about Tempe Town Lake. Elder Hunt said it happened just before we left. I wasn't really paying attention when we drove past the Lake to get to the airport. I guess my mind was on other things. I haven't had a chance to play the piano. I am eating a lot. They're remodeling the gym right now so we all go accross the street to the missionary field to exercise. I usually play volleyball or frisbee or run. I also am using Adam's perfect push-up gizmos and they gave us an elastic band to work with in our rooms. There's also a pull-up bar in the hall so I use that too. P-day is today, wednesday, so that's when you guys will get email while I am in the MTC. I think it's great that you guys hung out with Logan and Tommy. They really are two of the best people I know, and I hope you guys continue to be friends even though I'm not there. Maybe Logan will ask Lauren on a date or something. I want to hear all about vacation and what you guys are doing. Dear Elder is free, and getting mail is fun, so just tell me something unimportant or random that happened that day, and I'll enjoy it. Dad, I wrote you a letter en espaƱol. You'll probably get it when you get home. If you want to correct it for grammar or make suggestions, that would be great, and also write or email me in spanish as well, I think it would be good practice for me. I probably won't have time to email in spanish, but that's okay. Well I made it through the first week and all the initiations are over and we're finally in a consistent routine. I'm actually doing much better at the 10:30/6:30 thing than I thought I would be. I guess early to bed and early to rise really does make a man healthy and wealthy and wise...okay maybe not wealthy, but I can definitely see the blessings of obedience in how well I am learning the language and teaching skills. I think spanish comes a little more naturally to me just from hearing it a lot. I wish I was better at teaching, but I guess that's why they send us to the MTC before we go into the field. A warning for you all: it is highly likely that I will have to wait for my visa. There are missionaries that have been here 16 weeks (that's a 6th of their mission!) waiting to go to Mexico City. They just had us fill out a form that I remember filling out once already for our visa applications. Hopefully all goes well. I think I get to call you guys when I get my travel plans, so that'll be exciting. Okay, almost out of time, so...I love you all and you'll be hearing from me next week! Have fun!


Elder Brandon Fine