Archive for April, 2012

Week 2 at the MTC

Dear Friends & Family,

Happy Friday! this is my second P-day, and it still kind of feels like a half P-day. I just got back from the Provo Temple. For all the years I’ve lived in Utah Valley, this was my first time ever going to that one. It was awesome!

I have not figured out a decent way to post pictures to this blog yet : /  the email here is super wonky. I have some really awesome pictures too!

We’ve been teaching our investigator, Yoshi-San. the language has been challenging. My companion and I frequently disagree on the teaching style we should use in the visits. It is frustrating because we lack the comprehension to understand and address our investigators needs. but we are improving.

Our district is awesome! We pretty much do everything as a district. We are together in the classroom, which takes most of our day. We frequently eat together, got together at Sabbath meetings, and get together at the start of every study session.

The food is good, but I’m trying to eat health. I never touch my entrees until after I’ve eaten a fruit and vegetable. I’ve actually lost six pounds since I got here, but that was before I received all those delicious treats in the mail. (Thank you Mom and Bro & Sis Rife!!).

It is strange to be so close to my home and yet so far away. Coming out of the temple the first thing I saw was Lavell Edward Stadium and I thought, “man I’d love to watch some BYU football right now.” It’s times like these that make me feel like two years is an eternity!

On Tuesday Bishop McMullin came and spoke to us. He is an incredible speaker! So is his wife! The are marvelous examples to missionary service!

Oh!  Haven’t told you all about Easter yet! President Packer and his son came to visit us. The sacrament was administered to the entire congregation, which was the entire MTC. I have never sen the sacrament administered on an industrial scale before! After the meeting I bumped into President Watson! He’s a Branch President down here. We also had an evening devotional with the BYU men’s choir. That was pretty awesome too!

And yes, I did meet Elder Archuleta. He’s pretty chill. I guess he’s going to Argentina. I don’t remember with mission. he likes to sit in the vicinity of our district a mealtime so I bump into with some regularity. I actually didn’t realize it was him the first time I talked to him ^-^! How am I of all people supposed to know what he looks like!

Everything is going pretty good here! Thanks for all your letters! I can’t tell you how much they pick me up when I see them siting on my desk! I love hear about how everyone is doing and stuff! I love you all and I know the Lord will watch ove ryou in my absence. I miss you!

 

With Love, Elder Tobler

PS Please don’t send any more treats. My teethe are rotting our of my face. I wish I could show you the picture on our room’s communal “candy shrine.” It deserves the title.

PPS It’s not that I don’t appreciate it. I do. I am thoroughly enjoying them all. It’s just . . . wow, I don’t know how I’m going to eat all that before I leave the MTC. My whole district couldn’t even put a dent in it.

 

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Entering the MTC

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MTC Update!

Dear Friends and Family:

I don’t have a whole P-day, so I unfortunately must be brief.

I am in the MTC and doing great! After I was dropped off, my host guided me through the proccess of getting all my things (including the greatly-coveted nametag) and helped my bring my bags to my residence. My residence is on the top (fourth) floor of the residence hall, and my classroom is on the top (fifth) floor of its building, so I’ve been getting a lot of exercise!

At the classroom I met my companion: Elder Da Silva (ダシルバ長老).  He’s from Brazil. We are both very excited to reap the promised blessings of obedience, even when the rules don’t make a lot of sense.

We had a big meeting of all the new missionaries. The hymns we sing here are slightly different. For example, in the Army of Helaman we sing “And we are now The Lord’s missionaries.”

On Thursday our Japanese instructor was a substitute. All our teachers are very knowledgable, but I prefer our regular teacher because we don’t get major overload.

At first I got the feeling that there was not a lot of organization going on. I did not know where I was supposed to be, and when, and what I needed to bring there, what I was allowed to wear and do there and things like that. But Thursday night we had a branch meeting that addressed these concerns. We had a long and very spiritual testimony meeting! The native Japanese elders and sisters have a unique and powerful spirit about them! They make up a little more than a third of the branch, but about 75% of the spirit that is there. I think our branch contains all the Japanese-speaking missionaries. We also found out in this meeting that the MTC is divided into two (member) districts, A and B. District A has about 25 branches. We are Branch 22. The branches are divided into Zones and (missionary) Districts. The branch presidency called and assigned (as opposed to set-apart) the zone and district leaders at this meeting. We also learned companionship inventory and daily planning. Elder Da Silva and I made it our personal goal to read the white handbook by Sunday, and to maintain “irrational optimism” throughout our entire missions. We had no conflicts to resolve. This companionship was clearly inspired.

We group taught our first faux-investiators the first day. It was choppy at first until we learned the power of testimony. The Spirit does not seem to care whether or not the situation is staged. Yesterday we taught our first investigator in Japanese. Yoshi-san. It was not so much our language ability that tripped us up as our bad referral information. We relied upon it too heavily for our questions. We must become skillfull enough to get to know our investigator before trying to teach him. The Spirit will not be there if we do not love him, and we cannot love him if we do not know him and are not able to have him share his experiences with us.

This is not the nightmare I was led to believe. In fact I am having the time of my life 😀 I love you all and I look forward to having a better chance to send you news. My clock is ticking down so I need to go now. May The Lord keep and bless you.

Love,

Elder Tobler

トブラー長老

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