Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week 3

Hey guys!

Well tomorrow starts week 4 out of 6 of the MTC! Only 3 weeks left, thank goodness. its honestly getting harder to stay studying, my daily schedule is exhausting. Im in the classroom from 7am - 9pm... with breakfast,lunch,dinner, and exercise breaks in between. The time is broken up into 3 blocks really. the schedule goes like this

7:00 - in class
7:30 - breakfast
8 - 11:45 : block 1, can be either Spanish class, study time
11:45 - 12:15 - lunch
12:30-2 : exercise and prep time.
2 - 5:30ish : block 2
5 -9 - block 3

its alot... and i never get enough sleep to not fall asleep during the day hahaha! The MTC is great but i cant stand being in a classroom for 12+ hours a day. 

Speaking about sleeping during things....

The Nashville Tribute band came here to the MTC! They are soooo good! Here in the MTC, you can come early to a devotional and be in choir, its a great way to get good seats, and its actually pretty fun! However, i was super tired on Sunday, and as we practiced i was already fighting my fatigue. our choir that day had 1700+ people in it, crazy right? When it finally came to the devotional, they dimmed the lights (that didn't help) and they went on singing. The Nashville Tribute Band's music is way to angelic, and with the dimmed lights i couldn't help but gracefully fall asleep... and by gracefully i mean sitting straight up in my chair with my head bowed and my hands clasped, because hey, who can get mad at you for looking like your praying am i right??? My Companion woke me up maybe 10 minutes before we need to sing, thank goodness for that!

I always like to give you guys an update on my Spanish! its coming along real well now. Although I'm no where near fluent, i can keep conversations and i teach lessons without Spanish notes, which i think is some pretty great progress, because my first week, id write down everything down that i want to say in Spanish, because it was super nerve wracking! But now i no longer get nervous about teaching in Spanish, its actually my favorite thing to do here! 

This last Sunday i had a wonderful spiritual experience. My zone was given the responsibility to give a sacrament meeting to some staff members. i was asked to give a short talk, and of course i agreed. My companion was also asked to give a talk, and he went before me. We could have chosen any topic, but we both chose to give a spiritual thought on repentance and the Atonement. As he gave his talk, he was prompted by the spirit to bring up a certain object lesson: The push-up/doughnut lesson. In this lesson, you would have a young man come up to front for you. Next, you would ask everyone in the room, one by one, if they would like adoughnut. If they choose to accept the doughnut, that young man would do a certain amount of push-ups, usually around 5-10. If they chose not to accept a doughnut, that young man would still do the set amount of push-ups. if more people came into the room, they would be asked also, and the young man would have to push ups for them.

 Do you see the Symbolism???? My father did this lesson back home, and he chose me to be the young man. I remember that lesson so clearly. At the time, i had no clue what my dad had in store for me. As he began the lesson he explained what i had to do. He asked me if i would accept his plan, and of course i did. The First 10 people weren't so hard, easy even. but as i went on it became harder and harder to do.Many accepted the doughnut, many declined, but i still had to do it. I remember the agony i felt as i struggled to do the push ups for each person. it almost became unbearable... i asked my dad if there was some way it could be lessened, but he persisted that i kept going. Many people came into the room, and even tried to escape so i wouldn't have to do it for them, however i still had to. i cannot tell you how sore i was after that night hahaha!

Now back to that sacrament meeting. When my companion finish i got up there. I decided to discuss the same lesson, since i had experienced it first hand and also because its such a great lesson to explain the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As i started to explain it, i became so overwhelmed with a feeling, and I couldn't help but start to cry. I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS IN MY LIFE.  it really hit me because is i was relating it to the lesson i realized that the pain he felt was 100,000,000,000,000 times worse than what i went through, and I realized why he wanted "the cup to pass him". Because of that lesson 2 years ago, i felt like i had a tiny fraction of an understanding of what he did and how he felt, but in no way am i comparing the 2, because what he did can never be compared to any thing we experience here in life. 

The Holy ghost testified to me that what Jesus Christ did was real,  and he suffered and died for our sins because he loves each and every one of us, even if we don't want his sacrifice. Also, that God loves us and knows us all personally, because he wouldn't have sent His only Begotten son to be tortured and killed if he didn't. 

But let me tell you it was hard giving the rest of my talk because i was so choked up haha. 

This last week was kinda bittersweet because a lot of friends i made here in the MTC left for the field yesterday. it Reminded me of leaving you all, and i hope youre all doing really well. i love and miss every single one of you guys. Shoot me an email telling me how your doing, i want to know!

Elder Bailey

Friday, August 19, 2016

Week 2

 Hey! today pretty much marks 2 weeks in the MTC. I love it but i also i hate it. There are so many reasons why the MTC is great. im surrounded by guys my age, so we all get along pretty great save a few bad eggs. I room with some fun and awesome guys!  the guys in my Zone are so funny. Our Zone is basically a circus, thats all i can describe it as haha. We can get so crazy sometimes at our residences. What really sucks about the MTC, is that youre in a classroom from 7 A.M to 9 P.M. i hate studying so ive been dying when we are not doing something interactive or doing ciclo(study schedule). Also, getting up at 6:30 sucks enough, but in the mornings you have to wake up earlier to get a shower. Still the food is not great, but at least its not horrible right?

     My teachers here are great. our investigator from last week was actually a teacher. we found this out on the last day we were supposed to teach her. Another sister here (sister and elder are titles you are called as a missionary) came and shut our door, so that sister Hadfield, our "investigator" could slip through and teach her class before we taught her. We didnt have any of that! We have had a long suspicion of her being a teacher so we switched the peep hole so we could see out into the hall way. As soon as she came down the hall one of the sisters in my district came out from the stairwell and confronted her. Meanwhile i yanked opened the door and yelled " WE KNEW YOU WERE A FAKE!!". it was great to expose her, because we were all pretty embarrassed because our lessons and spanish sucked just a bit...

   So our Other teacher, Hermano Frampton, has been keeping his first names secret from our whole class. We tried to guess it and we tried to snoop around apporpriatley, but we just couldnt find it out. However, the greatest thing happened! One of the other teachers popped into our room looking for him or something, so of course we were going to try to get info out of him. Come to find out, he served in the same mission as Hermano Frampton :). So we got his full name *insert smirking emoji*. but thats not even the best part! His wife's cousin came looking for him, and some how we got back onto the subject of Hermano Frampton's Name. WE FOUND OUT HIS NICKNAME. We had struck gold. My class decided we wanted to bring all this up some how, sothe next day we knelled down to pray aloud before the class started, like always. So i decided that during the prayer, I would thank God for our teacher Hermano HUMMER (his nickname). This was probably inappropriate to do, because the WHOLE class bursted out laughing, and i was battling to keep myself composed lol. oh it was just so funny becsuse he was wondering how we figured it all out

     Remember in my last one where i said i learned a lesson about preparation? Well, for our next lesson after that, me and elder Honda tried preparing for the next lesson, so we wouldnt make a fool of ourselves again. oh, well, it didnt go as planned. it just didnt feel good, it was forced and i could speak spanish as well as i could have, my and elder honda's synergy was off. coming back to class after was brutal, because i just didnt feel like doing anything. And to make it worse, everyone had success in their lessons. i was in such an annoyed mood after hearing about how they got so far with the "investgator". it took me till that night to get back to normal, its just so hard to want to study, or prepare for another lesson when youre down. However there is was a good side to this story. the next time we went to teach it went really well! we were able to get good progress and that put me into a happy mood.

     So every sunday, we can watch a talk or church movie for the last hour before we return to our residences. This week i watched a devotional by Elder jeffery R Holland, an apostle of our church from a couple years ago. He spoke straight fire!!!! However one point he said made me humble myself a bit. he started to talk about how alot of missionaries talk about how they cant wait to get off their mission so they can wear their stylish clothes and grow out their hair and beard. He explained that we should have that thought process. We need to remember why we went out and that its our scared duty and PRIVILEGE to serve a mission. i take that to heart now, however its hard not to think about those things. But it think what it meant was that we should let that consume our thoughts.

    Also I found the best scripture ever. its Jeremiah 4:19-21. if you know me well enough, you will know why this is so applicable to me haha.

     Ok, i know this is getting long so just hold on for me. Now, i have 3 people to teach. 2 are characters based on real people that my teachers taught. one seems like an actual investigator of our church. we Taught him for the first time yesterday, and i think it went pretty well! We were able to get him to commit to some things, and our spanish wasnt so bad! But man could he talk fast, and it wasnt as clear as i wished it could but it still went well.

Well i think this is long enough, if i have forgot any good stories ill make sure to include them!

I love and miss you all back in TN!

Elder Bailey

Troubles in the MTC

So the title is very misleading if i'm talking personally. i arrived late because my plane broke before boarding and i had to go to LA and back track to Salt lack. The flight was super exhausting! 5 1/2 hours of flights, i was so tired that day. Jackie was late picking me up, technically lol. she told me to wait for her a the baggage claim, but the problem was that she was at the wrong one for 30 minutes... nice once sis. oh but it gets better! then she walked past me multiple time without either of us noticing each other, and thats my fault! We finally found each other when she had the info desk announce for me, she was so worried i missed my flight, i had a good laugh. When i finally got to the MTC, we hugged, took pics y then sent me on my way. since i was abouit 4 hours late, i had to drop allmy stuff off at the front and get my name tags and room key then straight to a meeting. i got there the last 10 minutes of it. it was for all new missionaries and i honestly didnt mind being late hahaha. after that we went to dinner and i had to get my temp companion to help with my bags. i felt so bad because they were pretty heavy, and food and candy from my wonderful sisters.

     but im loving the MTC. Most of the classes are fun and enthralling! the food is mediocre, but the MTC makes up with that by giving us papa johns and chick fil a so far. We also get ice cream out the wazoo. they just have a ice chest full of ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches. Esta iluminado!(its lit!) I miss each and everyone of you guys, not a day passes by that i dont think of y'all. You're all in my prayers. i dont really feel sad or home sick yet, however alot of elders in my district are. i shared a room with 4-6 elders this week, Elders Lieshman, Larson, Honda. why i said 4-6 ill explain later... We get along pretty great together, we're all goofballs, i guess me more than others lol.

      Anyways, i was called as the district leader of my district, 24C. i was not expecting it, and i dont know how our branch president, president Hyde, came up with that decision... lol. im in charge of the elders y hermanas(sisters) in my district. i have to get mail and deliver it after class, and take charge of some meetings. it get me out of studying before church on sunday so im cool with it haha. dont get me wrong im studing hard here but it gets overwhelming  because you're literally studying 24/7! 

      One thing i do enjoy so much is Spanish class! our teacher is awesome! his name is brother Frampton. he served his mission in San Antonio,Texas, i think. Guys no homo, but hes muy guapo, and everyone including us elders agree... he came into our class in the morning only speaking spanish to us, which only added to his charm. but that helps soooo much! this whole week ive been learning more and more spanish, and now i feel like i comprehend  90% of the what they say when people speak in spanish. so check how crazy this is : we got in last wednesday, and that coming friday we had to teach someone, only in spanish! i missed it for a reason to be explained later but i taught the day after, saturday. it was so crazy! we teach a woman named Viviana. she lived in bolivia until about 5 years ago. im pretty sure shes an actor, no way they would just throw us into a real investigator. its just so hard to teach so early in. we werent even taught how to teach the lessons, we were just thrown in. The lack of vocabulary and knowledge of spanish made it so difficult! Anyway, the first lesson went well, i spoke pretty much the whole time because my companion at the time had no spanish experience what so ever... but i was able to teach about the atonement a bit and got a "return appointment".  We taught again on monday, and my companion, elder honda, went to teach with me. WE WERE NOT PREPARED. we werent able to teach the plan of salvation like we wanted to because we did not have everything we need in time and we didnt have it translated. we couldnt feel the spirit and it was just not fun. it dampened my mood for a couple hours. however, lesson learned, always be prepared!

       this is where we get the title folks. the last week was a rough one for 24C. During the course of 3 days, we lost 2 elders. One of them was mine, and the other was Elder honda's. let me say this, these elders did not go home for worthiness issues, they werent even sent home at all. My old companion, elder Anderson, was the most kind and cool kind of guy! he had such a strong testimony of this gospel and he WANTED to be here. for the 3-4 days he was with me, i began to love him. However, he had past existing anxiety issues that stressed him out and over the top, and he needed to go home to resolve those. he plans on coming back out when he resolves that. i dont mean to share his personal reason but i just want to share that it was not something that he could control. he taught me a valuable lesson of patience and taught me how to sympathize better with others. Even tho i had to miss a lesson with viviana and valuable class time, it was totally worth it to be able to help him at that time. i truly miss him. the other elder, elder Holland went home for reasons i dont know well enough, but it wasnt worthiness.

       last  thing. on sunday i had the opportunity to watch The characteristics of Christ, a talk given by Elder Bednar. IF YOU HAVENT SEEN THIS TALK YOU MUST WATCH IT. it was the most eye opening talk ive ever experienced. i stayed awake the whole time, and this was after a devotional i did sleep in.. by accident of course... so i was already super sleepy. ill give you the theme of it. Jesus was completely selfless, even after he was disappointed and betrayed, he continued to serve others. We have to become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is ESSENTIAL! We must become like Christ, even when we feel like the worst things happens to us and when we are disappointed and betrayed. An interesting statistic he gave was that if we are not converted to that gospel, in 10-20 years 70% will become inactive... or something like that i cant remember. PLEASE find this and watch/read it.

Again i love and miss you all! 

Elder Bailey

I'm not dead!!

heys! the mtc is not bad at all! im really enjoying it here! my companion is great and we really click.i thought it would be totally boring but its only half boring occasionally. also thanks jackie for sending my watch back.  sorry for a short message but i just want to tell you guys its nice here and im taken care off. first day not too shabby! Te amo mucho!