Friday, November 29, 2013

Week 4 at the MTC

This week has been the best week yet! I can't quite put a finger on why, but it just has been!

Just for some clarification on the language. It is uniquely its own. It does not have ties to other languages. It is the oldest language in practice today. It is not made up of the cyrillic alphabet. It has only been a written language for a few hundred years. It is difficult to learn, but it is coming along!

Yesterday was American Thanksgiving! We didnt have to study at all! It was truly a Holiday in the MTC. We had a special visit from Russel M. Nelson. It was amazing! That makes two apostles. He talked on being prepared, getting to know people. Our first contact at a new ward should be the bishop, followed by the ward mission leader, followed by the Family History specialist. He made it very clear that the work is hastening, and that we all need to bring our A game. He said some stuff about the other side of the veil. He said to pray for those on the other side that are ready to accept the gospel so that they can soften the hearts of their descendants who we are about to teach. Once a member they need to find their ancestors. He made it pretty clear that we need to get involved in the wards, and make sure they are missionary minded. The Quorum of the 12 is pushing the whole missionary thing bigtime!

In the next couple of weeks we are supposed to have many apostles. Our choir director has been here for 11 years, and he says that this is the greatest apostle schedule he has yet seen. Our next apostle/first pres devotional is this tuesday. I still love the choir! So far it is probably the highlight of the MTC. The majority of our zone sings in it! It is very fun!

The MTC presidents wife is amazing at the piano. She can play any song in any key with people singing. It is crazy! At choir they asked her to play a song, and she just did it. In a devotional they said they wanted a different arrangement, so she went over to the piano, took over and played it! I have no idea how she does it, but it is potentially one of the most impressive things I have ever seen!

Fortunately this week i didn't have to play piano in Priesthood, but i did have to talk in sacrament. Each week two or three elders or sisters are called up on the spot to speak. It is kinda scary! Everyone is told what the topic of sacrament is in advance so I came with some ideas for what I would say if I got called up! It was on repentance. The first two speakers basically defined repentance, so i took a spin off on it and talked about that forgive 70 times 7 scripture.. how to truly repent and expect forgiveness we need to be willing to forgive. I thought it was good! I was happy! Nobody booed! It was good!

Everyone has been getting along with my companion! It is so good to see! I am so happy!

Yesterday we got to go on a Sunday walk to the temple! It was very fun! We spent a lot of time as a zone! our zone is very tight! I like hanging out with them! I saw Elder Zani again! We talked quite a bit! his English is getting good! that is very fortunate! His companion is from the Phillipines, so all they have in common is broken English!

Last night was very fun! We had a service project! We made soup bags for kids. Just add water type deal! They are all sealed and will be good from long time! Hundreds of thousands were made!

Christmas decorations are going up now! It looks good! The weather is still really hot! I was sweating on our temple walk yesterday! I hear it is cold in Canada!

Oh a great thing that happened this week is we got a language teacher! He is Albanian. HE comes in to tutor us in the language! 1 on 1 help. 15 min of that is worth a couple hours of class instruction and personal study. It might just be for me though. I'm not sure. I kinda like to just cut to the chase and get the facts.

Sorry I didn't email yesterday, and sorry this email is kind of rushed! Good luck this week everybody!

Take Buddy on lots of walks!

Elder Stewart

Elder Stewart and Elder Zani. Elder Zani is from Mongolia and Parker met him when he visited there this past summer. Grandpa Stewart ordained Elder Zani to be an Elder.
Thanks giving Dinner in the MTC. Looks petty good!
Elder Stewart and the Finnish Elders in his zone. Sounds like they get along really well which is great.

The Elders and Sisters helped make soup packets for children. Hence, the hair nets!

Elder Stewart, his companion, Elder Baldwin, and Sister Mandy Koegler from  home with her companion! So cool that their paths have crossed a few times there. Parker's cousin, Andrew Gillis, will arrive on Dec 11 and two of his high school friends, Carter Francis and Michael Koegler will arrive at the MTC on Dec 18. Mandy and PArker are singing in the MTC choir together too. They were previously in the LCI Chamber Choir together.

We assume he took this picture because he LOVES his orange shoes, and we sent him and all his friends on their missions with a pair of black Canada socks. Good to see he's using them! He is definitely a proud Canadian. Notice the pin on his lapel too, in previous pictures. It is the Canadian Flag beside the Albanian Flag. It was given to him by his friend, Brooklyn. We have no idea where she found such a treasure!

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