Hello, everyone! Elder Staib here. The first week at the MTC has been extremely different from the lazy life I had before. I'm actually put on something called a SCHEDULE now. What is this? Anyway, I'm tired all day, I'm always preparing to teach, and my roommates sure keep things interesting. Alright, from the top.
I'm currently bunking with 5 other missionaries. A couple of residency halls are being renovated, so we kinda have to cram in. All of our branch is living on the same floor, though, which is cool. My roommates consist of the following: Elder Pinchak (my companion) and me, Elders Jensen and Cline, and Elders Ensign and Ostrom. We have great times in this place, mostly when we're all done with the day and unbearably tired. Jensen and Cline don't get along too well, and recently Pinchak has been harsh towards Jensen as well, but I've calmed a couple storms, and everyone's back to loving each other. We're making a big effort to spread some love around our room, and it's showing. We'll be ok, I think.
My district, from the beginning, was comprised of 10 missionaries: Me and Elder Pinchak, Elders McMurtrey and Keller, Elders Davis and [his companion], Sisters Edwards and Russell, and Sisters Jensen and Gladden. Sadly, [Elder Davis' companion] was picked up by his parents earlier today. He's from a small Utah town, and he hadn't been on his own until now. he couldn't take it. Davis saw him go through some horrible scenes. [Elder Davis' companion] plans to come back out to the field later.
The teaching has been rough, but good. We grow a bit lesson after lesson. It's hard knowing exactly what each investigator needs, but Pinchak and I do our best. I'm excited for when I get to change the life of someone that actually needs it instead of using all of my emotional efforts for the sake of role play. We can all agree here that by the end of the day, we are physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. One of the sister missionaries said it best when she described Sundays here as nothing very different from the rest of the week since it's all so spiritually blending. My favorite part about this past Sunday, though, was the fireside. Branch Pres. and Sister Hacking gave lessons on accepting others no matter your ethnicity and proper table etiquette, respectively. Sister Hacking's lesson was very entertaining, and Pres. Hacking's talk (which included a war story and two love stories) was a nice look into his personal past and made me excited to live my own life.
I apologize for the lack of pictures this week. I don't have an SD card-reader to use to upload pictures from my camera onto the computer, but I'll try and get one next week. The new camera that I got from my uncle (which I love. If you're reading this, Uncle Chris, thank you so much for this incredible technology!) is working superbly, and I really enjoy taking pictures. Of course, it's earned me a pretty bad reputation here, but the other Elders just don't realize how important taking a lot of photos is yet. And so I keep taking pictures.
Thanks for all the letters and packages so far! There's a system called "Dear Elder" online that my family has been taking advantage of. [Go to http://www.dearelder.com/ and click on the "Write a Letter" tab and follow the instructions. The mailing address can be found by clicking the tab "Contact Elder Staib" at the top of this blog]. Just set up a quick account, and you can send me emails free of charge that are printed out and sent to me the very next day. Once I get to Arkansas, though, it'll be $0.44 a pop, which is about the price for standard postage anyway. Not too bad of a system. But until I leave on November 1, sending me a quick Dear Elder is free of charge, and it'd really make my day!
The MTC has opened something for me that I hadn't really registered before. The Spirit. I know now what it certainly feels like, and it's definitely strong here. I'm excited to bring the same feeling to the people of Arkansas. At this point, I want to just fly over there right now and make someone happy by telling them about the Gospel. Reading the Book of Mormon has been better for me, too. Before, they were just words with some little message in them. But once I started reading from the beginning on my own, a real story unfolded. It's an amazing, inspiring true story. It's definitely another testament of the Bible and Jesus Christ, and it leads to the truth of all things, such as Joseph Smith being a prophet, and Christ's church on the Earth today. I know that the work I'm doing will make many people happy. I'm so excited to see their smiling faces when they know that God loves them and has a plan for them.
Well, time is about up. I love you all. Thank you for the support. Go to the top tab to find out how to contact me, and I'll talk to you guys next week!