Hello everyone! Elder Yates here and I hope everyone is doing well! Everything is great here! The MTC is awesome! I love it. I'm actually kind of sad to be leaving in a few weeks. But I'm also so excited to be going to Guatemala. I can't wait. I will take you through the life of a missionary in the MTC.
Wake up at 6:30. If you are late, you may not get a shower. And your (my) Branch President is very strict about waking up at either 6:30 or earlier every morning. It's not that bad once you get used to it. Especially since you go to bed a 10:30 everynight. So then a missionary showers and gets dressed and then heads to their classroom for personal study time. The classroom is a missionary's home. Anything and everything takes place in their classroom. I think they do that so you get the feel of being out all day and only returning to their appartment once the day is over, which is what we do. Anyway. As for my district, we have breakfast at 7:40 everyday. (and if Bethany Cherry, Jack Krainock, or Bronwen Dromey is reading this, they have grits for breakfast!!! mmMMMmmm). Then after breakfast the day is very scattered. Everyday we have an hour for gym which sometimes we go out the field and run laps as a district or play volleyball or soccer. It's a great time and a great way to feel less stressful. Also everyday we have at least one but sometimes 2 classroom blocks. Each block is 3 hours! AHHHHHH!!! But it's great. We haven't had a permemant teacher yet but all the ones that have substituted for us have been fantastic. We speak in spanish the whole time! and everything we do is in spanish! i'm beginning to dream in spanish! i've been told that's a good thing though right? Anyway. The food here is exactly like they say it is: filling. And they have plenty. It is exactly like canon center food actually. exactly. I like it though. I eat a lot because apparently most missionaries going to central america have a tendancy to lose a lot of weight. So fill up now right? hahaha. Sundays were pretty crazy. We have church at 8:00 in the morning and every week, everyone has to write a 5 minute talk in spanish. And they randomly call on people to give their talk. so if you're not ready, you're probably going to get an earful. Thankfully last sunday I didn't have to talk. But who know's about this week. Which reminds me that i need to go write my talk.... Anyway. Today is my first P-day! YAYYY! It has been the best. We went to the temple this morning as a district and it was awesome! I love the temple! It's the best. and the provo temple is so beautiful! And you get to use the computers today to write emails home. BUT you only get 30 minutes. and they are very stricty about that. (in fact, the computer is timing me right now!). And if you're not off after 30 minutes, it closes the program and you don't even get to send your letter. Bummer! Oh well. So after a long day, we go back to our dorms at about 9:00 to 9:30 and get ready for bed. And believe me, by then, a missionary is definitely ready for bed! At 10:15 it's quiet time to pray or read your scriptures or write in your journal. At 10:30, lights out. And they better be out or you'll get in doodoo with the branch president.
As you can see the life of a missionary is very hard, but it's definitely worth it. So my companion. His name is Elder Peterson and he's from Orem. He is very popular because he knows everyone here! haha. He's are great guy though. he is going to honduras, san pedro sula mission. He definitely keeps me in line. He's here for all 9 weeks so he'll unfortunately get a new companion soon. The only problem is he talks in his sleep! AHHH. And a lot of times it's in spanish. It's okay though. It's kind of funny sometimes. As for the other people in my district, 3 are going to Honduras, 3 are going to Osorno Chile, 2 are going to Madrid Spain. And me and another kid are going to Guatemala (different missions though). Well my time is almost up this week. but keep sending letters! They are like gold here! and you can use dearelder.com. That works great. just remember to include your address so i can write you back! :) I have taken some great pictures and I'm going to try to send some back next week. Just know that I love everyone out there and there is no place I'd rather be than right here in the MTC. Before I leave I would love you leave you guys with a scripture I came across. It's John 17 verses 12 to 19. It's the story about the 10 lepers that were healed and then only one came back to thank Jesus. Be sure you're thanking Jesus for everything because everything we have is because of him. So pray often and tell him thanks for your families and everything else your thankful for because I have a testimony that he and Heavenly Father love to hear your prayers and WILL answer them. I love all of you and read your scriptures! :)