Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"I Want That"

Hola familia,

I apolgize that my last email didn't go through last week. The email service that we are required to use is a bit temperamental. I'm excited to be departing the MTC exactly two weeks from today. Next week I should have my travel plans and will share with you the itenerary. I can't wait to get out in the real world with real investigators, real air, and real work. I've done a fair amount of teaching over the phone and role playing, but nothing will be better than actual missionary experience.

In fact, I currently have two investigators progressing towards baptisim. It has been amazing; both investigators, Andrea and Carolyn, comitted to being baptized the first time I contacted them. There really are people waiting to hear the gospel. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call. We even have a few sayings for these type of people. One is escogido, which means elect. Another phrase coined in our district is the "I want thats." Make sure you say it with a southern drawl because that was how it was said the first time we heard it over the phone. A member of my district, Elder Wilkins from Maine, called a lady who he challenged to being baptized. She said that she had already been baptized as a baptist. He then explained the importance of proper priesthood authority and its role in baptism. She was a little surprised that she hadn't heard it before and simply said, "I want that." He then talked about the blessings that would come to her life for making this decision. She said, "I want that, too." Talk about prepared. She now is set to be baptized on the 28th by the missionaries in Alabama.

I hope all is well on the homeward front. Things are good here. I still find it very strange to run into people from BYU. Even weirder is running into people I dated at one point. Buenos Suerte back home. If anyone wants to update me about the Olympics the update would be much appreciated.


Elder Badger

Delusions of Girlfriends


Greetings from week six of the MTC. I can't believe it's been that long. Already, we have begun practicing a musical number to perform immediately prior to our departure. Even more exciting is the fact that the only district senior to us is leaving this week. This means we're on the top of the totem pole and get to host new missionaries tomorrow.

Now for my observation of the week; delusions are part of being a missionary. As I've watched missionaries talk about girls they've left behind, I have noticed peculiar growth in the strenght of their respective relationships. Observe the following pattern. Week 1: Elder Dear John says he was smart and decided not to leave a girl. Week 2: Elder Dear John says he has girls that are friends he will write. Week 3: There is potential to be more than friends after the mission. Week 4:She's not waiting, but they will date when he returns. Week 5: she's waiting but dating in the meantime. Week 6: She wouldn't date anyone else. Week 7: They're probably getting married. As you can see, my district is entering week 7. Wish us luck. Just be glad I'm only at the week 1.5 stage. FHEESTERS and home teachees make up the point five.

Another update for the week. Our favorite game to play is a Spanish game called "El Rey." You shoul look it up because I probably won't do it justice. It involves a circle of chairs with a king chair followed by a queen chair and then a one, two, three, and so forth chair. It begins with El Rey. He says: "El Rey quiere casarse con LA REINA" La reina: "con LA REINA" El Rey: "Si, y entonces con quien?" La Reina: "con el DOS" and then it continues as it is passed around in that manner. If you laugh, you are demoted to the lowest ranking seat, in our case 14. It soon turns into a game of funny voices and faces as we try to make someone laugh. I'm currently the owner of "La Reina," but the king will soon be dethroned.

Have a great Valentine's Day

Con Amor,

Elder Badger

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Half way There


I'm halfway there. I now have exactly four weeks until I board a plane for San Jose. I can't wait until I can finish hearing about baptizing without getting my feet wet. Even though they keep us under lock and key, I have begun to teach an elderly lady over the phone. I was able to teach her the whole first lesson over the phone. She even committed to being baptized. The only problem is... she still doesn't have a Book of Mormon...yet. The missionaries in Alabama are supposed to contact her so they can get her to read it. It's pretty exciting. Also, you will be pleased to learn that I have made referral center calls to people in Lakewood. All three calls ended in answering machines, but I knew that if they were home they would have been escogido.

Mom, you'll have to tell your cousin Deena know I ran into Elder Horton. I think we have the same gym.

Now to learn about the most dangerous place for missionaries. Brother Vasquez has taught us that the most dangerous place for a missionary is at church. It is at church that the "devils in skirts" are able to corner you. This was apparent this week as we had to help protect an elder in our district from a Hermana Satana. She is a very good conversationalist, which makes her very bad for elders. Needless to say, being a missionary reminds me of the days when girls had cooties.

This week my Spanish has been progressing in leaps and bounds. I have learned that memorizing scriptures can be very helpful for applying complex grammar principles because it allows me to have an instant reference available in my head. So far, I have memorized my purpose as a missionary, the first vision, Doctrine and Covenants 4, and the first four Articles of Faith. It's been paying off because I am now able to teach the first two lessons in Spanish.

I've really been clad to receive Grandpa's letters, especially his last one about Grandma. It really made me realize how a mission can change the lives of the converts, the lives of the members and the missionaries.

In other news, I have become the pianist for our zone's priesthood meeting. I think I play one of the liveliest renditions of Hope of Israel in the entire MTC. Sister Feller would be proud. Also, I have begun to lead a musical number composed of the missionaries in my district. I have been working to arrange the song "Nearer My God to Thee" using both accapella voices and piano. It's pretty simple, but will be perfect for our last sacrament meeting before we leave the MTC.


Elder Badger