Dear Family and Friends,
My flight was good, and I got to the MTC just fine. When I got there, they had tons of missionaries waiting to help us sign in and get situated. Everyone here is really nice, and they truly care about you. I got all my books, my nametag, and my room in probably 10 minutes. I was the first one to arrive at the MTC from my class. When I walked into the classroom, my teacher Motra (Sister) Atkin only spoke Albanian (Shqip [sh-cheep]). It actually translates to the language of the eagles. She used a lot of hand signals to help me understand what was going on. I felt extremely lost! Other Elders and Motra showed up over time and they were just as lost as I was.
I met my companion, Elder Bangerter, and we get along great! Do you remember Elder Tubbs? Well Elder Bangerter went to high school with him! Isn't that crazy? Elder Bangerter seems to have gone to high school with nearly half of the missionaries at the MTC. And the other half our his cousins or other family members.
On the second day of class we were already teaching a new investigator, Mihal. Mihal is really a returned missionary pretending to be an investigator, so he understands what we are going through. He only spoke Shqip and we were both very lost. I could only bear an extremely simple testimony in very broken Shqip. But on Tuesday night we taught him again. This time I was able to speak more, still in broken Shqip, but I spoke more and I understood very little. The Shqip is coming slow to me. I keep wanting to use German words instead.
Our district is 6 Elders and 2 Sisters, and there is one more district of 6 Elders. All of us leave for Albania on April 1, 2014. We are here at the MTC for 9 weeks. The Elders and Sisters in our district are from all over! Many are from Utah and the rest of the states, but Elder Waters is from New Zealand, and Elder Asler from Croatia. Both of our Sisters are from Canada. We have some strong testimonies in our mission. We had a lot of testimony meetings with our mission and the Spirit is just so strong.
My P-days are on Wednesdays. On Tuesdays the missionaries leave, and on Wednesdays the new missionaries come in. It's really weird to think that I've been here a whole week already! Time is really weird here at the MTC. Days feel like weeks, and weeks feel like days. Time moves as slow as molasses in class, and everywhere else (residence hall, gym, cafeteria) time moves too quick! I don't think I've had a single day where I accomplished everything that I wanted to get done.
I know that I will grow very much as long as I rely on Christ. My testimony has grown very much since getting here. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior. I know that God wants me to serve Him as a full-time missionary. He has called me to go to a part of the world where they speak an extremely difficult language. I know that God lives and He loves me. I know that He answers prayers. I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are true and will bring us closer to God if we apply their teachings. I don't know why, but God has faith in me.
I love you all very much!