From: Ian Wheelhouse [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2009 7:14 AM
Subject: Last Week at the MTC!!!
I hope you all had a fantastic conference weekend! There were so many great talks and it was especially fun being able to watch it in the MTC with 2000 other missionaries. Thanks for your letters and packages (Kristine and Mom :)) and I hope everything is still going well with each of you! It's hard to believe this is my last P-day here at the MTC!
First of all.... We got our travel plans!!! We will be leaving the MTC at 5:00 am on Monday morning 10/12/09. From SLC we will fly to LAX and we have about a 4 hour layover there. From LAX we will fly to Lima, Peru, and arrive around midnight. After about an hour in Lima we will fly to Buenos Aires and arrive around 7:45 am Tuesday morning! It's going to be a very long day but I am so excited! I picked up an english Book of Mormon that I am hoping to place at the airport in LA in our down time, also I will plan to call home from the LA airport sometime between 10:30 and 2:30 Utah time on Monday.
This week has been a pretty eventful week as far as health issues go. Elder Hinton decided to sprain his ankle playing basketball on Thursday morning. It got HUGE! Luckily he is tough and he has been walking on it since in happened but it definitely slowed us down a little bit. He seems to be pretty much all recovered now, just in time! Also, as mom and dad found out from a phone call from the MTC, I had a filling that fell out and has left a huge gap in my teeth, but luckily I am going to get that fixed up later today! Also, in preperation for leaving this next week we had a "health and safety meeting" where they taught us things like: how to purify water, how to sanitize your food, why it's important to not walk barefoot, how to avoid animals, and how to wash our hands. It was some good information but some of it seemed pretty over the top. I'll just count on recieving more specific instruction from my mission president/trainer when I get down there.
On a more serious note, We said goodbye to Elder McClurg last night and he goes in for his big surgery this morning. He will be in a hospital bed for 4 days after, then spend about a week at his house in provo. Afterwords he will return to the MTC for another month or so and then probably be assigned to the Provo or Salt Lake City mission for a couple months so the doctors can make sure he is recovering how he is supposed to. It was very sad but he handled it very well. We all walked him to the lobby to meet his mom, and we all put together a nice card for him. I'm gonna miss that guy!
Also this past week we had a "mock baptismal service" with a district that left this last sunday. It was completely in spanish and several people got to give talks, do musical numbers, etc. It was a lot of fun and I even understood all the Spanish! Although my spanish continues to improve I am pretty nervous about not hearing anything but Spanish starting next week! I'm sure I will learn faster than I ever have once I get down there but it will definitely be a difficult experience!
To finish off I'd just like to share some thoughts I had about conference. Saturday and Sunday were the most laid back days that I have had here at the MTC! It was really fun and everyone was so pumped about getting to listen to the prophet! There were even cheers during some of the sessions.... The only downside was having to sit in hard plastic chairs for 10+ hours as well as dealing with the temperature that comes from having 2000 people in the same room. However, I don't think I've ever gotten as much out of conference as I did this time! I feel like so many of the messages that were given applied dirrectly to me as a missionary and I got a lot of good notes! Unfortunately I don't have much time left to write too much about these talks (I don't have my conference notes here with me either at the moment), but one of my favorites was given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland on Sunday about the Book of Mormon. I was blown away by how powerful his message was! Here at the MTC we talk about the importance of the BOM all the time, so it was really cool to hear an apostle talk about it in that way! On the same note... our speaker at our Devotional last night Ben B. Banks (an emeritus 70) brought along a convert friend who shared his testimony with us. He put a lot of focus on the power of the BOM and how that's really what converted him (Before he was a very Orthodox Jew). I love the Book of Mormon and can't wait to share it with people and see how it changes their lives and I hope each of you will continue, or make the effort to read from the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY. I know that it will strengthen your testimony of Jesus Christ and help you to become a better person.
Well the next email ya'll will recieve from me will be from Argentina!!! I have no idea when that will be but it should be sometime next week. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Les Quiero Mucho!