November 21, 2012

Email 11/21/12

Elder Bell's latest letter reveals his first two embarrassing moments at the MTC, and talks about his first companion & district:
Hello Family!

How is everything going for you guys? Things here in the MTC are awesome! Hard, but awesome, I'm loving it here! I started out after saying bye to Mom and Amanda, to come into the MTC, after going through a maze of paperwork and getting information I finally got out and took my luggage to my room. The first day seemed like it took FOREVER it actually feels like one continuous day because it feels like you just take a five minute nap at night and wake up, so i'm super tired all day.

MTC Drop-Off
Missionary Tag and MTC ID Badge

My Companion is Elder Escamilla (double L in Spanish is pronounced with a Y) From Monroe Georgia, an hour out from Atlanta. He's awesome, me and him get along really well and have a lot of fun and are laughing a lot, but also spiritual at the same time and when it is needed.

Elder Escamilla & Elder Bell

The MTC is incredible, you feel the spirit all day and it's just amazing I can't really put it into words. The first day after orientation I thought I saw Matt Evans, a kid who I went to elementary with, and he was going in the MTC the same day as me, I hit some random kid in the shoulder and said whats up dude? I then realized that it wasn't him and got super embarrassed, now that kid gives me a weird look every time we cross each other. But soon after that happened was dinner, and it was beef steak, I decided it would be a good idea to hurry and eat as fast as i could and not chew my food.. I started choking on a piece of steak after it got stuck in my throat, i started coughing and trying to swallow it so i wouldn't choke anymore i kept coughing up spit but no meat.. I felt really bad because i was doing this in front of everybody while they were trying to eat. Me and elder Escamilla ran to the bathroom as i continued coughing up spit into my hand trying to hold it all in my hands and not get on my suit. We could not find the bathroom, I don't know why they decided to put like one bathroom in the biggest building that is impossible to find, so i was running from trash can to trash can coughing up spit/Throwing up. I thought I was going to die haha. I finally spit up two giant chunks of meat. After a bit of coughing after that I was fine, but it sure scared me! Me and elder Escamilla joke about how i almost died the first day at the MTC and every once in a while he'll tease me when we're about to eat he'll make sure to remind me to chew my food.

MTC learning is really hard, they kind of push you off the cliff and tell you how to fly, its effective learning, but its just hard sometimes because you get in situations which you don't know what to do. The second day we were here we were already teaching fake investigators about the first lesson. We have been teaching Matt (Bro. Shumway our teacher) and he's a Christian that is super stubborn and anything you say about the Book of Mormon he'll fight and say well the bible has that too, why do i need both? We've bared testimony to him we've taught him why and explained but he just isn't understanding. Its super frustrating too, because he accepted the Book of Mormon and why we needed it with the other elders and sisters in my district. And it's hard to stay positive when they are in there talking about how good it went, and how successful they are being when me and elder Escamilla are working so hard and not getting any success with it. Some of the sisters said maybe it's the potential they see in you so they make it harder.

Jeez I only have ten minutes left of email time we're timed here we get thirty minutes of email so i couldn't even read KC's email, or the two Bro Gramse sent me. So PLEASE if you want to contact or write me in the MTC, DON'T USE EMAIL we barely have any time Please write to my mtc mailbox, or use they print those out every day and we get them with our mail. So our Preparation or P-day in the MTC is on Thursdays but since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, we kind of get skipped so that's why i'm able to write today, i might be able to a little tomorrow, we'll see how busy I am. We also have to wake up at 5:20 AM tomorrow to do our laundry because we get skipped on our P-day.

I'll just go through an average day here at the MTC we'll wake up at 6:30 and prepare, study at 7, breakfast at 7:30, additional or personal study time from 8 to 9:30 then we'll have class until 12:15 after is lunch, then we'll do TRC (Training Resource Center), where we teach actors that portray investigators, then we'll have study time, classroom, gym (Best part of a day), and then another class, zone teaching, workshop, or study. You average about 3 hours of study time a day which is great because you can feel the spirit super strong, but its frustrating with my district, they are slackers and will be quiet for about an hour of the three hours that we study, so it's really hard to remain focused and concentrated. My district is Me, Elder Escamilla, Elder Browning (A part of our three-some companionship after his companion left home due to some personal and mental issues) Elder Langi (related to Harvi Langi - a running back for the Utes) Elder Hutchinson our district leader, Sisters: Whiting, Miller, Henry, and Zeneger. We are all really close and have grown to love each other and become closer to each other. There is a strong spirit in the room when they aren't being loud. I have actually gotten mad at them after many times of asking nicely to stop talking, and i've also emailed my branch president and he has talked to them so it has gotten a little better.

MTC District (Left to Right): Sister Whiting, Elder Browning (new companion), Elder Vincent (left early), Elder Langi, Elder Bell, Sister Miller, Elder Escamilla, Elder Hutchinson (Zone Leader), Sister Zenger, and Sister Miller

I hope everybody is doing great, and i'll try my best to email tomorrow if i get time, i'll have more time to write letters then email, so if anybody wants to write me, please do it via mail, or and i didn't get anybody's address, so everybody please email me your address and i'll write you guys when I have time! Thanks to those who have written me it means a lot, It's hard sometimes sitting in class and everybody else gets mail everyday or multiple things a day and i sit there with nothing a lot of the time so please write it would be greatly appreciated! I really am grateful for those who have written me, I love all of you guys, i'm already past my time, so I've really gotta go sorry i couldn't bear my testimony or anything right now i'll try to do it tomorrow and give you guys more information and send pictures! Happy Thanksgiving, can't wait to hear from you guys!

Elder Landon Bell

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