Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Time is flying and I'm halfway done (at MTC). What the heck?

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Week 3 has been crazy for me here! Its so hard to believe that it has already been this long. time is flying and I'm half way done. What the heck? There have been some awesome things and some not so awesome things this week so I will just go where my memory takes me.

Well first off my companion had to go home which was a huge bummer. Me and Elder XXXX were super tight lacrosse buds and we worked really well together. He went home at the beginning of the week. He is a super good guy though and he will be back for sure. I already told him that once he gets down to Argentina I am training him. I will see him again. I got a new companion, Elder XXXXX. He is a little harder to work with but it is a good experience for me to get used to working with people with other styles. It will be good in the long run. He is actually going to serve in the Long Beach Spanish speaking mission so some of you guys down in southern california might run into him. 

My spanish is coming along really well. I have been really blessed to pick it up as fast as I have. I can go whole lessons and classes without needing to use english and I understand most of what my teachers are saying. I am just amazed to look at where I was a few weeks ago. Don't worry I'm not getting to cocky because I know that as soon as I get down to Argentina with the natives speaking castellano (the argentine dialect of spanish)  I will be back at square one. I know that it is possible to learn fast though which is what I am excited about! 

The oldest district left for mexico yesterday so now my district is the 2nd most senior. It feels kinda weird because I remember when I got here the guys in then place I am in now seemed so old! The younger district  ask me for advice and I forget how I felt, because in my mind I'm like I don't know I'm just 18. The guys asking me some of them are like 21 hahaha its kinda weird to me. I will have you all know that for the first time I shaved twice in the same week. pretty impressive right?

I was walking around the west campus the other day and I heard applause. I look over and it is the BYU vs Boise game. I know because from in front of my apartment you can see the mega tron. It made me a little home sick. I thought of all my friends that were personally in the stadium just a couple hundred yards away and I could picture my dad and my brothers all watching it together! So weird! 

Don't think I'm homesick though. I miss my life but I would choose no other place than right here to be! I am so happy here. I don't know why because I am tired all the time and just sit in a class room but I know this is where I'm supposed to be. Its so exciting to understand spanish, its so exciting learning how to teach and it is so exciting to spread this message of happiness! I can't wait to get to Argentina and start serving them for real!

I have amazing teachers. Hermano Serrato who is from mexico city but is a student at BYU and Hermana Gibson who served in Spain. They have taught me so much and are constantly punching me to get better. Just when i start to feel comfortable in spanish they amp up the toughness on me which is just what I need. They are super cool!

Well I can't think of anything else I didn't tell you so I hope all is well for all of you and hope to hear from all of you. Letters are the best. Thank you so much to those of you that have taken time to write me! I love you all and you are all in my prayers.

Hasta Luego

Elder Tyler Whitaker

It was a heck of a lot better this week!

Elder Whitaker with Elder Wyatt Corbin and Elder Jimmy Jacobs .... Friends from home !

Hola mi Familia y Amigos!

I have successfully completed week two at the MTC relatively unscathed. It was a really good week! I feel like me and my district made some big strides and things are coming along. At first I was getting really mad at myself for not being able to teach perfectly in Spanish but we had a really good message on Wednesday. One of the things that stuck to me was that he whom the Lord calls, he qualifies. I was chosen to go to Argentina and teach people in Spanish and I know that as long as I put in my best effort God will help me with the rest. One of the things my Dad showed me before I left was a scripture in Timothy I'm pretty sure. It is Paul talking and he says, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." I have made it my goal to be able to say that to myself every night as I go to sleep and at the end of my mission. If I can do that, God will take care of the rest. I know that is true and I can see the outcome here in the MTC. How else would I be able to understand people's problems and teach them my beliefs in just 14 days. I'm not perfect yet, but I find myself being able to comprehend all these complex statements when people are describing events and problems in their life and it is amazing to me! 

Well life at the MTC... It was a heck of a lot better this week. I didnt feel like I was going to die of exhaustion every night which, I think, means I'm adapting. Gym time is awesome. Dad, I know you would be proud of my if you saw me play basketball up here. I went 10/10 in a free throw contest and it reminded me of how we would always sit out there and shoot and you would always be counting off my percentage and then you would go like a machine and drain every one. I felt like you hahaha. One of the bad things though is that I am at west campus so when I say Gym, I really mean a parking lot in front of the apartments with some basketball hoops. I don't even that that much. The real kicker is that gym is at 7am and it is freezing. My hands always feel like icicles after gym time, but I still love it. My companion, Elder Davis, is a pretty good athlete too and we have some guys in our zone that can ball so we have some good games!

On Teusday there was a devotional and guess who it was? Dallin H. Oaks! It was so sick to hear him speak! It was a really good message! Also because I got to go up to main campus and I saw Elder Wyatt Corbin,Elder Jimmy Jacobs! That was sweet to see them! Also while I have been here I have got to see and talk with Elder Clay Coleman a lot which is always a good time. He left today though for Singapore so I guess we will have some more good talks in 2 years! Also I saw Sister Amanda McHennry, my best buddy Zak's cousin and that was pretty cool but she left today as well. I cant wait till some more people I know get here and I heard they are moving all spanish down to the west campus so I will get to see all you spanish speakers coming in! One of the funny things that happened to us this past week was that one of the toilets just started flooding so that was a party. Luckily we figured how to stop it. Gotta love the MTC.

Well I love all of you guys and miss you all so much! I really appreciate the letters! keep them coming! And for those of you who haven't written me, you should. I found out it takes a lot longer than I thought for mail to come back and forth so I am going to have my mom put up some Dear Elder instructons because I can get those instantly and I'm pretty sure its free. Well all is well and I hope the same is true for all of you back home. Its a sacrifice to give two years of your life but I would have it no other way. There is nothing I would rather be doing. Its weird to think that I am starting week 3 of 6 at the MTC and then it is off to Argentina where the real adventures with start! I can't wait to get out there and serve the people of Argentina. Hasta Luego!

Elder Tyler Whitaker

Thursday, October 17, 2013

So life in the MTC?...it ain´t easy!

Hola Familia y Mis Amigos!

The infamous MTC map!
Well, this is real. I am a missionary. I don´t even know where to start. Well I will start off with some information. I have a sweet companion a cool district and an awesome zone. My companion is Elder Parker Davis. We were totally put together for a reason! A. we are very similar. We are both lacrosse players, we are both hard workers, and we are both out here to do work. Our strengths complement each  others so we are getting pretty good at teaching-ish hahaha. We would be super good if we knew Spanish. I got made district leader which is kinda cool, and all the guys in my zone get along pretty well for the most part. we already have a ton of jokes with eachother and get along great which is good because i was worried that i would end up stuck with a bunch of weirdos but I have been blessed.

So life in the MTC or CCM as we call it in spanish ain´t easy. our schedule is pretty much that we wake up at 6. Get ready, go to gym for an hour and then eat breakfast. After that we sit in class from 9am to 7pm with a break for lunch and some other stuff. It takes some getting used to. The hardest part is that the teachers are just talking at you in spanish and you only understand half of whatever they say  but that is how you learn. then after that we get dinner and some time to unwind and study in our appartment. oh yeah, we have apartments. For those of you who care I am down on the west campus instead of the main one. they are eventually going to be moving all of the spanish speakers down here which is kinda cool. 

Ok so my 3rd day in the CCM they just let us listen to a recording of a person and then after we took notes about her they are like, ok later today you will be teaching this lady...in spanish. we barely knew how to speak at all so that was interesting. So weird knowing just what to say but you can´t. It is kinda frustrating to me because I´m not used to it. Spanish is way hard but the districts above me and my district say that Elder Davis and I are really good and we are making progress everyday so that is a good sign. we have taught twice more since then and we have been doing a lot better. Hopefully I can become fluent as fast as possible because i hate not being able to communicate.

Being in the MTC is hard, but anybody thinking about or going on a mission don´t be discouraged because it is very rewarding. From Wednesday to saturday I was kinda like, oh man, what did i get myself into. But everybody says once you make it to sunday you are good and they were right! since sunday these pas couple of days have been good! i havent been as dead tired, and spanish isn't as frustrating. I will add that I would give anything, except maybe a nap (and i think I would even give that even though those are illegal here pretty much) to give everybody in my family a huge hug right now. They say you don´t know what you had until it is gone and they are totally right! I am so blessed to have such a loving family. You guys filled my mail box with letters and it made me realize how much love there is for me and I am so grateful for it. The good thing is, is that it isn´t gone, just on hold for two years. And through the gosple of Jesus Christ and Our loving Heavenly Father´s plan I can have that for eternity! I was having kind of a hard time here at first because with all this spanish and work overload I lost sight of my purpose and it came back to me yesterday as I was teaching. I realized that I am out here because just as my family loves me so much. There are others that have families that they love so much and even if that isn´t the case for everyone, we all have a father in heaven that loves us so much and he wants us all to be together for eternity with Him and our families. That is really why I am out putting myself through all this hard work. I am so grateful for that love. 

Well everybody should write me letters because letters are like gold out here. They are the only connection with anybody which is kinda weird but cool. I would love to hear from you all!

Tengo un testemonio que Jesuchristo es nuestro salvador y que este iglesia es verdado. Estoy muy agradecido por nuestro padre celestial y por la plan de salviacion. Yo se que Dios quiere todos las personas en el mundo regressar a El. Yo se que la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias tiene el evangelio de Cristo que cristo establecio dos mil anos pasado. 

That is my broken testimony in spanish but it will increase each week. I love you all and wish you all the best. Until next week. Hasta luego.

Elder Tyler Whitaker

Ty's "sweet"  MTC companion