Subject: FIRST WEEK
Well it has been a week since I left the outside world and it feels like its been a couple months. The first 3 days were so long. It was hard to adjust to 16 hour days of basically straight Spanish. We are in the classroom a lot learning the language, but it is so helpful because I feel like I have learned so much!
This is the talk Brody was referring to:The first day: I got in and was so overwhelmed I don't even remember what happened. I forgot my backpack when I entered the MTC so I had someone call my parents to turn around and drop it back off. It had my scriptures, Preach My Gospel and notebooks so it was pretty vital. I met my companion, Elder Tebbs from Linden, UT, serving in Lancing, Michigan. He is awesome! He knows almost zero Spanish so I have to help him a lot on the language but he knows so much about the gospel. After a week he is starting to speak it much better so that is definitely a plus. There are 6 other Elders and two sisters in our District. I am the only one going to a Spanish speaking country. One sister is going to Canada, the other to Mesa, AZ (I told her she is going to love it there. Especially the heat. Shes from Virginia and didn't think it got very hot but I told her it was like standing in an oven). There are 3 elders going to Boston, 2 going to Virginia, and one going to Texas. I am very lucky to be going to Paraguay because they are worried they wont be able to completely learn the language, whereas I won't have a choice.Day 2: Spanish. All. Day. Long. We taught our first "investigator" and that was so difficult. We went into the lesson with a full preparation. We wrote down everything we were going to say in Spanish and it went so bad. The "investigator" is LDS and helps the new missionaries by being an easy investigator. She has to say she would like to have us back, but after our lesson we thought she would say "Please don't come back". The good news is that everybody's lesson went that way and the next day was much much better.Day 4: July 4. Besides Christmas, the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. Every year my family goes to Coronado for the fourth. I love the parade and the fireworks and the BBQ and the beach. I thought this Fourth of July was going to be a little sad but it was actually pretty cool. About halfway through the day I got a message from the MTC Presidency to come to a flag practice. It said I would be holding a flag from either my country or the country I was serving in. We found out that at the beginning of the devotional that night, there would be 100-150 (I think, there were a ton) flags from different countries around the world that were being represented in the MTC. We were celebrating freedom around the world. When we were getting instructed on what we were going to be doing, a sister missionary from Samoa (the missionaries from Samoa bring a lot of..life to the MTC) said that she was from Samoa, serving in the Philippines, but she would be holding the Samoa flag because she wanted to represent her country, and she would not have it any other way. It turns out that she was Sister Corriveau's companion. They held the Samoa flag and I held the Paraguay flag. We were the last two flags to walk in and I have never seen someone have so much pride for their home country than the sister from Samoa. She was waving that flag as high as she could, it was awesome (and funny). When we walked into the devotional with the flags while everyone was singing High on a Mountain top, it was very cool. The Spirit was so strong in that building.Day 5/6: We gathered together to watch a talk by Elder Bednar, Character of Christ. The main point I wanted to share about his talk was that we need to learn of the main character of Christ: to turn outward rather than inward. One of the best ways to do this is by service. Serve whenever you can. I know that I need to do more service and have been really trying to do that. Also, we need to show love. If we have something go wrong in our life, don't dwell on it but show love to others. He shared a story of a woman who called him one night and she sounded very frantic. She explained that three girls had been in a very bad accident and she needed Elder Bednar to go to the hospital that they were transferring them to so he could identify them, one whom had already passed on. While he was listening to her, he noticed that she was using another phone to talk to someone else, which happened to be a nurse that was with the girls at that moment. He heard from the other end of the phone, "I am so sorry but we have identified the girl that is dead as your daughter". I cannot even imagine hearing those words, but instead of crying and asking why, she spoke to Elder Bednar and said, "Ok, we need you to go and identify the other two girls. Those mothers really need to know how they are doing. Will you do that for us?" Elder Bednar explained that this was the true character of Christ, to turn outwards rather than inward. I know that if we all strive to turn outward, we can become more like Christ.Elder ZauggPictures: Computer Error (or human not really sure..) So I will try to figure it out and send it next week. It is kind of embarrassing not knowing how to upload pictures because I loved learning about all the new Apple stuff. I guess the problem is the MTC doesn't use Apple computers...
Elder Zaugg getting ready for the Flag Ceremony
(Thank you Sister Corriveau for getting this picture! She stood next to him in the Parade of Countries)