Max’s 9/26/2012 Email

HOLA Familia y Amigos!

Las semanas son muy rápido. No creo que sea día de preparación ya! Se extraño a ustedes mucho! Es muy divertido y espiritual en el CCM (MTC). Mi español está llegando a ser mas bueno. Mi compañero y yo podemos ensenar las lecciones y hablar con los maestros bien. El don de lenguas es muy interesante y real. Estoy agradecido para esta cosa. Feliz Cumpleanos a Lauren Neser!

Well there is my Spanish blurb. I am still not really good at Spanish, but hopefully some of you Spanish speakers can understand! I have learned some cool Chilean slang words. I will have to share those with you next time.  It’s amazing we are already past the one month mark. The time has just flown! I only have about 3.5 weeks left in the MTC. I am scheduled to leave on the 18th of October, but it is very possible it could be the next week.

We are all excited to go to Chile and get into the full missionary mode. I am so excited to go to a foreign country and help the people there. Thank you so much Mom, Dad, Nic, Lauren, and Chloe for the” Dear Elder” letters! They were so fun to read and it is great to hear about how life is treating you.

So let me tell you a little bit about my week. I got a haircut on my last P-day. It was a very interesting experience. The MTC Hair Salon for missionaries is notorious for giving really bad hair cuts! So they sat me down in the chair and the lady grabbed the clippers and started going at it. After starting the cut she asked me how I wanted it to look! I told her to just shorten it. I had no choice because she had already started cutting it! They are not very gentle with your head either. My companion had a couple of cuts on the back of his neck after he was done – Ha!  After I was done, the lady told me my hair looked very nice, which gave me some relief. My hair actually turned out pretty good, but my companion’s hair got pretty messed up.

I played sand volleyball a couple times this week, which was really fun! They have sand volleyball courts up by the temple.

One night this week I talked in my sleep in Spanish! My companion hears me sleep talk all the time, but now I do it in Spanish which is awesome! In our district we grade ourselves on a scale from one to five on how mush Spanish we spoke throughout the day. I definitely got a five on that day because I spoke Spanish even when I was sleeping!

We got to watch the Brigham City Temple dedication which was awesome! Also, that day an elder in my district, whose girlfriend goes to BYU, shipped him some quesadillas from Taco Bell and they were so good! You can’t beat a temple dedication and Taco Bell tacos all in one day!

We pulled an awesome prank on my companion! Some guys from my district got the address of my companion’s girlfriend and wrote her just jokingly and said that they would love to date her when they get home from their missions. They told her it was a joke in the letters and they didn’t expect anything to come from it. We thought maybe she would write him telling him that some weird Elders wrote her. We waited a couple days then on Saturday the mail came and my companion saw that two letters came and they went to other Elders in the district! He freaked out! We were all dying laughing. I will cut to the good part of the story. He read the letters and his girlfriend played along with the joke, but she was way over the top. It was hilarious, but my companion was so mad and wouldn’t talk to anyone the rest of the day. He got over it and realized it was a joke and everything is cool now, but his girlfriend is probably going to get a mean letter – Ha!

Weirdest meal of the week: Rocky mountain chicken sandwiches….. Rocky Mountain is all you need to know.

At the devotional yesterday, my companion and I got picked to be ushers and so we got front row seats saved for us. It was a really great meeting. A member of the Seventy came and spoke about the prayers around the world for missionaries.

That is so awesome to hear that Jeff Flores’ dad was baptized! I taught him once when I went on splits with the missionaries. I guess I could call that the first baptism of my mission?

Here is my spiritual thought: I have really been studying the power of our voices. I have been called to preach the gospel. Not just hand out Book’s of Mormon and pamphlets. I actually need to talk to people. We can look at the example of Christ regarding how powerful our voices can be. When he was on the ship in the middle of the storm and his disciples were overcome with fear, hE stood up and said “Peace, be still” then the storm was calmed. We can see many times in the scriptures how God wants us to TALK with him. Joseph Smith was not attacked by Satan when he read James 1:5 or when he believed in God. We read he was attacked when he vocally prayed. He even says Satan tried to bind his tongue so that he could not speak. Our voices can bring the power of the spirit and Nephi tells us in 2 Nephi 33:1 that speaking is more powerful than writing. I am excited to preach to the people of Chile and I know that Christ lives. I know that through his atonement we can have true eternal peace in our lives. I love you all and am so grateful for all of your prayers. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for your support and letters. I love you guys so much. ADIOS!

Elder Neser’s 9/19/12 Email!

Hola!

Things have been going great! I would like to start by saying “Feliz Cumpleanos a Chloe y Lauren!” Yo tengo disculpa porque yo no puedo enviar un regalo a ustedes porque yo tengo nada que ustedes quieren. Yo tengo esperanza que ustedes reciben todas las cosas que ustedes desean para sus cumpleanos!

 

Time is really flying and it’s amazing that on Friday I will have been here for a month! My Spanish has improved greatly. It is probably because my companion and I made it a goal to only speak Spanish all day. By all day I mean we start at breakfast and speak only Spanish all the way until 9:30 p.m., with only taking one break during gym. It has been pretty hard. We slip up and speak English sometimes, but not that often! We have seen the amazing help it has been in developing our fluency. Now when we teach lessons it goes a lot smoother and we can explain things in better detail. There are times when I will say a sentence and think “what did I just say?” It is a really fun experience to learn a new language.

 

The bad thing about learning a new language is that my writing in English is getting worse! I have a tendency to use Spanish words instead of English ones and I spell words the way they should be spelled in Spanish!

 

We have a lot of opportunities in class to act as investigators and it is fun making up funny names and acting. Lauren Neser: you would be really good at this!

 

My district also loves our service time on Fridays. We love taking out the trash because we get to play “service basketball”. It probably isn’t the best idea, but it brings some fun to taking out trash and cleaning toilets. So what we do is first get all the trash bags from our residence building that are full (which is like 20 big black bags) and then we go out to the dumpster and stand a little ways away and try to catapult them in! It is a serious game every week and is a lot of fun.

 

I want to say thanks for all of the letters and packages! They are greatly appreciated! I love all the healthy snacks! Thanks Dad for the copy of your Sacrament talk! It was great. Thank you Lauren, for the packages and letters. They are awesome!

 

 We figured out the formula for the food here in the MTC. This is the lunch formula — Take what you had for dinner last night + a bun of some sort + a little guacamole + a side of fries = that is lunch! As bad as it is I am getting used to the food, but I greatly appreciate the snacks in the packages!

 

Jacob’s letter was really cool to read! I can’t wait to get out in the field!

 

I still work out most mornings with Elder Boelter from my district. It is a great way to wake up and start the day. Have I mentioned I love the mountains and view that we have on our fifth floor classroom?

 

This past Sunday we had a Devotional and a director from the MTC talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon. He showed us the opening act of the Tony awards, which was the performance of one of the songs from the Broadway play: TheBook of Mormon. It was really interesting to watch now that I am a missionary and see that they are making fun of me and what I am doing. He talked about how the world is going to attack us at our core and what’s most important to the church. His talk was really moving. It led me to find a great scripture that relates to his comments: John 15:18-19! Go read it! We can all relate!

 

 Thats cool Nic that you have Ms. Dawson! Sounds like football is awesome! I wish I could see some games! We are always hassling our teachers about how the BYU football games went. It is funny!

 

There will not be any missionary choirs in the October General Conference. We will watch it in this building in the gymnasium. They pull out bleacher seats and set up a mini conference center.

 

The Provo temple is so awesome! The background to the temple is spectacular. It has been great weather. I love you all and miss you! I challenge all of you to think about the character of Christ. Study and ponder and see the amazing things he did for all of us when most of us would have turned inward and thought only of ourselves. His experience in Gethsemane where he suffered for the sins of the world while his three chief apostles fell asleep on him, shows me his strength and willingness to forgive. Then he was betrayed by another one of the apostles. When they came to take him away, a sword was drawn and a guard’s ear was cut off. Most of us probably would not have been too concerned about the guard’s ear. But Christ forgets himself and all the pain and trial he was going through and heals the guard’s ear. We should all strive to be more Christ-like and I know I have a long ways to go! Good luck! My prayers are with you all!

Elder Neser

 

Max’s 9/12/12 MTC Update

Hola!

 

 

Hello family and friends! I miss you all so much! Thanks for all of the packages and letters! They really are so fun to open. I love all of the healthy food that you guys sent me. Send more power bars and crackers and whatever healthy snacks you find. My stomach will greatly appreciate them.

 

 My life is on fast forward right now. It is a really weird experience. I love it and I am having so much fun. I am glad to hear that Woodbridge football is doing well! I am happy for Nic and hope he plays well and works hard. I heard you guys were watching the BYU game! I can hear the crowd and music and the Cougar growl thing as I walk around the MTC. It is torturous! I hear that they are doing well, which is awesome!

 

 Thanks mom for the shorts you sent. Dean Hare sent me a really awesome letter. Thank you so much! I have read that letter many times. It has a lot of great insights in it.

 

 This last week my Spanish has really gotten better. We are learning how to say more things than just “bien” when somebody asks how we are doing. My new favorite thing to say is “viviendo el seuno”. It means living the dream! All of the teachers think it’s funny.

 

 It has been raining a little bit everyday, which is awesome! It is so entertaining for us missionaries to look out the window and watch the rain and lightening. Our classroom is on the top floor of the tallest building, which means we have an awesome view of the valley and the mountains. It also means we have to walk up over a hundred stairs seven times a day…. It is worth it though to have the view. A couple of days ago, there was a storm during the day and in the evening as it passed through it made the sky really spectacular. Our teacher took us to this really big window and we talked in Spanish trying to explain what was going on outside. There was a double rainbow crossing over the mountains. The scenery from the window was amazing.

 

 My friend’s brother is a zone resource teacher on my floor and one day he came in and taught us how he kept notes on his mission. He gave us some awesome ideas and I am implementing them. He encouraged us to keep a study journal with different tabs and sections for different subjects.

 

Also, we recently got into tie trading! I traded a bunch of ties and got some really cool ones. I will send pictures of my new ones. Lauren, don’t worry! I did not trade any of yoursJ. I told everyone they were untradeable, even though everyone wants them!

 

 More people that I know arrived at the MTC last Wednesday: Bryce, Kevo Wallace and Adam Lister. Taylor Lythgoe left a couple days ago for Chile! I will send a picture of the two of us. Our district originally consisted of 12 elders, 4 going to El Salvador and 8 going to Chile. The 4 going to El Salvador left yesterday for the Guatemalan MTC! It was sad and amazing how close we bonded in such a short time! They were all awesome guys!

 

Recently, we sat next to this teacher from Mexico at lunch. He is a native Spanish speaker and he asked us where we were going. We told him Chile and he started laughing. He said that even though he is a native Spanish speaker, he can’t understand the Chileans because they speak so fast and use a lot of slang. We are all freaked out now.

Finally, I want you guys to share with me your favorite scriptures! Spiritual thought: We watched an amazing talk from Elder Holland. It was a recording from a talk he had given at the MTC a while ago. He talked about how much he loved his mission. He was really emotional. He really emphasized that it was going to be hard, but that we dare not think of giving up. He said “Welcome to the real world, welcome to the church, welcome to the gospel, welcome to the life of the Savior with cups that people don’t want to drink and paths people don’t want to walk. It is not going to be a piece of cake, but don’t you dare ever think of giving up.” We can relate this to our lives in so many ways. As harsh as it is, it is true. It fired me up and I want to be the best missionary I can be because I love Jesus and I want to do everything I can to help others come unto him. He did so much for us and suffered so much so that we can be happy. We just need to reach out and grab his hand.

 

 I love you all and miss you. Love, Max