Thursday, June 25, 2009

He made it!

Today the Guatemala MTC President, President Christensen emailed all the parents a letter and pictures. They follow below:

Dear Parents and Loved Ones:
Your missionary arrived "safe and sound" Tuesday night (after a significant delay in Dallas) --- arriving at the MTC after midnight ... and was involved all morning at the MTC here in Guatemala in orientation for their next phase of training. They finally got into the classroom in the afternoon and have started learning more Spanish & teachings from Preach My Gospel.

I've attached a photo (three separate groups) of them out in front of the flags in the entry of the MTC here in Guatemala. Sorry, they are not great pictures --- but enjoy! You are no doubt very proud of your missionary. You should be! This is a very good group of 22 missionaries who join another extraordinary group of 5 North Americans who are in their final three weeks PLUS 42 missionaries from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Chile, Panama, and other Latin American countries.

Your missionary has Preparation Day on Tuesdays and will be writing to you then. I know that your support through letters and emails bless your 'missionary' a lot --- and will be greatly appreciated. In addition to email, you may choose to send letters as well through the pouch according to the instructions received in the call packet of your missionary. [He goes on to explain the addresses and the how-to's. But since Sam will only be there less than 3 weeks now, it is probably best to send email or to his mission office where he will get it when he reports there.]

I also invite you to go to our personal website at www.davidachristensen.com When you get to the site, click on Guatemala MTC ... You can then browse around or take a tour of the MTC. Within a few weeks you may find your missionary in one or more of the pictures. ENJOY!!! If you feel the need to communicate anything to me, please feel free to do so at this email address ---- mtcpresdac@gmail.com. Thanks again for your missionary!!! We come to love these missionaries a great deal and appreciate you lending them to the Lord for this season of their lives.

Thanks again!
President David A. Christensen

He's hiding behind and between the sisters!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Elder Musick's in Guatemala!

Here is Sam's new home for the next 3 weeks: The MTC in Guatemala, also known as the CCM. If you would like to take a visual tour of the facilites you can check it out at the following website: http://davidachristensen.com/mtc/index.html

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finally, to Texas & finally, out of Texas

Sam called precisely at 12:00 noon today and talked for about 1 hour and 40 minutes. (A record phone call to anyone other than Ashlee :) He sounded well and ready to start working but a little tired because they started so early in the morning. I suggested he go eat real food one last time - preferably something green or protein you could identify - and go take a nap in the corner. He quickly told me that he was a representative of Jesus Christ and that wasn't acceptable. OK .... Elder Musick.

His eyes still bother him somewhat, but he thinks that will change back as soon as he doesn't study for 10 hours a day. He feels his language skills are below par and we should pray for the gift of tongues for him to learn the language so he will be able to teach and preach effectively.

Bethany and Papa and Gma Musick came over to listen in on the conversation. When Sam told us that he worked at the temple on Monday pulling up the carpeting, Papa told Sam that they were in the same business except that he did sealings (ceilings) and Sam did floors. Good one, Pop.

He shared some of Elder Bednar's talk of how as a missionary in Germany he was impressed to give 20 marks to one of the General Authorities and it eventually came back to save his wife when they crossed the border and her passport was not current for their country. The message was to do good things because they are good. He didn't feel compelled or necessarily inspired to do it, but it was a good thing to do, so he did it.

At 6:00 while we are rushing around making dinner and trying to feed Erik and Brock - no easy feat - we got another phone call from a pay phone in Texas. Curiosity got the best of me and I answered it and was suprised to hear Sam's voice again on the phone. He had been delayed about 3 hours, partly because the other 20 missionaries traveling to Guatemala were delayed on their flight over and then as they finally loaded up and backed away from the terminal, the plane had problems and they were unloaded and had to wait for another plane to be brought over. It made for a really long day, but what a nice surprise to hear from him again. Jordan was at the house, so he got to visit with Sam.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Last note from Provo

Couple questions answered:
Did you get the last package I sent - floss picks, CDs and cookies? Yes, I got your package and thank you very much for it.
How are your eyes doing? My eyes are off and on they should get a lot better in the field so I wouldn't worry to much.
Are taking all three suitcases? Can you do with two? I can't do with just two with all the stuff I have so I have to take three.
When do you want to call home on Tuesday? I will call at 2:00 my time does that sound good?
Are you allowed to call any other family members or just your parents? It didn't say that I can't call other family members so if someone wants me to call let me know.
How did you get permission to call Bryce? I told my branch president and he was very quick to say absolutely and he is also in Ashlee's ward in Pleasant Grove.
So how are you doing? Are you ready to jump into another culture and another language? Well, no, I am not ready at all.
Tell us of a special experience you have had. Today I went to the temple and took out carpeting for service, so that was interesting.

Love you and talk to you tomorrow, and I did get some stuff for my shoes.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pictures from the Provo MTC

Blind and Sick - does it get any worse?


Group Shot at the Temple


Companeros: Elder Wernli and Elder Musick

Friends







Teachers




Playing Around

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sam's last week in the USA

I sent Sam a list of Elders that are leaving the MTC bound for the Guatemala MTC (CCM) the same day he is and he responded to that.

So I know Elder Turek, he is in my zone and has the room next to mine. And we just had two districts leave today so things are kinda quiet. We went to the temple and loved it. It is so nice to be able to go. Next week we have a cleaning assignment so that should be fun.

I also received my flight plans and I have to be ready to be picked up out front at 5:00 am and don't get into Guatemala till 7:00 pm. So I will have a five hour lay over and yes I can call. It will be about 12:00 in Texas when I land so let me know when to call if some people wanted to come over. I am really excited to leave and sad at the same time.

I have some pictures and I will get them developed and send it to you if you would like. The language is super hard and I am really struggling. We decided to only speak Spanish for a week - it is a work in progress though. Elder Wernli and I taught our first lesson in Spanish to some Elders who were pretty good; we didn't do that great.

So now for some advice for all. I challenge all of you to look up the conference talk by Jeffery R. Holland titled "None Were With Him." It was in the last conference and one of the greastest talks I have ever heard. I believe that it will put into perspective our struggles compared to what the Lord did for us. And for Katie read D&C 84:88 it will help you on your mission and with your mission call. [And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.]

Well I pray for you all and know that the Lord blesses us and gives us far more then we ever really deserve but it just shows how much he loves us and wants us to return to Him.

Well, I love you all and will talk to some of you soon. And Mom can you send me some CD's, not motab or EFY but like Singles Ward or RM or Best Two Years so I can have some variety and some floss holders. Thank you and love you all.

P.S. I need Bryce's number I have permission to call him and I sent him a letter and challenged him so hopefully he will respond. But please get me his number. Thank you - love you all.

You can watch a portion of the talk Sam refers to at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpFhS0dAduc or read it at http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1032-27,00.html .

A second email was also sent:

So can you send me some polynesian church music and I bought all the Spanish hymns, but I still want some good stuff - loud and courageous.

Elder Bednar came and spoke on Tuesday. He was way good; it was about when it is the Holy Ghost or you speaking. He said don't worry about it and get to work.

Love you talk to you later.

Monday, June 8, 2009

In the Provo MTC a little longer


Okay, so its have been kinda crazy here. I wished so badly that I would be able to leave, but it turned out that I'm not leaving for another two weeks. So I will spend six weeks here and three weeks there [in the Guatemala MTC, known as the CCM]. That was hard for me to handle. Because I just want to get to work and stop studying for hours and hours.

I saw Nathan [Speirs] and Brent [Hansen] yesterday at the temple during temple walk. I talked to Nathan and he said he was doing good and things were coming along. I didn't get to talk to Brent long but he said he likes it and was in a great mood.

Well, I am very thankful for you guys; it is always so fun to hear how you guys are doing. But things are pretty fun here. We have two new districts in our zone and one has been delayed so we have like five districts and another coming so we have a really big zone.

I am learning so much, it is such a great blessing to teach the first lesson because I get to talk about eternal families and always think of you guys and the blessing our Father has giving us to be together forever. My compaƱero and I work well together when we teach and both are pretty bold and always give a baptismal commitment.

I haven't been able to go to church or the temple for two weeks because I still have my cough [remember his seal bark?] and everyone is very scared of it. But things are great here - always a work in progress, but that is how it will always be. Thank you for the words of advice and help during this time. Love, Elder Musick

You can see more of the Provo MTC at http://www.mtc.byu.edu/themtc.htm

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Provo MTC Questionnaire

My companion’s name is… Elder Wernli
He is from… American Fork
He is awesome because … BYU wanted him for football and rugby. He is 200 pounds, squats 405, runs a 4.5 40. And is humble and a spiritual giant.
The other guys in my room are named… Elders McMurtury and Hine
and are from…. Twin Falls, ID and Albuquerque, NM
Do you get to see Nathan very often? No, only in passing.
Do you talk in Spanish to him? No
Do you have a gringo accent? I don’t think so.
Are you getting the hang of studying that intensely? Not really.
What is your favorite MTC activity? Gym
What is the hardest thing you do? Wake up
Were the first three days the hardest? They weren’t that bad.
Do you get to the temple weekly? Yeah, every Monday.

So, if you want any questions answered by Sam, the best way is to type up a questionnaire and he'll easily answer it and send it back. He really is a man of few words ... unless he feels like talking!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A reprieve for Texas: Sam's sick and stuck at the MTC

We got two emails today:
First email:
So there is a type-A flu going around. A sister in our zone has it and the zone next to us has it with several others as well. Well, of course I got sick and they took me to Insta Care once on Saturday and once on Sunday. I was not allowed out of my room, only to go to the front desk to check my temp. It came up normal both times and I am feeling tons better today. Out of the past 48 hours I was probably awake for five of them. So I know what it is like to be Dad [when he is sick and sleeps all the time] and it isn't that bad. My vision isn't any better, actually worse with being sick. I am going to the doctor here in the clinic and he will tell me if I can leave tomorrow or not, so pray for me because I want to leave. If I do leave tomorrow I can call and I will be in Texas from 12:30 to 5:00. So be prepared for a call.

Second email:
Okay, so I went to the doctor and he cleared me but they are not letting any missionaries leave the MTC for a week. 3 missionaries have the swine flu and 17 have type A influenza. So I have been really blessed and just have flu-like symptoms. I will let you know when I will leave. But it is a mess here, teachers are getting sick, missionaries are coming in but no one is going out. We are getting a new district and only have one room open so who knows what will happen.

At least he is feeling better and hopefully he can stay well. It is probably very discouraging to be stuck there when he was planning on leaving. Things may change though. We'll keep you posted.