Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Provo MTC: First Pictures Home :)

Spencer didn't have a lot to say in his emails this week, but he included pictures of his district:
Spencer and his companion, Elder Asplund

MTC District

I'm noticing that a couple of elders don't have pockets to hang their name tags on.  Some of you know that we panicked after searching for just the right shirts (i.e. shirts that Spencer liked), found them just before sending Spencer to the MTC and then realizing they had no pockets. Thankfully they have the magnet tags!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

MTC: Always Busy

Excerpts from emails sent home.

To Greg:

Hey Dad! I miss you a lot.  I remembered today when said a few weeks ago that I would miss whatever goofy thing I had just rolled my eyes about.  I really do miss you.  Thanks for your example to me, Mom, and the rest of the kids.  I'm not sure if the talks given at the MTC are published or what.  I would just google it since your'e allowed to do that back in St. George.  Also I know you know the story and video of the current bush, but I felt impressed to ask the family to watch it with new eyes and really try to get something out of it through the Spirit one more time.  I've seen it three times since arriving here.  A thought that came to my mind after watching it was that we aren't always cut down like the bush until we allow ourselves to be.  We taught a member lesson to a woman from Buenos Aires and it was much different than anything I've heard here haha.  It will take some adjusting once I get out in the field.  I really hope I have a good trainer.  We have two teachers who we meet with regularly and there are a couple others that we see every now and then.   Both of our regular teachers teach very well and with the spirit.  The teacher who is with us the most is very happy and encouraging all the time.  Thanks to you, and the fact that our whole district is going to Argentina, she arranged for a teacher who went to Buenos Aires to come in and teach us about the accent and now we are all speaking with it, more or less. I love you Dad.  Also my companion Elder Asplund said that he knows an Elder in Cordoba and the old mission president allowed any uplifting music (including Disney songs).  Please be generous with the songs you put on haha.  I can always delete or simply not listen to a song if it ends up violating the rules.  Thanks so much for all you do.  Keep turning outward rather than inward.  That was the principal council given in the devotional I recommended.  Study Christ in the New Testament and look for the ways he reacts to different situations, like when he healed the guard's ear that Peter cut off after. Pray and read the scriptures.  Also I realized that my patriarchal blessing says that I will come forth on the morning of the first resurrection as long as I am true and faithful.  This is the same wording that Brother Tucker gave to me.  He said to be faithful to my wife and true to my children.  Thanks for your continual support and example.

To Mom:

Hi Mom!  I miss you guys more than I ever thought I would.  Also thank you so much for the package and note.  It was really nice for me to see something from home.  The hardest thing about the MTC is that I never get a second to breathe.  Even on P-day I have to be hurrying from one thing to the next or it won't all get done.  Despite my hard work, I still don't usually get done with all of the work and pre-class work they give us because nearly every second of every day is filled with one thing or another.  I would stay up to do it, but that's not allowed either haha.  I'm enjoying it though...

My testimony of the Book of Mormon and the temple and missionary work are all increasing.  My companion [and I] are complete opposites.  He has five older sister and one brother who are out of the house and one younger sister still with him and his parents.  His favorite artist is Taylor Swift and he couldn't believe that I couldn't come up with a single One Direction song that I liked.  I'm still adjusting to being with someone every minute of every day.  I'm not even going to do this with my wife haha...I understand that I can be pretty stubborn when I think I am right so I try to back off when I sense an unimportant disagreement coming on.  I'm also going to try to pay more attention to helping him learn Spanish rather than worrying so much about myself.  I appreciate your letters.  I've been thinking about both sets of grandparents and I'd like to think that they are urging me on as well.  Please keep sending anything you feel prompted to share with me.  I love you and Dad so much.  Thank you for getting me to where I am as a person.  I pray that our family will grow closer and closer every night.

There is a website called Dear Elder that can get me any letter you want to send within a day.  I'm not 100% sure how it works but I'm pretty sure it's free and you just type it up on the website, submit it, and they deliver it to me on paper the next day.  That would be helpful for long letters or talks or anecdotes because I have a very limited time to email and reading may or may not count towards that time depending on whether you ask me or my companion haha.  His name is Elder Asplund.  If you guys want to pray for him you can.  I love you Mom.

To Matthew:

It sounds like you're having a fun time in school Matthew! That makes me so happy.  Keep working hard.  Always remember to be nice to Anna and Will and listen to Mom and Dad.  Give lots of hugs! I love you bud



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Provo MTC: First email home

Elder Spencer Walker entered the Provo MTC on August 3, 2016. Here are a few excerpts from the emails he sent home on his first preparation day.

To Greg:

The MTC is pretty fantastic so far.  I was very worried that either my companion or my district or both would be deadbeats, but they are all pretty committed to being obedient and working hard.  I have appreciated your counsel to remember to have fun.  I'm putting everything I have into studying the language and furthering my conversion, so it's good to have that reminder in my head to not run myself to death.  My companion is from Vista, California and he is a pretty cool guy, although we are not very much alike.  He's had a bunch of sisters and one(or two) brothers but I can definitely see the influence of the sisters on his personality.  I've rapidly progressed so far.  It's really cool.  I wrote in my journal that my biggest problems one day are non-existent the next.  My testimony of sincere, earnest, and diligent prayer is increasing.  I taught everyone in my district about the pronunciation of the double L in Argentina and our teacher appreciated the reminder.  She probably isn't used to teaching that specific way because usually the missionaries in a district are going to several different countries.  Thanks for your example Dad.  Life isn't easy, and I've appreciated watching you and Mom work so hard for us.  My main goal right now is to convert myself to Christ more fully by not worrying about me.  I would highly recommend a talk Elder Bednar gave in the MTC called Characters of Christ...

El Segundo(?) Elder Walker

To Mary Anne:

I have about 7 minutes left to email so I will try to get as much as possible.  I figured you and Dad read each others emails anyway so please read his to find out stuff about the district and such.  The other Elders and the two Hermanas in my district are pleasant to be around and can be pretty funny...

I miss you more and more each day, although I know that I'm doing what is right.  The talk I recommended to Dad in my letter to him is one I recommend for everyone.  It is helping my conversion toward Christ immensely.  Please let the family know I love them.

To Matthew:

Hi Matthew! I miss you so much!  Are you excited for school to start? I bet you'll learn lots of cool things! You can learn to read too! I can't wait to be able to read scriptures with you when we get back! Remember that if you are nice to everyone our family will be happier.  I love you Matthew!

Elder Walker

Monday, August 1, 2016

The day before...

Family pic (minus Tommy)

Shiny New Shoes - we'll see what they look like post-mission