Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sick companion, Sunday.

A lot of missionaries complained about emails on Christmas of not having enough time so we have some time today to email. It's nice to have the opportunity. Well, I left off on my companion going to the doctors. The diagnostic was that he had the flu. He got quarantine. Don't know if that's spelled right. Anyway he has been separated from Elder ... and I for 2 days. He just got back today so it's nice to have him back. Elder ... and I are also taking Tamiflu pills to help protect us from the flu and the boxes are pretty expensive so I feel a little bad taking it. 

I liked hearing about Christmas time, I just read the letter from Lexie and Kaylie. It sounds pretty fun having fun. I know I enjoyed it. I'm to busy to mess around on a phone now. I've been really getting into the Book of Mormon. I wish I would have dug more into it earlier and worked on pronouncing Bulgarian words. All of the languages around us get to read their Book of Mormon regular speed in a their language that they are learning because they don't have to change letters into Cerilic (Probably spelled wrong again) but eventually I'll get there with the help of the Spirit. 

Sundays are pretty busy we start off with sacrament meeting early in the morning and then breakfast. We have personal study time and some other classes. Priesthood and district meetings. I've watched a lot of Mormon messages that really touch me. Especially watching countries do cultural ceremonies for temple dedications. It's awesome to watch. Well, love all of you.

Love старейшйна греен (Elder Green)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Hey everyone. It's hard to believe that today is the day. I managed to be patient in all of the presents I received. I love all of them. I really like how the patriarchal blessing was in the folder. I'm been receiving all of the letters from the girls. I can't remember who asked if I was receiving letters but I am. This week has been pretty crazy. We've had a lot of the quorum of the 70's come in and talk to us. There talks are really good. We've also been watching videos on past quorum of the 12 apostles giving talks here. It's amazing to watch because they talk in a way that is different from general conference or other talks. They have really funny jokes and then just hits you hard with the spirit. It's amazing. Last night was pretty fun. Some people opened there presents last night and it's fun just to see what everyone gets.

I'm guessing that your going to get this email after opening all of the presents. I hope that It'll be fun opening the presents. There hasn't been a year that it hasn't. It's fun to get the new computer early. Does it have any of the photo shop or other programs that are nice on it? I also want to hear on what everyone got just for the fun of it. I also want to hear about how Christmas Eve went, if you did anything special or giving the presents to siblings. It's so weird not being home during this time. Elder ... (The one that switched his mission to an English one) ended up going home until he got his call again. He got to spend Christmas with his family.

The Croatians group of missionaries were saying how for their mission there going to be gone from their family for 3 Christmas because there is very little going to that mission so they have to be out for 25 months. I'm glad I'm not them because I can't wait until coming back home for Christmas.

We only have 20 minutes to write this letter so it's not a lot of time. I received a package from Rochelle that I want to give thanks for. I didn't expect it so I was surprised, and well I didn't expect all of the presents in the box either. I feel spoiled, Elder ... (He's from Finland speaking Bulgarian, and I also don't know if I've mentioned him before) he received one present and it was just cupcakes. Everyone was expecting something big I guess because he's from Finland. He's so funny especially with his companion Elder ....

In my last email I talked about trying to do a email chat but it's not going to be able to happen unfortunately. I still wish that we could make a phone call home. Like I've mentioned earlier, it sure feels like I've been here for months. The time doesn't feel the same. I keep on telling myself that eventually I'll learn the Bulgarian language but it sure feels impossible at times.

I hope that everyone is having a great Christmas. I'm also hoping for next year to be able to do Skype or something like that. That's all I want for Christmas for the next year. I would also like some photos sent of Christmas time at home. I also have to apologize for all the emails with the photos. Apparently I can send only 2 photos each email and It's hard to tell which ones I've sent. The computers here at the MTC have a lot of restrictions so photo sending is a process that I'll learn to do better. Also can I get a email for Blake, if he is trying to reach me I would love to start emailing him. The same with anyone else that is interested.

I think It's so funny how on the package the arrows pointed to up for the invested companies. It's little things like that I really enjoy. I received the Christmas tree a week ago and got all of the presents. I love the little speaker and the motorcycle guy. I have to admit, the dorms is like a candy festival. Everyone has chocolate and it almost feels like Halloween with a Christmas feel. It's fun, everyone gotten to the point where we try to share everything because there's just to much to eat for yourself.

I just want to know how much I love everyone again. It's hard not being there for Christmas, but it feels like Christmas here. Today we have a lot of Christmas celebration activities so it's nice to take a break from the normal MTC day. I'm hoping for one of the 12 apostles to come to talk to us later today. The spirit is so strong here. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I'll let you know on Friday what some of the activities that I'm doing for Christmas.
                                                                                                                         Love Elder Green

Friday, December 20, 2013

Almost Christmas, and companion switch

Hello everyone. There has been a lot that has been going on in this past week. It seems like the days are starting to blend. It's crazy to think that I came into the MTC 16 days ago. It's weird to see on Wednesday to see the new missionaries coming in. It feels like I've been here for months but it feels like I just got here yesterday. It's so weird. This last Sunday or Tuesday, we got the chance to hear from Elder Rasband from the quorum of the 70. It seemed like he did an answer and question with missionaries in the crowd which I somewhat liked but there were some missionaries that said things that made me really think.

 Something happened yesterday that kind of shocked everyone in the Bulgarian group. I think I've mentioned all the Bulgarian speakers in my group, but there is an Elder ... that is in my group. We were eating breakfast with everyone there and we didn't see him or his companion Elder ... after breakfast until the evening. Elder ... got a really bad cold and has been allowed to sleep in for the past 2 days, but that wasn't the only thing.

Another thing I forgot to mention is the flu has been hitting the MTC. I don't don't what kind of flu but people get quarantine. They have to stay in there room and get food delivered to them, have masks on, and when they leave the building they have a person following them. We had about 5 people with the flu and everyone around them gets the magic pill, or $20 dollars a bill for a week or 2. It sure isn't cheep to keep everyone from getting sick. Only roommates gets the pill to avoid getting sick to. Anyway, Elder ... thought he might have the flu so he got checked out and ended up fine. The test that they do we heard of sounds awful. They stick a thing up your nose and it doesn't sound pleasant.

My group noticed that he was struggling but when we ended up seeing him in the evening he told us what happened. Apparently he's been having major homesickness to the point where he wants to go home. We also learned that he's never mowed out before like me which is hard and also that he was homeschooled. It's a lot of stress being a missionary on this schedule and just looking at what has happened to some people around shows that. Everyone has their challenges and it's alright on the decisions that they make. I miss home but not that extent. I'm thankful for that because if I did, that combined with learning Bulgarian would be a rough ride. It surprised all of us because he's the smartest in Bulgarian and also knows some Russian from past classes in school that helps him since its both in the Cyrillic alphabet. He's been talking to the MTC president I believe to figure out what to do. He ended up requested another mission call to an English speaking mission. He already mowed his stuff out of our dorm when we were busy in class. It's so sad.

The result of that left to the change of having another companion. Elder ... is part of my group. It's weird having another companion. It's something to get used to because you get to know your companion really well and the other people around you you know somewhat because your with your companion 24/7. 

I really hope that it works out for him. My group fears that the homesickness isn't going to go away and he might go home even with the switch. It's fine whatever he does. As long as he tries his best, that's all that matters. I feel like he would be able to connect with people and would be a good missionary, so whatever he does I'll support him, but we never see him anymore or assuming so because he is on a different schedule and different building. It just feels like we lost someone in our family, because I love the group that I'm in.

I do appreciate all the letters that I get. The saying is true when they say that the days are long but the weeks are short. At least that's how I'm feeling. Come to think about it, it's so close to Christmas. To be honest it doesn't feel like Christmas. I have to remind myself that it's that time of the year because I'm focusing on everything that is keeping me busy. I really am going to miss spending Christmas time with the family. I hope it goes well for everyone. It's annoying that they won't allow us to call home during Christmas because I'm at the MTC. They will allow us to email on Christmas I think and P-day is on Christmas Eve also, so I'll get to talk to everyone a little more during the holiday. It's funny in one of the letters saying that there should be a time to write emails 2 times a week because that's what I've been complaining to my companion about.

For the emailing part. I think that I could tell you a time that I'm going to be on on Christmas so we can email each other and have a conversation through email back and forth. I don't know if we're assigned times to be on because every missionary is going to be emailing that day. I guess I'll have to let you know Christmas Eve if we can do that.

It's hard to explain learning the language. This isn't like spanish in high school. The teacher only speaks Bulgarian and we go over a lot of information that makes my brain want to explode. I can tell that the spirit is helping me with the language. In the 2 weeks that I've been hear I've learned twice as much information as the spanish class. The only thing that keeps me going in learning this language is based off my faith that I know Heavenly Father will help me with it. It's the hardest class I've ever taken. There's going to be a lot of bumps in the road learning it but I know I'll learn it because of the spirit. It's amazing to be able to say that.

Another thing I wanted to mention was about last sunday. I got to teach a lesson with my companion and give a talk during sacrament. It was a busy day for me because I was preparing for it all sunday morning with my companion. For sacrament, we have rooms that hold enough people for each district which is around 50 people I'm guessing. It's weird because walking down the hallway for the main building theres multiple sacrament rooms all happening at the same time. My talk was based off Repentance and our lesson was about faith in Jesus Christ. They both went really well, which kind of surprised me. It surprised me how well it went and I'm starting to believe that talks and lessons that you give yourself is more of a learning experience than it is to the people that your giving it to. I don't know it's weird but I like it. I think I'm starting to get to the point where I'm not nervous speaking to crowds. That's one weakness that I really wanted strengthened and It's happening.

I just wanted to let you know how much I love you guys (the family). I miss you dearly and wish I could see you again. It makes me just want to start crying while writing this letter. I know that this is the Lords work that I'm doing. The best part of the day is when I get letters from home. We listened to the BYU choir and one of there songs reminded me of home. It was a beautiful song and I loved it. I hope that the week before the week of Christmas break went ok. I'm guessing that either today is the last day or sometime last week of school before the break. I'm keeping you in my prayers. I'm also praying for Kaylie so her foot may be able to heal properly and that she maybe be able to get used to the crutches. Also for Lexie, because I know that the time is coming to make those big decisions with the Senior class soon coming. I love hearing from Allie, those emails are short but just the thought counts and can make a difference for me. I miss hanging out with you Dad because your my best friend and miss having all the love that you give Mom. It's only been a short time but it sure feels like a lot longer. I hope the week goes good with Christmas around the corner. I love Christmas time at the house, but also excited to see what happens here during those days. 
                                                                                                             Love Elder Green

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Here are some photos, I finally have my camera with me while emailing.

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We were creative in working out in the dorms, I'm used as the weight :)

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Heres's the temple, and I thought of Dad for the Dr. Pepper

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LA trip

The LA building that had the Bulgarian Consulate

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This is a picture of one of my roommates. He got a mask from his sister and he's a farmer from Kentucky. It was hilarious and he emailed the photo to me. I didn't get it so I forwarded it

Friday, December 13, 2013

Life at the MTC

Hey everyone, It's really nice to be able to get all of the letters from everyone. Life here at the MTC is for sure a really busy one. The Bulgarian class that we are taking right now usually consist of hours and hours of class time. There are some days where the total amount of time that we are in class for is 7-8 hours. Not all at once, but usually have two major class times. I have to say, I don't think I've ever had so much information given to me a t once time. I loved hearing about the things that are going on at home. It sounds like I'm missing out. Some things about my companion (Elder ...), is that he is from Missouri. Before coming here, he worked as an exterminator. He's also 20 years old and is going to have a birthday while in the MTC. I love having him as a companion. He is also knows a lot more Bulgarian than I do or at least that's what it seems like. Even though it's been a week, we already taught 3 lessens in Bulgarian. It's crazy. Having a script for trying to sound out words helps but it sure is hard. I can testify that this is the hardest thing I've ever done. There is a joke for everyone going foreign learning a new language. It's that Spanish isn't close to being a language. We count it as another Dialect since it's closer to English. There are two people that are going to the Bulgarian Sofia mission that have been here for 8 weeks and are leaving this Monday. They can speak Bulgarian and have conversations in it. It's hard to even imagine if I can get to that point in that amount of time. The class have 2 teachers. They speak Bulgarian the whole time so it's kind of a guessing game to figure out what they are saying. The trip to LA was a lot of fun. We woke up at 4:00 in the morning and went to the airport. They had tour buses for everyone leaving the MTC. There were so many missionaries leaving for there missions so when anyone asked we just said that we were just going to LA and back. We had a personal driver that took us to were we had to go and lunch. After that he dropped us at the airport. We got done with everyone in LA (Signing for Visa in person at the Bulgarian Consulate) at around 12:00. We had to wait at the airport for 6 hours for our flight back and we couldn't go anywhere or in other words, no transportation. We weren't able to go to the LA temple. I was super excited for the idea of it but it didn't happen. With the Dear Elder letters, they print out all of those and have it delivered to us everyday, twice a day. It's really nice because I can here from all of you during each day of the week. It's also hard to describe all of the things that happen at the MTC. I love it here but being as busy as I am it's also really hard. We had a devotional on Sunday and watched a talk given by Elder Bednar. It was given a year or two ago during Christmas time. I have to admit that is my favorite talk ever given. It talked about the characteristics of Christ. I don't even know if it is available out of the MTC. It was so powerful. The spirit was really strong. Also, for the LA trip, we missed Elder Cook coming to the MTC. The Bulgarian group that I'm with was so sad because we missed an apostle because of the trip. I would rather listen to an apostle here in person instead of waiting at an airport. Also at the airport we got 2 pictures with random people in LA because they saw that we were missionaries. It was kind of weird being in public to be honest and it's weird to call myself a missionary. Elder ... (another Bulgarian person in my group) and I were also offered dinner from a random family. We said thanks but we're going to fly out soon. I also want to send some pictures but I forgot to bring my camera to the computer lab. Maybe if I can get on later I can load some pictures but it's hard to tell with the schedule that we have. I wish I could email everyone everyday. Like I said earlier it's really hard to try to put everything into this letter. My companion has actually already gained 8 pounds based off food. I guess it's true when you can gain a lot of weight here. Every meal feel like I've eaten thanksgiving dinner just because it's basically an all you can eat buffet here. The chocolate milk is also very good. It's nice because every morning I drink a ton but drinking it for every drink also gets very tiring. In our gym time I've started running again. It's not that far because it's a 1/10 mile indoor track and we don't have all the time in the world for it also. Another thing that is in our dorms is a pull up bar. Yea... I get to play with it just like at home and I love it. I love the the package that I got. It was nice to get the cloth that I forgot in the wash and the popcorn with all of the messages on it. I ate all of the popcorn after 5 minutes of opening it, so it was a good package. It's fun to see everyone get packages here. It's funny because someone family actually sent a little Christmas tree in a package. Another funny story is a guy from Poland I think got a package and he never gets packages. He was super excited to open it, but when he did, he discovered that it was just hangers so everyone in his room was teasing him. I didn't see it but how it was told to me was very funny. It's hard to keep track of what I've told also. The missionaries going to Bulgaria right now are Elder ..., ..., ..., Sister ..., Elder ..., and I. Elder ... is from Finland, so the same place that Brother Pace served. It's fun to hear stories from him and to have him taste new american food. He always joke about how American food is always deep fried and/or bad for you. Come to think about it it's kind of true. I also wanted to mention that there are certain salads here that taste amazing. I've never eaten a salad so good except for Mom's salad of course. It's amazing to see people from all over the world here. I actually saw Elder Goodwin (Josh Goodwin). He left for France this last Monday. It was really lucky to see him. Also seeing Miguel (the watch person) was fun seeing him. I've also met another person from American Fork but I had no idea who he was and the same for him. It was kind of funny. Elder ... is one of the funniest people I've heard. He's 25 and from Kentucky. He has a deeper voice and he is the comedian of our group. I would like to send everyone personal letters but email time is limited. I'm spending my hour just writing this letter. I hope that the surgery went well for Kaylie. It doesn't look fun being in that state and we've never had someone in our family in crutches before so hopefully it works out good for her. I think that doing that surgery should help because it seemed like nothing else would help it heal all of the way. It's amazing how well Lexie and Kaylie did at Footlocker. I'm super happy to hear that because I was just waiting for the day for those letters to come talking about it. It sounds like you both had really good times. I'm proud of both of you. Just from running here I really need to work at getting back into the shape that I was in. It's not an easy sport but having races like those really make it worth it. Allie, I'm excited to hear about your concerts. I wish that I could come see them. If only your first one was a couple of weeks earlier before I left. I hope that your having a fun time with band. I loved junior high band. It's still hard to think that I'm not going to be able to see any of you in 2 years. It's going to be different when I get home. I also love seeing those pictures that Mom sent me. It's good to see the family again. I know without a doubt this is the place that I'm supposed to be. I also know that this God's work and it's an honor to be able to be part of it. 
                                                                                                                                    Love Elder Green

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tyson mission

Hi everyone. So apparently my p-days are on Fridays. When I first dropped off I was led by lots of people. It's amazing, there are so many missionaries here from all over the world. We had a meeting the very first day and the MTC president just said random countries around the world and people would stand up if they belonged there. I am like the majority of people, when Utah was said, well.... over half the classroom stood up. The guy that was my guide was from England. I felt bad because he carried all of my heavy luggage. It was an eye opener to see what the missionary life is like.  I've been trying to think when the girls left for California, I knew they were leaving today or even yesterday. From the sound of it, it sounds like they left yesterday. I hope that they end up having a good race. It is a fun experience. It must be hard having the whole family gone. Allie must feel pretty lonely and yes Allie did send a email just asking how I was doing. I'm guessing this email will be shared with everyone in the family so I'm doing good. I do miss the family greatly and I haven't felt homesick yet but it's only been a few days. The companion that I'm assigned to his name is Elder .... Yes, they had to but Green and ... together. It's kind of our joke. I have 4 roommates or 2 companions in my room. The other two companions names are Elder ... and Elder .... I really like my room. Anyway for learning the language, yesterday the people in my classroom spent a hour just writing a ten sentence gospel discussion. In the middle of it or towards the end my brain felt like it was fried. I have the alphabet memorized, but whenever I look at a Bulgarian word I forget the alphabet and somewhat try to sound it out. I'm hoping that over the next few weeks I'll be able to read words like a little kid. Sounds like dad had a rough morning going to work at 4:00 and having the truck not work. On the bright side, you have the car back again. The schedule that we have here makes it so we have something to being doing 24/7. The last hour of the day we have time to relax and kind of do whatever and that time goes by so fast. On Fridays we're supposed to go to the Provo temple but it's closed right now until Jan. Instead we have time to do personal study time. I've been doing good writing in a journal but its hard with the time that is given to write everything in. From the sounds of it, it sounds like I forgot those hand warmers too. So I'm guessing that low on the oven wasn't hot enough and that is why it wouldn't turn back into a liquid. Anyway, I don't think I have enough room for that blanket either. The beds here are somewhat good, it's just not the same as home. So far, I've been waking up in the middle of the night and have a hard time going to sleep. Some of the other guys in my room say the same thing. I'll have to hear how well the girls do at California, and also the guys at nationals. It's still hard to believe that I'm actually here. Also there are 7 missionaries in my classroom. I feel bad for the sister because she has her companion in the other room learning a different part of the language where she is serving. She's serving in Macedonia while the rest of us are serving the Bulgaria Sofia mission. The rule is if she isn't with her companion she has to be with at least 2 Elders. It seems like there are a lot of sisters that are serving in different countries are in that situation. The food here is good. Not the best but still good. I've learned that the eyes are more hungry then the stomach. It looks like you have no food so you grab a ton. After that eating a little more than half I'm stuffed. I don't want to waste the food so I end up finishing it. Let's just say I learned to take less fast. Everyday I'm going to be spending hours learning the language. Even today, it being a p-day we have a class time of studying for 3 hours. Being a missionary is hard, but I know it's worth it. I would also like to hear the 5 points of a testimony that dad was explaining before I left again because I feel like it's really important. I guess I'll be hearing from you guys next week. 
                                                                                                        Love Elder Green