I have been in the MTC for two weeks now! We're pretty comfortable now. We're pretty much MTC experts. I was kind of sick and couldn't really sleep for the first week, but now I am HEALTHY and WAKEFUL and this makes working and staying awake throughout the day much easier. So things are going very well. I've been learning more about some of the MTC hidden gems. There are a lot of pass-downs from other missionaries; we found out that there are names and dates written in glow-in-the-dark paint written on a portion of the wall in our room. This was really cool. Most of the dates are about ten years old. Also, I left some ugly ties at home (one has horses and one has polka-dots, they're really cool). Now I need those for... something...
Elder Kevin Pearson of the Seventy spoke for our Tuesday night devotional and it was very, very good. He explained how important it is that we perceive ourselves as missionaries, and it has helped me to try to have a fully "missionary" attitude; this involves calling everyone "Elders" and "Sisters/Hermanas" instead of "guys" which is hard. But I'm getting better, and me and my district are maturing. We plan our day out down to five minute intervals the night before and this allows us to study very efficiently the next day.
New elders came in last night! It's very exciting for us. This included Elder Braxton Boyer! I just ate breakfast with him, and all of my two weeks of experience allowed me to share some pearls of wisdom. Wesley wrote me a letter with some good questions. We should all follow Wesley's example and write me a letter. But I felt like some of the answers would be good for this e-mail. The pace and workload of the MTC have not been overbearing so far. I've never been good at being diligent in school studies, but it's not a problem here at all. The only deterrent has been fatigue, but that's being worked out with earplugs. I am not getting fatter. So far. Maybe I'll get less skinny though. Yes, I will be here in the MTC for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and Hannukah. I don't know what, if any anything is different in the MTC for these. Hopefully, some turkeys will be available to eat. I've heard that lots of apostles come visit during the holidays, and that would be awesome! Also, we didn't take any "Matrix" pictures, but we did take some "lightsaber" pictures. I think these are probably cool, and maybe everyone can see some if I can get pictures home somehow. Working on that.
I think (this may have been a dream) that Brian Stucki wrote me on my birthday when he was on a mission... Whether that happened or not, it was awesome. So I'd like a family list so I can do the same!
Speaking of not knowing what's real, my perception of time is distorted beyond belief here. It's very strange. I feel like I was writing my last e-mail an hour ago (that was last week) but I feel like this morning was months ago (that was this morning). It's because we're really busy, I suppose. It's fantastic.
I hope everyone understands how easy it is to send me messages with Dear Elder! Getting mail is so great. I'm going to try to respond to everyone who sent me something with the time I have for writing letters today. But feel free to send me a Dear Elder, even if it's short! Letters are really nice to, especially if they have pictures. Tell Evan Lipman that I won't play Halo 7 with him unless he writes me a letter. And I really like pictures. Hopefully my last e-mail made sense; I ran the clock down to the last few seconds before I sent it. Hopefully this one makes sense too. I'm not entirely sure who is reading these, but I hope that those who want to are able to.
Family, thanks you for sending bread and staff paper and sweaters and other treats! We have a drawer full of candy and cookies and things which is why I wanted bread to balance it out. Also, I like bread. I hoped that my e-mail wasn't misinterpreted to mean that I was asking for new things, I just wanted the things I already owned sent up to me. Because it's really cold here! They didn't plan for the MTC weather in my Mexico packing list.
I know the work I'm doing here is very important. I'm working very diligently to become a better missionary. We had a great experience teaching in the "TRC" this last Tuesday. My companion and I did very well teaching together about the Restoration of the Gospel. The Spirit was very strong and the experience has motivated me to work even harder. Thanks for all of the support!
- Elder Tingey