Friday, July 25, 2008

July 25th

Mtc... Week 4.. but really I have only been here for three weeks... it is going great. 

This week...(new Elders and old Elders) 
Well this week has been pretty interesting... We had a bunch of elders leave and when i say a bunch i really only mean like 10.. but most of them were going to Switzerland Geneva mission and the other three were going to the montreal canada mission.. They were pretty awesome missionaries.. and it dwas kinda sad to see them go. We took pictures around the Mtc.. It was pretty good. Well with old leaving missionaries.. Comes new missionaries.. We only got 2 new missionaries in our zone... but in two weeks we get 37 new missionaries in our zone... crazy huh.. well the two new missionaries are pretty neat.. one is from australia going to new calidonia.. and the other is from north ogden going to the toluse france mission.. 

Seeing new/old people...
This sweek i was walking to lunch,... and i saw this kid that looked oh so familiar... well i proceeded to ask him if he remembered me.. and he was like Jacob?... haha it was Mitchell McAurthur that I played basball with in like mustang.. he is going to the Washington d.c south mission.. I have seen him a couple more times and talked to him a little.. he said he is sick of the MTC and said he cant wait to get out.. and I was like when do you leave and he was like aug. 8th and then I proceeded to throw up in my mouth a little... he just got in.. and hes leaving... and he is complaining about the MTC... and I have like another month .. haha.. anyway its ok I dont mind the mtc.. I like it actually... Also I saw Josh hall... he came in this wednesday... and he is going to conneticut.. not sure what city.. it was cool seeing him... 

9:30 - 10:30 
So this week a new rule was implimented.. now from 930 -1030 we are supposed to be in our room.. I thought it was kinda stupid at first but now i love it.. Now i dont have annoying people coming in our room... and plus it gives me more time to study french,.. which is awesome.. so ya obedience is good... 

The trc was awesome this week.. so awesome... We had to pick up the investigator take them to church talkt to them about their week, follow up on committments and just talk to them for like 15 minutes... IN FRENCH.. i was so scared.. i was like i cant do that and I thought it would be like most weeks when elder robinson would say most everything and I would just throw in a memorized sentance or two... but we studied hard and I let go of my fear and just went and did it... and it went Great.! We talked to an old guy and a younger guy.. We talked about le livre de mormon.. and talked about where they worked and they asked what i did... i said i was a missionary and that before my mission I went to school to study architecture... it was pretty great... I understood most of what they were saying.. and they speak really fast,..and the old guy mumbled... the only part i didnt understand was when the old guy was talking about moscow.. and i thought he was talking about the red trees... or something.. elder robinson thought he said something about the red water... i dont know.. no one will ever know now.. haha but then we finished up with french and taught the second lesson in english.. it went really good we really focused on the needs and concerns of the investigator.. I felt great after that.. I was so happy... Then I thought wow i just talked in french for like 15 minutes and i have only been here for three weeks.. soo,.. ya.. 

Bridging the racial gap... 
So we briged the racial gap yesterday in four square... the tongans joined in on the fun yesterday... it was so funny... they were like oversized 8-year olds.. it was hilarious.. i have never laughed that hard during a game of four square... they are always so loud, happy and expressive.. it was awesome.. 

so i only have a couple of minutes left but we get to go to the temple today so i wont have as much time to write letters.. I got letters from mom, clint, tess, jake, janelle, and kylie.. um yesterday was the 24th so i didnt get any freaking mail because utah finds it necceasary to take a holiday... soooo i wont get some of your letters til after i go to the temple today, because usually most of your letters show up on thur... so I might not have time to write letters this week but i love you all and hope everything is going great... 

Oh ya also.. i went to the Rc this week.. it was scary... but it was a pretty cool experience... the rc is where you call people to see if they got their bible, book of mormon or video that they had odered.. well.. ya.. anyway these newsletters are probably dumb and really scattered... but.. ya i hope you enjoy them.. good bye.. 
je vous aime.. 
elder Simonson

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vive le Belique!

(I will share our letter this week)
Friday, 7/18/08
Dear Mom & Dad,
So sorry about the rushed emails. I know a half an hour sounds like a lot but when you have to read a couple of emails plus write one it expires so quick. I hope I answered most of your questions. It's hard to remember what I have written to you about, or what I want to tell you about, etc...The days melt into a blob of one big hazy day. Ummm.....let's see, I can't remember if I answered all your questions so...I CAN email family (really whoever I want) but I only have time to write the one newsletter for my blog. I can't get on any of the blogs, you don't really get on the internet, you just get on Like I told you before in the blog letter, you guys should use while I'm in the MTC. (note: It's free and delivered the same day, so it IS a good idea!) You just get on, click MTC free and enter my name, MTC Mailbox #118, my Mission, and departure date (09/01) and just write and send it like an email. They will print it out and send it like a letter to me. Plus it's Free! All the Elders do it in my zone/district. The get tons of letters plus they come like the same day or the next day, so that's what's nice about it. But you can do whatever you want, but it will save all of you money spent on stamps!
I got your package Mom, it was great and it wasn't lame, and the cookies weren't broken...they were fine. I liked/loved the pictures! You can send me whatever pictures you want.
It sounds like the wedding and funeral went ok. The story you told me was pretty crazy! Are you two ready to say goodbye to Tess and Jake & Addi yet? That will be hard, I'm sure!
I am doing good. Our district is awesome. I know I have said that before, but we have gotten to be better friends so, Ya, I just thought it would be appropriate to say it again. That's awesome Eric Story got home...I forgot about that. I am doing fine and I don't really need anything. If I think of something, I will let you know. I love when you ask questions, etc...because then I'm not just writing the same boring thing every week. Umm...Ya....I hope I covered everything.
Je vous aime! l'amour, Elder Simonson

PS. Thanks for running my blog mom, it's nice because I just write the one big letter about me and then I can write smaller ones to everyone else. Plus lots of people can see how my mission is going. I love both of you. Dad, I love you too...Hope work and building a house is going ok. A guy just coming back from Brazil, Recife Mission as Mission President spoke to us the other week. I thought of you!
Au revoir!

Friday, July 18, 2008

July 18th

E-mail recieved today:
The MTC... 
Well a few new things going on in the mtc.. First of all I will just say again that Sundays are awesome here in the mtc.. along with all the other days but sunday is just a little extraier special.. Umm one of the things we have to do is write and give talks in French.. The catch is, is they dont tell who will be giving them until during sacrament meeting. So you have to write it not knowing whether you will have to give it.. its exciting.. kinda.. but ya.. we have devotionals on Sundays and then we get to watch church movies later in the night.. Its great. This last sunday Elder Robinson and I decided that we would sing in the choir. So we did and the song that we were sing was come thou fount.. It was awesome.. so we got to sing that during the Devotional on Tuesday night. Um a quick little glimpse on my schedule. Mondays we have class all day, plus a large group metting which is mainly a devotional but with like "motivational" speakers. Tuesdays are kinda weird we have service and gym in the morning and then we got to class for a little bit and then we have a devotional with general authorities and stuff its great.. Wednesdays are TRC or TA or the teaching appointments wher we go teach mpck familes in mock family rooms.. .Wed. and Thur. are a lot of class time... its intense.. Fridays are my p-days.. we have until about lucnh to write letters and do laundry and any other prep stuff. then we are supposed to go to the temple after that. but the temple has been closed and wont open until next week. so that stinks.. Saturdays are just class stuff.. so ya thats my schedule. 

My room,....
So the beds in the mtc are pretty terrible.. And the funny thing is like all of us talk in our sleep.. Elder sorensen actually speaks french in his sleep its pretty funny.. Also we like to lock ourselves out of the room on more than one occasion. 

I know i told you about gym time but i didnt tell you how many times a week I have it.. I have gym 5 times a week and an hour a piece.. I still play four square but i dont get much exercise so i go and run a mile every gym period.. 

So this week in the TRC we had to contact again in french.. this week went a lot better... We had to ask them about their families, tell about ours and then relate it to the church and give a short message...Elder robinson took over and did a lot of the talking but.. his accent his terrible but he remembers and knows the language pretty well.Then we had to give the first lesson again.. we started out with two "brothers" then they stuck like 4 more people in our room we had like 6 people.. but it went really really good.. 

French lessons... 
We have a teacher that is also the teacher of the tahitians.. and the tahitians have to learn french and tahitian soo they learn french quick.. so he has been pushing us to try and keep up with them so we have learned all the first lesson in french... Its going pretty good.. we have learned pretty much all of the tenses.. which is fast... but ya... umm well i only have a few minutes left.. sooo 
Trisha and danny I got your letter and I wrote you one but i dont remember if I sent it or if i forgot to put the zip code and the city... ssoo sorry i really wrote you a letter ... probably the longest one too.. but.. anyhow... Mom i got your package... thank you.. I have gotten letters from clint,mom, dad, tess, trish, and mekelle hardy,.. thats about it.. oh also i got clints package... thanks alot for everything... um also i only have like a half an hour on the email and the time goes quick and its hard to get on a computer.. soo if you want to write me emails you should go to dear elder .com and write me on there... they will print it out andsend it to me... k i have to go.. my time is running out.. bye love you all... 

Monday, July 14, 2008 be continued

...a continuation of the email newsletter since I ran out of time on the computer...

Elder Laws...On Wednesday an Elder in our Zone found out that he would be leaving for Switzerland early.  He leaves today (Friday the 11th) so last night we sang his two favorite songs in French and he bore his testimony in French.  It was awesome, the Spirit was so strong, I don't even know what it's going to be like leaving.  He is leaving two weeks early!  That would be intense.  I love serving the Lord, and can't wait to be out in the field (oh wait...yes I can wait, I can wait until I can understand French!)  but ya...

Sat. July 12th
(a little part of our letter)
Dear Mom & Dad, 
It was great to hear from you both and hear that everything 
is going ok...I hope you got the first of my newsletter email.  
 I'm doing good.  Thanks mom for the package (cookies, letter and the PICTURES!)  It was awesome!  Getting mail is exciting!  I got 4 letters yesterday and it was a very good day! ...I will talk to you later.  
Love, Elder Simonson 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

July 11th

(this is a copied email from Jacob)
The MTC... (an experience to behold)
Well its been a week in the mtc. There has been so
much stuff that has gone on just since I last wrote...The
first sunday was great here. We had a 24 hour fast. It
was really great. It was my first experience with an all
French sacrament meeting. It was pretty crazy. But it
was testimony meeting so all the elders that have been
here for a long time all bore their testimonies in French.
It was awesome the spirit was sooo strong I cried most of
the time. Then we had mission conference and that was
great too, to hear from all the mission presidency. I
know that mom thought that I had taught the first lesson
in french already but that is completely as far from the
truth as you can get. I barely know any french... haha but
we have taught the first lesson in English a bunch of
times and it is going great.

Tuesday... one of the craziest days of my life...
On tuesday Elder Robinson, Soronsen, and Larson went to
San. Fran to get their french visas. So that meant Elder
Schmutz, Furgeson, and I got to stay here. I thought that
would be fine... but I didn't know what lay ahead... So we
get a friendly note saying that we needed to be in the
health center at 11:15... so we are like "oh ok we are
just getting shots"... oh how wrong I was! When we arrived
there.. we were kindly greeted by a middle aged lady.. who
then took us in a room and started giving what seemed to
be a mission breifing. Well long story short, she told
us that we would be giving a stool sample...!! So she gave
us a bag with a cup, glove, and a vile filled with
preservative and a "pooper scooper" yes.. It was truly
disgusting... I had to fill the vile and stir it up...
haha ya... we'll move on to a new topic.

I had my first experience with the TRC on wednesday.
The trc is where we go in and there are volunteers
that pose as investigators and we go and teach them.
So our first week was exciting and nerve racking.. We
had to first go and contact them in french... ask
them if they had family share a little message about
the church and really just find out as much as we
could about them.. So we went in and I introduced
me and my companion and told him that we were
missionaries.. and blah blah blah.. then we started
asking him questions... ya it was brutal.. for
example I asked him if he was christian and he went
on forever and i just looked at him in shock.. so he
kindly said oui Chretien... haha ya but then we had to
teach him in english.. the lesson went pretty good..
we were both really nervous and he was really quiet..
we kept asking him losts of questions and he would give
us one word answers... but it was a good learning

gym is pretty nice.. Other than everyone likes to
play basketball and we all know just how good i am
at that game... So you could say I have once again
become a fan of the fabled game of four square..
its pretty fun.. but oh well... anyway i have
a lot more to write about but my time is running out
so I will have to end it here and maybe write the rest 
in a letter.. I love you all and miss you..
Thanks for the support...   (Elder Simonson)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Two letters/ One day!

Sat. July 5th, 2008
Bonjour ma Famille
Je suis Fatigue'! Well I know I wrote a letter like a day ago, but that was an assignment from our Branch President's wife, and we didn't have much time to write. Now it is our P-Day and we have time to actually relax and have a little time. I have been super busy these first few days and it's not going to let up. French is coming ok, and we are teaching the first lesson tonight for the first time. I'm kinda nervous but it will be ok. Yesterday for the 4th we were in classrooms all day. Then around 8:30 they called all the missionaries down to the gym and we had a fireside . At the fireside we played hymns with chimes. There was like 2,200 or 2,500 missionaries and probably 1,000 chimes and pretty much in essence, we played "chime hero". You know, like guitar hero but with chimes and hymns! It was neat for the first hour, but then it got a little boring. Then at 10:15 or so the MTC Pres. let us stay up and go outside to watch the Stadium of Fire. We couldn't see much and didn't stay up much later than usual, but it was kinda fun. Yesterday was so exhausting. I was really tired and so was Elder Robinson.
Well, how is life at home? How is Clinton's house coming? Do you just like miss me like crazy? Ya...that's what I thought! I think I will get an email address sometime next week so I can email you. If you have anyone's address, send them to me please!
Preach My Gospel is a really neat thing and we have great teachers. I have two main teachers, Soeur Thornhill...she went to the Geneva Switzerland Mission and she knows Hebrew too. She is really smart and I am NOT, so she is always correcting my terrible French, because everyone else knows a little French. My other teacher is Fre're Brown...he is awesome and went to Tahiti. My district is pretty neat. I think I might have told you about them...Elders Robinson, Sorensen, Ferguson, Larson and Schmutz or Schmutzeson as I call him. Ya, anyway I don't mean to bore you so I will talk with you later. Love you all and I hope you are doing great! Oh yes, I forgot to draw Katie her requested Mr. Gumps and I feel like drawing so...

First Letter!

July 2nd - 3rd, 2008
Hey so I just survived my first day in the MTC. It wasn't too bad. The MTC Presidency spoke at the new missionary orientation and they were amazing speakers. Just today I have taken about 8 or 9 pages of notes. There was a ton to remember but I am feeling pretty good about everything so far. After orientation we met in our District. We have 6 Elders in our district: Elders Robinson, Larson, Sorensen Schmutz, and Ferguson. Elder Robinson is my companion and he is from American Fork. He is a pretty cool guy and I think he will be a really hard worker which is good. We room with Elder Larson from San Fran. and Elder Sorensen from North Ogden. They seem like great Elders, but all three of them are going to the Geneva, Switzerland mission and they have all had at least 3 years of French so we'll see how that goes! haha But I am doing really good and excited to get going but.....
Well my room was invaded by about 30 Elders so I didn't get to finish my letter, so I will do it now. Today was my first full day. It was good, we learned a lot of French and I was a little discouraged at first but now I feel better. We learned to Pray and Testify in French! Ya...the food hasn't been too bad, other than it causes a lot of gas. But I don't know what else to tell you; just ask me so I know what to tell all of you. Love you guys and I am doing great. Pray for me and I will talk to you later. 
Elder Simonson

(Picture courtesy of Trisha...thanks!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Called to Serve

Today Elder Simonson entered the MTC in Provo. We arrived about 12:30 and checked his baggage in. Two big suitcases for two big years. We were greeted by tons of volunteers and then led to the chapel where a member of the MTC Presidency greeted us and welcomed all the new missionaries. The President and his wife both spoke to the Elders (& Sisters) and then we watched "Called to Serve" after which we were to say our quick good-byes and go our seperate ways. We left him there, smiling and excited...he was about the first one out the door! We will give you more updates and post his letters here for you all.

Danny & Trisha, Elder Jacob Simonson, Mom & Dad - MTC Provo - Wed. July 2, 2008.