First Week at the MTC

Hey Famiglia!

It’s officially my first P-day! I am so excited to be able to e-mail you. I’ve been absolutely loving the letters you’ve been sending me! They make me so happy. And thanks for the cookies you sent! I really appreciate it! The subject of this e-mail is week #1 (sort of) because they consider last Wednesday – Sunday week #1.

Anyways, I’m typing this at an incredible speed. It’s like my first real chance to sit down and start typing a message. My companion’s name is Elder Rigby. He’s from Idaho, and is a really nice, hardworking guy. He’s an awesome companion to start out with. He’s got a great testimony and works hard at the language. Hopefully I can upload a picture of us if this computer lets me. And for my district; they are absolutely awesome. We have a ton of fun together messing around (at appropriate times of course) ;). So we taught our first lesson last Thursday in the MTC. At this point, we have a commitment to baptism (obviously role-playing). We without a doubt have the best teachers in the MTC. Their names are Fratello (Brother) Mortensen and Fratello Weller. Both absolutely amazing teachers. I’ve learned so much Italian already. We’re starting to have days where we speak only Italian to each other. I think taking Spanish for 3 years definitely helped get me a boost in learning the language.

We went to the temple today. I was honestly feeling pretty down this morning. I was tired, stressed, hot, and crowded. We’ve had to get up at 6 o’clock a few days in a row to get everything we need to done. After I did a session at the temple however, my spirits were completely lifted, and now I get personal time to e-mail! The temple has really turned around my day. It feels really good to wear shorts and a t-shirt for once. We had the most incredible devotional on Sunday. They did a cross-campus broadcast to both of the MTC campuses. They used the technology to show old church commercials that used to be aired. They were absolutely hilarious. Not only was it entertaining, but I gained a lot of great insights, and learned a lot of things I know I have to work on. That was one of my favorite devotionals. I learned a lot about how to get along with your companions, and listening to promptings of the Spirit.

Then last night we had the traditional Tuesday night devotional. Elder Gay of the Seventy spoke. He shared a lot of cool insights. He shared a lot of things such as not only converting yourselves/investigators on your missions, but also the leaders of the wards where you serve. He shared how one mission was getting a crazy amount of baptisms. But their retention rate of those members was only around 22% or so. After assigning missionaries to teach the Bishops/leaders/anyone else in the Wards and Stakes, the retention rate jumped up to 80%. That taught me to think out of the box on my mission, and make sure not only our investigators are converted, but our ward members. A mission where a missionary does not use the members of the ward doesn’t ever reach its full potential.

Anziano Romano is always the one to come up with hilarious lines, ex: “Fresca cut!” = fresh haircut, malata = sick! (even though it means physically ill), or colpo di petto = chest bump!. All of the Elders in my District (District 33D) are super tight. We help each other “endure”(it’s not bad, I promise. I love it here) the MTC and have fun whilst here. Not only do we have fun, but they are some of the most spiritual guys. They all have incredible testimonies. This campus is truly “infested” (for lack of a better word) with the Spirit. I feel it more consistently than I ever have in my life. It really is amazing. We’ve learned to give all of the first lesson in Italian. There’s no way that would be possible anywhere else than the MTC, where the Spirit is so strong.

Just on a side note, somehow I don’t think my jeans got packed. I needed them for a service project we did this morning (cleaning bathrooms) :(. Is there any way you can send them over here? I’m so sorry for making you send me all this stuff. I really appreciate it. I just didn’t realize all the little things I’ve forgotten/didn’t know about. I read about that passport holder that’s coming. I found out I actually really need that too. Thanks! I have gotten the DearElder letters as well. Those are my favorites. I don’t have to wait until next Wednesday to read them. But it’s still exciting to get a family e-mail once a week… sooooo…. I guess both if it’s not too much trouble 🙂 I can just open them and keep them in my letter stack next to my bed. It’s nice to have them. Keep them coming! ;). We check the mail at lunch and dinner. Generally most of the mail arrives at dinner time. Like I’m expecting the package with the passport holder you sent to come during dinner tonight.

Anyways, I’m going to spend the rest of my 8 minutes and whatever seconds left trying to upload my photos. EDIT: I cannot upload photos. Perhaps you can send me another SD card so we can just mail them back and forth like Joey does with her brother so you can see all of my pictures.

Send pictures soon! (Tell Joey to keep sending them too!) I miss you all!

Ciao!
Anziano Jones

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