Wednesday, September 29, 2010
First and formost, my mailing address is:
Elder Scott Curtis Donner
Utah Salt Lake City Mission
3487 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
I got both the sweater and the jacket and they both work wonderfully! I have already used both of them :) My insomnia is not doin so hot since gettin out in the field. Its on and off some nights, so I have been switching what I am taking, although I did buy more melatonin today at Costco (with my card :D ) so I would have some when I got to Mexico. My knee is doing perfectly fine, I don't have any problems with it and we walk everywhere :) so that's a blessing. I did get the workout book and you will be happy to know that it is the one I was looking for AND my companionship is obsessed with it, because we really get a good workout.
Temple square was awesome! We watched the Joseph Smith movie! Alan, our inestigator, is set to get baptized on the 9th. We have 3 other investigators with a baptismal date this month, so I am excited for that!
We have the opportunity to go the temple every Pday, as long as we get a ride with a member, which we couldn't today. I will let you know, though, how cool it is when I get to go. My Pday is actually Wednesdays though, is was Thursday last week because of transfers on Wednesday.
Anyways, I am super excited and so enjoying the work! Honestly I have so much fun meeting new people and teaching, that I don't notice how hard it can be! By the end of the day, though, we are all completely worn out, which does go to show the work is hard! It's still so very exciting and I love our investigators! This is an experience I wouldn't change for the world. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to serve in Salt Lake City before I go to Mexico, because I know there are people here that need to hear my testimony. Elder Tory told me that my testimony has already helped some of our investigators. He also told me that my sincerety when I teach is something that he hasn't learned yet. I didn't realize anything one way or the other haha!
The field really is so much different than the MTC. In the MTC you were spoon-fed the spirit. Here in the field, it really is up to you whether you keep that spirit. We definately do just that.
I love you all. Keep writing!
Elder Scott Donner
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Scott has been tranfered to a mission in Salt Lake City until his visa arrives. Here is his first letter from the field...
Hoy es mi dia de preparacion en el campo! Sorry I didn't have the opportunity to send an email out yesterday. You will find that I have answered any questions that you asked in a written letter home, which will be in the package of stuff that I have sent home.
My last day in the MTC was very hectic, but I am very glad to be out of there.
My mission president's name is President Whin. He is a super nice President. I am in another trio and.... it is a spanish speaking trio! The senior companion is Elder Tory. He is actually training 2 of us because our other companion, Elder Duarte, just got to the field yesterday as well.
We already have went and eaten lunch with the Smiths, who have an amazing home, and have also expressed their love for elders waiting on visas. I already love this area so very much and feel very comfortable. Elder Tory has noticed that I am kind of quiet, but I let him know that I am such because this is kind of how I observe things and how everything works here. He's already been so very helpful, and I really appreciate President Whin for putting me with an understanding and caring companion.
Strangely enough, I am not nervous, but maybe that is because I haven't actually had to teach any lessons yet. Elder Duarte is a native speaker and Elder Tory is very fluent, which is something that I had already shown concern about. But Elder Tory said that he is here to help me out, and from what he can tell, I already speak great spanish having just left the MTC. I feel like there is so much to learn, and I know there is, but I am so very comfortable here.
Me, Elder Montoya, Elder Gamardella, and Elder Taylor are all split into different zones, but I know they are in good hands. We are so all very excited to be out here. I do have some concern for Elder Pope, who left Monday for LA, becuase he is so very shy, and was very nervous about going there, but I know the Lord sent him there so he might be able to overcome any fears that might be holding him back.
I still cannot believe that I am out here in the mission field. Something that Hno. Vigil told us before we left the MTC, is that even after the mission, you will wonder if that all had really happened.
On an interesting note, my companionship is a walking companionship, or we bike, but I don't have a bike jaja! But they said they know a member who lends out bikes to visa holders, so I might be able to do that. Tonight, though, we already have the opportunity to go to the temple square, which is like 10 minutes away. We are taking some investigators there, which is already uber exciting. I want to be able to test out my spanish speaking with them. I know they will be patient with me, because I am definately new jaja!
Anyways.... Les quiero todos!!!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
This week has been an uber interesting week but I will try to fit it all in :D But first I will answer the questions you had.
Visas, rumor has it some missionaries got them and some didn't. They haven't told everyone yet and if we didn't get them then we will be reassigned somewhere in Utah for the time being so they can bring us the the consolate to sign the visas when we get them. I am going to check the travel office today to check and see if they have any new information. I'm not too worried about it because I figure if I get reassigned then I have the privelage of saying I served 2 missions :p
Also they do sell calling cards in the bookstore so I will buy a couple of those. I will have the opportunity to call you when I get flown off to Mexico. Otherwise, if I am reassigned, I will only get to call for 5-10 minutes to let you know where. I'm not sure of any address's of where to write me yet, but hopefully I will find out soon.
Thank you for sending my shoes! I missed them so much! Jaja!
As for other things, I have been told that Mexico city has a ton of things that I can buy if I need them (except for jackets in my size cuz I'm so big), so that shouldn't be a problem at all.
I find that through my whole experience in the MTC, I have had more trials than I can count. When I overcome one trial, another one slaps me in the face. Currently, because of my insomnia (which the medicine has been helping BTW) I have been getting super sick, which the Doc said we need to monitor because it can turn into pneumonia (neumonía en español :P). I have also been suffering from a really bad migrane these past few days, so we have been having class with the lights off haha! I find it interesting, because I read in my patriarchal blessing the other day that I have been blessed with the ability to cast my trials aside, and overcome them with much strength. That certainly gave me a confidence booster, but I haven't let anything stop me so far in the MTC.
I really have been enjoying this last week. I have been teaching everbody the Plan of Salvation in spanish with my 2 favorite chapters on it. Alma 7 and 42 are great chapters to use! I enjoy them so much! Also reading the Book of Mormon in spanish has been a real blessing in learning the language better. I find so many more things reading it in spanish than I do in English.
Our teachers interview us each week and it was funny, because Hno Vigil was asking me how I felt about how I was doing in the language and doctrine. I told him I felt very comfortable with it, and he agreed that the entire district is doing just totally awesome and that sometimes, when he's listening to us speak in spanish, he literally doesn't think about it because we do so well. We have been blessed with such wonderful teachers! Having 3 teachers and their insights has really blessed our learning, and also the love they have for us makes us learn so much better.
It's almost surreal to think that we'll be leaving the MTC soon, but I am SO excited!!! I have learned so much here and have already seen how the mission is blessing my life! I learn something new everyday, and I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. I love you all!!!
Elder Scott Donner
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Hola hola familia!!!
First to answer mom's questions. I have been receiving the packages you have sent. The last one I received was the dollar store package with all the batman plates bowls and cups and stuff. I did enjoy receiving that! Although I don't know when I would be able to use it haha.
Anyways, I went to the doctor again yesterday. Interesting story there. One of the districts from our zone all went to the doctors at the same time, now four of those elders are in quarantine for 5 days because they all have influenza! Which prevented me from seeing my original doctor, because he was the one who had to go and check them out. Interesting! So I ended up seeing a different doctor this time who said he did not agree with the first doctor giving me ambion. Then he proceeded to tell me why, because it makes you often times forget what did, which did happen to me. He told me about one elder who had been taking it and ended up "fighting his companions as a pirate, trying to save his bag of gold from them". Another sister was on the floor screaming that she was flying. Thank goodness I didn't do things that radical, although Elder Pope and Elder Montoya did tell me that I had crawled under my bed and wouldn't come out for prayer, so I made promise to them to just hop into bed after taking it. Anyways, this new doc prescribed me a different medicine. I don't remember what it is called, by I will write down what it is in my written letter home.
The week has been nuts for me. Me and my companions are now the zone leaders, so tonight and tomorrow night we get to orientate the 21 new missionaries that are coming into our zone! Oh goody! Talk about overwhelming. But I know I'll be ok because I'm actually totally comfortable with it, theres just alot to do. We have to make sure they know most, if not, all of the rules in the MTC so they don't screw up. We're mostly just babysitting them jaja!!
Anyways the language is coming really well still. I know its nothing compared to what I will learn in the field, but I can give the first and second lesson, and some of the third lesson. I also taught the law of chastity in front of the class with my companions, to our teacher Hno. Vigil. It was really funny because my companions were really uncomfortable talking about it, but I had no problem being very direct and to the point. Hno. Vigil said that you can only teach that way if you truly love your investigators, which made me feel good about it because I felt like that was something that I was struggling with. He said we did an awesome job and thats how it should be taught every time.
Two of the elders in our district played the violin and piano last week in the devotional. It was amazing! I wish I could send it to you somehow! The devotionals this week were not that interesting. It was hard to pay attention, because they kept repeating themselves. One of the elders had mentioned that he felt they were just reiterating a point, but the rest of us knew that words were just repeated because the speaker didn't seem to have prepared well. He also spoke really slow jaja! The elder in front of us was getting mad about it!
Anyways, funny thing happened! Dave Jr. will appreciate this. One of the elders in our zone locked him and his roommates out of their room while they were showering. Unfortuately you have to have someone already in missionary attire run all the way across campus to obtain a key to unlock it. So I did the magical trick to unlock the door jaja! You can ask Dave Jr. about it. I remembered it from him. I was able to unlock the door within 2 minutes, and the elders could not believe that I had done that jaja! I'm going to teach them how to do it eventually so when I leave they can do it.
About visas..... I've heard nothing about them yet. We are going to visit the travel office today to see if anything has come up with them. We all have faith that we will get them, we just don't know when haha. I hope I have answered any questions you've had. I love all of you!
Elder Scott Donner
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Hola Hola Familia!
This week has really been a doozy for me. I have been suffering really bad from insomnia to the point of falling asleep in class. Not sure why I am, but my teacher finally took action and told me that I needed to go the Doc and get checked out by him. I figured it was a really common problem (which it is). Anyways he has prescribed me some ambion(?), which I absolutely hate. My body fights it so much and its super frustrating because when its starts to kick in I get super loopy and usually forget what I do right before I go to bed. It helps me get about 1 more hour of sleep than i was getting, so now I'm up to 2 hours. It just bugs me now though because with the medicine in me, whenever I wake up in the middle of the night, my body feels like it is glued to the bed and I can't move. I have a check-up appointment next Tuesday and the Doc will analyze me from there.
Everything else is going really good though. I weighed myself yesterday and have only gained 3 pounds. I imagine cutting back and working out every night has really helped out with that. I have resorted to just eating cream of wheat in the mornings with a half a grapefruit (yuck!). It helps me not to feel so gross, because they mostly just serve fried foods here.
It’s really funny how dad ran into Elder Butters. I actually talked to him and told him to look for you guys, so I'm glad he found dad, which will hopefully help him to feel more comfortable. No word on the visas yet. Some elders have received them at 6 weeks and others right at 9 weeks. We are praying that we receive them sometime within the next week, which I think is totally realistic.
This week seems to have flown by, buy something really sad is that Hna. Gigena is no longer teaching here :( she said because she has graduated, the MTC told her that she was done here, which I guess they do for pretty much all the teachers. This week though, I feel like I have progressed so much in the language, which will really help me to teach the lessons in Spanish. I have been setting goals to use subjunctive sentences this whole week, which is actually quite fun, and is helping me to not translate everything into English in my head (if that makes sense). I know that when I get into the field I will be confused all over again, but at least I feel like I'll be able to teach some of the lesson when I get to my area.
We actually taught our first lesson in Spanish in the TRC this past Friday. I was pretty intense, but we managed to make it through it, which I definitely know the spirit had a huge part in that. Its interesting to see the words the Lord will put into your mouth when you don't know what to say. I definitely feel like the spirit has a huge part in everything we do. Only at the MTC could I be able to learn as much as I have about Spanish and the gospel in such a short amount of time.
I love reading the scriptures everyday for my personal study. I find myself cross-referencing EVERYTHING, which definitely helps my understanding alot of the times, and also helps the scriptures to be more personal to myself. This past week I have been studying alot on how the Lord strengthens us. One particular verse stuck out to me and that verse is Alma 26:12. What an awesome scripture! We also had a large group meeting where we talked about how often times missionaries use the Bible to prove the validity of the Book of Mormon, when really, the Book of Mormon is what really proves the truth of the Bible. The Book of Mormon was written to our generation and time. The Bible is actually a compilation of letters of Paul and others that were written to members of the church in THEIR time. That is why we find the Bible so vague at times jajajaja! How interesting!!! Anyways D&C 20:8-11 says how the Book of Mormon proves the Bible true. Read it! It’s Really interesting! Anyways I am going to send home notes today on Holland and hopefully the devotional we had last night who was Richard G Hinckley!!! I love you all and hope you are all doing well!
Elder Scott Donner