Monday, February 15, 2010

Thomas Blackham's e-mail from last week (February 3-8, 2010)

Well, it's been a crazy first few days, but I've enjoyed it. There has been quite an adventure with the missionaries in my district, so I didn't really know who was going to be my permanent companion until Sunday. My companion is Elder Beau Palmer, who is from Sandy as well, but he went to Brighton High School and I went to Alta...but that's okay.
Everyone has been telling me that these first few days until the first Sunday (yesterday) are the slowest and the hardest. I certainly found them extremely slow, but I still enjoyed the experience. However, I am very happy to say that I think I've finally gotten the feel about how things in the MTC are supposed to go, so that's good!
I've already seen a lot of missionaries I knew before. Elder Skyler Taylor, who went to Alta as well, is in my district at the MTC and is going the Mexico City North mission. Elder Dallin Jackman who was in my BYU ward is in my zone/branch here. Plus I've run into Elder Seth Boyakin, from high school, Elder Spencer Sutton and Elder Phil Jones (former BYU roommates) and many others these last few days.
It is so fun to see all these Elders here at the MTC. It kind of gives me a taste of what Alma felt when he was reunited with the sons of Mosiah (Alma 17). It is such a good feeling to see these people I knew before and to see that they are "still [my] bretheren in the Lord."
The language is coming pretty well, I think the study I did before heading out to the MTC really gave me a head start on it. However, I'm still pretty overwhelmed by the idea of learning to master the language. I did understand most of the missionaries' Spanish testimonies in our fast and testimony meeting yesterday, but mostly because they spoke really slow, and used many of the same phrases I learned in my Spanish classes.
I love my district in the MTC and it was really weird because when I first met them, a lot of them seemed REALLY familiar to me, and all the elders said the same thing. So here's the list of who's in district, where they're from and where they're going on a mission.

Elder Palmer (my companion)
Sandy, UT (Brighton HS)
Peru, Lima Central

Elder Jensen
Central Utah, somewhere
Mexico Mexico City North

Elder Davis
Reno, NV
Mexico Mexico City North

Elder Larson
Bountiful, UT
Mexico City West

Elder Bylund
St. George, UT
Mexico City West

Elder Haynie
Sandy, UT (Hillcrest HS)
Mexico City North

Elder Colegrove
Mexico City North

Elder Sutherland
Manasseh(?) Colorado
Mexico City North

Elder Taylor
Draper, UT (Alta HS)
Mexico City North

So as you can see, there are a lot of local kids in my district, but the only one I've met before was Elder Taylor, and even then, we might have had a few classes together and seen each other in the halls some times, but really didn't know each other well.

Well, I'm about out of time. Sorry if I wasn't able to answer all your questions, but I'll write letters back to those who have written me (if I have your address)

I love you guys and I want you to know that I know this church is true and this is the greatest work in the world. I encourage all of you who are even considering going on mission to go. It will really be the best experience in your life. I've been here less than a week and I already know that these next two years are going to be the best of my life.


Elder Thomas Blackham
Mexico City West Mission

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