Thursday, June 30, 2011

Letter #5 6/30/11 & pics too!

The Best District at the MTC!!

Can't wait to get to Culiacan!!

First companion- Elder Nordfelt- couldn't ask for better!!

Love these guys!

Making good use of the "perfect push-ups"!

Elder Shipman!!
I had another great week. I got marci's package which made me through the weekend, and i grandma's cookie things were delicous! And thanks for thos brownies, and bread! Where are those brownies from? I love getting packages so much! And my whole zone loves it too. This one elder in the zone that's been here longer than us serioiusly asks me every day if i have any of that chex cereal sweet stuff  that marci always sends me. Haha and i've been feeding the new district a ton. None of them really have any food. I feel kind of like their mom. haha but i really like all of them. Also i like it when you send me the Diet coke. They have it here but it is caffein free and it doens't have the lime flavor. We're not allowed to have gum here so i've really been craving mints lately.. But thanks for everything you send me!
That's too bad Aaron didn't get his call, i was looking forward to hearing about that. And i'm mad Jimmer isn't on the Jazz! Oh well, it sounds like the people we got are pretty good. The girl who cut my hair last week surprisingly knew a lot about basketball. She told me all about them. And i've seen Brandon and Taylor a lot! I got to talk to them for a while last friday while we in line for a devotional. They're both doing great. I can tell they're really excited! I took that picture with Brandon during our temple walk. I think we're going to be on the same temple walk schedule which will be fun! And they both eat there meals at around the same time as me so i at least see them most days. The person i see the most is Blake zizer. His classroom is right next to mine, and he has the same meal schedule, and gym schedule. I talk to him every day. I was really hoping that Brandon or Taylor would have my gym schedule, but oh well. Now that they opened the gym back up i've been playing a lot of basketball. It's getting more competititive and they're some really good players. I wish i was in Elder Collingsworth's gym. I hear he dominates. I see him around quite a bit but we haven't quite got the courage to talk to him yet. Haha we might try just randomly contacting them in spanish, which we do all the time with other people, and then talking about basketball.
Last weekend was so Amazing!! It was jam packed and the lines for meales went out the door and around the building but it was worth it. On Friday we had a special devotional and Elder Bednar spoke to us!! It was an awesome talk, and after we got to watch movies for 2 hours! We watched the inside the MTC thing that was on last conference and then some movie with Gordon B. Hinkley. We always get to watch movies on Sunday nights but this was special. And Sunday was even cooler!! We ended up just being blessers on the sacrament which was good. Especially since we didn't actually have to bless. They had 3 tables and only one blessed. It was so sweet! It was just the 30 of us that did the sacrament, all the new mission presidents, and then a ton of general authorities. And we got to stay and watch the whole meeting! President Eyerering(?) spoke. It was really good. And 10 of the 12 Apostles were there. It was definately the highlight of my 4 weeks i've been here. And we got to go 1 hour and a half early just to prepare for it. While we were preparing we got to watch all the apostles that were there bear their testimonies to the mission presidents. It was sweet! I don't think i would have been near as excited for that before i left. It's kind weird to think of how much i've already changed. I'm also loving reading the book of mormon! I've definately changed. And i'm so excited to go baptize people!! The MTC is cool, but i'm really excited to get to mexico. If i get my visa.. And when our visas come we get to go to Salt Lake to pick them up! I'm pretty excited for that. If if they come at least..
This Saturday we get to have a special meeting for 4 of july! We're meeting at 8:30 and i think we might get to watch the fireworks. Don't really know though. But i really hope i hear some of Brad Paisley! What time does the whole thing start? I'm jealous lexi gets to go!
Oh tell Marci thanks for always sending Matt's letters! I love reading them! and thanks for sending that picture of his apartment too.
I'm pretty excited for this next week. We're getting a new district! Again!
I love you all, and thanks for always writing me and sending stuff!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

#4- 06/23/11 An exciting week at the MTC!!

Hey family!!
Me gusta la MTC. Y Me Gusta apreder espaniol. Y gracias for la cartas y packages. We're on an inglish fast right now!! Marcie sent me some really good brownie things last week, and grandma sent me bannana bread!! And thanks for those brownies you sent. New Recipee! It was muy bueno. I had a few of them then gave the rest to our new district. Brandon and Taylor aren't in in.. But i saw brandon! It was probably right after he got here, but they were in a hurry to get someplace so i just gave him a big hug and told him i'd find him later. Still haven't seen him yet though.. And i still haven't seen Taylor! I'm sure i'll see him soon though. There's a chance they will be on my same meal and gym schedule. That'd be awesome, we could play futbol together!!
Thanks for the San Francisco treats! I'm pretty jealous that you guys saw a coyote. I hear the NBA draft is tonight!! I can't wait to hear where Jimmer goes. So we lost 4 members of our district to the Peru MTC this week. I'm pretty sad to see them leave. I really liked every one of them. Things are going to be a lot more quiet now.. not so happy about that. And i here the Peru MTC is pretty tough.. they won't be speaking any english, which is crazy. They're no better than i am at spanish and i know i would be completely lost. But our new district we got seem pretty cool. About the other elders in my room. There's Elder Crisp and Elder shipp. Elder Crisp is from the San Diego area and Elder shipp is from Idaho. Elder shipp went to BYU and i don't know about Crisp. They're both pretty quiet, but really nice of course. The other 3 in our district are also pretty quiet.. I like all of them though.
So this weekend is extremely exciting! They've been having this Mission President training thing for all the new mission presidents this week, and i guess there's been some apostles and members of the presidency here. And either tomorrow, sunday, or tuesday, they're going to speak to us. I can't wait! And even more awesome is that Elder Nordfelt and I are going to be passing the sacrament at their meeting on sunday! It's a pretty big deal. We were just walking to lunch one day last week and the MTC president stopped our district and we all talked to him, then he pulled us apart from our district and asked us if we'd pass the sacrament. We don't know whose going to be there but i guess there's going to be some pretty high up people. We had a practice for it last night and we'll be having another practice saturday night.
Having the President training thing has made this place crazy. Lunches and Dinners are JAM packed. Yesterday, the line went out the door and wrapped around the building. 10 times worse than chuck a rama. I just got cereal, and ate all the food you guys have been giving me. I'll probable be living off my stash of snacks for the next few days. We also can't use the Gym this whole week so everybody goes outside. Soccer has been insane. There'll be at least 20 people on a team. It's not too fun..
The MTC basically just keeps getting better and better. It keeps going by faster, and i feel like i'm learning a ton. I'm loving reading el libro de mormon!! And i'm improving on my spanish. We've been teaching all our lessons in spanish and i think i'm getting a lot better. Yesterday we taugh this volenteer (fake investigator). She was probable 95 years old and she literally fell asleep when we were teaching her the plan of salvation. I kind of had to yell to wake her up... She was really nice though. But she denied us when we asked her to get baptised... oh well
We don't get much free time on p-days.. but i hope you guys have an awesome week!!
Love Landon

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Letter #3- June 16, 2011

Dear family, thanks for the pillow!! My sleep has been a million times better. And thanks for all the packages!! The killbournes gave me some healthy snacks which made me really happy. And thanks for the tie Dad! It's probably my new favorite and it will definitely bring out my eyes. haha. Mom i was going to tell you i can't upload pictures so i need to send them in the mail. How do i do that? I haven't heard from mckell.
This week has been awesome! Mostly because it went by extremely fast. And also because i got a ton of mail which is awesome! And i feel like i've learned a ton! The spanish is definitely getting better. Elder Nordfelt and i taught almost the entire first lesson in spanish. We taught our zone leaders who've been here 3 weeks longer than us and we were pretty much at their same level. It's really hard teaching in spanish though. I'm not able to say everything i want to so the lessons aren't quite as good. We're going to keep focusing on teaching in English so that we can actually teach well. I'm also really starting to love our teachers! We have 2 different teachers and they each teach us once a day for about 3 hours. They're both pretty young and they teach us a ton and are a blast.
To answer all of your questions, my biggest challenge is probably teaching in spanish, It's really frustrating and also sitting down all day. I get so sick of our room. It's in the basement and so there's not that much light and i feel like i'm locked up. But whenever we can we go outside to study. The food is still pretty good. They have really good wraps, all sorts of cereal, and a lot of fruit. I usually try to stay away from the main entre every meal. I hear the meat is not good for your stomach. Waking up early isn't too hard but i'm tired every day and it's definately a struggle to stay awake during our study time. And also i share all my treats with my zone. There's no way i could eat all of that so i give a lot away but they're all really thankful. And i still have a giant box of food sitting on my desk. I've definately gotten the most packages than anyone in my district and i get more a week than anyone in the zone. It's awesome! And no i'm not really feeling homesick, but i do miss everyone. I love hearing from everybody! And Elder Nordfelt went to Snow college. Me and him are still getting along great and becoming really good friends.
I played soccer twice this week! i'm actually getting better, but i'm still not ready to play with the mexicans. I need a lot of practice. I'm really enjoying giong outside and getting some sun. It kind of feels like you're in the real world. I always expect to see lexi or mckell drive by when i'm out there though.. haha.
Also i've been doing my perfect push-up a ton! i think i'm getting stronger. haha. Elder Nordfelt and I took measurements of our chests, arms, and waists and we're going to do it every week and see how much we change. I think he's already gotten a lot bigger since last week, but he was already really skinny. I'm mostly just hoping that my chest and arms don't get that much smaller and my waist stays the same. haha but we'll see.
I'm pretty bummed that i missed Brandon's farewell! I'll bet he did awesome. And i'm mad i can't see Taylor's! But i can't wait to see them in a week! I'm going to do everything i can do find them on wednesday. One of our districts left on tuesday and so now we only have 2 districts. I'm really hoping that one of them is in the new district coming in next week! that'd make me sooo happy. We'd be able to talk to eachother all the time.
The MTC is pretty cool but i can't wait to get to mexico!! i want to be in the real world and not sit all day. But I'm enjoy my time here for sure. I love you guys!! And keep writing me please!!
Love Landon

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Second Letter: MTC June 9, 2011

I can't believe it's been a week!! It has gone by really fast. But it also feels like i've been here forever. Mom, i'm glad you're done with school!! Now you can devote all your time to sending me amazing packages :) haha. I've had more than enough food. I think i've gotten the most packages out of anybody so Thanks! And tell grandma thanks too!! Those peanut butter things are delicous. Oh and Mckell's muffins were amazing! And thanks dad for the Dallas Miami updates. I sooo hop Dallas wins!! You should definately write me after every game and tell me everything.
This morning we went to the temple which was really nice. Then i got a haircut! The first thing our president said to me was that i needed a haircut. Haircuts are amazing!! All the girls that cut your hair are really pretty. I really enjoyed talking to someone who's outside the MTC world. And now i'm doing my laundry which sucks because it's really crowded. How often should I wash my pants??
This week we've learned a ton. We've also started teaching fake investigators which has been pretty hard. We're supposed to talk as much in spanish as possible which makes things really hard. Elder Nordfelt and I have been studying a ton so that we can do better. I've learned a lot more about him and we're becoming good friends. He likes a lot of the same things as me and i also learned he was the Hunter High SBO president. He's really nice. When you write me i want to hear all about the family and what you guys have been doing. You should also tell all my friends to write me! Brandon and Joe are the only honest ones. I wish i could go to brandon's farewell so bad!!
They keep us insanely busy. Every day i just look forward to 930 when i can change and relax for a bit. But I'm seriously so excited to get to mexico and baptise mexicans!! We have a teacher that is extremely motivating and has helped us a ton to get excited. My whole district is pretty awesome. To anwser your questions there are 4 people in my room and all of us are going to Culiacan. There there are 3 other companionships in our district and 2 of them are leaving to peru in 2 weeks, which sucks because i really like those guys. One of them is giving me a lot of fashion tips. If you want to send me ties you should send purples and greys. I guess they bring out my eyes. And the other companionship is going to mexico somewhere. We are all on the same floor of our and are rooms are pretty close. Our whole zone is about half the floor and we're all spanish speaking. There's 3 districts in our zone and we're zone 1 which is pretty cool because there's a lot of zones here.
Soccer was no bueno. I'm the worst soccer player in the world. If i play again it's going to be because i'm sick of being inside. That's the good thing about soccer is that the field is between the MTC and the temple so it kind of feels like you're out in the world. I'm really enjoying learning everything though. The devotionals have been awesome and there's always a really strong spirit. Everybody is also really nice. I also really like our personal study time, but it's not near long enough. We have so much things to study but not enough time. It can get pretty frustrating.
Since i've been here i've seen a lot of kids from alta. I've seen both Kyle Davis and Austin Metcalf and have gotten to talk to them a little. I'm so excited for Brandon and Taylor to get here!! If we have the same lunch or anything then we can see eachother every day.
My only complaint about this place is that they only allow me one pillow. I found another pillow case and i filled it with some clothes i'm not using and i use that for my head, then i use the pillow they give me for my legs. If it's possible for you to send me a pillow you should definately consider it. I love you guys!! Keep writing me cause i love mail!
Love ya!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

First Letter!!! 6/4/2011

hola familia!!
It's not my p day today but they are giving us time to do laundry so we get to email! Our p day is thursday. Holy cow these past couple days have been insane. We've been so busy! I have a ton to learn. We've jumped right into learning the language and i really don't remember as much as i thought i did. I'm also not very good at teaching lessons. I can't really even do it in english so it's going to be impossible in spanish. I'm also pretty tired. We sit in the same room all day. We eat breakfast then we go to our classroom and study and really stay there all day. But i'm learning a ton.
My companion's name is Elder Nordfelt! He's awesome. He's from west valley and is a lot like me. He likes hiking, biking, and climbing. Our whole district is really outdoorsy and i've talked to a lot of them about what they like to do. Elder Nordfelt's dad is an institute teacher at U of U so he knows a ton about the gospel. I feel like i don't know that much compared to him so i guess it's good he's my companion. But we get a long really good. We have 12 people in our district. 8 of us are all going to Culiacan and the rest are going to peru. They'll be leaving to the peru MTC in 3 weeks. Our zone has 3 districts and most everyone is going to mexico. One district has been here 3 weeks and the other has been here 7. They're all a lot of fun and i think i can learn a lot from them. Yesterday we had our first gym time. I started out playing some basketball but we could only play 3 on 3 half court and it can't get too competitive. It wasn't really that fun and so i just went and ran around the track and lifted a little. But i think today we might play soccer to prepare us for mexico.
Thanks for the packages! The brownies are delicious. And tell aunt marcie thanks. That chex stuff is the best! Also thanks for writing me. Your letters sent twice and i also got a letter from joe jack so the first day i got six letters and nobody else in my district got anything. I also got those 2 packages the next day and now my companion is convinced i have a girlfriend. Haha. We also can't listen to any music in the MTC. It's going to be pretty tough. Also the food is pretty decent. I've been eating a lot of sandwhiches and salads. The main entres look like they might give you a heart attack. And for breakfast they have all you can eat oatmeal and grits every day!! It's pretty awesome. And they have a ton of fruit.
I'm starting to realize that i have a ton to learn and i'm going to have to work really hard. It seems like most of my district is already ahead of me so i need to catch up. I think the MTC is going to be okay but it's going to seem like a really long time. Well i love you guys! let me know if anything awesome happens this week. like dallas beating Miami.