Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 11th, 2012

Hey everyone,

Five weeks in! But the depressing part is that I only hit my halfway point in the MTC yesterday! Well, that is a blessing and a curse! I love the MTC and it is a great experience, but I do want to be out in the field. Ok, so I wrote a small list of things that I can write about. Most of these aren't new but I don't think I've talked about them yet.
First, last night we had Russell M. Nelson of the quorum of the 12 come speak to us! It was fantastic and he gave a great and insightful talk on the Abrahamic Covenant and the gathering of scattered Israel. Also, I was finally able to see Elder Walker on Sunday! It was great and me, him, and Elder Sweeten got some pictures together (I will send them as soon as they are developed).

So some things about signing, I learned that signing is actually dangerous if you aren't careful, we had some warnings when we first got here but we thought they were all just crazy. Well,  it looks like they knew what they were talking about. One of the sisters in my district pinched a nerve while singing and now can't sign with her right hand for 10 days! It is crazy! I am actually starting to see a little bit of improvement with my signing! I can now sign full conversations and lessons without stopping to ask what signs are all the time. I'm still not "fluent" but I am starting to improve. My English and thoughts are twisting a little bit as I try to learn correct ASL. It is weird and I say things wrong and backwards quite a bit now. Something I had no idea before I got here about ASL missionaries is Blue Boxing. So basically on our missions (especially mine so they tell me) we will run into deaf investigators who do not speak a word of sign language. Due to lack of education or immigration there will be people out there that we will have to literally act out everything we say to them! It is honestly charades without any hope of cheating! Sounds fun right, well maybe if we weren't trying to teach them the gospel! Go ahead and try and explain faith or prophets or the priesthood without any talking or singing or anything to someone who has never even had religion! It is the hardest thing in the world and only ASL missionaries will ever have to do this. I am actually pretty good at it because I am creative, this is a time when all of the other missionaries experience doesn't count and we are all even so I am actually good at it (comparatively speaking because I still have a hard time explaining those tough subjects)!

So while we have been here we have been watching alot of Mormon messages, I have never really watched them before and they are so powerful! Please go watch them! they are on both and! They are fantastic!
I love being here even though it seems I am never going to leave the MTC!  I hope you are all doing great!

Elder Banner

"How you deal with life's problems is a measure of your faith in Him who allows trials to happen and then helps you to overcome them." - Elder Nelson

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