So this week has been pretty crazy! This week is the mission President's seminar, so the whole MTC is in a frenzy trying to prepare to have ALL of the Apostles here this week while they train the new mission Presidents! My mission President, President Koch, will get here on Wednesday with all 615 incoming missionaries! Apparently he speaks very good English, and we will get to meet him on either Thursday or Friday! With this frenzy, all of the MTC leaders are cracking down on MTC dress code. If your socks don't match your shoes; "GO CHANGE!" If your tie isn't long enough or is too long; "FIX IT!" If your side burns are too long; "GO SHAVE!" Its nuts! I don't have too much of a problem with it, but some missionaries get chewed out quite frequently!
I have been able to do 2 sessions in the Provo Temple. My P-Days are on Tuesdays, and so every Tuesday at 8 am, we go do a session, then do laundry and email home. But I LOVE the temple! It is one of my favorite places on this Earth!
We got a second teacher on Friday. We used to just have Irmão Nothum, but now we have Irmão Machado. Irmão Machado is from Florionopolis Brazil! He is super cool! So we have 2 three hour blocks of instruction time, where we learn Portuguese, and practice teaching investigators! It is interesting. The Portuguese language is coming more slowly now, but teaching in Portuguese comes so much easier. I am astounded every day as to how real the gift of tongues is!
Our "English Fast" didn't go too well.
We started off the day just great! Only Portuguese for about 4 hours... then a couple of missionaries gave up, and everyone just fell apart. So I think it may be more realistic to work up to entire day fasts. So tomorrow we're just going too fast for half the day!
The Book of Mormon challenge is coming much better! I am slightly behind where I need to be, but that is coming along really well!
I am super stoked to see Elder Hofeling, Elder Gurr, and Elder Roberts here tomorrow! I don't get to Escort until my third week, but I will be waiting to see them! I know the route that they take the missionaries, so you can bet that I'll be waiting in their path to give them a big hug!
So this past week I left my mark on the MTC! I had just gotten ready for gym time (we like to call it Recess), and I was super hyped up, so I jumped in the air! No big deal right?! Well when the MTC was being built, they did not expect to have 6' 1" Elder Rash with Black man hops to be jumping in the hall. So as I jumped, I smacked my head on the ceiling, and broke one of the ceiling tiles... Oops!
We were all at dinner last night, and we dared Elder Larsen to eat 6 bananas! Not only did he eat 6 bananas, but he kept going back for more! After he had consumed 10 bananas and had acquired a large pile of peels, he finally called it quits! So now 10 is the record to beat! We'll see how I do later tonight!
But every Tuesday night and every Sunday night, we have devotionals with guest speakers! On last Tuesday we had Elder Evans of the 70 talk about Work and Obedience! Super Good! We had a guest speaker Sunday night as well, Brother Littlefield, and I cannot, for the life of me, tell you what he spoke on! I was exhausted and fell asleep through most of it. I know! I know! How dare you, Elder Rash! But the gym was warm, and I was tired! Can you blame me?
So all week Elder Woods and I(Elder Woods is my other Z.L.) have been having a fake battle. We will throw pretend grenades and c4, and dynamite at each other! And we have gotten pretty creative! Elder Larsen wrote him a note saying "You're already dead. Look under your chair," and under his chair was a note that said, "BOOM!" So we do a lot of that to pass the time! I also had a dance battle with Elder Woods! Now you've got to understand something... Elder Woods is my height, probably 325 lbs, and is from Montgomery Alabama! And he can dance unlike anybody I've ever met! He has so much flow and rhythm! But the two of us ended up swing dancing, which by itself is hilarious, but as the grand finally, I DIPPED HIM! Full on dip/foot popping action! It was awesome! So I love Elder Woods! We have also begun the spoon game! Where you try to slip spoons into people's pockets without them noticing! So I guess you could say that I am now over the shock of being in the MTC and am now really starting to enjoy it!
I really do love it here! Thank you so much to everyone who has sent me mail! Mail time is my favorite time of the day! I will try to write you all if I can! So be patient with me! I love you all. I know this Church is true. I know God lives. I'll talk to you next week!
Eu sei que Jesus Cristo é nosso Salvador. Eu sei que nosso Pai Celestial ama nos. Eu sou grato por a oportunidade para servir Deus e ensinar o Evangelho de Jesus Cristo. Eu sei que José Smith é um verdadeiro Profeta. Eu sei que Cristo vive. Eu Amo Vocés. En nome de Jesus Cristo, Amém.
Elder Ryland Rash
|P-Day Emails in the MTC|
|Results of Missionary Shenanigans|
*Note from Parents:
Some additional details to share from emails from Elder Rash today.
Sadly, Ryland's MTC companion, Elder Vance, went home this morning. He has been extremely homesick and having depression since entering the MTC. Keep him in his prayers and perhaps he will be able to return to the mission field. Ryland is now in a threesome with the other two roommates he has.
Ryland also learned that there is another zone in the MTC that has 6 other missionaries going to Mozambique, so there will be 9 total going to his mission.
Ryland loves getting his mail. He is the district leader and gets to go and retrieve the mail for the entire district. The other day he came back with 2 packages and 6 letters. His district was very jealous when they realized that all of the mail was for Elder Rash only.
Ryland sounds good in his emails and his homesickness seems to be all gone at this point.