Total Pageviews

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MTC - July 27, 2010 - 1 MONTH DOWN

Well hey everyone!!!

Time is flying here in the MTC. Can you believe that I am now on my 5th week. Crazy right?!

It is the same old same old everyday, but for some reason it goes by sooooooo fast! I don't even know how to explain it. It seems like it has been a month already, but it feels like it has been the fastest month of my life. I have a bunch of good friends who are leaving or have left this week. I'm sending some pictures home that I have with them. Elder Mills has been here for 16 weeks waiting for his visa to go to Torrion, Mexico. Elders Stucki, White (who happens to be black), and Gosnell (if you remember Mikey from the cartoon show Recess, that is E. Gosnell) all leave in the next couple of days for Mexico. They have been here 14 weeks. Chances are that I will be reassigned rather than wait for my visa. I will be sent to a mission somewhere in the states for a couple months while I wait for my Visa. Wouldn't it be cool if I got to be in Salt Lake City one last time for General Conference??? Anyway, please keep my Visa in your prayers.

On Thursday about 15 of us played this game where you were only allowed to speak 19 words of English the entire day. At about 9 PM I failed and spoke my 20th word. The punishment: walk around like a T-rex with your elbows in and your hands close to your face for the entire next day. Let's just say that getting changed and going through the food lines in the cafeteria were ridiculous. Oh and while we played soccer it looked super funny. It's the little things like this that make our time here really fun.

My comp.(E. Kiser) and I are continuing to improve with our teaching. We spoke to our REAL investigator again yesterday. Seriously, look her up. Her name is Clydie King. She sang with the Beejees, Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra and on just about every Motown album between 1970-1990. Pretty incredible lady. She has incredible faith in prayer which is totally awesome.

I have come to the point, that I am done worrying about things. The language, people back home, my companionship, our lessons, etc. My life is completely in the Lord's hands now. He is going to help me get through all of the hard times I may have. My faith is growing as is my knowledge. I can't wait to get to Mexico and share my faith with others. So that they can feel the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. "That they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, that thou hast sent." I am so excited to share that with people. This is my purpose. To invite others to come unto Christ. "To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

I know that this church is true, with all my heart. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. He shows his love for us by calling real prophets on the Earth today, that they can share His words with us. The book of Mormon is the word of God. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that He died for our sins, that we can return to our Father in Heaven when this life is over. Not only will we return to be with him, but we will return to him with our families. I love you all and you are in my prayers. Keep writing, I love hearing from you and I will do my best to write back.

Love,

Elder Aaron Funke

Saturday, July 24, 2010

MTC - Week 4 - July 20, 2010

Hey all!!!

This last week went by SO fast for me. I feel like I just wrote you all yesterday. So it doesn't really feel like anything happened. I did bust something in my foot playing soccer. I got kicked right in the side of the foot. But it is starting to feel better already, so no worries there. We have a BUNCH of natives in my zone now. They are fun to talk with. I think that using what I know in spanish helps a lot. They are all also amazing at futbol. So my soccer skills are imporoving like crazy. Last night I talked with a teacher who just got home from his mission in Ecuador. Same mission as Billy Cook. He didn't seem to know Billy though. He said if he saw a picture he might recognize him.

Elder Roundy leaves mine and E. Kiser's companionship tomorrow. 3 people in our district are leaving for the Peru MTC so we will be even again and won't need to have a group of 3. I'm kinda bummed. He was really good at Spanish and really knew his scriptures. It helped alot when we were teaching in Spanish. He will be a good missionary, but going to LA is going to be a HUGE wake up call for him. He is going to get a glimpse at the crazy world. Speaking of crazy.... We were doing door to door contacts yesterday here in the MTC and our teacher was trying to shut the door on us. Elder Kiser tried to shove his way in. I don't know if he understands that if we really do that, we will probably get shot! I hope he figures it out soon.

We had the chance to teach a hermano named Angel Silvia that is from San Antonio, Chile. He has lived a very interesting life. You walk in and the first thing you notice are all of the tattoos on his arms. San Antonio is a port city. There is a lot of gang activity there, and he got caught up in all of it very early on in life. He shared a little with us about it. There was also a talk written about him that is SUPER good. I am getting a copy from one of my teachers. Angel was baptised when he was 17. He later went on to serve a mission and recently moved up here. Pretty awesome guy and his conversion story is really just incredible. He is an example that you cannot read a book by its cover and that we must open our mouths and share this gospel with everyone. At least give them the opportunity to accept it. Angel was able to allow it into his life and because of it, he is still alive.

There are some nasty rumors going around that we aren't going to make it to Mexico. Im pretty sure that they are just rumors. Something about how the church is getting ready to no longer allow the white Elders to go there. It's just a bunch of Elders spreading rumors though. But please pray for our Visa's and our timely departure to Mexico.

Well thats about all I've got for this week. I love you and I pray for all of you about 40,000 times a day.

Love,
Elder Aaron Funke

P.S. There is an Elder here who looks EXACTLY like Draco Malfoy! Im going to try and get a picture with him.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MTC

Things are getting to be much better. The language is really coming along a lot better. Elder Kiser and I got a new companion this last week too. Elder Roundy. He is now my 4th companion in 2 weeks. He is from Texas and is going to be serving in LA spanish speaking. Im growing to love both of my companions and the spirit they have. Elder Kiser is really good at playing, "I'm more greatful than you, and I have more blessings than you." Its definitely his favorite game. I let him win, but I know that no one really is more blessed than I am. I have been blessed with an amazing family, who are strong in the church. You all really are such a strength to me. My friends who have always been there through the thick and the thin. I have been blessed to have grown up in this church. I know that this is where I need to be.

We were in the RC the other day and we werent having any luck at all. I stopped Elder Kiser for a minute and offered a prayer. His next call was to a lady named Clydie. He had a good 40 minute conversation with her about the gospel. She is really interested, but doesnt want the missionaries over because she is really REALLY sick. So, instead, we get to call her back and teach her over the phone. We rushed a Book of Mormon to her and we are ready to teach her. We will really be focusing on families and the plan of salvation, and then if we can call her back again we will share the message of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We also started teaching in Spanish this week. It was a little rough at first, but it only is getting better. One of my teachers, Hermano Garcia, had us write "Dear John" letters to the English language the other day. It was really funny. He told us we had to dump english and never look back, at least for 2 years. My teachers are seriously so incredible! I am learning so much! But since writing our "Dear John" letters to English, we are no longer allowed to speak english in our building. And on Wednesdays we cant speak in english at all!!!! not even in the cafeteria. Church on sundays is mostly in Spanish as well. Each week the 40 or so missionaries in my zone prepare a 5 minute talk in spanish on a topic of the branch presidents choice. And then during the meeting on sunday, he picks two to give their talks. Its a little stressful, but its all good. I have just been trying to immerse myself in the language as much as possible. Hermano Garcia is a native of Chile and he is trying to convince us that they speak only spanish in the highest glory of heaven. That really, spanish was God's first language and he had to learn english to be able to communicate with his children who only knew English, but in reality he just wishes that everyone spoke spanish. HAHAHA he is pretty funny.

Jenny Oaks Baker spoke at a fireside the other day and played the violin for us!! She is amazing! Look her up if you dont know who she is. She is pretty famous. ALso look at a picture of her. She is 40 and has 4 kids, but looks like she is 25!! insane! Elder Oaks, her father, was there as well, but didnt speak to us.

I know this Gospel is true. The spirit testifies to me everyday that it is. I know that the Book of Mormon is true!!! I want everyone to know for themselves that it is true. And I know that they can, if they will just read and pray! Moroni 10:3-5. They will know the truth of it.

I love you all,

Elder Aaron Oscar Funke

Thursday, July 8, 2010

First Week in MTC

The MTC has been great so far. I have been a little frusurated but all is well. I got here and was put into an awesome district. My companion, E. Raines didnt show up, they told me he was sick or something. So i was put with two other elders, E. Ott and E. Nichols. I grew to love those two in the short time we were together. On my second day I was transfered!! I found that to be pretty funny. I was tranfered into an "intermediate" district. Apparently my teachers thought i was too good at spanish for their class. My new comp. is E. Kiser. I have a new address too. everything is the same, but it is mailbox 294. so that changed. The first couple of days here (in the new district) were extremely hard. Instantly my faith was smashed to the ground. I didnt understand a single word of what my native spanish speaking teacher was saying. I am definitely the weakest link in the class/district. My district is pretty funny. At first I thought they were really weird, but they are growing on me and I really enjoy being around them now. The language is already starting to click and my faith is growing. My branch president interviewed me on sunday and set me straight. He said "Elder Funke, you dont have enough faith. You are trying to do to much your self and you are worrying to much. Trust in the Lord and he will provide for you." Since then my faith and hope is growing so much!!! I was really down on sunday. I was thinking "there is no way I can do this!!! It is just too hard." But those thoughts are gone and I am well now. I love being here. The spirit is so strong with everything we do. I am realizing how personable the gospel is. I feel like becoming a missionary, is like becoming a therapist, You have to recognize peoples problems and then deal with them. I dont think i will be able to write all that I want to this week. there is only 30 min. to write emails, but this evening I will write you a letter too. I am realizing how important families are in this gospel. I love you all so very much! I have already began to lose myself in the work. I know this church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I want EVERYONE to have the chance to read it and for them to pray and know for themselves if it is true. I love this gospel so very much. I have felt the love of the Savior in my life and I hope everyone can find that peace and love for themselves through reading the Book of Mormon. I will send some pictures home soon. (they have to develop and what not.)
Pray, Read, and Ponder. Its true!!!

Love,
Elder Funke