Thursday, May 26, 2011

La canción de los justos es una oración para mí

Buenos Dias!
How is everyone doing?! Things are going very well here at the MTC! Time is flying by that is for sure. My dad has been getting on my case for leaving out details of what we do here so here's a little run through: Our average day consists of 6 hours of class, 1 hour of gym, 3 meals, and 3 hours of studying. We get up at 6:15 and go to bed at 10:30. I am usually tired throughout the day with a little headache because we are constantly learning and studying, pero está bien! The food is pretty good and they have a great variety. My favorite meal we have had would probably have to be the navajo taco we had a few days ago. The rooms are small but it is not too bad because I have two companions so it is just us three instead of the usual 4 per room. The beds are not temporpedic or anything obviously but we are so tired at night that it doesn't really matter. We like the rooms because ours is nice and clean and organized, we don't like how hard the ground is though because it hurts the knees when companionship prayer comes around every night, but its all good we use our pillows. I just recently met one elder, Elder Forrester, going to my mission and he leaves Monday. I know him from my leadership class at BYU so it was nice to finally meet someone else going to my mission. I sleep well at night but it usually takes me awhile to fall asleep because I got spanish floating around in my mind and my brain wants to try to translate everything I think. The clothes are comfortable but I do not like the collar rash I get everyday on my neck from my collar. The shoes are comfortable but we do not walk much so its hard to tell. We get gym time everyday and I appreciate that because I can play basketball, and the competition in our zone is pretty good. We also try to do sit-ups and pull-ups as a district every night. Classes are the same everyday: 3 hours long, 1 hour of language, 1 hour of doctrine, and 1 hour of teaching. We love the two teachers we have. They both got off their missions recently from Uruguay and Chile. Sorry for that random list of stuff, I was answering a list of questions from my dad.
Great news! I am actually headed to the consolate in Salt Lake in a few minutes to meet with them and be granted permission to go to Mexico! I will let you know how it goes next email. Our district continues to learn so much everyday and we try to implement everything we learn throughout the day, such as vocabulary words and teaching strategies. Our district loves singing los himnos (hymns). We are singing about 10 hymns a day and we are planning on performing in sacrament meeting in a couple weeks. Yep you heard correctly, I will be singing in public. I am still just as bad as I was but everyone else in the district is pretty good so I'm excited. We will be singing "Yo sé que vive mi Señor" or "I Know My redeemer Lives". It is a powerful song, and for us, even more so in spanish. Everything is great between my companions and I. We get to be better friends everyday. We are all different but it creates a perfect balance between us. We were able to attend the temple for the first time today so that was very enjoyable. My companions and I taught the first lesson in spanish in the TRC for the first time on Monday. We were expected to teach in english but we felt the spirit and just started going in spanish. I was blessed to be able to express everything I needed to, meet the needs of our investigator, and teach her about the restoration all in spanish! We were so excited and felt the Spirit so strong. Elder Marcel is fluent in portugese so he is making the transition to spanish really fast so he helps Elder Sawyer and I. Elder Sawyer is doing great on his spanish too, he is just working on understanding others and having the confidence to speak up in the lessons. He gets better everyday and I am so impressed with the progression of mis compañeros. We heard from Elder Russell M Nelson of the quorum of the twelve apostles last week and he resolved so many of my fears and doubts, he has truly been called of God. I continue to recieve so many loving and encouraging letters from friends and family and I am so grateful for that!! They strengthen me so much and I love hearing about what is going on in everyone's life. My district leader, who picks up the mail everyday, always makes fun of me for having something everyday haha. What a blessing that is. Know that all is well and that I know that Christ's Gospel brings so much happiness into the lives of millions and that His Gospel is meant for all people, tongues, races, and nations. Love you all!
-Elder Stutz

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yo sé que Jesucristo vive

Hola Mi Familia y Mis Amigos!
So much to say, so little time to write! So sorry if I leave out details, if you have any specific questions for me me and I will write back! I have had a great first week here at the MTC! The work is tough, but worth it with all the spiritual experiences. Sunday was great to attend sacrament meeting for the first time, but then it was a little different than most Sundays I have experienced when we went right back to learning and studying for the rest of the day after that. Elder Sawyer and I blessed the sacrament and I was surprised at how well my pronunciation was after just a couple days. It was definitely my first gift of tongues experience. Our district continues to work hard and speak as much spanish as possible. I definitely struggle at times with the language but I am doing my best. I just love speaking, praying, and especially singing in spanish. I see Elder Chris Smith and Elder Jeremy Rhoads every so often and they are doing very well. I also saw Elder John Sherman and Elder Logan Smith for the first time today because they just got here. Also, there are a couple of Hermanas that might switch into our district, one of them is Hermana Hulme, Scott Hulme´s cousin. She is way nice and fun to talk to. When I struggle with the language it makes it easy to feel down or depressed, but Heavenly Father is always preparing us, no matter where we are in our lives. Sometimes that can be hard to recognize when we work hard and do not see immediate progress. I testify that with patience and hard work, we will see the fruits of our labors and we will rejoice when we come to a realization of who we have become. Tuesday has been my best day at the MTC thus far. That night´s devotional, from Elder Richard Hinckley of the Seventy, really hit home for me. He addressed multiple topics regarding missionary work including, ´´living up to the expectations of your mother, be tough! be not ashamed! and be bold!, Be the missionary that writes ´´I´m glad I did´´ instead of ´´I wish I had¨, lose yourself in the work, and finally, your job as missionaries is to teach the divinity of Christ." As a district, we held a testimony meeting afterwards to address these topics. Hermana Baek bore her testimony and humbly spoke of her circumstance with her non-member parents with tears streaming down her face. Her parents are totally against her decision to serve a mission, but she stays strong. Her testimony strengthens mine everyday. In my testimony, I felt impressed to share the story of Elder Budrough (spelling?) because he strengthened my testimony greatly as I was preparing to head into the mission field. After everyone bore their testimonies in English and in Spanish, we sang "Grande eres Tú" (How Great Thou Art). The Spirit bore testimony to everyone in the room that Jesus Christ is our Savior and loves each one of us. No eye was dry, no heart left untouched. Yo testifico que Jesucristo vive y él es el Hijo de Dios. A través de su Expiación, podemos ser limpios y puros. Thanks to everyone who has sent me letters this past week, keep them comin! They are such a strength to me and I love hearing about what is going on in all of your lives. I have the best support while I am gone and I am grateful for such great friends and family. Your prayers are much appreciated, muchas gracias!!! I love you all!
Until Next Week!!
Elder Stutz

Saturday, May 14, 2011

First Email - YAY!!!!!

Mi familia y mis amigos!!!
How are you? I miss you guys already! The MTC has been a great place for me to start my mission off right. Let me tell you a little about our district but I only have about fifteen minutes to write every week so sorry if I leave out details. Our district consists of Elder Andersen (from Loveland, going to Mexico City), Elder Messner (from my BYU ward and Kansas City, going to Mexico City), Elder Haynie (our district leader going to Mexico City), Elder Condie (going to heramasillo, Mexico), Sister Baek (from Korea going to Seattle), and then I have my TWO companions Elder Sawyer (from Idaho, going to Tempe, Arizona) and Elder Marsol (a Brazilian from Spanish Fork going to California). This district works hard and has fun. We are already great friends and we love learning about the Gospel in spanish together. I have learned so much already, the first couple of days were jammed pack with information but I am starting to get comfortable. In fact, Elder Sawyer and I have been assigned to bless the sacrament on Sunday. We also have to prepare a talk for every Sunday when we are here because the Bishop picks the speakers five minutes before the meeting starts. Oh and all of that is in Spanish! Our branch presidency is great, they have assigned us to memorize a bunch of material in english and spanish so they see the potential we have in us. I now prefer to talk in spanish at all times during the day. The rest of the people in the district have more spanish background than me so they speak better, but I have tried to just say whatever I can with the vocabulary and understanding that I do have. When we open our mouths and do everything we can to speak the language all the time, we learn a lot faster. We have enjoyed all of our teachers who care a lot about us and speak almost perfect spanish. It is hard sometimes to understand but I am getting to the point where I can almost everything they are saying. I love the MTC!! There is a great spirit here and I hope I continue to keep learning at the same pace I have been these first few days. I love you all and miss you but I know this is the work that I must be doing in my life at this time. I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us perfectly. He sent His Son to this earth so that He may suffer and die in our behalf. This Atonement gives us the opportunity to be strengthened when weak, cleansed when we sin, and return to our Father someday! I would love to recieve some more letters from everyone! They give great encouragement! The best way to contact me is through There you can send me letters free, without postage or print costs. I also recieve those messages the very day that you send them. I hope all is well. Todos esta bien aqui!
-Elder Stutz