July 29, 2008

Attack of the SCAVIES!!!!!

This week has been an eventful one. Firstly, one of the rooms in my Zone had an outbreak of a tropical ailment from the comfort of the MTC. They noticed weird rashes one day and found out that they were scavies. For those of you who don't know, I sure didn't know, scavies are bedbug-like insects that burrow into your skin to lay their eggs and die. It is sad that at the beginning they were treated like lepers. Shouts of "Unclean!" could be heard down the hall and jokes were made about them holding bells. But then they started treatment and everything was as normal. Those poor Elders had to dry clean all their clothes and have their room fumigated.

Now for the really exciting news of this week:


The two districts in our Zone that are ahead of us and going to Mexico are very upset. District A for Awesome/Argentina had a meeting with the travel people today and they took our fingerprints for the visas. The Consollate is coming on August 12th, so things are looking very good for getting out of the MTC on time.

Now I reach the point where I can't think of what to write and the computer closes the window on me so I have to start all over again.

I hope that you all enjoy this blog. A small look into the most interesting bits of life at the MTC. Thank you for reading and for your support.

Elder Will Budge

July 22, 2008

Gettin' (Spiritually) Strong Now!

Well, here we are again. P-day of week six. Wow. I've been here for almost five complete weeks. I'm starting to forget the outside world. Actually, that's kinda true... :S

Anyway, I have noticed something during my weeks here. There seems to be an unofficial theme song of the MTC. No, it's not "Called to Serve." It's not even Church related at all. It's the Rocky theme song. Kinda weird, I know, but everybody sings it at least once here. Usually before the weekly Teaching Appointment or before going to the Referral Center. I know I sing it about every day. Maybe it's just my district, but I think I've heard other missionaries do it too.

This week was pretty good. I got to do a chat for the first time at the RC this week. That was really cool. I talked for fifty minutes with this woman. She started the whole thing off by asking me how I know that the Church is true. Then we got on the Book of Mormon. The biggest problem she had with it was that she has issues with corrupt leaders (in this case the writer[s] of the Book of Mormon). So, I gave her the example of King Benjamin and the reference of his address. She said that she'd check out the BoM from her library that night. I told her that she could just order her own for free at the bottom of the page. She did that after I convinced her that all that would happen is that she might get a phone call making sure that she got the book. After that she asked me about the Church services.

She asked who could take the sacrament. She said that she was using "Mormonism for Dummies" as a reference and that it probably wasn't a good resource. I, being who I am and reading random books I find in Barnes & Nobel, knew that it was actually a very good resource because it was written by a couple of "Ensign" editors, and I let her know that. By the end she had committed to go to Church that week. I wish that I could have talked with her some more, but I had to go to dinner, so I transfered her.

The Temple is open again. Huzzah! It makes P-day so much better.

Um... I forget how much I've said about my teachers, so I'll say some more. Hermano Mortimer is hilarious. He makes the same faces and vocal inflections as Jack Black. It's very entertaining. Then there's Hermano Pearson. He's kinda fun, he's way more serious, though. But he lets us play fun games sometimes. He got married a couple weeks ago so he was gone for a while. While he was gone we had Hermano Gonzales. He's hilarious. He's from Chile, so we got to learn idioms and things. He didn't care too much about lesson plans, so we pretty much just learned what he felt like teaching.

Um. That's about it for this week. I continue hoping (as I am doing laundry right now) that my laundry will fare the way it did my first week.

Until next week,
Elder Budge

July 16, 2008

On Legendary Foods, Temple Cleaning, Health, and Laundry

Greetings from the end of MTC week 4. Not too much exciting happening this week. But there have been some cool things.

After three and a half weeks of waiting, we were finally graced with a dinner of chicken cordon bleu. Mmmmmm.... so good...

My health has been improving. I'm almost through all my antibiotics, but I can't tell if it's been working because my ear never really bothered me. But the sinuses are doing better. It's down to mild-cold status.

This morning was pretty cool. My district had the opportunity to clean the Temple. We showed up at 8 this morning, and they let us in. They gave us these really sweet white scrubs to wear while we were cleaning. First thing they had Elder Roy and I do was wipe a new marble floor down with glass cleaner. Then we started on the windows of the entrance. Then we were sent to the back. There they had us work on digging out an old planter. Essentially, we were taking the dirt out of a 15-foot tall planter box. I'm still not sure how far the dirt went, we heard that it went all the way down. It wasn't too exciting, but I made it more fun by saying that we were digging a tunnel to Hell so that we could be better ready for the final battle at the end of the Millenium.

Not much else this week. My teacher, Hermano Pearson, comes back tomorrow. He's been gone for a couple weeks because he got married. In his place we had Hermano Gonzales. He's really cool. He's Chilean, so we got to ask him about the culture and idoms and things. He's really funny, too.

As for my schedule, not much is going on there. Wake up, eat, go to gym, shower, class, eat, class, eat, class, plan, sleep. That's most of my week right there. Sometimes gym and class are switched. Those days throw things off a little.

My zone does have one tradition. The night before anybody leaves we sing "Hasta Ver", or "God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again" in Spanish.

Ummm.... Not much else going on other than my continued frustration at the laundry. As of right now I have:

1 lost sock

Continued extra time on my darks washer

1 darks dryer that didn't dry them at all and I paid for twice

1 whites dryer that wouldn't start after I paid for it because the buttons were smashed in, but that somebody else got to start

We'll see what this weeks laundry casualties are this week in a few minutes.

Well, good luck to you all. Please keep writing, I'll keep replying.

Elder Budge

July 8, 2008

On Roommates, the 4th of July, Illness, Leadership, and Four-square

Well, another week, another email. There's a lot that's happened this week. First we got our new roommates. They're going to Equador. Funny thing is, they were originally assigned to Russia.

The 4th of July was alright. It was just like a normal day, but there was a special assembly that we went to. They gave us chimes made out of pipe and we played patriotic and pioneer songs on them. The pioneer songs confused me because it would make sense for us to have another thing for the 24th. Anyway, I wish I had gotten video of at least part of the chime stuff. It was like the entire MTC was playing "Chime Hero."

After the assembly they set us go outside (the building, not the fence) and stay up past our bedtimes to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks. Honestly, they were pretty lame. At one point we could kind of hear Miley Cirus singing. Sort of. I forgot to bring my camera, so I can't upload the video of the finale that I got.

All of the 4th I had a bit of a sore throat. Then on Saturday it felt very much like I had a sinus infection. So, I went to the clinic yesterday (since it's closed on the weekends) and it turns out that in addition to the sinus stuff (which the doctor only told me to take dayquill and benedryl for) I have an inner-ear infection, so I got to get some amoxycillin. The ear infection was a bit of a surprise news. I haven't had one of those for years. Anyway, I'm on dayquill/benedryl and antibiotics, so I'm doing better.

Our district leader is heading down to the Republica Dominicana on Thursday. Because of this we got a new DL on Sunday. Let me preface this with my relationship with leadership positions. I don't really care for them, but they seem to have a strange attraction to me. Out of the last 7 years I have spent maybe five months not in a leadership role. As such, I was not surprised when I walked into Sacrament meeting and President Houck pulled me aside. So, now I'm the DL. Which basically means that I run meetings and get the mail. Exciting stuff.

A follow up on MTC four-square:
Sometimes Elders get bored after hours and hours of MDT (Missionary Directed Time). For example, the Elders in my District decided to play four-square in our classroom last night before planning. They drew a square on the floor with chalk and bounced a little Mundo (a stress ball in the shape of the world) around at each other. It was very exciting. The Hermanas were all every excited about it when they saw it. Well, except for the one who got disappointed when she learned that we weren't practicing verbs.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'll try to get on later today to see if I can't send some pictures/video. I'm not sure if I'll be able to, they have very strict computer systems that I am pretty sure I can't get around.

Until next week,
Elder Budge

July 1, 2008

Part II

Well, I'm back. Doing laundry right now. So, I have remembered some of the things I was going to say.

Last week one of the sisters in my district broke her finger while playing sand volleyball. A warning to all who want to play volleyball: mind your fingers. Gym continues to be a unique experience. Never have I seen such intense a game as four-square at the MTC. The elders here get way into it. It's even scary to watch.

Well, I continue to not be as organized as I thought I was.

Went to the Temple today. I thought it was interesting, I found a painting by Dale Fletcher. A painting of the temple site before there was a temple there.

Like I said before, my Russian-speaking roommates are gone. That means that Elder Roy and I will probably get new roommates tomorrow. This week has been very nice without any other roommates. Oh well, that's life at the MTC.

Continued thanks to all who send me mail. Also, I encourage everyone to send me mail. I will be able to write everyone back as long as I am in the MTC.

Also, a note on mail while I am in Argentina. If you do not want your mail to me to be opened before it gets to me, put Catholic stickers on the envelope and they'll respect it. Some of my district have known people on missions in Argentina and it works.

Until next week,
Elder Budge

Part I

Hey All,

Well, here it is, my second Preparation Day. Yes, it's Preparation day and not P-day. Apparently the Church is trying to move away from abbreviations. Makes things here at the MTC complicated. Oops, I mean Missionary Training Center. Everything here is abbreviated.

Anyway, it has been an interesting week. Saw my first group of new missionaries after my own. My Russian roommates moved out and with some other Russians. And then last night a missionary blew an entire burrito out of his nose. Don't ask me how or why.

I was going to write a lot, but now that I'm here and using up my email time, I seem to have forgotten what I was going to say. Next week's will be an improvement.

Anyway, until next week. Or possibly later today, I still have 20 minutes.

Elder Budge