Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Week 3

Yea, thanks so much! I got all those mail-items you mentioned, the candy-cookies package, the postcard from Colorado, and my Vibrams! (I think I already told you that of the four missionaries in my "residence", three have Vibram Fivefinger shoes! That's not an accurate ratio of the whole MTC, though, I think I've only seen a couple other missionaries with fivefingers besides us.)
Everything is really changing at the MTC. I didn't know this before I came, but the 90-something Deutscher missionaries
are doubling our missions. Most of the Europeans are going to the Alpine mission, since Americans aren't really getting into 'der Schweiz' (d-air Sch-white-ts) right now, but hopefully that will change really soon. There is one English Elder going to the Frankfurt mission, named Elder Smith. I'll try to get a picture with him this next week, so Kira can see him. He's really awesome, and he says some funny stuff.
There's about 800-900 new missionaries coming in every week I think, so the MTC is getting pretty crowded. Email/Laundry time is the worst. Most "residence"s are getting an extra bunkbed because of that (ours hasn't, yet). Right now there's a little more than 3000 missionaries in the MTC, which is the most EVER. That's nothing compared to the 8,000 that will be here in the summer. Like I said, everything is really changing.
Love you all so much,
~Elder Standring

Elder Standring with the Germany map on his new missionary plaque!

Elder Standring's missionary plaque arrived!

We received Elder Standring's missionary plaque on 2/25/2013!  This will go up on the church meeting house wall!  (Then after his 2 years, we get to bring it home to display with his brothers' plaques!)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Week 2

I sent off my other letter today so you'll get that soon. I'm also sending a letter for Kira, so that should get there about the same time. I have to go check my laundry soon. I only have half an hour to be on the Myldsmail.net.
Yep, so Sister Allen's left, and like you said, Drake Allen is reporting I think next week so it will be good to see him. Eventually I think I will have to get a bigger scripture case, because the German Scriptures I was given are about an inch too big. Also I think the machines in the laundry room like to eat my socks, because I've lost like three pairs already. If if wouldn't be too much trouble, I think I could benefit from a couple pairs of black ankle socks. Also, thanks so much for sending my vibrams. That will be really helpful!
Gotta go, we'll be taking group pictures today, and I'll see if I can't send you a picture of my companion too.
Love Elder Standring

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

German Flag Flying over my Study Desk

Here's Elder Standring's mini-German flag (gotten for him by his grandparents before he left) on his study desk at the MTC and also on the background is his native Hawaiian Happiness statue!

Like Christmas!--New Watch!

A missionary there just gave Elder Standring this watch!  Mark offered to trade him something, but he said no, it was fine!  He said it was kind of like a 2nd Christmas!

Look Who I Saw in the MTC!

Elder Standring ran into a family friend at the MTC (twice) that used to live in our stake--Sister Terra Allen--after a fireside, and also while he was getting a tour of the MTC!  She's headed out to her mission in Ohio!  Her brother Drake will be in the MTC at the end of February and will be going to Poland on his mission.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

First Mission Email

In my first Mission letter I explained already that I'd like my Vibram Fivefingers to be sent to me and that my companion's name is Elder Gillette and he's really really awesome. Basically he's done everything awesome that I wish I could have done, he's a skydiving instructor, he's SCUBA certified, he's sojourned through the Sahara Desert, and been to McMurdo Station in the Antarctic. He's also an olympic shooter, a survival expert (he has a lock picking set), rock climber, and he knows a whole lot about military/weapon stuffs. He's one of the Elders in my dorm/residence who also has Vibrams.

SO the first day was pretty cool. There weren't any signs that said 'Missionary Training Center' on them so I couldn't get a typical first day picture. They sent me right away to my classroom, which is also my district. I kind of have two teachers, but the main one's name is Brother Cannon. He's incredibly loving and really really helpful in his teaching. The best thing about him, I would say, is that he always speaks German. He served in Switzerland, so he says ISH instead of ICH, but it's no problem. I am so grateful for the chance Heavenly Father gave me to start learning German before I got my mission call, and especially that it was both religious and non-religious topics. From the very start I could understand everything Brother Cannon was saying except for an occassional few words. Because of this, and because I'm now a district leader, I try to help the other missionaries when I can as much as I can, while still being humble --  without being a show-off/know it all.
There are both sisters and elders in my district, and they're all going to the Frankfurt mission. There are only a few going to the Alpine mission and even less, it seems like, who are going to the Berlin mission. Actually, now that I think about it, there's one sister who's going to a German speaking mission in Hawai'i! That's going to be nothing like the -20 weather I'm going to! Haha!
The meals are pretty good. They're basically the same as in the BYU Cannon Center, although it definitely seems like I'm eating less than I was then. I got a haircut for free yesterday, and tomorrow I plan on using my one free dry-clean for my suit.
We have our first investigator, named Michael (Meech-Ai-El) that we're teaching, although we're not getting feedback on it yet until the next investigator. The first two lessons we gave weren't very good (my fault) at all because my companion (who's learning German still, and is pretty apprehensive) didn't have much to say, I have a WHOLE bunch to say. I think our first lesson was 45 minutes and the second was 55, while every other Elder/Sister companionship in our District  took 3-15 minutes. I know, pretty embarassing, right? My bad.
I've seen a alarming amount of people I know here, mostly from BYU, and not all of them are even missionaries (however 99% are). Sometimes I'll be walking with my companion to class, other times I'll see somebody in the cafeteria who works with BYU services, one time I saw an Elder at a fireside whom I meet years ago at an Honor Choir event. It's great being here and I'm loving the spirit that's always around so constantly that sometimes it feels common (that was especially strange when we had Sacrament Meeting). The German is coming along really well, although I mean not that I've learned a lot, because in truth I've learned very little German since I've been here, but I can SEE the progress that the other Elders and Sisters have done, and I love it. So far, my companion and I have been working on memorizing the First Vision in and the 'Missionary Purpose'. The Branch President challenged us to have those done plus D&C section 4 by the time we leave, so I'd say we're making very good progress on that. Thanks so much for your love and your letters, and I'm looking forward to hearing from you all again!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mission's Eve

My first care package and I haven't even left home yet! I'm feeling the love!

This is the last day home, last dinner, last night in my own bed. Who knows it might not be there when I get back! Ha, so from now on, I guess anything that appears on this blog will either be from a letter/email I've written home or from something my mom posts. I'll try to get her all that pertinent information real soon so nothing's left hanging. You know, it's incredible this feeling right now. Half of it's super antsy excitement and the other half is a huge, fatty mcFat-fat nervouse. Ya, I made that word up.

Pfffffffffffffffff.... This is it folks. See ya in two years!!!

Love, love, and more love,
~Elder Standring

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Stake Conference

Today was like...like... like one of those suitcases you have to get up and jump on a bunch to get it to close. Ya, that was my day.

For one: My little sister received her Patriarchal Blessing. Definitely a day to remember.

Two: It was the first day of conference. I didn't attend the leadership meeting, but I went for the adult session at the Stake Center and it was just so good. I love those meetings where I go and feel kinda so-so at the beginning, but then at the end, I'm like POW! I want to go shout from the rooftops how much God loves His children and desires to bless them! Lovin' it, lovin' it, lovin' it.

And Three: Hm, I can't seem to remember. Oh wait, yea, I got set apart as an Elder today! AHHHHHHHsome!!! (see what I did there?) My Dad mentioned earlier this week that I should go with him on his morning swim before I got set apart, but I guess that didn't happen. Just going to have to wait a little bit then... Ha. So, yep, this is going to be the start of something tremendous. I'll have to remember to get a companion though if I want to go anywhere before I fly out on Monday. Ahhh.... this is the life. Aufwiedersehen!