Opera House

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pictures From the MTC

David's district and showing where they are all going

The 3 Spanish-speaking Elders headed to Australia

David and his companion, Elder DeCamp, with two missionaries headed to South America

A new form of the "Sword of the Spirit"

David with his companion, Elder DeCamp

David's district at the Provo Temple

David wanted to take with him something that would link him to his sister, who went to Italy/Malta and his brother, who went to Chile.  Jon wore ties that he got when we went to pick up Rachael from her mission in Malta.  David loved the "Malta ties" so he took his, Jon's and Todd's (David's brother-in-law who also went to Italy/Malta) ties with him on his mission.  The Elders in his district all liked the Malta ties so they all wore them to the temple on their prep day.  Here they are showing off the power of the Malta ties!

David's district outside enjoying the sun when it came out.

David's desk where he studies Spanish and the gospel.  He is following his brother's advice of laminating and putting up inspiring pictures to keep him in the right frame of mind.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Email on 28 October 2010

28 October 2010 #3
Hey y'all!  How’s it all going?  Life is going great right now.  I have been happy since the day I got here.  Not that I don't like being with you guys but I am having a wonderful time.  I guess though I am a horrible typer or that I don't make my sentences clear enough because I am typing faster than Mavis Beacon herself.  But you all wrote to me about things I never really meant to say.  One of them is the crying.  You all wrote to me about how it’s okay to cry.  I guess you guys didn't understand my sarcasm or joke but I was joking when I said it’s not manly to cry.  I cry all the time.  You all know that.  I was joking about the sisters too.  It doesn't bother me.  Actually on Tuesday we had Elder Richard G. Scott come and give a talk.  (We had two apostles in a row which never happens) and we all bore testimony afterwards and there was not a single dry eye in each and every one of us in our district.  Elder Scott gave a great talk about the Spirit but I have no time to tell you about it, but I know how much Mom wants to hear it.  Well this week I am more prepared.  I marked everyone's letters to I can answer their questions by mail.  (This week will be a better letter, I promise) also through the week when I thought of saying something to you guys I wrote it down on a card.  So I will be going through that right now.
When I was in line at lunch I started to talk with this Elder behind me named Elder Kent.  I asked him where he was going and he said Chicago Spanish speaking.  Then he asked me where I was going and I said Sydney Spanish speaking, and of course he said that’s where he wanted to go.  (By the way I have gotten that like 30 times now, I guess I got the best mission call ever because that is where everyone wants to go.)  So I asked him where he is from and he said Huntington Beach, CA.  And I was like, “Do you know any Monsons there?”  And he said, “I do.”  I then asked, “Do you know a President Monson there by any chance?”  And he said, “Yeah I do.”  And I said, “Is he a lawyer and his first name Kevin?”  And he said, “Yeah, how do know this?”  (At this point I just should have pointed at my name tag and ask him to take a guess.)  I said, “That’s my Uncle.  And he said, “No way!”  He said he loves President Monson and that Uncle Kevin is his favorite speaker and just gave a talk before Elder Kent left on a mission.  He says Uncle Kevin is hilarious and one of the best speakers ever.  Umm, like yep, that him all right.  So I thought that was cool.
Well Jon everyone loves my Malta ties.  Every Elder in my district wants one but I said no.  But we are all going to wear them on Sunday and take a picture.
Also Dad and Mom, last week I said I got 5 letters.  I meant I got 5 letters the day before.  So I have actually gotten about 20 or more letters.  Everyone I got.  I’m not going to count because the format is like a scroll and they are all mashed together but I have by far the most of any Elder and have gotten more packages than any other Elder too.  I got your Halloween package too - thanks.  I won't eat most of the candy; I think I will just share.  I have actually lost 5 pounds so far.  So I hope to be the only Elder that goes on their mission losing 15 pounds. 
Umm, I had another George Clooney experience.  A companionship came up to me and said they wanted my picture taken because I look like George Clooney.  So I said why not.  So they took my out of the cafeteria and their whole district took pictures of me and called me Elder Clooney.  I guess they saw me many times before during lunch and their whole district thought I looked like G. C.  Now my district calls me Elder Clooney as a joke now, and now everyone thinks I look like him, especially when I come my hair like his.
I am having a blast.  I laugh nearly everyday and something funny always happens.  I am eating healthy and eating a lot of cottage cheese.  My district makes fun of me because I love it so much.  I tell them it’s a magical food, if I just imagine any dinner or food I want, the cottage cheese taste like that.  They also like to make fun of my New Englandness.  They always say, "Well, we do things differently here in Utah than in Rhode Island," and stuff like that; its pretty funny.  It’s also funny about their stereotypes of Rhode Island.  They think people out east are smart and rich and preppy.  Also they make fun of my accent, and I didn't even realize until now that I have one.  I caught myself when I said, "Why aren't you eating your tots?" but I said "taughts" like a New Englander and they always point that out to me.  So I guess I am a true New Englander.  The Spanish is getting tough, I am struggling a bit and I am also struggling on staying focused in my studies but I am improving.  I had to give a door approach in Spanish, which is hard.  The lady at the door said "I play the piano", in Spanish.  So I wanted to say I play the piano too.  But for some reason I confused tocar (to play) with contar (to sing) so I said, “yo conto piano tambien.”  She looked so puzzled and I was like “what, I sing the piano too,” then I realized I was saying sing instead of play and I just couldn't help myself form laughing.  Wow time flies by fast.  It’s been 2 weeks and it has felt like it’s only been about 5 days.  4 Elders and Sisters will leave next Wednesday to go to the Peru MTC.  I will miss them; I have been having a fun time with them.  They are like my other brothers and sisters.  So our district will be very small in next week.  After that week we will only have 2 districts in our zone, so hopefully more districts come in.  Well I am running out of time, I wish I had more but I will be writing letters to you all and answering your questions that you wrote to me.  I promise they will be better than the last letters I wrote to you all.  Well take care.  I love you all.  I hope everything is going fine where you all are at.  I’m loving it here and having a great time.  I am struggling on teaching and Spanish so if you all could pray for me that would be great.  Love you all and I will talk to you soon.
Elder David Monson

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

David's email on 16 October 2010

Hola Familia!
Everything is going great here at the MTC!  I have been having a great time since the day I left the car.  I love it here.  I have an awesome district.  There are three of us who are going to Australia Sydney Spanish speaking.  My companion Elder DeCamp, he is a nice guy.  He has a strong testimony of the gospel and is a great guy.  The other Elder who is going to Sydney is Elder McNiven, who I really like.  He is funny and a great guy who works real hard and has a very strong testimony.  I like him a lot.  He has a companion who is deaf and is going to California.  There are ten of us in our district.  It is a very strong district and I feel the spirit 24/7. There are two more elders who are very funny who are going to Ecuador, along with two other Sisters.  All four of them will go to the Peru MTC in November.  So they are here for only 3 weeks.  Then there are two more Sisters who are going to California and Salt Lake.  We all are Spanish speaking of course.
The first day of the MTC went nothing like everyone told me.  I got my bags, left Mom and Dad and got my stuff.  I then went to class and we stayed in class the whole day.  They didn't teach us how to pray in Spanish and they still haven't; but today I am teaching myself.  At the end of the day we got settled in our resident halls, which is building 17, top floor.  Everyone is very nice and the Spirit is strong here.  I love it here.  It gets a little nerve racking though that I forgot almost all the Spanish I learned in high school but I know the Lord will help my in my Spanish if I try my hardest.  
2 nights ago I got sick.  I guess Rachael finally gave it to me before I left.  I had a bad sore throat and my nose started to bleed while I was sleeping and then my pillow fell of the bed.  And yes, I am on the top bunk!  It was a horrible night but everything is getting better.  I feel better now.
The food is good. I eat well and I am eating fruits and veggies every meal and I like it.  Just to let you know, I ate a tomato!  I am trying to eat the healthiest I can.  There isn't a lot of healthy food here and there is not cottage cheese.  I exercise every day but Sunday and P-day, which is on Friday's just to let you know, today being the exception.  I usually run a mile a day and after I run a mile I play b-ball or 4 square.
The work is hard but its great.  I get discouraged at times about the language but I know if I keep at it I will get it down.  My companion is from Vernal, Utah.  My days are busy of course; if I am not in class I am either studying, or I am eating.  
I like the Elders and Sisters.  We have a fun time and we are doing great.  I am making close friends but it will be a bummer when 4 of them leave in 3 weeks.  I am not feeling homesick.  I know I am doing the right thing and I feel great about it.  Elder McNiven is our DL. Which wasn't a surprise to me.  He is a great guy and for some reason I just knew he would be the DL, we all did.  
Right now I am washing my clothes, which is a new thing for me. I got your packages and letters. Thanks guys, it means a lot to me.  I have received the most letters out of any other Elders.  They are jealous.  But this thing is great.  I receive my mail every night.  I will get email on my prep day but I only have 30 minutes so I suggest you write me through because if you send those before 12 o’clock, I will get it that day, which is nice. And it’s hard to write an email in 30 minutes.
Oh, I saw Hermana Keller just to let Rebecca know.  She only talked to me in Espanol so I could only understand about half of what she was saying to be.  And no joke a guy at lunch stopped me and told me I look like a young George Clooney.  NO JOKE!  I laughed and said I get that all the time.  So I guess its not a Rhode Island thing.  
Well I love it here.  It’s fun but hard.  I am enjoying every second of it.  The hardest part is teaching and finding how to see the needs of the investigator, but it will come to me.  Then Spanish is a bit hard.  I am struggling a bit but I memorized my purpose in Spanish and I have been practicing as much as I can.  I know I have more to say but I can't think of anything. 
Well everything is great. I love you guys. Hope everything goes well for you all.  Don't worry about me, I’m doing fine.  I will email you guys next Friday around the afternoon time I believe I don't have my schedule on me but I believe that is the time.
Oh yeah, just to let you know, I leave the 13th of December, not the 15th.
Elder Monson

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Goodbye David, hello Elder Monson

On October 3, 2010, David officially becomes Elder Monson 

Loading the cab for the trip to the airport.  David stopped and took one last look around, the last time he would see his home for two years.

Waiting at the airport for the flight to Texas, then onto SLC, UT.

This is the way David likes to travel, whether in the car or plane, it is the same.

Checking out of the hotel.
Loading up the car for the trip to Provo and the MTC.
Lunch at the Brick Oven, family tradition or free cookies and lollipops for new missionaries?

At the famous MTC sign, which was recently removed . . . but it is tradition.
One last family picture with the Provo Temple in the background.
Unloading David's suitcases in front of the MTC.  Lots of other Elders to help newly arriving missionaries.
David is happy he is finally at the MTC.  This is the last time we will see him for two years.  We know you will make a great missionary!  

Friday, August 13, 2010

Starting My Blog!

I decided to start a blog for my mission. Of course I will not be able to maintain this blog while I am out but my family will update everything that is going on with me in Sydney on this blog. Most of my letters, E-Mails, and photos that I send from my mission will be updated to this blog. So anyone that wants to know what and how I'm doing, this will be the place to look at.