Friday, October 29, 2010

Almost 6 weeks!

Alright, so I sat down at the computer today and I had planned out ahead of time, a lot of what I was going to say, and now my mind is blank…
First of all, we're now two for two (that’s two Apostles in two weeks).   Elder Richard G. Scott came and spoke to us on Tuesday on how to feel the spirit.  It was so cool, because after his talk was over he told us that he had left a copy of all the points he talked about in his talk for each of us to have for our own personal study.  It's got like 41 points that he has learned through his life on how to feel the spirit, how to get the spirit more often, and what to do when you do feel the spirit.  It's pretty awesome!
I've prepared a talk every week I’ve been here except for during conference.  And I'll be writing at least 3 more before I leave.  That’s so cool that Jaren is District leader too.  I haven’t seen him since that first week, and if he's going to the Peru MTC, then I may not see him again, but it was sweet to get the chance to say Hi.  When I saw him I was thoroughly impressed by how good his Spanish was.  His High school Spanish has helped him a lot.  Kinda made me wish I’d taken it, but that’s ok, cause my Spanish has picked up a lot in the last little while.
I loved the Ensign this month (I think cause there wasn't too much to read).  But the pictures and the articles were so awesome.  I can't believe they didn’t give the Cardston Temple a bigger picture.  You can’t even tell it's the coolest looking temple!  But it was kinda cool cause the Bolivia Cochabamba temple was on the same page, and that’s where my companion and another companionship in my district are going.  P-Days have definitely been my favorite day here at the MTC because of the opportunity I get to go to the temple, and relax.  I did sealings in the temple last week both as a witness and as a proxy.  That was pretty cool, a lot different, but cool.  Today I'm planning on just doing a regular session.
That’s nice that Stacey and Steve commented on my blog.  I'll have to write them; it’s awesome to receive all the support I do.  Kendall and Karla sent me a little care package this week as well.  I have a bunch of candy now, and those cinnamon buns you sent me are pretty delicious too - especially after they've been heated up in the microwave. 
On Tuesday it snowed here for the first time.  I was so excited to see it, and just wanted to be out in it, but I was stuck in leadership meeting, and by the time it finished, the snow was already done.  I don’t know why, but I've really been craving a good snow storm recently.  Have you gotten much snow?  What is everyone being for Halloween?  I'm gonna be a Missionary, I was thinking I would call myself Elder Garrett (one of the other missionaries in my room).
Tell Daniel my whole district wished him a "Happy Birthday!"  I hope Christina’s and Daniel’s basketball is going well.
I taught for the first time entirely in Spanish this week.  It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but then I keep getting told that I'm one of the best in the district by some of the other people in the district, which is humbling and surprising.  When Elder Scott was here, he gave everyone an apostolic blessing of courage, and the Gift of Tongues, which was so cool.  Of course I need to have faith for that to work.
Anyways, love you all !!!!!
Elder Dilling

Friday, October 22, 2010

A month has gone by......really?!?!?

So far, being a District Leader hasn’t been too much trouble.  Coming up with questions to ask in the interviews can be a bit of a challenge, but that’s the hardest part so far.  I probably won’t be the District Leader for long, because my Branch Presidency likes to give as many people as possible this opportunity to be a leader.  On Tuesday during my leadership training with Brother Bankcroft, (not sure if that’s spelled right) he was talking about how to let people know they doing something wrong without embarrassing them.  He gave us a definition of being tactful:  The ability to step on the toes of an individual without ruining the shine of their shoes.  I just thought this was interesting, and felt like sharing it with you.  He gave us another definition last Tuesday after the devotional.  It was a definition of a missionary:  Someone who leaves their family for two years, so that others can spend eternity with theirs.  This is probably one of the best quotes/definitions I have ever heard, because it's so true, and I never really thought about it like that.  I just can’t wait to get out of here, and into the mission field (although I know I'm nowhere near ready to start talking Spanish to people.) 
In the TRC this coming Tuesday (the TRC is a training thing where you practice teaching people the lessons) I have to teach the entire first lesson in Spanish.  And all I've been thinking is “holy crap I am not ready for this yet”.  I understand most of the principles, but it's the memorizing of words, and verbs that’s tricky.  But it is certainly going to be a good experience.
I got a postcard from Grandma Dilling the other day, but there was no return mailing address.  I was wondering if you could send me some addresses.  I was thinking of addresses for all our family, and then the Harris's.  They sent me a Halloween package through Dear Elder, and I'm missing their zip code and stuff.  But if I see Jaren I'll just ask him. 
Oh yeah!  At the Devotional on this most recent Tuesday, we had a great speaker!  I think his name was Russel M. Nelson, or something like that…  He was an amazing teacher, but I was surprised how short his talk was.  He talked a lot about missionary work, and how we need to teach as simply as we possibly can.  He told us, that if we're teaching someone, and we run out of things to say, just to say four words, "we follow Jesus Christ."  I just thought that this was really cool, the way that we need to be teaching people, and with the ultra simplicity. 
On Monday, during my class, we had to practice resolving people’s doubts.  My teacher pretended to be one of the investigators that he had on his mission, and we had to take turns as companionships resolving the doubts and concerns of the investigator.  I thought that it was a really helpful practice.
Gym is great, I haven’t done much running this week, but I have definitely been getting better at volleyball.  It's been a lot of fun to play with all the other Elders.  The Polynesians are super good, but everyone’s a good sport, which helps make it fun.
The district that left was replaced and we have another district leaving on Monday again.  It's crazy to see everyone leaving, and to think that I've already been here for a month, cause it certainly doesn’t feel like I've been here for that long.  Maybe two weeks.  I lose sense of time here.  It's as if time just speeds up the second you get to the MTC. 
Anyways, that’s all for now.  Love you all, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Elder Dilling

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Leadership Opportunity

Once again this week went by super fast.  The letters definitely help me a lot when I'm trying to decide what it is I'm going to say in my email.  Unfortunately the MTC is really restrictive on how we are able to use the computers, so I won’t be able to get any pictures to you unless I send them through the mail as actual pictures.  Jaren isn't in my zone.  In fact, my zone after this week is gonna be like a ghost zone, because we're not getting anyone in for a while and a couple districts are gonna be leaving us.  It's kinda sad.  And the chances of me getting picked to give a talk in Sacrament meeting have just increased exponentially.  I was looking for Jaren yesterday, but I probably won’t see him until sometime after Sunday, because for the first week the schedule is so packed full and all messed up, and not normal - but I'm keeping an eye out.
Anyways, Elder Mayburry is from Roy, Utah.  He's going to be serving in the Cochabamba Bolivia Mission.  When it comes to his Spanish learning I'm not sure if I'd say he was at the same level as me, but he definitely is not ahead of me.  I am to him as my old companion was to me, where the language is concerned.  Hopefully that makes sense.  But he's a great guy, and has a solid testimony.  He just needs to work on his teaching skills a little bit.  Everyone keeps telling me that I'm a great speaker and a great teacher.  I think they're all loco, but I have to say it has been fun doing all the teaching and learning the language.
My Spanish talk on Charity was pretty good, but I never had to present it.  At the beginning of Sacrament meeting President Estes, my Branch President, called me out into the hallway.  I was scared because I thought for sure he was going to ask me to present my talk, but he didn’t.  Instead he asked me to be the new District Leader!  This requires quite a bit more work :( - but it'll be fun.  Before Sacrament meeting I read my Patriarchal Blessing, and it was talking about having leadership opportunities in the church, and being a teacher and I thought, “Huh!  My patriarchal blessing really is coming to pass”.
That’s unfortunate that Tanner broke his collar bone, but I'm sure it was a good story...  How is everyone else?  I assume everyone else is doing well.
This past Monday we had a zone activity where we had to prepare a lesson on Pres. Uchtdorf's and Elder Kearon’s talk from the Priesthood session of Conference.  It's was surprisingly easy to teach about those topics for ten minutes.  The hard part was teaching to the need of the missionaries we were teaching.  But anyways, you should definitely watch Elder Kearon's talk.  It's only like 10 minutes and it's fantastic.  It's about obedience.
It’s been nice to run into people who went to BYUI.  I just met a guy who actually lived in the apartment below me in Idaho, and another really good friend from school too.  I kinda wish that I had gotten more people’s addresses.  It kinda sucks not being able to write other friends on P Days when there is not a lot else to do.
Here at the MTC they don’t do the whole scheduled fitness thing anymore.  I have a scheduled gym time, but they don’t tell you what you’re supposed to be doing.  I've been playing a lot of volleyball lately, and I run about a mile a day, and every day I add 1 more lap or so depending on how I feel (1 lap isn’t very long, like 1/10 of a mile), but gym time is one of my favorite times.
Anyways, hope everything is going good at home.  Keep on sending the letters.  Handwritten ones are always nicer to get, but all letters are appreciated.  I'll try to get some pictures printed out so you can scan them and put them up on the blog.  That’s all folks!!!
Elder Dilling

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Food: so-so. Conference: great!

Well, before I start off this email, I just want to tell you about a website called Dear  It's a website where you can write letters to missionaries, and then they send them for you.  It's free while I’m in the MTC so if you wanted to respond to my emails using that that would be cool.  Then I could know what I'm going to say before I get to the computer.  And feel free to ask me any questions that you want to have answered.

The food here at the MTC is really not all that good.  But I can understand why.  Most of the time the vegetables are either over or under cooked.  But there hasn’t been a day yet where there hasn't been any food that I'll eat.  As far as the ice cream goes, it is only served on Sundays and Wednesdays, which happen to be the days they serve the best food.  I think it's because they're trying to trick the new missionaries.  Overall the food is pretty good, and I haven't been eating too much or drinking very much pop.  But I did find a new drink that I like.  It's a Mexican drink that they sell at the book store here, called Sangria.  It's kinda like a non-alcoholic wine.  it's interesting and has a different flavor.
I can't remember if I told you in my previous email that my companion was thinking of leaving to go to a more advanced class.  But it has happened, my companion is no longer with me.  I am now going to be the companion of Elder Mayburry.  His companion left too.  So I have to move all my stuff into his bedroom now.  This companionship I can already tell is going to be completely different.  He is definitely a lot slower than me, which I think will actually help me learn the language better.  My old companion knew a lot more than me, and I think I know a lot more than my new companion.  Hopefully I can be a help to him in learning the language.
I got to go to the Temple last Thursday, and I'll be going again today.  Since going to the Provo temple, I've come up with a theory, although this isn't really the most spiritual of theories.  Based on my experience in the Salt lake temple, and the Provo temple, I think they try and find the most comfortable couches they possibly can for the celestial room.  They all seem to be like a cloud.  But the temple is nice.  Although you can tell it's been used quite a bit, it is still a beautiful place to feel the spirit.  And the celestial room is sweet.  It's super white, and there's a massive chandelier hanging from the middle of the room.
When the last group left our zone to go on their mission, they left a room open, and it still is open, and I've just been thinking that it would be hilarious if when Jaren comes this coming Wednesday, if he ended up being in my zone, although I doubt that will happen. 
Unfortunately you'll have to wait a little while for me to get some pictures to you, the computers we use are super basic, and it would take a little too much time from my email writing, but I'll try to send some to you soon.
Español is a fairly difficult language to learn, but that’s just because I want to try translating it directly to English.  I am really starting to understand what people are saying to me, but I have trouble conjugating what I want to say when I go to speak back.  I have to write a 5 minute talk this week on charity in Español just in case they call on me in church.  I think it would be easy to do in English, but Spanish grammar and verb conjugating is weird.  But I have to learn sooner or later.
Oh yeah, Conference was great too.  I don’t think a weekend has passed by so fast in my life.  Both of Pres. Uchtdorf´s talks were superb!  And pres. Monson´s was quite good too.  I thought it was pretty cool to watch as a missionary.  I wish I had arrived to the MTC earlier so that I could have sung in the MTC choir during Priesthood session.  It was cool to watch and be able to pick out faces I knew in the choir.  I've also met some people from BYU.  Gotta go – bye for now!

Elder Dilling

My favourite picture of the Provo temple (below)