Friday, September 28, 2012

Week 6 ¡Hola!

Life is good as always here in the MTC.  The weeks seem to go by faster and faster; I can't believe its already P-day again.  I don't have a ton to report - things are pretty much the same.  

One of the cooler things that happened this week was a lesson Elder Scott and I had with an Investigator named Carlos Garcia. (He is a TRC investigator, which means he just playing a role, but he is still a normal person from the outside world.  He may or may not be a member.)  Anyway, we were teaching him the Plan of Salvation and he was absolutely ecstatic to hear about the Pre-mortal life. He kept saying "esa cambia todo" - this changes everything. He talked about how he always had the view that we were here to see if we would go to heaven or hell.  "But you're saying that we lived with God before and we are really just trying to go back home". I can't really explain everything he said - we spent about 20 minutes just talking about the PME (pre-mortal existence), but I can tell you that he was teaching us, not the other way around. He definitely changed the way I will teach the Plan of Salvation for the rest of my mission. The truth is that that truth we consider fairly simple, or at least that we understand well at some superficial level, is absolutely mind blowing. And if we are not astonished every time we study it or teach it, we aren't doing it right.
Its always good to hear that my clothes and watch are traveling the world while I have been within the same 3 acres for 7 weeks straight haha. Any news on the status of the Jerusalem trip?  (Wendy - Mikele is studying at the BYU Jerusalem Center this semester.  I told Clark that his shirt and watch showed up in Mikele's pictures from Turkey!  Here's a link to her blog if you'd like to take a peek: tiptoeing through the tulips  Look for the white watch and grey and BRIGHT orange striped shirt on Wednesday 9/19!!)  

The Isaiah chapters are tough, especially in Spanish!  The chapter you mentioned (Isaiah 6 or 2 Nephi 16) is my favorite one as well.  That's exciting about Amanda, I hope all goes well there.  
So a short little scripture from this week. In Spanish 2 Nephi 32:3 is translated as - "Delight in the words of Christ" rather than "Feast."  I just thought that added a cool way to look at it.  Reading the scriptures should be a delight, and if its not we should change the way we do it until it is.  Also, we've learned the importance of having our investigators meditate upon the scriptures. They are much more likely to receive a testimony and be converted if they truly ponder the message.  I have been doing that as well, and it has made a big difference.  So I would encourage you to spend a bit more time thinking about what is being taught and if this sounds like something that could be anything less than the world of God.  I promise it will help you.
Umm, oh yeah! I have 2 big pieces of news about my Spanish.  The first is that I can officially roll my 'R's (and I do it a ton now.  I always introduce myself, "Me llamo Elder Rrrrrrrrrroth" haha).  And the second is perhaps even more exciting - I dreamed in Spanish last night for the first time ever.  So things are coming along, slowly but surely.
Also, how is the Spanish learning going?  I would really recommend it - its kinda hard but really fun too.
Thanks for the mail, the prayers, the letters, the examples, and everything you have done for me. I think you would be proud to see how hard I work everyday and how much I love my job.
Well I'm outta time.
Para siempre Dios este con Vos,  (Wendy: translation - God be with you)
Elder Clark Roth :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Week 5 - livin', lovin', preachin'

So first of all you have to forgive my typos and errors - I pretty much just go at it and never have time to read my emails before I send them.  I'm not district president...that would be really intense.  I'm district leader.  And I'm sure I gave some other false information in my last emails too - so I guess you'll just have to rely on the Spirit to know if what I am saying is true. Sorry about that.
I'm trying to figure out how to send pictures but I can't figure it out. It's bascially impossible to do anything on these computers.
Um. Things are going well here in beautiful Provo!  One day I saw one of my friends from the real world while I was out playing playing soccer - that was exciting.  I hope I didn't make it sound like I didn't like it here in my last email.  I love it!  I stand by my assessment that this is pretty much spirit prison though. haha.  Um I don't really know what to say, everything is pretty much the same as it was last week.
These week for our devotional we sang an arrangement of Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer and it was awesome.
I sang tenor.  There was one part where it was fortissimo and we had 4 high f#s in a row - exciting stuff.  Anyway, my spiritual thought of the week comes from that song as well as Master, the Tempest Is Raging.  Its interesting that the apostles were fearing imminent death but the Savior slept soundly. When they woke him up, the Savior just calms the seas and all is well - leading them to say, "what matter of man is this!?" So, the thought really is so long as Jesus Christ is in the boat, its not going to sink - it may get beaten by the waves but its not going down. Similarly if we have the Savior in our lives, and I mean really in our lives, we will not sink.  We may still get beaten about by trials and fear that we will go down, but we have the Master of oceans and earth and skies on our team, and he won't let us lose.  And we can have the assurance, "Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side."
So Spanish is coming along, I am starting to say things somewhat naturally - meaning I don't really have to think about how to conjugate the verbs. That said I still look back on everything I say to see if I did it right so I'm not really any faster. And I'm still making a bunch of mistakes and little gringoisms but its all good fun. You learn not to be too hard on yourself pretty quick - just try your best and don't be afraid to make mistakes.
So this week in my gym time I've started rowing - its so awesome.  I did a 5000m row yesterday and thought the skin on my forearms was going to rip.  It was great!  haha.
Well I don't really have too much more to report.  Tragic to hear that BYU lost but if you are going to miss 2 field goals in a row you kinda deserve it.  Thanks for the letters this week, they are a tender mercy.  Oh, I just remembered to tell you my biggest complaint about the MTC ever since day one.  Ready for this...I'm so thirsty.  Seriously all the time. haha.  Life is pretty hard : ).
I hope you have a great week and really hope the Jerusalem trip works out.  Thanks for being so supportive!  Sorry I've spent a good amount of time trying to send pictures and I can't figure it out...
I love you!
Elder Clark Roth

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week 4

Sorry my email this week is a bit late. I was getting a haircut during the time I normally send my email. The MTC just keeps on coming.  Its fun, but pretty monotonous as well.  Some of the Elders refer to it as the Lord's prison which I think is pretty accurate.  I imagine that Spirit prison will be pretty similar - you spend all day learning about the gospel, you just have to wait until the day comes that you can leave, and there is a bit of weeping a wailing and nashing of teeth. :)  Its really not that bad - but I won't be at all upset when Oct. 15 comes around.
Life in full time missionary mode is suprisingly natural. Its a lot of hard work but I don't really feel like its at all strange that I spend my days the way I do.  We go to the temple every P-day at 6:30 AM. So thats super great, but we do have to give up a bit of sleep. As they say in Spanish though it's Vale la pena. (translation: was not for nothing)

 It's always good to hear some Mikele news, I've sent her a few letters but I'm not sure if she has got them - I'm sure it takes a long time to get there. 

Thanks for the update on Otto as well. Its good to know that the old chap is still kickin'! (Otto is Clark's car)
 I am beyond excited to go to Tuxtla. One of the guys that works in the gym went there on his mission.  He told me about how awesome it is which just makes the wait all the more painful.  It's ok though, I'm glad I get some extra time here to learn more about teaching and spanish.  It's fun stuff. Good to hear about Steven -  I'm sure he is loving Brazil. I kinda want to learn Portugues but we will see how I feel in 2 years. I don't really think any of the mission rules are hard to follow, its pretty easy stuff. Actually there is one that isn't hard but its a major bummer in the MTC. We aren't allowed to listen to music here - none. It kills. I play piano for our branch about once every other week - i'm playing this Sunday. Our meetings are a little weird. We have Priesthood at 10:00, a district meeting (which I guess counts for Sunday School) at 12:00 (I got to teach that last week, it was really fun.) and then we have Sacrament at 1:45. Sacrament is bilingual - we do the announcements in English, sacrament blessing in Spanish, then two talks by missionaries in Spanish, then a talk by a member of the branch presidency in English. There aren't very many callings - and its a little different than a normal ward. We aren't sustained, just announced. The only callings I know of are Zone Leader, District leader, and music chairman. I am our district president.
Roy and Andee - sorry I never respond to you. Thanks for the letters every week. Root hard for BYU tonight! And a special shoutout to my home sister Andee- Dizzawn!
Um everything is going well. I never feel like I'm getting better at Spanish but when I look back I can see some improvement. I really love teaching the gospel and just talking to people. I'm having tons of fun.
So here is a short little scriptual thought for you. I don't have my scriptures with me right now (What kind of missionary am I!?) so forgive if I give the wrong reference of something. But anyway - In 3 Nephi 11 after Jesus Christ teaches his gospel to the people ( which is of course: Faith, Repentance [or one of my favorite Spanish words, arrepentimiento], Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) He says "and if ye shall do these things then are ye built upon my rock. And in Heleman 5:12 He talks about how those built on his rock will be preserved through all the wiles and snares of the devil. Pretty simple huh.
Well I'm out of time. I love you!
Elder Clark Roth :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Week 3

My life is rocking as always.  This week has seemed to go by super fast but that's ok.  I don't have a whole bunch of variety in my schedule, I pretty much do the same thing everyday.  In case you are wondering here's a typical day here in the good ole CCM.
6:30   - Wake up
7:10   - Breakfast
7:45   - Class
10:45 - Personal Study
11:45 - Lunch
12:30 - TALL (Basically doing spanish practice on this computer program)
1:30   - Additional Study
2:15   - Language Study
3:25   - Gym
4:15   - Shower
4:45   - Dinner
5:30   - Classroom
8:30   - Additional Syudy
9:00   - Planning
9:30   - Go back to the room
10:30 - Bed
This week we watched a movie called "Labor of Love" - basically imagine a seminary video about missionary work...just a bit more corny.  We also had a devotional given by Elder Kopischke of the 70.  He talked about repentance and it was really good.  He talked about how our investigators are more likely to stay active if they have a real repentence experience.  He said a bunch of stuff that is helping me learn to be a more effective teacher.
We had our first lesson in the TRC this week.  Most of my lessons I teach to my teachers, but in the TRC we teach regular people from Provo.  Its pretty cool.  We walk in there knowing nothing about them, (they could be a member or not, ect.) and then give them a 20 or 40 minute lesson in Spanish.  We taught a girl named Charity this week (or as we called her Caridad haha).  It was by far my favorite lesson that I have taught thus far.  Good Stuff.
My teachers are excellent.  We have three which is a little weird, most districts have two, but I love them all.  Every lesson just seems to be better than the last one.  Plus, they are super funny.  I look forward to being able to speak spanglish as well as they do.  So this is from a little while ago but its still funny.  We were practicing door approaches and messing around a little bit and butchering some Spanish.  My companion and I tried this one..."¡Hola! Somos gringos.  Podemos entrar y compatir un mensaje acerca de Jesucristo con usted?" Shockingly it was unsuccessful. :)  (Note from Wendy: here's the translation:  Hello! We gringos. We can come in and share a message about Jesus Christ with you?)
We also had a little workshop about knowledge and understanding.  In it we watched a video of an Elder Bednar talk in which he said "Understanding is when knowledge in your head moves to your heart".  That really hit me and I can see how that is happening to me.  I came here with a pretty sound understanding of the doctrines of the gospel, and I had a testimony of them too.  But now I feel so much more strongly about them, and I know I can stand in front of anyone in the world and tell them that I know the message I teach is true and that they can know it too.
So hopefully next week I'll have some pictures for you.  I was going to send them this week but turns out I brought the wrong cord to connect my camera to the usb...oops.  I'll figure it out though, don't worry.
The language learning is going really well, it's still really hard but I'm doing alright.  I can understand everything people say I just can't speak that quickly.  But needless to say I'm 1000X better than I ever was in high school.  (Hard to believe, I know. I takes skill to get a 1 on the AP test).  Sadly though I still can't roll my R's.  I'm working on it though.  I pretty much just walk from building to building looking like a fool trying to do it.  It's good fun and it keeps me humble too.

Welp, I'm out of time. Iove you!
Elder Clarkie Malarkie Roth