Thursday, October 31, 2013

Last Week in the MTC!

October 31, 2013

Hola everyone!! This is officially my last time to write everyone before I leave the MTC! This last week went faster than any other week in the MTC. I loved our last time at the TRC(Teaching resource center) where we go and talk to real people that just want to volunteer to come in and talk to the missionaries. We've been doing a lot of our final things this week with leaving questionnaires and packing and making sure everything is order to go. We've been doing a ton of working and classes to make sure we have everything we need and want before we go. We had a lesson from our Branch president (who is over about 35 missionaries at the MTC) and it was awesome. I can't remember the whole lesson or the quote he gave at the end but it said something along the lines of, "We have the opportunity, every day, to say, "That was the best day of my life", and how sad it would be if we ever had to say, "I will start living better tomorrow.""  And I know that this is true. If we have to say that our lives will be better tomorrow, then we may never get to tomorrow and live with that attitude the rest of our lives. So, we need to be grateful for each day and make the best of it. 

Yesterday was the last day we had with our main teacher, Hermano (Brother) Wiest. He is honestly one of the coolest people I have ever met and he was one of the greatest teachers I've ever had, with spanish and with the gospel. I will miss him but I'm excited to actually get to Argentina! It's crazy to think that I only have 3 full days left and then I will not touch American soil again until the end of 2015. I really appreciate all the support that everyone has been giving me. I won't be able to get any more packages here and dearelder won't work after saturday. If you have the mission home address then you can send mail there but I don't have any information right now for where I will be. So, my first pday in Argentina I will send everyone my address and how much it is for postage to Argentina and how long it takes and everything if people have questions. And, since I am about to be in Argentina, I can only receive 4 packages the entire time I am there. So I will get one package each Christmas and on my Birthday in March. So if anyone really wants to send anything to me that won't fit in an envelope, then just contact my parents and I'm sure they can put whatever it is into the package. You can contact them to but I can receive as many envelopes as possible so I would still love to hear from everyone that way and through email. 

Once again, thank you to everyone and I will be in Argentina as of Monday!!
Elder Joshua Clarine
 Elder Clarine with his favorite teacher, Hermano Wiest

 This was the pile of food they took down from Saturday-Tuesday, in addition to
 the buffet we got every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

4th Week in the MTC

October 24, 2013

Hola everyone, it is crazy that I have already hit the one month mark!!! This last week just flew by and now I only have 10 days left in the MTC and should get my travel information either tonight or tomorrow. I probably won't have that much to write this week since the weeks are exactly the same in the Missionary Training Center. Every day is just wake up, workout, breakfast, class, lunch, class, dinner, class, bed. So I'm sorry it's not that exciting. I still get to play the piano every day and I had an awesome special musical number on sunday which was fun. The spanish is still rapidly getting better and now I understand almost everything that is said to me even if I can't always reply with the words I want to. I got to be a host yesterday, which meant that I got a 3 hour break from class to help all the new missionaries. We show the new missionaries where their apartments are, where their classrooms are, and then head back to drop off point for more! It was really fun and it was nice to have some variety so a day. That's pretty much all that happened this week, pretty normal except for hitting my one month mark and hosting the new missionaries. I really appreciate all the support I get from everyone and all of the contact that people have with me. If anyone needs my mailing info. just let me know but it will be changing in ten days so I will put the new address in next weeks email. Thank you again to everyone and I hope to hear from you soon.
Elder Joshua Clarine
P.S. one quote from this week was, "Open your eyes before you open your mouth." Meaning that we can't force our opinions on others and before we try to talk to others we need to open our eyes to their lives and make a real connection with them. This is the key for success in developing a relationship anywhere in the world.

The main structure to the stream Elder Clarine studies by.

Elder Clarine with Elder Roundy his Zone Leader who left one week ago

3rd Week in the MTC

October 17, 2013

Hey everyone! I only have two more full weeks left in the Missionary Training Center! It's crazy to think that I'm coming up on the one month mark! I had a rough beginning of last week after P-day. Some people were whining about teaching investigators and we aren't learning as fast as I'd like to, but everything is okay and everyone kind of changed their attitude about teaching and people have been working a lot harder at the language even if we don't learn at the same rate so it's been going well since that one day! This week has just been a ton of teaching practice lessons and and getting further into the language. Each week here is like an entire year of language in high school. Dallin H. Oaks (One of the twelve apostles of the Church) was at the MTC on Tuesday night for the devotional and it was awesome to have someone so influential so close to us (My district was in the second row). He talked about how we, as missionaries and really at any stage in life, need to constantly better ourselves. We first have to change, even if we are just faking it until we make it. Then we achieve skills or goals through our change and we are closer to being a better person. And then the final step is to become, that once we have change and achieved that we truly become the person that we wanted to be. I liked that message and the knowledge that if we make an effort to be better that we will truly gain those attributes we want. Elder Warth and I are doing well on our goal of reading the Book of Mormon and we are on page 345 right now, which means that we have less than two hundred pages left. Anyways, I'm really starting to pick up the language! I can understand almost everything people say, it's just speaking back that is a problem. I still don't know a lot of words and then I have to put the sentence together in a grammatically correct way. But it is coming quickly and I love learning it. I love being here but I can't wait to actually get out of the Training Center. The schedule is the exact same every single day and there is almost no variety to what we do, so I can't wait to be in the field! I really appreciate all of the emails and the letters (including Dearelder) and I am making my best efforts to stay in contact with everyone. The support I get from everyone really helps and I'm grateful for it. I hope all is going well for everyone and their families. If anyone needs my mailing information or information for just let me know. I leave here in just over two weeks so my address will be changing. Since the scenery doesn't really change, I think I'll only have one or two pictures this week and I'll get those up in a few minutes.
Elder Joshua Clarine

Friday, October 11, 2013

2nd Week in the MTC

I love getting to P-Day. It is super relaxing and it is really the only day I have time for a nap! Since I am at the new campus and they haven't quite finished our gym yet, we have to workout outside at 6:30 in the morning and it is starting to get really cold, especially in the morning. But we still have to workout since every meal here is a buffet and we only get 50 minutes to workout. So I have to either start eating less or doing something other than basketball for gym time or I'm gunna get fat haha. Since Elder Warth and I are the music coordinators, I am able to play the piano for almost an hour every day which is super nice to get away from the classroom and language for a little bit. 
For General Conference last Saturday and Sunday we had to walk up to the main campus to watch it, which was like a half an hour walk. A couple great quotes that I liked from Conference that I felt could apply to anything in life were, "What is said isn't as important as what you hear," and "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." I loved both of those. One of the first devotionals we had when I got here, the speaker said that the most important part on a grave isn't the birth or the death, but the dash in between. And then they related that to the mission and how I should make the most of my dash between 2013 and 2015. And that really hit me, as that dash, whether in the mission or in life, represents the legacy we leave behind and all the stories of our life. So we should strive to make the most out of our dash, and I know I'm going to make my dash on my mission matter. 
Our devotional on Sunday was INCREDIBLE. If anyone has ever heard of vocal point, they are an acapella group from BYU that is famous all over the country and has been on TV for an acapella competition and they gave our devotional! The members change every year since they have to be going to BYU so I hope to someday at least try out. But the music was super awesome and they had a really good message.
 We got a new district yesterday, 4 elders and 4 sisters, which is fun, but we haven't really had a chance to talk to any of them yet. Elder Warth and I have a goal to finish reading The Book Of Mormon before we leave here and right now we are on track, we are on page 250 right now. I love hearing from everyone, even if it is just saying "Hi". And thank you to everyone who has emailed, mailed, or used dearelder to contact me, I appreciate it A TON!!And I love everyone and hope that all are doing well with work, school, or whatever else they're doing and I hope to hear from everyone soon. I'll leave you with one quote I got yesterday and it's about a mission and it says, "You have 2 short years to to serve, an eternity to remember." I love the experiences I am having and for all the memories I will have.

With Love,
Elder Joshua Clarine
Elder Clarine's bedroom at the MTC
 Elder Clarine's closet at the MTC
 District at the Map
 Elder Warth & Elder Clarine
 Angel Moroni on top of the Provo Temple
 Elder Clarine & Warth riding bikes at the MTC
District at the Provo Temple


Friday, October 4, 2013

First week in the MTC

Hola everyone!!
So I left for the MTC in Provo, UT this last wednesday, September 25th and have now been here for nine days.The first day, before I actually had to report to the MTC, Brian, Jeff, Dave, and I all went to the Pizza Pie Cafe. They have free meals for missionaries who are reporting so I got that for free! For the first hour I just picked up all of my language and study materials and then took a bus over to the west campus to go to my apartment. My roommate/missionary companion is Elder Warth. He is super small so it's funny seeing us side by side. Once I can send off some pictures I will. We had class the rest of the day and didn't unpack until that night. One of my zone leaders, Elder Durham, actually knows Brian Clarine! Thursday is our designated Pday (Preparation day), but because we had just gotten there we didn't have it which was kind of lame. Pday is the only day I can email and it's when we do laundry and just kind of relax. It's awesome being here and I don't have to focus on myself or what I need to do, I just focus on learning for others and teaching others. Spanish is coming a lot easier than it did in higshchool! I've learned more in 10 days than I did in two years of highschool. We've been praying in spanish, talking in spanish, reading in spanish, etc. It's Crazy! Even though I haven't been here that long, time is just flying by! It is super fun here and you don't really have time to slack off since we are in class, study, or meetings for 13 hours a day. on Friday we taught our first mock investigator. He "could't speak" ANY english, so after only 2 full days we had to talk to him and give him an entire lesson in only spanish. Clearly, we couldn't say everything we wanted to but it was still amazing how much we could do. My teacher, Brother Wiest, is a 23 year old student at BYU from Boston who served in Argentina and he can speak english, spanish, french, and arabic fluently. Crazy! I was called as the pianist so I'll be playing the piano for our zone from now on. A zone is 3-4 districts, and a district has 6-8 people in it. Fast and testimony meeting was really awesome on Sunday and there was a cool missionary conference after. There is like a small stream here which is really relaxing to study by (I'll get pictures when possible). I miss everyone at home and hope to here from most, if not all of you, soon! I can only check this email every Thursday but there is a website called where you basically write an email but it gets to me the next day in the form of a letter. I PROMISE that I'll make time to respond with a hand written letter to anyone that writes me! I don't have a phone or internet (outside of this) so I would love to hear from everyone and know what's going on. My mailing address is:
Elder Joshua Michael Clarine
2023 N. 900 E. Unit 812
Provo, UT 84602
If you have any questions about anything here or anything in general just let me know! I hope everyone is doing well and I love being here in the MTC (CCM in spanish) learning about the gospel and preparing to help others! There was a quote in our devotional yesterday that said, "A missionary leaves his family and friends for 2 years so that others can be with theirs for eternity." I love that, and I'll be home before you know it.
With Love,
             Elder Joshua Clarine