Opening My Mission Call

Opening My Mission Call
August 16, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010


How's it going?!?!?! I wish I had a lot of news to report. Sadly, each day is more and more the same. It is INSNAE though to think I've been here 24 days. The days are long and similar, but overall.... it has gone by FAST. If I was an English speaking mission I would be gone already. Also, if I had my visa I would be in the Madrid MTC yesterday. I have been talking to a few Elders here and there that are also going to Spain, and everyone is having the same problem. So, it looks like I will probably be here the 9 weeks. Then, I heard they keep you here for an extra two weeks if they think your visa is on the way, and you just help out doing teaching situations and what not with the newer Elders. Otherwise, if they don't think it will be here, you will get reassigned until the visa comes. I honestly, could care less. I know either way I go, it is what I was supposed to do. It has been a blessing though to have stayed here a bit longer. If I would've left earlier I would've never gotten to know the rest of my district and zone. Each one of them are so often, and each have a unique and interesting story.

So a new group of Elders came in this past Wednesday and funny enough one of them went to BYU Hawaii. I asked if he knew anyone from Oregon, and he said just one but he doubted that I knew her. I said, give me your best shot, and it was Shelby Leal!! What a coincidence and small world. Everyone is connected by at least one other Elder or Member here it feels like.

To the ward and everyone back home: Thank you so much for all of the gifts and letters you have sent me this past month. I have enjoyed reading each and every single letter. As for the Christmas gifts, I have resisted the temptation and haven't opened them yet! A lot of our zone opened theirs up today because we, "Dont have enough time tomorrow." but we have zero class tomorrow and I think we will have time. I am looking forward to waking up and opening the gifts so thank you!!

Let's see.... what else? Some other random stuff... I have to get a haircut already on Monday. I hate how my hair grows so fast. Plus, the line is so long. I had to wake up at 6AM just to get in line in time to sign up. Also, the weather here has been abnormally warm. My companion who is from Salt Lake, said it is never this warm. And I think that the weather in Medford has been colder than it has been here - or so it seemed before I left. It has snowed only a few times and the temperature hasn't been that low. It's been awesome. Meal time has slowly lost its appeal. I used to cherish it and love it so much, but now the food is starting to lose its appeal. It is starting to look the same..... taste the same...... the only relief is the Pizza Fridays and Ice Cream Sundays/Wednesdays. Now that never gets old! Gym time is something that has never lost its appeal though! I look forward to it all the time. Basketball is the new game. Our new elders play so it's pretty fun. The first gym period was fun with them because we played the "old" elders vs the "new" elders. And they didn't know the talent on our team. It was me, Elder Abbot, who played some high school varsity basketball, and Elder Tarabilda who played at like San Diego State or some San Diego college. It was fun, and so dominating =) There honestly, isn't too much to talk about. We haven't had an apostle yet, which is kinda sad, but the other speakers have actually been just as amazing so it's all good. We have three devotionals/firesides over the next two days so I'm waiting to hear who we will hear from. They always keep it a secret until like 5 minutes before it starts. Tomorrow, we get a nice large Christmas breakfast, a talent show, Christmas "Dinner" at noon and then two firesides. Since no one works for dinner, we just get a sack dinner. That's about it though!! Not toooo exciting, but now you know what's going on with my life. When I get to a better computer I will try and upload some pictures so you can see what goes on here in the MTC. Until then, I will have to just describe everything the best I can!! I hope you all have an amazing holiday season!!! Stay in touch!!!


Elder Steven Card

Friday, December 17, 2010

Week 3

The time flies so much. It feels like just yesterday that it was Sunday. The days really do feel like weeks, and last forever, but in the long run, looking back it has gone fast.

This past week, hasn't been too different. To be honest, it is quite like groundhog's day. It feels the same everyday. On Tuesday for Devotional we heard from Paul B. Peiper from the Seventy and he had an awesome message about Agency. It was funny, because afterwards we all discuss the talk with our district and a member of the branch presidency, and since my farewell talk was about Agency I had plenty of things to say. The rest of the week afterwards was just same ole, same ole. One of my teachers was making a joke how every Mormon is connected by just one other Mormon. i was like, meh, this doesn't apply for me since I'm a convert and yeah.... But then a guest teacher walks in, his name was Brother Maxwell. He said he just recently got off his mission, and so I obviously asked, where did you serve? He served in the Jacksonville Florida mission, and I was like hmmm, doubt it but I'll ask, "Do you know a Sister Pedersen?"... "OH, you mean Chanelle Pedersen? Yeah, I know who that is!" I guess my teacher was right.... everyone is conencted by one other Mormon haha.

Today we went to the temple like we do every Friday, and it was a great trip. I was wearing my old suit coat, and I was feeling around my inside pockets and was like hmmmm, what are these pieces of paper? It was temple names... my family temple names.... who have already been baptized and confirmed. So it was last minute, but I ran over to the Initiatories and me, my companion, district leader and a few others all day my family names for initiatories!! What a blessing, next temple trip, we'll all take those names and go do endowments. I am really excited already for it!!
Until yesterday, I hadn't met a single person going to my mission but my companion, then randomly four elders came into our room and asked if we were going to Spain and if we had our visas. They haven't got theirs either and so I'm gettin the feeling that I will be here for quite awhile, so it's kind of weird, cuz I have zero idea when I am leaving. But there is nothing I can do about it so I am just letting it go, and not worrying about it. I hope that everyone back in Medford is doing well, and will have a happy holidays. Just fyi, if anyone wants to send me any gifts for Christmass it has to be here before the 22nd or else I won't get it til afterwards. *wink wink*

Thanks everyone for the love and prayers and support! I love you all so much, and I hope you all write! Thanks again,

Elder Card

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Week 1

It's so hard to believe that I've already been in the MTC for over a week! The days feel so long though because of all the class time we have. "The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days." is a common expression around here, and it is so true. Each individual day seems to take forever but lookign back it is amazing how fast it has came. Sometimes you'll seit in class for four hours at a time, go to eat lunch for an hour, go back to class for four more hours, then have an hour for dinner, then three more hours of class. It is insane!!!

I've learned though about the things that get me through the day: Meals, gym, mail, talks, and the Temple. First, meals. Meals I look forward to so much. The food is not the best in the world but you have to look at what they're doing. They have to cooik for thousands of missionaries. I enjoy it though. The two bad things are the eggs and orange juice. The eggs aren't real and you just NEVER drink the orange juice. There are horror stories about it. So I have to resort to drinking apple juice. Also, you getr $6 a week to spend at the bookstore so I just load up on the snackage.

Second, is gym. For five days a week for 50 minutes a day they let us loose and go wild in the gym. You can either play basketball, four square, volleyball (A zone favorite) or just go and work out. I;ve been playing a lot of volleyball lately cuz that's what my zone plays and I found out Im actually not too bad at it.

Third, is going to get mail. We, as a district, go to check twice a day for mail. It's always a great event. Before lunch and dinner we all get worked up on wheter or not we will get mail that day. You definitely get your heart and dreams crushed if you receive no mail that day, so to whoever is reading this..... feel free to sned some excitement to my MTC life. By the way, if anyone wants to send me stuff for Christmas, know that it has to be here by the 22nd or else we won't receive it til after Christmas =)

Next, are firesides and devotionals. I like to think I am two for two on these. The first one I went to was the First Presidency Christmas message. It was so awesome. Back at home, I don't even know if I would be interested to hear it, but on Sunday I was so pumped. I don't know if it was a sudden new love for the prophet or because there is nothing else to watch. Then on Tuesday we heard from Elder Zwick from the Seventy. He had an awesome message, and I jsut can't wait for an apostle. Jeffrey R Holland came like two weeks before I arrived. I really hope he shows up again for the holliday season!!

Finally is the temple. I got to go for the first time today and it was so amazing. I have some good pictures that I will try and email you or send your way next week. Our sessions are at 7AM but it is well worth it. I'm up at that time anyways now, and it just puts a great start to the day. And as for the language, it is coming faster than I expected. I didn't think I would ever learn the language this fast. And as for the language, it is coming faster than I expected. I didn't think I would ever learn the language this fast.  Anyways, I love all the support that you have all sent my way, I read every single letter I get, and I have been responding to every single one! I love them all, it makes the day go by so much faster when you receive mail. So thank you all!!! I will try and update you next week on my progress.


Elder Steven Card

By the way I just wanted to add in this story. So get this.... Spain called me and they said that they lost my passport! So pretty much...... I had to start all over. So I had to have my dad overnight all of my information to the MTC. But, then they called me and I guess they ended up finding it. So maybe I can still get to the Madrid MTC if I get my visa soonish. I will keep you updated. I just thought it was a good story!! That's all =)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First P-Day


First off, let me just say that these past few days have been absolutely INSANE!!! I have already learned so much, and have felt the Spirit like I have never felt before. Thank you to everyone who has sent me the DearElders in the past few days. Even if they are just short two paragraph letters they mean so much and uplift my spirits and day. The MTC has been an amazing experience already.

The first day was filled with a lot of orientation and speakers. I met my companion, Elder Travis Lignell from Salt Lake City, and he seems pretty cool so far. We heard form the MTC presidency and I don't think I have ever felt more inspired to work my hardest and serve the people in Spain. The food was better than expected. It really reminds me of college food. Breakfasts have just been decent. They were hashbrowns, bacon and eggs. For lunch we had hamburgers, but then for dinner we had s omany different choices.The first night they fed us roast beef and potatoes. It was so good. we also met our teachers and zone and district leaders. Brother Martinez and Brother Whitehead are our instructors and they have been already super awesome. I had a slight hope that Trevor would be my zone leaders, but nope. But as much as I was disappointed, I still love our current zone leaders. Elder Farkle and Elder Stufflebeam. They are really cool and helpful but they are leaving for Argentina on Monday so our new leaders are Elder T (Short for a long Tongan name) and Elder Lane (The shortest guy in our district, so it's a hilarious combo) but they are really funny.

Classes have just taken up the ENTIRE day. All they expect you to do is eat, study, and then maybe study more. Two days ago we also got to meet with the Branch Presidency and he interviewed us. We all had to share our baptism, and why we wanted to go on a mission stories. I found out I am the only one from my district that is a convert so it's kind of intimidating. It's kind of scary to know that I probably know the least out of everyone in my class, but I am trying hard. After he interviewed us, he all gave us assignments. I am the senior companion in my companionship. Our district leader is Elder Parker from England, and he has an awesome accent. All the Hermanas absolutely love it.

Sadly, I kind of forgot a lot of stuff. I just wish I would've brought more general use items, like common sense. Liek hygiene items and FOOD. That is one thing I wish I had more. After dinner they give us no time for more food, so I usually am starving. And no, I did not find any food or goodies hidden in the secret compartments in my room, but I did find the secret compartments!!!

Anyways, just let Second Ward know that my P Days are on Friday, not Saturday like I told some of you in my other letters. But just know that I miss everyone so much, and I think of you all daily. I sit at my desk every night, and study, write in my journal, and look up to see the awesome pictures of everyone. I love you all and I thank you all for the support. I don't think I could be here without you guys. I am trying to make you all proud. So please stay in touch, because even just a simple Hello and we miss you letter, is such a boost to a long long day. Elders here make a big deal of mail, so when you get a DearElder people go nuts. We all know how important it is to get mail, so please feel free to email or write!!

Elder Steven Card