Friday, November 25, 2011

Letter from MTC Nov. 25, 2011

Dearest family and friends,
How was Thanksgiving? I know there were alot of different things going on. Brit how did your meal go with caveman-style turkey legs? How was dinner in Idaho Falls?

Thanksgiving here was great, not as great as at home but for here, it was good. It started off with a late breakfast so we slept in an extra hour which was heavenly. Then after breakfast we went to a devotional with a few speakers including Russell M. Nelson of the Twelve and his wife. It was a really good talk on Thanksgiving and giving thanks. He showed us this interestingly good song called "Alleluia" by the Motab men's choir, you should check it out. After that we went to Thanksgiving dinner (lunch because they weren't serving us dinner so the big meal was lunch).  It consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, rolls and pumpkin pie. It was pretty good and I ate myself sick like normal. Next we had a devotional about Humanitarian Projects the church does, including talking about neo-natal training like Brother Brown does. And of course next we did a project. We assembled emergency kits for the people in Sudan. By the end of 2 hours we assembled 8000 kits for them. We all had fun with it so it made it fun. I made a few different towers out of soap bars which were awesome and then we played jenga with soap bars, it worked amazingly well compared to what we expected. We then ate dinner, which was sack lunches....lame. And then we had another devotional reminding us to be grateful and showing us where all the missions are in the world-- there are a ton! And we finished the day off with a movie, 17 Miracles, and they gave us popcorn for it so that was nice. I really liked the movie, it was moving. And throughout the whole day we would have big breaks in between activities so we had lots of down time for chilling and taking naps. And the best part is today is P-Day so that means even more nap and down time! So overall Thanksgiving here was alot better than i expected but not nearly like a home cooked dinner with all those delicious choices we usually have...mmm. But being away from family & friends during all these sweet holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas for two years is just going to make me appreciate them so much more when I get back, I already wish I would have taken advantage of them. It's amazing how much you take things for granted until you can't do them. And that is what I'm most grateful for this year. I'm grateful for all you guys (family and friends) and for all the good times we've had. I am grateful for families and how amazing they are and i'm grateful that we can be together forever with this amazing Gospel and through the Atonement of Christ. This mission has taught me so much already, and I'm excited to see what else it has in store for me.

As for other news, on Monday a district in our zone leaves and then we'll be the oldest ones with only two weeks left... kinda scary because i don't feel ready in Spanish. We had this teacher sub for us and he was from Equador and spoke really fast and i could understand him most of the time but sometimes when i wasn't paying full attention it was a blur of words. I have a feeling it's going to be even harder there because they won't be talking clearly like our teachers do here.

Congrats to Logan for pulling off another state championship in football, too bad they couldn't have done that one of the years i was there. Sounds like it was an exciting game.

The Elders in my district that hated each other are doing alot better now. They still aren't best friends but they get along with each other now which is a huge improvement. Being the DL is going fine, it's not very hard in the MTC, especially now that i don't have two elders hating each other to worry about.

Mom & Dad,
Thanks for the package!! The cd player works great, and the bounce dryer sheets worked for my static. The Brazilian chocolate was different but good. Dad it also sounds like your Brazil trip was really fun. I like talking to some of the Portuguese Elders to see how much I can understand them and usually I can catch most, but of course that's just simple talking. I decided I want to learn Portuguese and Tongan when I get back. They say once you learn one language a second one comes easier so I'll test that theory out. Atuake liked his package, though if you send him another, i would suggest less expensive stuff and more just bulk because in the Tongan culture - it's share everything you have. Also i asked him about corn beef hash and he didn't know what it was and i asked another tongan and he said they like corn beef but he doesn't know what the hash is. And yes we have a microwave to heat up food, i plan on using it today for some cup of noodles :)  Atuake is too shy and humble to tell me what he likes because he knows you guys want to know haha. Tongans eat pretty much anything... except veggies, that i have noticed he doesn't like. Thanks again for all the packages, i really appreciate them! Atuake says thank you too!

I'm glad to hear you had a good weekend with Shyla. That slide you described sounds really fun to do. Ya gotta let me know how your amazingly decorated Thanksgiving dinner went. It sounds like a good time and a rich time with gold pumpkins and silver platters.

Does the MTC sound much different then when you were here? I wonder how much has changed...? My spanish is going pretty well, I'm trying to only speak spanish most of the time but it's difficult when the rest of my district mostly speaks english. Me and my comp try and speak spanish most of the time but it's difficult at times. Even though i really don't enjoy the food here, i think you're right, i'm going to miss having someone make me three full meals a day. How did the turkey day football go?

I have a question, if it's not possible it's ok too, but my comp. Atuake, left his camera charger in Tonga apparently. If you could get one for him, he would be very grateful. His camera is a Casio Exilim. On the bottom it says, 5 mega Pixels Digital camera Ex-257. I don't know if it's possible or it costs too much and if not, it's ok, just wondering.

All i want is before i leave is my ultimate frisbee so i have it for Panama? it's clear with green writing and a gecko on it. I don't need it anytime soon, just before i head off. Thanks a bunch! I plan on sending some pictures home and my camera chip to brit soon.

I wish i had more to tell you but the MTC, besides Thanksgiving, is pretty uneventful. Oh, but something cool is that on Tuesday we had Elder D. Todd Christofferson come talk to us, so we had two Apostles in one week! Three apostles down, only nine to go to hear from them all in person! Then i'll move on to the first presidency haha.

i'm super grateful for all that you guys do for me and all the support! I think about you everyday and love and miss you!
I love you guys!
Les amo!
Afa atu!
Elder Pfister

Friday, November 18, 2011

Elder Pfister MTC Letter 11/18/2011

Dearest Family and Friends and who ever else is reading this,
The MTC is getting really repetitive. We do the same thing day after day, and i'm kinda going crazy. I can't wait to get out into the field, i don't feel ready with my spanish or teaching skills but i wanna get out of here and go to Panama.
My schedule is usually something like:
wake up at 6:30
7:00-8:00 is personal study
8:00-8:30 is breakfast
8:30-9:30 is personal study
9:45-10:45 is progressing investigator teaching
10:45-11:45 is group language instruction
11:45-12:45 is studying with a teacher (coaching missionary study)
12:45-1:30 is lunch
1:40-2:40 is language study
2:50-3:50 is TALL, which is a language program on the computer
4:05-5:05 is gym
5:45-6:30 is dinner
6:30-7:30 is another progressing investigator
7:30-8:30 group language instruction
8:30-9:15 is some gospel or teaching topic
9:15-9:30 is read BOM as class
then go to rooms
10:15 quiet time
10:30 is supposed to be lights out... but our room seems to be the party room because there is always someone in there talking and hanging out till like 11:30 and it's usually someone different. I am so tired now cuz of my lack of sleep, i try to go to bed on time but it's so difficult. By the time i get to my room, write in my journal, read the scripts, studying a little spanish and get ready for bed it's usually 11. Plus my companion always has his tongan buddies in our room, which is actually really fun cuz their really cool and funny.

I'm learning alot about the Tongan way of life. They are so nice, they have this way where if someone likes what you have and wants it, you give it to them. FOr example, a couple nights ago walking to our rooms from class this tongan said how he liked my companions shoes, so Atuake took them off and they traded them. I asked him later if he like his new shoes and said no they're uncomfortable but it's the tongan way to give. And also all the Tongans came with lava lava's (the tongan skirt things) but all the plamii (white people) liked them so they gave them all away. It's amazing that they just give stuff away especially since they come from so humble of homes that they can't even afford the mission and all their clothes are from international assistance. Also some Elders in my district complain if they go one day without mail, Atuake hasn't received a single letter this entire time but he doesn't complain at all. He's just very humble and nice. But talking to him i also realized how much fighting goes on in tongan schools. He has this scar on his leg that is around 6-7 inches long running down his thigh and around 1-2 inches wide where this guy came at him with a knife and missed his body and got his leg but he couldn't afford the hospital so it made a huge nasty scar. This scar is huge. On a brighter note, he's a really good artist. He's really good at drawing cool words with a tongan setting. He's drawing "Return with honor" in my journal for me. It's tight looking. I'll photocopy it.

So you guys know Scott Farr right? I ran into his sister, Karry, here the other day! It's sweet when you run into a familiar face from home.
So something i'm really starting to miss is good tasty home made food. The food here is no bueno and it seems to get worse the longer you're here.

You have to let me know how LHS does in football, i'm really curious! and of course Vick broke some ribs, nothing is going good for the Eagles this year.

Congrats mom on selling your painting! That's awesome! you should put some more up for sale, i bet alot would sell. Also thanks for the package, it's always the best feeling to receive a package, it's like love packed in a box and mailed. I got a nice decorated desk now with pumpkins and pine cones! we receive packages at lunch and dinner, same time as mail.
In answer to questions, yeah i have a little over 3 weeks left. I don't get my travel plans till a few days before i leave. and i get to be a host for new missionaries the last two weeks here. Yeah, Brittany, maybe i will mail you my memory card and i wouldn't mind a few prints, some photos are just dumb on there so i don't want those. i'm excited to see what my awesome present is Brit!

Dad, yes i would love an ipod with church music on it. Also we can listen to non lyrics, christmas and disney too. So if you could put Disney, christmas, lord of the rings(no lyrics so allowed) and church music on it i would love it! Also if you could get me a CD player, Em sent me some CD's but they don't sell cd players here. And finally, if you could sent me my crest white strips and listerine whitening (both should be in the downstairs bathroom) and my white no show socks. I have a bunch of adidas no show socks in my closet, no need to buy new ones. And last, i would love some cup of noodles to eat and plastic forks :)

Some questions for you, How do you get pen out of white shirts? My comp accidentally wrote on my shirt. And how do you make it so your clothes don't have static? my clothes stick to me they have too much static.

Nothing really new has happened here. Thanksgiving here is actually celebrated so i'm excited! We don't have class for 2 days and they serve a really good lunch i hear. Am i going to be able to talk to you guys when i get back in spanish? Is spanish and Portuguese that close? How are things going for all of you? I'm writing this way too early in the morning to be able to think straight, so if i missed a question, ask again :) I feel like i've been in here 2 years already. A teacher told me, the MTC feels like 2 years and the Field feels like 2 months. I'm learning some cool new tongan words, that's the next language i want to learn and i'm definitely going there someday. Hopefully i can meet up with Atuake again while i'm there.
Well i love you guys a ton! Thanks for everything you do to support me, i appreciate everything! I miss you guys!

Love, Elder Pfister
P.S. For Christmas, could i have some of Dad's famous pumpkin chocolate chip bread, that sounds so tasty!
P.s.s. Sorry if my spelling is getting worse, Spanish is ruining my English.
Love ya!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Elder Pfister's letter from MTC 11-11-11

It's 11-11-11! That's cool and it's P-day which is that much cooler! anyway, not much new happening here. We do pretty much the same thing every day just with new material. My companion is doing really well in Spanish now, he can give way good prayers, way better than i can in spanish. Our lessons are also going pretty well now, with a little spanish preparation time we can give them without notes most of the time. We're also starting to really get into the confusing spanish now and they are loading it on us, we usually cover two new topics a day. A saying that i have heard way way way too many times here, "it's like drinking out of a firehose".

So some funny stories, me and this elder, Elder Schultz, were bored one night and he had gotten this fizz stuff in the mail. The fizz is just powder you add to a carbonated drink and it makes it way more bubbly or fizzy, hence the name. Anywho, so we got some sprite to try it in and i went first. Elder Wootton, an innocent bystander, told me to dump half the bag in (it came with 4 bags of different flavors). So i took a sip and dumped in half, or more, of the bag of blue raspberry fizz and shook it a little and it started fizzing a little, nothing really cool. But then after like 10 seconds, my pop pretty much exploded (kind of like putting mentos in coke except alot more power). There was sprite shooting every which way absolutely covering his room in blue raspberry sprite, so i decided to try to stop it by putting my mouth over the hole but that was bad idea. As soon as i did sprite just shot down my throat, out my mouth and out my nose with incredible force (incredible force for sprite at least, i've never seen pop explode so much) it was quite painful, the nose and throat part at least. So this all happened in like 30 seconds and after that my whole bottle of sprite was either on me or covering his room, the only sprite i actually successfully and enjoyably drank was the few sips before the fizz. But all in all it was super funny and a good time in the MTC. The best part is right after everyone got over how funny and not smart it was of me to dump half the bag in, (we read it after, a half bag was used for a 2 liter bottle, not a can) Elder Schultz did pretty much the same thing and this time i got to watch and enjoy the bubbly chaos and not experience it. That was probably one of the highlights here, it was so funny!

Another funny experience was during Teaching Resource Center, or TRC. Where member volunteers come in and it's pretty much like a home teaching lesson talking about the gospel but in spanish to practice. So we were teaching this guy named Matt and it was at the end of the lesson and we were just talking about what he's studying and stuff and what he wanted to do. He was saying how he wants to be a lawyer and i said that's cool, my sister is a lawyer and i wanted to say she loves her job, but apparently i said, "my sister loves you" and he started busting up laughing, like literally rolling around on the couch laughing. I didn't even get to finish my sentence which might have cleared up the confusion. In spanish i think i said, "mi hermana le gusta su trabaja" but he started laughing after "mi hermana le gusta" so i never got to say the rest. I'm not sure if that means, 'you like my sister' or 'my sister likes you' but either way he thought it was super funny. I was just super embarrassed, so embarrassed i forgot to have a closing prayer, we kinda just left haha. Maybe mike knows exactly what i said.

Mom and Dad,
Thanks for the cookies and mints and drawing, my companion really loves junior mints, he inhales them. I like that the cookies came in a cherry tomato package. I'm not really sure who the package was from because it also had mike's drawing which i really enjoyed. It's my new spanish scriptures book mark. But thanks to everyone.Let me know if LHS wins it all. Me and this Mountain Crest elder are good friends so it's fun to talk to him about how our schools hated each other and such. i can't believe usu beat hawaii like that, that's sweet, go Aggies!

Mom, How is grandma delma doing? When should i write her another letter?  Mom you've inspired me with all your scrap booking so i've created my own with pictures of all the friends i'm making so i can put faces to all the names.

Dad, It's awesome to hear that you've been able to talk to so many people about the gospel! It seems like it would be difficult to pull all that gospel knowledge vocabulary out after a while. Hopefully something happens there but if not, you're right, they're better already having the question of the gospel stirring in their hearts. How is Brasil going? Do you get any play time? Something cool is there's a guy a few rooms down who played defensive end for the Utes in the Sugar Bowl, it's fun to talk to him about football. I'm gonna send you guys some pictures soon. Give Yukon some love for me, i wish i was there to play with her in leaves.

I'm not sure if i got your package, was it the one with the cookies and mike's drawings? Tell mike thanks for the drawing, i really like it! As for 'celestial', mostly it's just a joke, most the elders i know that have used it don't really mean it that seriously. Good luck with the virgin cocktail business. I'm totally backing you there, i had a virgin strawberry dacari and me gusta it was way good! Not sure how well it'll work outside of utah and idaho haha.

As for ties, no sadly they haven't sent me any.... ;). So do you still have that white portable speaker? you were saying how you bought your own. Emily sent me some church cd's so now i kind of want it to listen to music.

Congrats on making it in the Nutcracker. That sounds fun and i heard it's way expensive which means it must be well produced and stuff and lots of people go to it, right? Well good luck in it! I wish i could watch it.

So the rumor is you are the owner of a new car! That's exciting, how are you liking it? I imagine it's really nice now that winter is coming.

Well I love all you guys and thanks for all the support and love you give me, i really appreciate it! I imagine my letters will get better once i get to the field and new and cool things start happening, but for now, all is well in the MTC. Let me know about anything new or exciting! Love you guys and i miss you everyday! Thanks for everything.

Love (english), Amor (spanish), Ofa atu (Tongan),
Elder Pfister

Friday, November 4, 2011

November 4th letter

Hey Everyone!
I'm glad things at home seem to be going good for everyone. The MTC is going fine here. Everyday pretty much just like the last one so i'm getting more and more excited to leave. Four elders from our district already left on Tuesday for the Guatemala MTC. They're actually going to Guatemala on their missions so that's why it had room for them and not the Panama missionaries, and yes, i'm here in Provo all 9 weeks.

Our last Devotional was Elder W. Criag Zwick of the seventy. His talk was very good and he sure kept us awake because he was almost yelling into the microphone.

Halloween here was pretty non existent. We had orange pumpkin sugar cookies at lunch and that is all. But i celebrated it with my personal pumpkin and pumpkin snow globe. My Spanish is going pretty well. We've been teaching our teachers who would act like investigators they really had on their missions and a few days and my companion and I got one named Clara baptized so it just proves to myself mostly that my Spanish is getting better, even though if feels like it's not and that i'm not learning anything. We also have this thing call Teaching Resource Center, TRC, where real members and people interested in the church come and they have us teach them which was way scary. Luckily i've gotten the same guy 2 weeks in a row and he's really nice, really good at Spanish and very active member.

So there was this Elder named Elder Spencer who left to Guatemala but me and him and another guy, Elder Spencer's companion Elder Wootton, and we all became really good friends and Elder Spencer invited us to go to his house in Hawaii for a while after our missions! He's really cool, we got really close.

And with some elders leaving to Guatemala, including our District leader, I got called to be the new District leader. Which means i also get to deal with this companionship who hates each other and they are my roommates. My teacher is having me talk to our branch president, Pres. Sanchez, so this will be an adventure.

Other than that i can't really think of anything new that's going on here, same 'ol same 'ol.

Dad & Mom,
The stories about the guy who had his face destroyed (Bryan Burningham-stake conference talk) and then had 53 surgeries, and the oxford guy (Pres. Monson's BYU devotional) were amazing. I feel bad for the Surgery guy, but props to him for never giving up and keeping a positive attitude throughout the whole ordeal. And the oxford guy was good. I can't believe he had read the Book of Mormon 7 times and gone on a mission and still not know it's true without a doubt. I guess it proves you need to read, ponder and pray about it, not just read.

Dad, how's Brazil going for you?

Re: new lots of new missionaries going to Panama.  I think i remember my teacher from Panama saying that there are around 200 missionaries there and 11 stakes and 9 zones i believe. So it must be going good there. There are 3 other guys in my district going to Panama with me.

I've seen a ton of my friends here, Speedy, Sage Nyman, Derek, David Roskelly, Carter Fawson, Higley, Jake mortenson.

Thanks for the package! I really appreciate it. That jacket is really nice and warm. Also thank you for the mission scriptures from your mission Dad, i didn't realize there were so many so thanks for doing that. I'm getting them bound and the cover laminated so it'll keep. Also thanks for getting Kevin's address, sounds like it was some work to get it.

It sounds like Logan High Football is doing good. Do you think they'll win it all? Fav has been training up this dream team of his for a while now and it's paying off for him.

Mom, how did the Nutrition class teaching go? Emily said she might go into diet and food nutrition so who knows maybe you'll teach her one of these days.

I'm glad the Eagles took it to the Cowboys, it makes me happy all over knowing that :)

So this super awesome tie of mine, which the zone has labeled "The Celestial Tie" is paisley... don't know how to spell that but anyhow.... It's paisley and silver and blue. The paisley designs and light blue and the rest is shiny silver. It's the tie i worn during my farewell talk to go back and look at those pictures and you'll see it. It wasn't even my favorite tie when i was buying it but it's grown on me since then.

Hey good job on finding Cory a car, that's really nice of you and it'll help him out alot i'm sure, especially with winter coming in. And it sounds like you got him a pretty nice one for the price, hopefully it has some more miles left in it.

So now you got me really curious, what is this super awesome present you got me?! and when will i be receiving it?

The lots of ties thing is both a mission and MTC thing. It's what keeps us going, ties. But a problem i learned is that silk ties in humidity bleed and ruin shirts and the ties sometimes and most my ties are silk, so i'm trying to trade some for some micro fiber or polyester ties, then i might send some favorite ones home so they don't get ruined.

So i can totally see you jumping during Ryan's play which is super funny, i wish i could've been there to see it. Also Mike's prank to Mom sounds super great too, keep it up! :)

The tape recorder or video thing sounds really fun except would it cost alot to send it back and forth? Would it be like a letter in a way?

So the best food here so far has been this Kulu Pork and rice, Texas toast steak sandwich, bacon ranch burger, chicken cordon blue and teriyaki stix chicken and rice. And while all of those sound really good, the good meals here and few and far between. (not sure if that's the right saying...) aka, they don't serve many really good meals but when they do, they do them right. The food here is ok usually but some days i just go with cereal. Which is a totally cool thing the i guess they've learned... Teenage boys can eat cereal 3 meals a day, so they provide us with all sorts of different cereal at every meal. It's nice to know there will always be a food you like here.

It sounds like your play (Woman in Black) was great. Good job! I wish i could've seen it. I also wish i could've seen Mom and Brit get scared in it and jump. Also being one of two cast members would be kind of nerve racking and learning all those lines would be difficult. How are you liking the plays? Any more plays for you in the near future? How's life for you? Anything new going on? If you go to and write me from there i get it in mail form instead of email and i'll have more time to think of things to say, they only give us 30 minutes to read emails and reply which i'm learning isn't very much time.

Thanks everyone for all your support, mail and packages! I really love and appreciate you guys. The MTC is going pretty good for me, no feelings of homesickness or anything like that which is good, cuz a few people have it bad and they look miserable here. I've been taking some pictures too so i'll try to get them to you. I'm not sure if i can email pictures from the MTC;  they have a photo printing place here for hard copies so maybe i'll do that and once i'm in the field i'll email more.

Tell my friends i miss them and they can use dearelder me to contact me, but to make sure to put what address i should send mail to. I love hearing about the outside world. Thanks again for everything i really appreciate it!

I love and miss you guys a ton!! Give Yukon love for me! :)
Love, Elder Pfister
P.S. If you're going to send ties, no silk ties, only micro fiber or polyester.
Thanks, Love ya!