I have been called to serve for 2 years in the Costa Rica San Jose Mission as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Week Five in the MTC


Hello! I can't believe its p day already! the weeks feel like days here. Every tuesday we have devotionals but the gym that fits every missionary has been under construction and so when we watch all the branches watch in different rooms on projecters of the devotional going on in another building. But last tuesday they oppend up the gym again for everyone to be together again to hear the speaker and we heard that they were rededicating the building so we figured there would be a pretty good speaker and there were plenty of rumors floating around about who it was beacuse we never know who's speaking before the devotional. So we wanted to get their early to get good seats so me and elder willis got in a giant mob in front of the doors to get in 2 hours early and there was smashing and pushing and sweaty kids and we couldn't move. It felt like a concert. but we got in and got like 3 rows back we had amazing seats and Jeffery R Holland spoke! It was soo amazing to be that close to an apostle and especially Elder Holland. When he spoke he spoke for over an hour and had nothing prepared. He just started talking and was listening to the spirit. It was soo amazing I cant explain how sincere he was and how strong the spirit was when he spoke. I wanted to write down everything he said and i ended up filling up 6 pages of notes.

My clothes are all good. My white shirts wash well. I haven't had any problems but I haven't washed any pants yet. Do I just wash them normal? or do they need to be washed separate? I dont have many options when im washing on the machines here just light or darks. My shoes are all fine but do you think you could sent some shoe tree things? those things you stick in your shoes so they keep their shape? Theyre getting some major creases in them and i would like to minimize them. And my watch doesn't work. It might just be the battery but i have no way of doing it here. I may send it home soon and see if theres something that can be done. And I decided if you wanted to get me a present I would love to have a pocket watch. A real legit one with the chain and everything. Doesn't need to be expensive but it was kinda annoying to always have a watch on.

On wednesday during lunch they announced that anyone who wanted to be a new missionary host could go sign up and do it. Usually they just assign districts. So I went and hosted some kids and showed them around. It was interesting to see their point of views coming in. They were suprisingly cocky and arrogant. I tried to help them and give them advice and stuff and they were just oh yeah I know. I know. My cousin served a mission I know. It was kinda annoying. Im running out of time I will write a letter later.

I love you

Elder Graham

Oh and would you ask dad to look up what happened when Liverpool played Arsenal like 2 weeks ago?? I really want to know what happened with that and adam won,t responde to my e mails! what a lame-o. but I love you.
Halfway done with the MTC! No news yet but I think I will get my itinerary either this friday or the next! And i'm not counting down the days in my mission just until costa rica.

LETTER dated 8/27


Hey! I just got your package! Thank you soooo much! That is all perfect! I especially love the toothbrush (Oregon Ducks) but it's all awesome!! The letters from the Young Women were great too.
That's so cool that Aunt Etie is moving to Oregon! Why are they moving? That's perfect that they're going to Eugene, too. That way David can be there when Oregon stomps on the Sun Devils. Did dad try and get tickets for any Ducks' games? Try craigslist or something. They've got to go to at least one game.
The haircut they gave me was fine. You don't get many options. I just said, as short asyou can go. It's about finger length. I can't believe I'm officially halfway through my time at the MTC. It all goes so fast.
We have officially covered every grammer concept in Spanish, so I know everything I need, to say whatever I want. It's just a matter of saying it fast and building my vocabulary to really say what I want, which is crazy because I didn't even get through all that in 4 years of Spanish in high school.
What's going on with Rudy? We gotta get Jeffer a new jersey. We can't have him sporting a primadonna anti-Blazer.
My teacher, Hermano Fernandez is leaving us next week because he is starting up school, which is lame. I love that guy. He served his mission in Boston, speaking Cambodian. He speaks Cambodian. It's super silly sounding.
I love you guys. Thank you so much for all the packages and support. I don't know where I'd be without it.

-Con Amor
Elder Graham

Friday, August 20, 2010

Week Four in the MTC


Thank you so much for the packages! It is all perfect. instead of pop next time could you send gatorade or something like that? I love it all but if you want ideas of something to send :) It was great to get all those pictures they were perfect. It was great to be able to show the elders in my district all the stuff I have been talking about!
My week has been pretty good we had weekly interviews with our teacher individually. Yeah, Elder stevens and miller are my roomates and they will be going to costa rica with me. They are seriously the 2 coolest kids I've ever met.
Spanish/classes are going well but it is all really hard. Its a huge mind game here at the mtc and I know i have felt so much help though prayer. We have devotionals every tuesday from some general authority last tuesday we heard from Elder Gonzales who is in the presidency of the seventy. Its fantastic to hear from them I look forward to every tuesday night. There is a rumor going around that september 13th Elder Bednar is coming to speak which I am getting very excited for. we can watch devotionals and stuff here and I have watched a lot of his and I love all of them.
The food isn't bad. For what it is and the fact that they have to feed 3000 19 year old boys 3 times a day.
Sundays are supposed to be more relaxed day. We dont have regular class but we have a regular sacrament and priesthood meetings and interviews with the branch president. (my branch president is awesome) and all in all sundays seem to be one of the more stressfull days. Thanks for the update on rudy, definately keep me posted on anything new.
I'm running out of time so I will write you a letter today during laundry.

I love you

Elder Graham

Friday, August 13, 2010

Week Three in the MTC


I had an appointment at the medical clinic yesterday and they just checked up on my records and said it looked good. They scheduled another time sometime in september for me to get shots and they said it would be 125$ for all of them and i can pay with a card so if you wanna put some money in my account to help with that that would be greatly apriciated.

Its very hard for me to feel like im on provo I feel like i might as well be on an island somewhere because thats what it feels like. like just a giant bubble. since we are always busy and never have time to sit and relax all days just mesh together. the past 2 weeks have gone so fast as soon as you get into the routine here it flies by. Yesterday me and elder willis practice taught 2 elders from our zone who have only been here a week and I could just see from their teaching how much we have progressed. I know I was exactly like them but now when we teach we are so much more confident and confortable and we can really feel the spirit when we teach. we have had a couple TRC appointments which are us teaching a lesson to to voulenteers who are invesigators. Its an awesome expierince and I know i will be thankful for it when I get to costa rica. With spanish I have never spoke faster and mor confident then when I am teaching those appointments. I know that the spirit helps put words in my mouth and its an amazing feeling to be guided by the spirit like that. When you send the package could you put in one of the pictures of me and nick and allison at the blazer game? or any other pictures that I would want.
I love you

Elder Graham

LETTER dated 8/13
I haven't gotten the pictures back yet, ut I will try and describe them. One picture is of my desk. On the side, I have my (soccer) scarves down from the closed and I have a family picture and a picture of Portland posted on the wall, and all my books and journal on my desk. You don't need to worry about me writing in my journal. I've gotten into a good habit of writing in it every night. Last night I didn't have much to say but I wrote a paragraph just saying some things I felt. But most nights I fill up a page. Another picture is of me with Elder Jensen with our Arsenal Jerseys holding up an Arsenal scarf. Elder Jensen is from New Zealand and has an amazing accent. He is the only person I have every met with as much love for soccer and European soccer as me, and his favorite club is Arsenal like me, so we talked about them a lot. He is way good at soccer. He was in my zone, but left yesterday for The Domincan Republic. Definitely put the picture of us on the blog. My friends would appreciate that one. I think the other pictures are just from last Sunday. We walked up to the temple and took picture with my comp and district and stuff. Today on P-Day we went to the temple. It was really good and fun to see another temple. Then we ate breakfast in the temple cafeteria. Does the Portland temple have a cafeteria? After we were done a lady asked me to help in the laundry room for 5 minutes, so me and Elder Willis folded temple stuff for what ended up being over an hour. But it was fun to help. I love you. Pet Bernie for me.
-Elder Graham

Friday, August 6, 2010

Week Two in the MTC!

Email dated 8/06

I will start by answering your questions

Yeah! I got the package (from Tracey) but it didn't say who sent it so I didn't know who it was from!
My week has been going good after the first week it all becomes a blur and goes really fast. since we have no down time I dont have time to be bored so time flies by. Classes are like 5 hours long but they feel like they last 5 minutes. they go by wayy too fast and when i'm not in class i wish I was so I could keep learning and keep getting my spanish better and better. My teacher decided to put me in a more advanced class but when he went to look it up they were all full so when he is teaching something I already know he puts me in the classes of the missionaries who have been here 6 and 7 weeks to learn something Im not good at. But my district is still awesome and my teachers are both amazing.

I am feeling fine. I am always tired and I feel like as soon as I get to sleep the alarm starts beeping. which reminds me.. I should probably get an alarm clock if you could help with that situation....

If you are looking for things to send me I dont know if allison told you but I would love nice stickers like blazers stickers, Arsenal FC, stickers, Oregon "O" stickers and anything cool and oregon. I would also love to have a really nice pen. they have some at te mtc bookstore but not much selection and I was thinking I would love to have a nice one. and elder in my room has one and its fantastic. I think its a parker..? And also something you could look into is one of the elders in my district has a voice recorder that he plugs into the computer and can send recordings home and vice versa if you guys want to look into that that could be fun.

As for spiritual experiences I have just been really reading the book of mormon a lot in a week and a half I'm in mosiah and that book is full of so many amazing scripures and things that you can apply personally and its fantastic. You and dad should read section 31 of D+C together its an awesome section about missionaries and the blessings they and their families can receive. You should also if you can look up a talk elder Bendar gave to the MTC in a devotional. Its about recegnizing the spirit and i dont know if its open to the publuc online because it was to the mtc but if you can definately read or watch it it is amazing.

For my missionary plaque I want alma 29:1

For pictures in the MTC bookstore there is a picture printing thing that you can insert your sd card and order pictures I ordered them yesterday and they should be ready today so I will send some home and explain them in letters.

I dont know anything about the medical stuff they dont tell me anything.

and I heard news that costa rica is actually really hard to get visas for and it should come right down to the time of me leaving so hopefully not recieving visas on time doesnt run in the family....

I dont have time now to write a thing for the blog because my time is almost up and it exits out for me when the time ends so you can just summerize what i say and update how im doing. and add pictures when I can send them.

LETTER dated 7/29
Today we had an immunization check and for some reason I'm missing something so I get to write home and ask about it.

Today was my first full day and I feel like I am already learning so much. I learned how to pray and bear my testimony in Spanish. Also I have learned so much about teaching people. My companion is Elder Willis. He is from San Diego and he is awesome. We are already really good friends. He is going to Nicaragua. I'm in a room with one other companionship and they are both going to Costa Rica. The are both so cool. I got so lucky to have cool roomates and a cool district. The food has been surprisingly good. They have so many options and the hardstpart has been picking what to eat. Elder Willis, Stevens, and Miller (my other roommates) all love soccer and we all played today in the gym. I gotta go. I love you lots. Tell everyone else that I love them. I was very rushed saying goodbye.

-Elder Graham

-Don't be shy about sending Jalepeno Cheese dip (Ask Nick or Allison)

Oh and dearelder.com is the greatest thing. Tell everyone to use that. It comes that day...even if it's small