Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2-27-2013   Pictures


Hey there everybody! I'm in my last week here at the MTC, and I'm so excited to get out, I'm soooo tired of being here. My companions are not like me at all, so we get on each others nerves all the time, so its teaching us patience, but at the same time I'm just done haha. I've also for the last few days been really sick, and I had to stay at the residence for a whole day because I threw up like 10 times. But today I'm feeling a lot better, so I think it was just a quick stomach flu. And, for our last devotional, guess who we had?! An apostle!!! We had Elder M. Russell Ballard! It was way cool, and I learned so many things from his talk, about how to be a good missionary and about how to come closer to Christ. It was way sweet, and he blessed us apostolicly at the end, and we all stood up and waved, haha. My Spanish is still coming along fine, and I got to test myself a  little bit at the temple today. After we had our last temple breakfast there, we were asked to help in the laundry room. The lady and the man who were instructing us noticed that we had on our SPANISH missionary tags, so they started talking to us real fast. I understood most of what they were saying and was able to talk back without too many errors, so it was cool.

I want everyone to know that I know that this gospel is true, and that I know Joseph Smith restored the gospel on the earth, and that the Book of Mormon is true. Also, I want everyone to know that, even in the MTC probably even more so, Satan tempts you like no other. It's been hard here, and it's been so challenging, but I have loved for the most part my experience here. I know that I'm as ready as I'll be for the field, and I know that the field is ready for me (:

Sorry that this letter is short, but really, there isn't too much to say. I fly out on Tuesday, March 5th. I report to the travel office at 4 am, and then start the flying at 7 am. I fly to Detroit first, then I fly to Westchester NY. I land in New York at 4 pm. It will be a long day, haha, but supposedly the mission home is quite fantastic. I just want a regular nights sleep haha, most don't sleep well here.

I love everybody, thank you for those who have written me and sent me things it helps a lot and lets me know that I have family and friends who care about me (:

Elder Mitchell Buckley

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Week 4 - 2-20-2013

Hey there everybody! (: Alive and kicking in the MTC! It's been a crazy 4 weeks, been learning so much about the gospel and about Spanish. Thank you to all those who have been reading my letters and my emails, it means a lot! (: I have two more full weeks to go as of today, it's a crazy feeling. I'm ready to get the heck outta dodge, and embrace New York, but at the same time its a little bit of a nerve wracking feeling. My Spanish is coming along decently well, I'm starting to get the hang of talking normally-ish in Spanish, and I get all the concepts on paper, but applying them while you're talking is super difficult. The investigators I have been teaching are all over the board as well. Dxxx (name withheld) has like, a ton of problems that you normally wouldn't think of, like getting in a spat with the bishop of the nearby ward and just having a lot of anger issues and some addiction problems as well, it's hard to teach and resolve things like that. But I haven't been getting discouraged at all, it's all been a wonderful experience. I think the thing I'm most ready for is regular food, the food here is quite unhealthy and gross haha! Also, I'm ready for the real world again. Being in here for a long time with the same people all the time makes you SPAZ OUT. Like, for example the other day, My two companions (I'm in a tri-companionship because the one Elder switched his mission to English-speaking) walked into the room with me all at the same time and randomly we just laughed for about 5 minutes straight, as hard as we could, and then we just stopped and didn't even say anything, ha ha ha, ohh man. But everything is still pretty great, choir is fantastic, the speakers from the seventy have all been good, and even better, Connor Ervin comes in today and then Landon Boren does as well. I'll get to see them (most likely) before I go and that is going to make me so happy. I've seen Tyrel Flake a lot as well, like a lot, that's been a comfort too.

I have still been losing weight, haha, I'm up to like 12 pounds lost or something like that. Feels pretty good! And I got a haircut, but they wouldn't let me cut it how I normally would. So I left the top a little long, and might even try to style it. It'd be a new thing, but hey, why not right? And getting along with the companions is still a little bit of a challenge, but we are growing closer together, so that's good. And as far as the new set of beds in our room, we didn't get Elders in them, so it's just been three, but today in the afternoon we shall see if we get them. If not, I'll be sad haha, I'd rather them fill the beds than leave them set up in our room empty, but it's whatever. (: I'm never down in here, always happy. I know that's better, it's been helping out a lot to have a good attitude.

I already love the people in my mission, and I desire so bad to go out and serve them, and to bring them this amazing restored gospel. I myself have already changed so much, and if I can change my life and devote it solely to the Lord and His work, and be happy, I know I can successfully teach the gospel in Spanish. I know that this church is true, and the Joseph Smith knelt in the grove and prayed and sought to know the truth, and that he received it and brought it back to the earth as an instrument in the Lord's hands.

Have a fantastic day!

Elder Buckley, your son, Mitch Man <3

New Pictures - 2-20-2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Half way through the MTC

Holy smokes, I can't even believe I'm halfway through my 6 week MTC experience, it's freaking unbelievable! I'm loving my district, loving the Spanish language, and loving life because, well, how couldn't I? I've been realizing more and more each day that I have been given so much throughout my life, now it's my turn to give, to the already wonderful people  of New York(: So, it's so hard to write a cohesive letter because there has been so much going on, and 30 minutes to do it is INSANE, but I'll try my best(: One of the Elders in my district and in my room is Elder Sprunt. He's been struggling with the language and with homesickness, and we love him and wish for him to stay. For those of you who read this who want to, please pray for him for strength and a clear mind to make the best decision for himself. Also, Hermana Peterson in our zone is having to go home because of illness and will have to be reassigned ): Made me think pretty hard about some of my feelings, and it made me even more greatful that I'm here, with health and happiness. I'm doing and progressing so much more than I have been and it's making me pretty happy. I've got the purpose, baptismal invitation and the first vision memorized in spanish, and soon to have Doctrine and Covenants 4 memorized. It's really been helpful that I'm decent at memorizing, and I'm very fast at conjugations and conversation in Spanish as well. The last few lessons with investigators have been great, I taught and conversed with an investigator a few days ago about the first vision and about gaining a testimony of it and the Book of Mormon, and she's now going to church and is probably going to commit to a baptismal date the next time we meet. Probably my best lesson yet! It was super cool because I wasn't even thinking about doing the restoration  or talking about the Book of Mormon I was going to teach about the Plan of Salvation, but I something (HG) told me not to. Freaked my companion out, because all he had practiced was the Plan haha! Also, for those of you who don't know or who haven't heard of TRC, it's what our district does on Monday mornings. We all go downstairs and there is a lesson topic for us and we just hop right in and teach a member investigator, super scary, but super fun and helpful. Elder Ficklin and I talked to a girl who used to leave in the Bronx (funny enough), and who moved out here to Utah like, 3 years ago or something like that. She talked so fast, and she asked a hard question (How come in English you say 'thee', thy' and 'thou', but in Spanish you don't?) But I explained to her that there really isn't a Spanish translation for those words and that we use "tu" instead of the formal "usted" to make it more intimate that way, and then we just talked. She loved it, my companion and I loved it, and talking conversationally was fantastic. I really didn't think I could do it, but it kinda just came. I don't know how to explain it. But it was TIGHT. Haha. Anyways, life here has been going pretty well. Choir is still one of my favorite things. We sing the most beautiful songs and the director explains the song and the spiritual aspects and he's got my sense of humor. AWESOME. And I am still losing weight. Haha, I'm up to 11 pounds lost, sitting here at 199. Feels good(: Also, we haven't had anyone from the Quorum of the Twelve or the Presidency come and talk to us yet (hopefully before I go), but we had Elder Schwitzer from the 70 address us, and it was amazing. Everyone thought his talk was pretty boring, but I got a lot out of it. "A missionary that teaches, but does not commit, is only a sharer of facts". HIT me HARD. It's been such a glorious time here so far, with a lot of ups, a humongous amount of downs, but the Spirit resides here like nowhere else. If you're reading this and are thinking about going on a mission, or have any questions, please write me or email me or whatever and I'd be glad to answer them! (: Oh! And I'm way super excited for Connor Ervin and Landon Boren to get here, I'm going to hug the both of them so hard (': Double oh! Since the MTC is expecting 1200 new missionaries today, our room got an extra bunk set, now we will have 6 in our room. Crazy crowded. The room barely holds 4 without bumping into each other, but I know that it'll al be alright(:

I love you all and miss you all so much, please write me if you can, I'd love to hear from you!

Elder Buckley
Pictures from the 1st week at the MTC

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hey everybody! I just hit the 2 week mark today in the MTC. My time is now 1/3 of the way complete, and all at the same time I'm so ready but freaking out all the same! Ahhhh! Nueva York better watch out because because the gospel is coming and it's coming HARD. Apparently, on March 5th the day we're all scheduled to head out, it's going to be the largest North American transfer in history. So far, we know of like 50+ Elders and Sisters heading out. It comforts me to know that I'm a part of that(: So far here in the MTC I've learned so much about Spanish, a ton about the gospel, and a ton about myself. I've gained such a strong testimony, and I've also lost so much. Like, 6-8 pounds to be exact, haha. I've been going hard in the gym, working out and running mostly every day except Sunday and Wednesday. And I've been progressing quite well, I'm loving it here!! I love the Provo temple as well, and the MTC, during the winter time. It's so pretty, chilly, and snowy. Anyways, more things that I've been loving.... hmmm... well i love singing in the choir. Singing gospel music with all of your brothers and sisters is such an amazing thing, and we're pretty darn good at doing it too! We sing in the devotionals and so far we have had two members of the 70 come, Elder Clayton and then Elder Clarke. Both have had such great messages, and have impacted me in ways I never thought they would. Everyone in my district and zone are super cool, and love to learn about the gospel and we are striving to learn the Spanish language as much as we can. 16 hour workdays are no joke, but I'm doing well. I haven't been irregular because of the food like every other missionary has haha, and I've been doing pretty alright with the schedule and not being tired. Anyways, thank you all for your prayers and support. I feel it every day. Anyone who wants to write me, please please please go ahead! Even if I've never talked to you before! Use and either ask my mom for my address, look at the blog that's probably been set up, or just search me on Dearelder. The letters and all the love really lift me up.

Love you all so much, more than you could ever know. Haz lo justo. (CTR)

Elder Mitchell Buckley

Monday, February 4, 2013

1st E-mail

Hey everyone! Guess what?! I'm alive! (: I made it through my first week in the MTC, and it so far has been a blast! It is so spiritual here, and there are some amazing people in my district! Funnily enough, my companion is from Mesa Arizona and we actually went to the same high school, but I never met him! His name is Elder Quin Ficklin, for those of you reading this who know the Ficklin family. He's a great guy and we're progressing in the gospel just fine together. I've not gotten too homesick, though I miss all of you, my friends and family, very much. Thank you for supporting me and loving me as you have, and for raising me right, it has reall;y helped me here. Soon to be Elder Boren: Happy Birthday! Haha, while writing this I just wanted to wish you a good birthday and luck on your preparation in entering the MTC. I know you will like it here a lot, it's a great feeling being here, and it's a nice family style feeling and a lot of camraderie to be had. And that goes for anyone else preparing to go to the MTC, and those who are thinking about going on missions. The MTC is a great place. The Lord matches you up with a companion that He knows will suit you best. Also, the Lord will never give you more than you can handle. Granted, our days are soooo long (Honestly 10+ hours of studying/teaching), but He gives you strength to get through it. My Spanish is coming along quite well, and everyday that goes by I feel more and more comfortable speaking the language. Everyone is nice here and so loving and understanding. Today, which is my P-Day, we are going to pull a small prank on the newbies. On the first day you arrive in the MTC, you get your nametag and on that nametag there is an orange sticker they place on the front. We are going to turn our nametags around to the black, blank side and put the sticker on the front and ask, "Oh my gosh, elders, where did you go to get your nametags engraved?!" Haha, we had some elders do that to us as a little prank and I thought it was so funny, it needs to be reciprocated. So, in our rooms, we have four elders a room with a shared desk and we each get our own closet. It's nice, and somewhat similar to a traditional dorm room, like the ones at BYU sort of ish. Also, in the rooms, there are these things called "Narnia holes". Those are little metal plates/vents that just cover up holes or vent openings. It's tradition to put stuff in those holes for the next set of missionaries taking your place. In ours we got 6 boxes of Pop-its, 4 bages of party poppers a slashed woopie cushion, tinsel, and a broken toy gun. Haha. It's soooo tempting to use them, but we'd get kicked out for sure! Haha. Hmmm, what else to talka bout. Oh yeah, so choir. It's awesome. So many people like to do it. So far I have had it twice, once for practice and the other was singing in the devotional we had, it was with L. Clayton of the Seventy. The choir director is super funny, and he relates what we sing to the gospel and he has such a happy bright countenance all the time. He's definitely someone to emulate. Alright, now I'll talk about class. I have technically 3 teachers, Hermano Salisbury, Hermana Nishigucci, and Hermana Call. Hermano Salisbury is the main teacher, he is so funny and really knows how to teach. Hermana Nishigucci is the assistant teacher and she is very spiritual and actually served in the Mesa Arizona mission, for most of it in the Alta Mesa Stake! What a small flippin world. Haha. And Hermana Call plays "Bonnie" our practice investigator. She is really REALLY authentic, and knows exactly how to act as an investigator. There are 11 people in my district, all New York North Spanish, except for one Elder Morales going to Ogden Spanish. Here are their names: Hermana Skinner, Hermana Springum, Hermana Barlow, Elder Critchfield (and old EFY buddy of mine, again small world), Elder Morales, Elder Gleason, Elder Palmer, Me, Elder Ficklin, Elder Sprunt, and Elder Mcculloch. They're a great bunch, and we really all get along pretty well. MTC food: Mom, I really miss your cooking. All I'm saying. Hahaha.

Well, I love you all so very much. I am so greatful for all the love and good times, bad times, and for the lessons. You all my friends and family really must have done a number on me because I am having great success. (: Please write me on DearElder, I love having everyones letters it lifts me up.

I love you all,

Elder Buckley