Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Second Week

Hey family!

Well we got permission from our zone leaders to do our laundry early in the morning here on p day. There are alotted slots for each zone in the MTC to do their laundry, but none of them are this early in the morning, and a lot of missionaries are disobedient and go earlier while it is some other zone's time to do laundry and that way there are barely ever any washers open. There are computers here in the laundry room, so this is most likely the time every week that I will send emails. Anyway, everything else here is going pretty good.

Sometimes I really wish I could have gone English speaking, like yesterday we did an activity in class where we were supposed to teach our companion and act like we just met them, so we were just supposed to get to know them and their beliefs, then set expectations for them and tell them why we were there. Instead of me just teaching Elder Bonzo, our awesome teacher, Bruder Luna, wanted us to both teach him and get to know him while he acted like someone else. We did it in English first, and afterward he told us we did everything really well and that I did a good job keeping it on track because at one point Elder Bonzo said he had a testimony of the Atonement, but the persona that Bruder Luna was acting out never went to church and said he didn't know much of anything about God or what he even is, so when Elder Bonzo said that, Bruder Luna was like, "what is an atonement?" and we were just supposed to be getting to know him basically, so I steered it back toward more basic principles, like we have one God who is our Father in Heaven and who loves us and supports us.

But then we finished and had to do it in German. It was so much harder, because there are so many things I wanted to say that I just couldn't, and it is a lot harder to keep eye contact with a person and make it meaningful while you are struggling in your mind to find out how a sentence is structured and what words are and what article they are (masculine is der, neuter is das, feminine or plural is die, and there is no structure to finding out what article a word is, you just have to learn the article for every noun) (and der, die, and das all mean the, but only when in the nominative case. They change when in the accusative or dative cases). In German, when there is more than one verb in a sentence, the second veb gets pushed to the back, for instance, if I wanted to say, will you pray about the atonement, the verb pray would have to go at the end because "will" is a modal verb. So the sentence would look like this: "Werden Sie über das Sühnopfer beten?" Anyways, the langauge is hard, but it's still really cool learning it and knowing that later on, I will be able to do a lot better.

Well I'm out of time, you will hear more in the letters I send home today.

Love, Daniel

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First Email from the MTC!

Hey Mom!

Everything is going awesome here in the MTC. Elder Bonzo and I are getting along really well and our whole district is just awesome. I'm really glad to be here in the MTC, and I know it's where I am supposed to be. How's the whole family doing? My German classes are going pretty good. It's amazing how fast we learn here. Elder Bonzo has more trouble with the language than I do, even though it is still really hard for me. We both have to exercise a lot of patience with ourselves and with others, which is good. I totally understand what Mat was talking about when you get to the MTC and you just want to talk to everyone. I feel really close to my district, we all get along really well. As I thought, I am the shortest guy in my district, but oh well. Elder Root towers over me, he is a really big guy but he is really awesome too.  In our classes and in different workshops and devotionals and what not, we have amazing opportunities to feel the Spirit (die Heilige Geist) and to receive personal revelation. I went into more detail with those experiences in my letters I will send today since writing them here would take a chunk out of my 30 minutes to type emails. Today we get to go to the temple later on, which will be exciting. One of the elders in my district and in my room, Elder Proffitt, has a friend in the Frankfurt mission right now and he said that the elders are allowed to have guitars in the apartments, which is really cool. Hopefully I can use one when I am there.

It's really crazy how early we started teaching in German here. Our fake investigator, Anita, speaks only in German to us. Since we have been here, the companionships have already had to teach her 3 times, all in German. Elder Bonzo and I last taught about prayer and knowing truth through the Holy Ghost. It's been tough, but it is a great experience. We are supposed to say our prayers in German as well, and from now on, we have to have 5 minute talks prepared every Sunday all in German because instead of being extended the invitation to speak on Sunday sometime earlier in the week, they just call out two missionaries during sacrament meeting to bear their testimonies in German and two to give their 5 minute talks they have prepared. It has to be a new one every week as well, because the topic changes every week. I don't know how I can prepare 5 minutes of things to say with the German capabilities I have now, so I just hope I don't get called on anytime soon. Anyway, my time is starting to run out for writing emails. Be sure to tell people to write me and include their mailing addresses so I can write them back. I hope the whole family has a great week, and I love all you guys!

Love, Elder Squires

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Elder Squires Arrives at the MTC

We have a missionary!  Daniel was set apart on Monday evening by President Jeffrey Parker of our Redrock Stake.  On Tuesday morning we drove to Utah and stayed overnight in Salt Lake City as part of our family tradition for taking our missionaries to the MTC.  We have several traditions we established with our first missionary son Ryan, and I've captioned pictures below to tell about them.  Daniel's MTC drop off time was on Wednesday (today) at 1:25 p.m.  He is our first missionary to experience curbside drop off.  The policy changed two weeks after our son Mat entered the MTC, so this was a fun opportunity to see how it all works.  We took pictures and said our goodbyes on the Provo Temple grounds and then we got into the line of cars waiting to send off missionaries.  It's an extremely organized process.  We were directed to space 18 where we pulled over and a missionary came to assist Daniel.  Steve and the boys got out of the car to help Daniel with his luggage and then off he went with the host missionary.  It took less than one minute.  I stayed in the car and took the picture.  Now we will wait with great anticipation for our first missionary email from Daniel!  We are happy for Daniel and we love having a missionary!!!

On the way to Utah.  Daniel, Mat and Ryan were all sitting in the backseat.  They are all very broad shouldered so it was not the roomiest of rides, but we all wanted to make the trip together so they were willing to put up with a little discomfort.

After we checked into our hotel we took a walk on the Salt Lake Temple grounds.  Here are my three Melchizedek priesthood holders standing in front of the statue depicting Joseph Smith receiving the
Melchizedek priesthood from Peter, James and John.

The sister missionaries were happy to visit with the boys for a few minutes.

We met Valerie and her family at The Roof restaurant in the Joseph Smith Building.  This is also a family tradition.  This was the first time we had grandchildren to come participate with us.  It was fun!  After dinner we made a visit to the Church History Museum.
This morning we went to visit Valerie and the kids at her house and then we all had lunch at Mimi's in Orem, another tradition.  After lunch we drove to the Provo Temple to take some last family pictures.

Here's Daniel, moments from walking into the MTC.  We were all pretty excited after we got our hugs and tears over with at family picture time.  As you can see, we left Daniel with a smile on his face.  I am so proud of him!  He will be a great missionary!!!  Til we meet again Elder Squires!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

Daniel spoke in Sacrament meeting yesterday.  Mother's Day is a great day to hear your missionary son speak!  Daniel gave a wonderful talk on the attributes of Christ and how continuing to develop those attributes on his mission will help him be a successful missionary, and how we can all grow closer to Christ by developing those attributes.  We were happy to see lots of good friends there to hear him speak and it was great to have our family all together for this special day.  I was surprised to see Daniel get a little emotional while he was speaking--he doesn't show emotion very often.  He has a strong testimony and I know he will be a valiant missionary. We are very excited for Daniel to go to the MTC this week and begin his mission.  We will really miss him!!!

We took this picture just before we left for church.  It was a very special Mother's Day!
Four generations and three generations of mothers.