Friday, August 28, 2015

This is it Master Frodo

Hello my friends and Congratulations to all of you that got my LoTR reference.

At this point in the movie, Sam says to Frodo something like "If I take one more step, I will have never been farther from home."

And that applies to me. This Tuesday, I leave for Philadelphia.

They told me I had my Visa for France but I guess that they changed their mind ha ha!

But Philly will be great because I love cheese steak and it will give me some good experience before the mission field in a foreign country.

Here is my best experience yet here at the MTC:

We were talking to our sister training leaders and they asked us for a blessing because they were going to leave soon. Then my companion said "can i have one too? That would be cool." So, I didn't think that he was really serious and he just thought it would be cool. Anyway, I gave him a blessing and I said one thing that I can remember. I can remember because I think it was my own words and the first thing I said. After that, God took over. I have tried to remember what I said but I absolutely can't. Because it wasn't for me. It was for him. After I said AMEN, he stood up crying and we embraced for about 10 seconds.

My friends, I know that we have a loving Father in Heaven that wants to help and bless us. All we have to do is ask. The beauty of this Gospel of Jesus Christ is not comparable to anything else on this earth. I invite all of those that read this email to find out for themselves whether this gospel is true. There is nothing to lose, but so much to gain.

I love you all so much.

Family, I miss you and I care about you a ton.

Until the next installment!

Elder Samwise Underwood

P.S. My P day might change in Philly and in France.

 Elder Jacob Ulrich - good friend of Marshall's - going to Japan.

 This is Marshall's companion

Elders and Sisters in his MTC group/district. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Change of plans AGAIN!

Nothing is set in stone - right? What a wonderful experience he will have. Serving in two places!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Week one on the Starship Enterprise


Today is my preparation day and all of the missionaries here are jealous and surprised because I only arrived on Wednesday. Most missionaries have to wait a long time. For example, Elder Jacob Ulrich had to wait about a week.

I arrived on Wednesday and I dropped off my stuff in my residence before proceeding to the classroom. When I got to the classroom, there was only one Elder in there. His face looked very familiar to me. After some talking, I found out his name is Elder Leonardo (Leo) Fuchs (Fooks). For my soccer friends, this is the same Leo that played forward for Utah FC. It was very nice to have someone that I vaguely knew and someone who had the same interests as me. Elder Fuchs is going to Mozambique Africa speaking Portuguese. We didn't see any other missionaries in our branch until later that night.

We are in an international district, which means that, in our classroom, there are 5 elders and 2 sisters, and the languages consist of these : English, Portuguese, Russian, German, Tagolag (?), Mandarin, French, Tongan, and another Filipino language. All of the lessons aretaught in English and there is no language study time bcause we are all "fluent" in our proselytin language. I am basically the only one that is not totally fluent.

Yesterday we had class time and some devotionals with our branch.

The biggest thing that has happened to me is that Elder Fuchs and I were made zone leaders. So, we get to do a lot of things for the other Elders.

 Elder Underwood and Elder Fuchs

General information about the MTC:
-It is the greatest place I have ever been (besides the temple)
-There is no intimidation because everyone is genuinely nice and loving
-The food is good and we eat like kings
-We are very busy but I have been able to follow the schedule so far!
-Here, we are basically in class learning or in the cafeteria eating.

Things that I don't like:
-the toilet paper dispensers
-Elders that run around the hallways yelling at each other after lights-out

I have a lot of friends here in the MTC and I have basically seen about everyone I know. Yesterday I got to see Elder Jacob Ulrich. Elder Ulrich was the senior class president and worked closely with Marshall all last year. I don't have a card reader yet so I am not able to send pics. I will get one and I will have the other elders send pics to my mom. And they did :)

Elder Underwood and Elder Ulrich

I am very happy to be here serving my Savior Jesus Christ.

I have found that the thing that I know of absolute surety is that God loves all of us. And because he loves us, he sent His Son to die for our sins and weaknesses and the power of God is here on the earth today.

I can already feel that my heart is changing. For the better.

Until next week!


Under Elderwood

P.S. Marshall also said in a separate email that because they don't have district leaders trained - yet - he hasn't received any of his letters that were written through - but he will probably get them today.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

He is off!

Elder Underwood was delivered to the MTC today. He was so ready. He was anxious all morning. He told me last night that what he was most worried about was the language. With 5 years of French and passing a test at the MTC - i am glad that was all he was worried about. I am worried about so much more. I know he will be fine. Today he wanted a scripture journal to make notes while he studies. So we passed some time going to Deseret Book. 

We went to Brick Oven Pizza in Provo. They offer free lunch to missionaries entering the MTC that day. Marshall said he doesn't smile when he is eating. 
We visited for a few minutes at the Provo Temple. 
We pulled up to the MTC and there was a herd of missionaries with smiles on their faces ready to greet the new missionaries. Elder Underwood was taken by a elder from Arkansas that was going to Taiwan. He was his host and would show him where to go.  After a hug and "I love you" - he grabbed his bag, smiled and waved. That picture says it all!
We now anxiously await his first email telling us more about his first day/days at the MTC. We love you Elder Underwood!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Change of Plans

Marshall took a language evaluation with the MTC. He did very well and the "tester" recommended he be put on the fast track in the MTC. Which means he would be in the MTC for 2 weeks - just like the missionaries that are speaking English. He would not need to be there for 6 weeks to learn French. We were informed that we would get an email.

On Friday, our stake president called and he had received an email regarding Marshall. The church would like Marshall to go to the Madrid Spain MTC for 2 weeks and then to France Lyon Mission. With this change of MTC - Marshall will now leave August 18. We will have an open house on Saturday, August 15th starting at 4 pm. He will speak in church on Sunday, August 16th at 9 am. Church building is 615 E. 8060 S. (Just off 8000 S. behind the Chevron).

Open house August 15th starting at 4 pm
Marshall's house
8176 S. Bryce Drive

Speak in church August 16th at 9 am
615 E. 8060 S.

Depart for Spain August 18th
Depart for France 2 weeks later