Friday, January 27, 2012


Hola Todos! Que Onda! (the native spanish missionaries tell me that's like que tal?) So it's been a really interesting week. It feels like i've been her for three weeks. The first four days took a long time, but since then the days have really been flying by. My companions are Elder Johnston and Elder Maurman. It was originally just the two of us, but Elder Maurman moved up from the beginner district. He was raised in a home where his parents both knew spanish. Learning the language here has been a really cool experience. We are taught, study, speak, and teach in only spanish, almost all the time. It's cool to see how much easier it's been getting, even sometimes just trying to think in only spanish. Still, there's a lot to learn. There have been some really incredible things here, and some more difficult things, but we're all really excited to get out of here and teach the people. I've decided that at times, the MTC is one step above prison, but at a lot of others, it's just a small step below the temple. One of these times that was more like the temple was at the devotional. I'd had a pretty rough day, but when Elder Alonso and his wife came it completely changed my attitude. Her simple testimony (given in spanish, which was cool for us), and his incredible message really made me feel the spirit and so happy. We felt like we can do anything. While here I've seen so many people I know. Alta and Byu students are everywhere here. It's cool to see everyone. I got to sit by Elder Kershisnik at the devotional, and it was cool to catch up with him. It made me feel even more lucky to be learning spanish because of how hard the japanese language is. Today we got to go to the temple, which makes p-days even better. It's really cool to be able to go with our companions and enjoy the temple and the spirit there. That's another thing I love about the MTC, you can feel the spirit so often and your testimony can really grow. It's really cool to recieve a testimony so often that Christ lives. It really is the reason so many people can study and work all day and learn a language in only a few weeks. One interesting thing is that in church they call up an Elder and one of the hermanas to give a talk, in spanish, on the spot. It's a little nervewracking, but still, it's cool. Most meetings are conducted in spanish and we sing all songs except at the devotionals and firesides in only spanish. It's a great language to learn. Our teacher is fun, I like him, but it does feel that most of what we've learned is self taught by study and working on some computers for an hour a day. The MTC really rocks in a lot of ways. Nine weeks is a long time, but I'm excited to be able to really focus only on the gospel. Keep me updated on your lives, getting letters is definitely the highlight of our week/days. Love you all, Nos Vemos!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


iHola familia!

     This is our first chance to write since we’ve been here.  We’re normally allowed to write on p-days, but we don’t get one until Thursday (this past one didn’t count).  
     The days here are really long, but they tell me after your first Sunday it goes a lot faster.  I sure hope so.  My companion is great.  His name is Elder Johnston, he’s the brother of one of my RA’s at BYU.  He loves basketball, so we spend our gym time playing which is great.  He isn’t learning Spanish quite as fast, but he works hard, so it’s ok.
     We’ve already taught two lessons in only Spanish, both 45 min. long.  It’s really cool to see the gift of tongues in action.  The spirit really helps you understand and even speak when you need to.  It’s a little frustrating to have to struggle to learn the language, but my companion and I are focusing on patience.  One thing I really love that we do is the nightly planning.  We figure out our day and set goals for personal, companion, and language study, as well as for other things.
     The food here is decent, and it’s such a relief to just relax in the cafeteria that it seems even better.  We usually eat with our zone, and they’re fun people.  My district is pretty cool too.
     The sleep schedule has actually been really easy to adjust to, which was a surprise, but we are always tired.  Getting up is easy, staying awake is less easy.
     It’s cool to be around so many missionaries and I really am glad that I chose to come.  I love you all, Don’t forget to write!  iNos Vemos!

Elder West

P.S. It’s really cool to see how the scriptures and writing in our journals have become a refuge and break for us.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Peter's MTC Mailing Address will be:

Elder Peter Gardiner West
MTC Mailbox # 203
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793