Archive for August, 2010

Short Email!

The computer was freaking out, so basically, I only have like 18 minutes because my time started and it wasn’t working (boo).

So school started yesterday! That is really excited for all of my friends that are in Provo! I wanna hear all about it, cheer loud for me at sporting events, and make sure you go to class and study! It’s weird that Im right next to you, but we can’t do anything together! haha.

To Elder Walton’s Family: You are all great, thank you for supplying us with food!!

Elder Holland spoke at the Devotional last Tuesday. Can you say AMAZING?!?!?!? He talked about a lot of stuff, mostly though, about working hard. The part that stuck out the most was "We don’t apologize for what your calling entails, because we aren’t the ones asking you, the Lord is…if you have regrets, and didn’t give it your all, THEN DONT COME TALK TO ME ABOUT IT. I DO NOT CARE. YOU ARE CALLED TO GIVE YOUR TIME TO THE LORD, if you want someone to pat you on the back and smile and say good job, when you didn’t do your best, find someone else. This ISNT Burger King, you CANT have it your way, WE DONT HOLD THE PICKLES!" [the caps showing emphasis].

I realized that my semester of Samoan is what decided my mission (TIC), I tried to get sent to the tropics, with a language full of vowels….and now I’m going to Ukraine. haha it was an ironic connection I made this week. Yay for snow and consonants.

Lisa and Kelsey: I love you both so much! The cupcakes were amazingly delicious as always! I didn’t let myself it them all, I shared them with my zone, and my teachers, but all thoroughly enjoyed them!

A funny thing happened, a counselor in our branch presidency’s daughter, married John Heder’s twin brother, so at church last week, everyone was wanting to take pictures with Napolean Dynamite, but it wasn’t him, hahahaha. It was great.

The older district started leaving, and all the natives are gone. We are the oldest people now! Next Wednesday we will get a new district of missionaries, and the week after, we will get more natives. I loved the natives, they were so cool, and helped us so much with the language! They all tried to collect the entire 50 state quarters, and most of them did, that was fun to explain to them that the national parks, and American Samoa and Guam weren’t states. Elder Kozlovskiy said "Good, Hot Springs would be a stupid state name" haha.

Lisa and Drew: THE CIDER WAS AMAZING! I love it so much, and so did everyone else. I had to convince the Natives that it wasn’t alcohol, haha, but when I got them to drink it, they said it was the "best thing that ever touched their lips". They also had never microwaves marshmallows, so we introduced that concept to them as well πŸ™‚

THE TEMPLE IS DEDICATED NOW! I looked at some pictures on, it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It will be such a blessing to the people over there. I love being able to go to the temple every Tuesday (8 o’clock session to be exact), and being able to spend a few hours after church on the grounds every Sunday. It is the best thing ever.

Speaking of church, I’m a fan of a lunch break after the first 2 hours. We have Priesthood at 11, district meeting (our Sunday School class, more or less) at 12, then lunch at 1, and Sacrament at 2. haha

This Friday is my official halfway point of the MTC, it is really weird to think about. We teach the first lesson all in Russian tomorrow, and I’m kinda scared, but if I screw everything up, then I will just laugh it off, becuase I’ll probably have said something really funny. The TRC is great, if you have time to volunteer, you should come down and be a mock investigator, they help us a lot, its really cool. [Note: Teppo, I'm sending you a schedule, they need Finnish Speakers! haha].

Well there is my time, I don’t really have a whole lot of other news. Everyone, keep me updated on how your seasons are going (Terryn, Torree, Nicole, Peter, Bailey, etc. etc. etc.)

You all are the best,

Elder McClintock

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Elder Rhodes Almost Died!!!!

Not really. But Close (or not.)

He had a headache yesterday morning, but took some Tylenol and was doing okay. Then we were singing the opening Hymn in class after gym time and he lost most of his vision, and it didn’t come back after 45 minutes so we went to the Health Center, and we got to go to the real world on a shuttle! The Opthamologist (sp?) looked at it, and said that it was pretty routine, and was just caused by lack of sleep, and stress, etc. It was a symptom of his headache that he had. Apparantly it’s not that big of a deal, but Elder Rhodes had never had that happen before so we were kind of twigging out. I can’t remember what the condition is actually called, so maybe Kyle you could fill me in, haha. They said it’ll probably happen again, but not to worry unless it’s an entire day, then he may have a torn retina, which would not be fun at all, but it seems to be all good.

Elder Rosell (Yes Brooke, that Rosell, why did you never sent him/us a package. He was depressed, but you can still redeem yourself.) left Monday morning to fly out to Samara. He was the first to leave of the older district, the rest leave next week. It is weird that we are slowly becoming the oldest people at the MTC. We have life down to a routine science now, and days fly by super fast. Time just melts together, we can never remember what days funny stuff happened, just that it happened.

PETER: How many different ways can you say that’s the sickest thing ever? I’m so proud that you made the team, I know that you have been working harder than anyone to get there, so keep up the good work, and make me proud. Don’t be like the last BYU football player who went to BHS, that didn’t turn out so well, haha. I’m so if I spoiled the news for anyone, but Peter Welsh is going to be doing big things for my beloved Cougars.

Speaking of which, can somebody please give me more info tomorrow after the press conference? Our shuttle driver to the Dr. and a Senior missionary gave us a lot of info. I heard about the Texas 2013-14 games, and how Fresno and Nevada are in the MWC, and trying to work something out with C-USA and the BCS for a qualifying play in game of some sort? Haha. Our driver said that there is supposedly going to be a press conference tomorrow to officially say whether the whole independent thing is happening or whether the MWC is just giving BYU it’s own TV rights, or what not. So that’d be nice.

Our fireside on Sunday night was really good. Stephen B. Allen, the managing director of the missionary department spoke. It was really funny, he said "Stand up if you like MTC food", then after they stood up, he said "I’m sorry, but your mom’s can’t cook to save their lives". He talked about Ammon and the sons of Mosiah, and being effective in teaching a person, not a lesson. It was a really good talk. The musical number was really good as well, and it got me thinking a lot. Read the sentence I am about to type and think of just how awesome it is:

I know that my Redeemer lives.

Seriously how great is that?!?!?! We literally have nothing to worry about in life, because our lives have already been lived through the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. The joy that sentence gives is beyond sweet, I cannot describe it.

Our Tuesday fireside last week was Sister and Elder Gonzalez, of the Presidency of the Seventy. She talked about how two Americans talked to her when she was 12, and could barely speak any Spanish, to the point she couldn’t understand them, but that the Spirit was telling her what they were saying was true. It really inspired all of us, because we won’t be able to say a whole lot when we get out of here. Elder Gonzalez talked about how we are helping with the Atonement. There is a scripture in 2 Nephi chapter 9, I can’t remember which verse, I don’t have my scriptures next to me, that talks about Christ inviting all mankind to come unto him and use his Atoning Sacrifice. Elder Gonzalez taught us that we are helping Christ fulfill the Atonement, and just how important it is, that was great.

I walked out of Sacrament meeting on Sunday and saw a picture on the wall (they are everywhere in the main building, like every 3 feet) and the guy looked really familiar. I looked at the sticker, to see which city it was from. It was a missionary cooking in an apartment, and the sticker said "Kiev Ukraine". I instantly realized that it was Phil, haha. Marc and Janelle, your son-in-law is famous because his picture is up at the MTC. I don’t know where they get those from, but I got a laugh out of it.

A lot of words are funny literal translations to English. The word for "bear" is literally translated "One who knows where honey is". That’s a random thought, but I liked it.

I was talking to Brother Shelyakin again, in the hallway, and he asked me where in California I was from. I told him "Bakersfield" and he said "Oh, so you were driving and you got to Baker, and said ‘Wow this place is ghetto, all they have is a thermometer’ and kept driving to find his field and live there?" It was really funny. He also told us to pray every day for Putin to die (at least politically, if that is possible without him actually dieing) because then I could get a REALLY good job speaking Russian, ha.

That’s about all there is this week, thank you for all the letters! You all are the best.


Elder McClintock

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(Preev-yet, a very informal "hello")

I cannot believe I have been here for three weeks already! Time is really flying by! The first Elder to leave from the older district in our zone flies to Russia, a week from today. It’s weird, I’m almost to the halfway point of being at the MTC! I wrote a lot of notes down of things I liked/wanted to touch on this week, so this may seem scattered, but try to make sense of it all πŸ™‚

On Sunday night, for the fireside, they had three people who had written hymns that are in the current hymnal speak about the power of music etc. The first and last talk were great, but the middle talk was obnoxiously boring. The man just sat there and talked about how he was a "4th generation hymn writer" and talked all about how his family wrote all this different songs, etc. I don’t think I will ever enjoy the hymn "With Humble Heart" again, it left a sour taste in my mouth, haha. Our Branch President said "Brethren, we can always learn something from a talk…I learned a lot about patience just now", it was really funny. I really enjoyed the last talk though, it was the guy who wrote "Lord, I would Follow Thee". Not only do I love that song, but he gave a great talk. He talked about how the spirit guided him to write it in a way that brought the focus to the words and not the flowery music, detracting the attention from himself. Then he applied it to being on a mission, and how that we can say our message in however exemplary rhetoric we can muster, but it doesn’t mean much. It was really good. He also noted a trick he did in the music, haha mom you may want to try this out. Play the 1st and 2nd measures, then play them in reverse order (2nd measure first, then the 1st measure). The entire song basically mirrors each other it’s pretty well done, I had never noticed it before.

On another hymn note, a lot of hymns in the gimnee (hymnal) are a lot better than the English versions, the translations left better words. My favorite, is in "I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go". In the chorus, instead of saying "I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord", in Russian it translates to: "Lord, I’ll walk with you where you need to walk". I really liked that, it’s not as poetic in English, but I feel like the message is stronger.

Jeff- I have never been so excited in my life as when I read your letter. You’ll be getting a written response, but it was one of the best parts of my mission so far. I was freaking out.

I got a really bad cold last week, I had a stuffed up head and sore throat all week, and when I woke up Saturday I was absolutely miserable. My head killed, I had no energy, I was just dead. Let me tell you this, being sick is terrible when you don’t get to sit on the couch and watch ESPN all day. I slept for most of the day, then woke up and did companionship study, and then study the language for 5 or so hours before going to bed for the night. I felt really bad for Elder Rhodes and Elder Mills, they switched off staying in the room with me, so Elder Rhodes wouldn’t miss all of class. It was no fun. I am doing a lot better now though!

A lot of my friends left this week, which is kind of sad (Corey James, Scotty Barton, Tanner Maddux, Austin Winfield, Austin Huntsman…), but I think I’ll be okay, Elder James blessed me with a shoe box full of dumdums his mom sent him πŸ™‚
Trevor Casey gets here tomorrow though!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to hunt him down and make fun of his dork dot at dinner πŸ™‚

Our teacher told us the story of Rapsutin (sp?). That guy was a freak, it was the scariest picture ever. I had a weird dream about it too, just an all around weird experience. Wikipedia it, if you must. Especially the way he died was the craziest.

We started SYLing (Speak Your Language) at lunch. So basically, we don’t speak English anymore at lunch, and will start adding more and more times of the day. This Friday and Saturday is vso parooski (all in Russian), I’m kinda nervous, not really, I’m just going to be annoyed by the total silence!

Lisa and Drew: I knew it, I feel like the baby boy will be another orange haired monster like Tate, haha. You just need to give him a solid name like Garrett, that works with Elvin so you can pass the family brand down to him. The consensus of our district is that Garrett Elvin Cutler is a marvelous name. I also want to hear all about your trip to Washington! And I also would like a bottle of cider to have a toast on the day the Kyiv Temple gets dedicated (A WEEK FROM SUNDAY!!!!!) if you could swing that, it would be the greatest thing ever. Y’all are number 1.

Speaking of the temple, Going on and go to the Newsroom, and look at the pictures, it is gorgeous. If one of you could print them out for me, and send that, that’d be sweet, we can’t print anything here, and I’m waiting to get a picture of the temple before I laminate my PMG so I can put it on the back cover.

I got called up to the travel office, they needed me to sign a form for my visa. When I came back to class, I told Elder Rigby that I got reassigned to Rostov and would be going with him. He started freaking out, and then our teacher, Sister Pico, started freaking out, because that’s where she served (I forgot about that, haha). I felt bad because she was so excited, so I had to think of a good story. So I said that they called me back up during gym time and said that got me mixed up with somebody else and I’m still going to Dnepropetrovsk. So everybody but my companion thinks that I got reassigned and unreassigned in the space of 45 minutes. haha.

We had a sub, Brother Shelyakin, who is from Kyiv. He started going off about how Jeopardy is the dumbest gameshow ever (in a thick accent) : It’s such a dumb show! I don’t get it, why do you need to ask the question when you already know the answer! It makes no sense, like Spongebob having to drink water from a glass when he lives in THE OCEAN!" It was pretty funny, it made me think of you mom, haha.

The language is going good, except for the whole "Declination" thing. Basically, you have to conjugate nouns, adjectives, posessive nouns, and pronouns just like you do verbs. It’s stupid. Not really, just frustrating. Because there are roughly 35 ways to say a word, depending on if it’s being used as an adjective or noun, and after what preposition or verb, etc.

Oh well, I’ll get it eventually.

My time is up, I love you all. Thank you for the support,

Elder McClitnock

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Don’t Take Breaks, Just Break Records.

This week was absolutely nuts. I have a lot of stuff I want to talk about, so don’t expect proper spelling, I won’t have time if I go back and fix typos!

Me and my companion broke TWO MTC records this week! The first, was with our entire district, we memorized the 1st Vision (JSH 1:15-16) in Russian in 2 and a half days. Our whole district did it, it was freaking awesome. We are the earliest to do it, and did it in the least time. We are absolutely flying through learning the language. We are where the older districts were during their 4th week, so we are way ahead of schedule.

The biggest news though, is that we are the earliest companionship to have a progressing investigator in the history of the MTC, that anyone knows of (including the MTC Presidency) at least. They are doing some construction, and in a few buildings they were replacing the sinks in the bathrooms. My friend, Tanner Maddux, was studying with his comp outside one of the buildings, and two of the workers came up and started talking to them. They were nonmembers from Ukraine, and Elder Maddux set up an appointment to meet with them after they got off! He found me at dinner, and Elder Rhodes and Myself went and helped them teach. We said the opening prayer in Russian, and taught as much as we could. We asked them to read Alma 40, because they had a lot of questions about what happens after we die. That was on Tuesday. The next day, we checked in with them and they had read and wanted to talk to us again!

We met on Thursday night again, with Sergei and Peoter, and we watched the Joseph Smith video in Russian. The two times we taught them, I have never felt the spirit so strongly in my life. It was phenomenal. I really don’t know how to describe it. They both came from really devout Russian Orthodox families, so they were hesitant to commit to serious, but we did the best we could, and you could tell by their body language that they felt it. They are from Seattle, and were only here for a week, it isn’t a coincidence that it happened that way. We put in a referral, so we will see what happens with that. It was the greatest experience ever. I honestly can’t think of a better first two weeks of the mission. It made me super excited to get to Ukraine and start teaching people.

At one point during the lesson, Sergei was trying to explain a question he had about Prophets in the Book of Mormon, and I was having trouble following his English (I couldn’t tell if he was saying "words" or "wars"), when I realized he might be saying words, I said "slav?" which is Russian for word. He then explained his entire question in Russian, and I couldn’t tell what the words were, but I knew how to answer it perfectly, I had randomly decided to study the exact vocabulary that I needed earlier that day. The gift of tongues is real, I have already witnessed it in an immaculate way, and everyday with how fast we are learning the language. Right now, I am probably at the same understanding I had of Spanish at the end of my freshman year of high school.

We got a district of native Russian speakers last Tuesday. They are all great. Most of them speak pretty good English, and help us a lot with our Russian, so it’s working out pretty well. One of them is a genius, he speaks Finnish and English perfectly, because he went to college in Helsinki after he did his year in the army and growing up in St. Petersburg. Teppo, he said that Finnish is his least favorite of the three, because you have to either find a Finn or a Mormon to use it, haha. They are all super nice though. In fact, we are leaving to walk to the temple in 20 minutes, 7 of the 9 haven’t been yet, so we are doing a Russian session. It’ll be different having the head phones on, but I’m super excited! Our entire zone is going together, so there should be like 60 of us including the Branch Presidency and their wives.

Thank you everyone who sent me letters this week! They mean a lot, we have a branch rule that we don’t open letters until 9:30 after we are done working for the day, so I get really excited to see what they say. Thanks especially to Suzette and Nicole for the cookies, and Jen for the shoe horn. The shoe horn is perfect. BTW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I know it’s not for another 4 days, but I won’t get to talk to you, so there it is. I’m mailing you a present πŸ™‚

Carly and Carrie: The swedish fish were marvelous. That is like the one candy they never have at the bookstore here. The Eastern European natives have never tried them, and they thought they were the best candy they had ever eaten. I let them eat most of them, because they thought they were so good.

I love our temple walks on Sundays after church. It’s so great to see everybody I know, and just relax and talk for an hour or so, because I go back to study before dinner starts. Haha, we have Priesthood, then our District meeting, which is our Sunday school, then lunch, and then Sacrament meeting. I am a big fan of that system, y’all should start pushing for that in regular chapels! ha.

Oh, and Mom and Dad, please tell Bro. Garner I’m sorry for always saying diagramming sentences was the stupidest thing ever. Doing that everyday in 8th grade is really helping me understand Russian grammer and how it works. So I guess he knew more than I did after all πŸ˜‰

On Sunday night, during devotional, we sang "We’ll Bring the World His Truth" (Children’s Songbook, pg 172…I think it’s 172). Anyways, while we were singing, and they had the words on the bottom of the screen, they had changed everything that was in the future tense, to the present. So when we got to the chorus (which, btw, in Russian, chorus, or choir, is "xop" pronounce like an English word for a lady of the night, that starts with a W…hahahah) it said "We are now the Lord’s missionaries" and there were a few other parts of the song they changed too. It was a sight to see, I wish you all could’ve been there. Seeing 2,000+ of the Lord’s cream of the crop belt it out was simply put, Amazing. It set in really, that I am finally here and doing this. I love it.

I am running out of time, but I love you all, thank you for the prayers and the support. Elder Rhodes and I are getting along better and better every day. He is getting a lot more confident in himself, and we are teaching really well. Our Teachers told us that at the TRC (we go teach a roleplay contact, appointment, and lesson) we were the best first week teachers they had ever had in their districts, so that was way good to hear. I love my zone and my district. We all get along really well, and life is just a party!

Mom, I would love a bathrobe. Haha, we should’ve got one before, but we aren’t allowed to lounge around, we always have to have at least a bathrobe on, so that’d be awesome. If you made me a Ukraine Flag one, I’d love it even more! πŸ™‚

I love you all,

Ya Nah Lowshahdyay:
(I’m on a Horse)

Ct. M

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Hey Everybody!

So I am sitting here, on Tuesday, My first P-Day of the mission, and life is simply amazing! I just got done with a great time at the temple, which was good to be able to only have to walk five minutes and not drive two hours πŸ™‚
Thanks to everybody who sent me letters this week (Mom, Dad, Lisa, Elysse, and Hannah, you are all awesome, everyone else, up your game)! It is great to be able to get a peice of paper that says Dear Elder on it, and I get way excited and count down the seconds until it’s 9:30 and I can open it and read all about y’all.

The MTC is awesome. I love every minute of it. I can’t believe we have only been here for 6 days, because you learn so much everyday! In Russian, I can pray, introduce myself, bear my testimony, and do a street contact and door approach. The teaching is going well too. We have our first TRC (Teaching something-with-an-R Center) appointment tomorrow. Our job this week is to do 3 street contacts in a park, and set up an appointment. Then we have to go and talk at the door with our appointment. After we go inside we get to teach the lesson in English, so it’s not extremely difficult πŸ™‚

Our teachers are really good at what they do. Right now we have Brat (as in bratwurst, I’m romanizing it, I don’t know how to switch the computer to cyrillic, and I don’t want to waste my precious time doing that this week!) Fry, Brat Savage and Sestra Pico. All three of them served in Russia, and know the language really really well. They are the same teachers that Tyler…err Elder, Pulsipher had, so they work asking me all these questions right when I walked in the door on Wednesday it was great. Also, R. Scott, Brat Savage says hello, I guess he lived by you in AF before you moved to Amarillo.

The MTC is basically a freshman year reunion. I have seen everybody that I know finally! I saw Brandon Richards when I was walking to the temple this morning, and he completed it. It is awesome to see and talk to everyone, and we bear our testimonies to each other in our languages whenever we see each other. Mikey Caplin left this morning, but I saw him yesterday and gave him a big hug goodbye for you Suzette.

I supposed I should talk about my companion, district, zone and branch, haha. My companion is Elder Rhodes, he is from Mission Viejo. He happens to be Elder Oaks great-nephew, so I feel like I better be on my extra best behavior so he doesn’t write a letter to his uncle! He goes to BYU, and lived in Budge Hall, the building next to mine, but we never knew each other. He is a great kid and works really hard. When we teach, is stresses out a lot, and I don’t think he has a lot of confidence in his ability, but I can see it there that he is an amazing teacher. Yesterday we were teaching and in the middle of the lesson, I just took his notebook away and said "don’t think, just teach. You know what the lesson is supposed to cover, and you know that the message is true, so just spit it out" and after that I felt the spirit punch me in the face, it was great! Brat Savage told us we did a really good job, and that Elder Rhodes improved a lot than the time before! We are total opposites, but we get along great. He is quiet and reserved, and I am a lot more outgoing. It is great because it seems like whatever one of us lacks, the other is great at, so we will both become ideal by the time we leave, right?

Our district has 9 Elders, and no sisters. 7 of us our going to Dnepropetrovsk, and the other 2 are going to Rostov and Semara (sp?). We like to call ourselves the "Dnepr Dream Team and 2 Dirty Russians", haha. We all get along really well and work extremely hard. One of the other teachers, Brat Doroshkin (he is a native Russian) told us that we were the furthest along district so far since he started teaching! That made me feel super good about myself and how terrible I am at the language right now! There is another district that came in with us, they have 6 Elders and 3 Sisters. 5 of the elders are going to Ukraine, and 1 to the Baltics. All of the Sisters are going to Ukraine, I can’t remember which missions they are divided between, numberwise, it’s either Kyiv or Donetsk for the rest of the district other than Elder Seitz, who’s going to the Baltics.

Our zone has two other districts, an older one who has been here 7 weeks and leaves at the end of the month, and we just got 9 natives who got here this morning at about 4 AM. I am excited tot talk to the natives, because I know they will help me a lot with the language. Our branch is just our zone, so there are about 50 people. Our branch President is going to be a general authority someday, I would put money on it! He was the mission president in Rostov, and our first counselor was the mission president in Novosibirsk. They both speak Russian, and know a lot about the culture, so it’s really good to have them. Our branch motto is "Exact Obedience". President Harrison always talks about being perfect in everyway that we can, not only so we can have the spirit, but so that we can be trusted to be a missionary, not a body in the mission field.

I learned a new way to tie my tie yesterday, it’s how all the Euro’s do it. It is really cool looking, it’s hard to explain, but basically, there is a line diagonally on the knot, because its like two little knots. Haha, I bet that made know sense at all, but I like it.

I miss everyone, so packages and more letters would be nice to keep my spirits hopeful! Mom, the only thing I need is money for the 2 shots that I didn’t get. I should get them sometime right after the 18th of this month. It will be $120, so if you could put that in it’d be great. I’d like to be able to go to Ukraine and not die πŸ™‚

All and all I love it here. The work is amazing, and life is great. I’ll try to romanize some stuff in Russian:

Ya znahyoo shtoe Eesoos Khristos Zhiv ee znahyoo shtoe kuhneega Mormownah eesteena ee slowvah bowgah.

I’m running out of time, so I hope you can read that, but it says "I know that Jesus Christ lives, and I know that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God".

I love you all, and we send more next week!

Meer ee blogahslahveet
(Peace and Blessings)

Elder McClintock

PS: Mom, I am the only kid in my zone who didn’t get a package this week……….. πŸ™‚

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