Friday, June 27, 2008
I found my stationery, but what can I say? I am a fan of lined paper. 30 minutes for an email was just not enough time to tell you everything, so this is a continuation of the email.
Anyways I don't have much time so sorry if this gets sloppy. Everyone in the whole zone admits that our district has the best two teachers in the zone, so we got lucky. Hermano Conde is a native Colombian, who served his mission in Dallas, Texas. He is really funny, and teaches Spanish so it is easy for me to understand. Hermana Engebretsen is American, but served her mission in Argentina so she is teaching us the accents and cool hand signals that I now do every chance I get. I goof around sometimes, but don't worry, I do it in an educational way. For example, Hermana Engebretsen had us go around the room and each use a phrase with a basic verb conjugation in it. I decided to sing what I had come up with, and it went a little something like this. "Manana, Manana, yo amo, manana!" to the tune of Tomorrow from Annie. Everyone got a kick out of it. I figure if we are stuck in a room for 10 hours of the day, we might as well smile. I'm sorry if you are disappointed that the mantle of missionary hasn't quite cured my maturity shortage. Maybe next week?
The first couple days of my stay her I didn't get much mail. Just one letter, but then on Monday all of a sudden it started pouring in! Monday I got 8 letters, 1 postcard, and 1 package. Then yesterday about 4 letters, so thanks again for that. I also got another package slip today so I have to go pick that up. I don't know if I mentioned this but today we only got a half P-day because of the mission president seminar. Usually we have until six, but today only until 2. It is a bummer, but there is always next week.
Well, time is running out. I found my pens and markers so rest easy mom. All is well, I am happy. Remember God loves you, I love you, and in the words of Holt Hancock, Taco Tuesday is never more than a week away. Which actually doesn't apply to me because I can't get fast food, but you get the point.
With missionary love, Sean
p.s. We weren't allowed to take our cameras to the temple, but I will get those pictures soon.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Today is my first P-day so I finally get to e-mail and write back to everyone. We have about 30 minutes at night to kind of wind down and such, but they wont let us write letters during that time. We can only write in our journals or study more. You will be happy to know that I have written in my journal every night so I can look back and remember the craziness that has transpired the past week. Writing these e-mails kind of gives me an anxiety attack because there is a little red timer in the top corner of the screen telling me how much time until it kicks me off. Anyways, it seems like I have been at the MTC for about two months, it has been the longest seven days of my life, but at the same time I woke up this morning and thought to myself, wow a week has already gone by. Someone explained it that the days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days, and I have to agree with them. My district is pretty chill. Elder Stokes is my companion, and lived in May Hall at BYU, Elder Sabey was in my ward, Elder Maxwell lived in Heritage, and all of us are going to Buenos Aires. Elder Mills and Elder Klein are also going to Buenos Aires, and then there are four more in the district going to the Dominican Republic, including our 25 year old district leader Elder Fannin, who we now lovingly call Abuelo(sp?) Everyone told us that if we make it to Sunday we had gotten past the worst part, but I don't know what they were talking about. The first three days weren't bad at all, but Sunday is nice because it is the only day we can take naps. This weekend was the Mission president seminar for all new mission presidents, so I got to meet mine, President Benton. He is a real firecracker! He already knew me because they saw Dad's blog with the entry about my new mission president. He seems pretty easy-going about certain things but so excited about missions. He told us that on P-days down there he wouldn't mind us playing golf or going fishing and things like that, and that he was going to let us e-mail anyone we wanted, not just immediate family. He told us that in the first meeting they had, all the first presidency was there, and 10 of the 12 apostles. A lot of elders were really mad because we weren't allowed in places where they were at, but it is understandable. Also, at the Sunday night fireside none of them were there and I was flabbergasted at the nasty horrible things some elders were saying. Stuff like The First Presidency doesn't love us, and oh, they only care about the mission presidents. I finally told the guy in front of me to cut it out and get over it. It seriously was the most immature thing i had ever seen. We finally did get to see some Apostles at last night's devotional. Elder Hales was the speaker and it was on the Atonement. It was soooo good. It was like deeper than anything I have ever heard in General Conference. Along with Elder Hales, Elder Perry, Elder Scott, Elder Holland, and Elder Christofferson, were on the stand, so all the cry babies should have been satisfied. One of the things Elder Hales mentioned was when The Savior was in Gethsemane he found the Apostles asleep three times when the Lord needed them most. It really got me thinking about things. What I do with my mission is up to me. I don't want to fall asleep on the Lord when He needs me most. Only five minutes left. Sorry if i didn't answer any questions you had. Expect another e-mail next week. And i will be writing letters to others as well hopefully. Thanks for all the letters and the donuts dad. I still have to tell you about my teachers, but i will next week. I see Elder Anderson almost everyday. His class is on the same floor as me, so during breaks and stuff we talk a lot. other than that everything is going well. I caught a cold but have actually been taking medicine, you would be proud mom. I love everyone. Thanks for all your prayers. i can feel the Lord running to my aid whenever I need Him, and I know it is because of all of your prayers.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I know many of you know about DearElder.com, BUT for those who don't....
You can send letters to Sean online for FREE. No need for envelopes or stamps, and the best part is that, while he is in the MTC, if you send them before 12 noon Mountain time, he will get your letter that day! After 12 noon, he will get it the next day. It's a great service for the missionaries.
All you have to do is log onto: www.dearelder.com
Once you get on the website, select mission as "PROVO-MTC"
Then fill in the information requested:
mailbox # 193
mission code: ARG-BAW
estimated departure date: August 18
Now just type in your letter in the space provided and send it. That's all there is to it!!! I sure Sean would appreciate hearing from you, and it is so easy this way.
After August when Sean is in Argentina, you can still use dearelder.com but select his mission as Argentina Buenos Aires West, and guess what.... ITS STILL FREE!!! no postage required. Just takes longer to get to him, but WOW we can write him the whole time on dearelder.com and never have to pay postage or address an envelope, unless you want to send him a card, or cookies or something.....
Use DearElder.com !!!
Hurrah for Israel !!!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Dear Mom, Dad and Lacey,
Wouldn't you know it? I can't find my stationary. Haha. I just finished my first day in the MTC. I was still with you 10 hours ago, but it really feels like 10 months ago. After we said goodbye I went through processing . While in line I meet an Elder Fannin going to Dominican Republic. He seemed like a nice enough guy. Turns out he is in my district, my district leader in fact. My companion, Elder Stokes, went to BYU too, he was in May Hall. Elder Sabey from my hall is in my room along with his companion Elder Maxwell. All of them are really easy going so I don't anticipate any problems. There are some characters on our floor though. I don't really know names yet. They expect us to do a lot in a small amount of time. I am also supposed to write a letter to my Branch President for tomorrow... what am I supposed to report? Haha. I was made senior companion , and to tell you the truth I wanted junior ! :) Because, now I have responsibilities but also no experience. Everyday we have 4-5 hours of Missionary Determined Time, and we are supposed to plan in 15 minute intervals.... How many different things can you do to study in one day? I think tomorrow I am going to check out the bookstore with Elder Stokes. I think about 20 other elders have come in and talked to us. They all want hugs or handshakes. They all offer help with anything, and they all say they love me. THEY DON'T KNOW ME! just kidding. Everyone says that the first few days are horrible, but if you make it to Sunday the next 8 weeks are golden. I didn't think today was that bad, while it was happening. It was after it stopped that I thought back and said, "What just happened"? There are 10 in our district. Six are going to my mission, the other 4 to Dominican Republic. Lights out in 3 minutes. Food's good. Cannon Center trays! I saw Elder Luke Christensen at dinner tonight. I will write more next Wednesday (P-Day). I love everyone.
p.s. I forgot to say my Mission President will be here Sunday for training so we will meet him!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Here is a close up of Sean's name badge. We then walked down to the chapel for our meeting. The room was packed. We saw big signs "Families Exit Here" and "Missionaries Exit Here" and they were on opposite sides of the room. It was really hitting us now. The meeting went really fast, not more than 30 minutes. We saw a video "Called To Serve" and it lasted just a few minutes. Sean leaned over and said "Couldn't that have been longer?" then a sister missionary got up to say the closing prayer. It might have lasted 30 seconds. Sean leaned over again and said "Couldn't she have prayed longer?". Then it was time to say good bye. We all were hugging and Page was crying. Sean kept saying he had to go but we were holding on. People were bawling all in the room. Sons, Dads, Moms, Brothers, Sisters, it was kind of intense. Then Sean said he had to go and we watched him walk away. Before going through the door he had the biggest grin on his face and started to wave. We all waved back putting on our best smiley faces and then he was gone.
That was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I'm excited for him and so proud of him, but also I miss that kid a lot.
We will be praying for you Elder!
Sean had a large suitcase, a garment bag and carry on bag, plus a backpack on his back. We looked around and saw a lot of Elders just bringing in two pieces of luggage. How did they get everything to fit? Maybe they didn't have to pack a sleeping bag like Sean had to. Yep, Sean's bed is a sleeping bag.
We were being directed to a spot for Sean to leave his luggage when this good looking Elder going to the Philipeans came up and gave Sean a big hug. It was Elder Kyle Anderson. That made Sean really excited to see him. Right after that he ran into Elder Sean Charleson who asked where his name tag was. "I just got here" said Sean.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
President David Heap of the Bozeman Montana Stake and Elder Sean Gilmore in front of the Billings Montana Temple following his setting apart. I don't know how many missionaries have the opportunity to be set apart in a Temple, but it was a wonderful experience.
We leave early in the morning to work our way down to Utah and the Missionary Training Center. Sean better get packing......
Friday, June 6, 2008
Sean took 5 years of German in high school and BYU. It might come in handy in Buenos Aires with the large German population, but he has got to learn that Spanish now!