Posts Tagged ‘ MTC ’

Elder Austin Fullmer – Pictures from the MTC-Provo

Just a few pictures that Elder A. Fullmer has sent back of his experience at the MTC in Provo.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Elder Austin Fullmer – A brother named Dirk

Dad, Mom, Family, and Friends!

I cannot believe that it has already been three weeks. Well, almost. I guess the three week mark is actually this Wednesday. It has been a very rewarding but difficult experience. My friend Nate wrote to me that he thought the MTC sounded a little bit like Swab Summer. In a way it does. While nobody is yelling at me, the schedule is really fast paced as Swab Summer was. It feels like we are always going to the Cafeteria and once I even forgot what meal I was going to. The days feel really, really long, but the weeks have gone fast so far. It is already another P-day.

We get to hear from awesome people here at the MTC. Last Tuesday, Elder Kikuchi from the 1st Quorum of the Seventy came to speak to us. He was awesome to hear. He talked about missionary work (I guess that is pretty obvious), the First Vision, and his own conversion. He lived in Japan during WWII during which his father died when a US Sub destroyed his father’s commercial fishing vessel. He grew up paying for his high school education by working during the day at a factory and then taking night classes. When he was 14 or 15 he got really sick and had to go to the hospital. At the hospital he was scared and prayed. A couple of days later two American missionaries knocked on his door. He was the only one home and answered it. He told the two missionaries that he hated Americans and that they should leave (remember that his father just died because of an American sub a few years earlier). The missionaries told him that they had a message about a young boy just his age. He told them that he would give them ten minutes. Within those ten minutes he felt the spirit and now is a General Authority. What a powerful testimony.

On Sunday, President Dunn called my two companions and I into a class room. President Dunn is my Branch President. He is awesome! Anyways, he talked to my companions and I about our companionship and how were getting along. My heart was beating so fast, because I new it time for new leadership in the Branch. He asked me to serve as the District leader for my District. I guess I’m excited. I don’t really know. The last three weeks our District leader was Elder Hymas and for the next three weeks it will be me. The final three weeks with be somebody else. My job is to lead the District for the next three weeks (right now there are four districts, three of which all reported in on 25MAY like me). I’m supposed to conduct meetings that we have as a district, check the mail twice a day, interview with all the senior companions, and report to the Branch President. I also have to go to Branch Council on Sunday mornings and Leadership Council on Tuesday evenings. President Dunn asked me what type of leader I thought I should be. I told him my philosophy was servant leadership.

Ok, so for some comic relief: Yesterday when I was walking to the temple (we get to go on temple walks every Sunday) I passed beneath a tree and felt a thump on my head. Why did I feel a thump on my head you may ask. I was cautiously asking the same question. I slowly reached my head toward my head and touch the top of my head. When I brought my hand down and saw my finger tip I started to laugh. A BIRD POOPED ON MY HEAD. I told everyone that was around me. Half the MTC probably knows that I got pooped on. Then I walked into the nearest MTC building and proceeded to wash my hair. What on earth are the chances of that!

We had two districts of Elders leave for the field today. I will really miss a lot of them. Fortunately my favorite, Elder Whitehead, is going to Berlin. I really hope that I will get to be his companion at some point. They all got here at some point in April. So there nine weeks ended in June. A new set of Elders and Sister will be coming in on Wednesday. New German-speakers come every third Wednesday. All of these missionaries will be going to the Alps mission which includes part of Germany, part of Switzerland and then all of Austria. Pretty cool.

I am still really loving my district. They are all awesome people. My companions too. Elder Burnett and Elder Stovall are really helpful and are fun to be around. We’ve become good friends. I’m glad that we are all going to Berlin, so that we won’t really have to say goodbye. I’ll be sad when we have to say goodbye to the four Elders in our District who are going to Frankfurt.

I have a new favorite Hymn here at the MTC. It is now “Come Thou Fount.” It is an original German hymn that used to be in English Hymn book, but isn’t anymore. I love it. My favorite part about learning German is singing in German. So Good. The German is coming along. Slowly, but surely. I’ve set some concrete goals for my language training, so I think that will help.

We are teaching two new “investigators.” One is Bruder Evans who is playing a Swiss man named Marcello. The other is Bruder DeCosta is playing a German named Dirk. It is way cool to have this sort of practice at the MTC. It makes teaching way more personal. I find myself thinking about these investigators all the time. How I can help them.

I love you all! I’m sorry if these letters are two religious for your liking. I’m primary writing to my parents and then to a variety of friends and family! That is sort of the nature of the next two years of my life.

Also, I only have a week more of teenager-hood. I turn twenty next Monday. Weird.

Love,
auf Wiedersehn,
Peace,

Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer

Elder Austin Fullmer – Like the Academy

I can not believe that it has already been a week since last preparation day (my p-days will always be on Monday – at least at the MTC). We got to go to the temple today. The Provo Temple is gigantic. These Utah kids have no idea who lucky they are. Living in Utah (albeit the MTC) has affirmed to me that I want to raise my own kinds elsewhere. I guess that is good because with the Coast Guard there is exactly a 0% chance that I could live in Utah anyways.

Thanks for all the letters from Dear Elder. They are awesome! I still really like my district and two companions. The MTC is very similar to the Academy in some ways and very different in others. I still wear a uniform 24/7 and we have big meetings like Corps-Wides. I am so grateful for all my friends at school who helped me get though it. Both of my companions have trouble staying awake in those large meetings. If felt reminiscent when I kept poking Elder Burnett with my elbow.

So the craziest thing happened to my district. You remember me talking about Andreas? He was the investigator we were teaching. We knew he was a member of the church, but we thought he only spoke German. Well on Thursday some teacher walked into our room (not Bruder Evans) and told us that were no longer teaching Andreas. Everyone was really sad (1) because we had already taken the time to prepare our next lesson for him and (2) we had become very attached to him. The teacher showed us this video of Andreas that was supposed to be of Andreas in the future. Then the teacher left. Five minutes later Andreas just walked into our room. Our District basically exploded. We were so excited to see him. He was wearing church clothes and a name tag like Bruder Evans. That was weird. It turns out that his name isn’t really Andreas, it is Bruder Decosta. He is an American and our second teacher at the MTC. He and Bruder Evans will take turns teaching us. The first week and a half he was pretending to be an investigator. Soooooo crazy. The craziest part was when he started speaking in English.

On Sunday we watched the Joseph Smith movie. It was awesome. It got me starting to think about my history. Would a Fullmer Family History Buff (ie Uncle Bill) be willing to send me the story about John Solomon Fullmer in the Jail with Joseph Smith? I started to tell my companion the story but realized that I didn’t know the whole thing.

Mom, would you please send me a couple prints from the family pictures we took before I left? I have my pictures of Cori, Cate, Tom, Zach, Almi, Ryan, Drew, Phil, and a couple of others, but I want some of the family. Note to everyone else: I love pictures of people, so if you get some good ones in the next two years send some my way!

I love you all very much! The German is coming a long a little better. I guess, I’m not as worried about it anymore. There are too many people praying for my success and literally correcting me as a speak (ie Elder Burnett) for me to have fear.

I hope to hear from you!

Love,
auf Wiedersehn,
Peace,
Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer

Elder Austin Fullmer – First letter from the MTC

Mom, Dad & Family,

So the past six days, I have been thinking in the back of my head about what I wanted to write today. Believe me it has switched a lot. Hopefully this letter is a fair display of all that I have felt this past week. First, I want you to know about this cool website DearElder.com. It is a free service where you can write to me and the me and the letter gets to my mailbox the same day. Anyone can write me this way. It also saves time. I only have ~30 minutes a week to email, so it will be nice to read letters from DearElder.com during the week instead of during those 30 minutes. It gives me more time to write you back. For reference my box number is MTC Mailbox #224. This service only works at the MTC, so will have to stop when I leave.

Anyways, about the MTC. Instead of having only one companion, I have two because there is an odd number of new German speaking missionaries (27 of us by the way, which is unusually high). They call us the Dritt which in German means “there are three of us.” My Companions’ names are Elder Burnett and Elder Stovall. The three of us will all be going to Berlin. Elder Burnett is from Colorado Springs, CO. He is really awesome. He helps me a lot with German; he is really good at the language, and I am not so good at the language. Elder Stovall is from St. George, UT. I like both of them a lot. We get along well together, which is good seeing as I will have to be with them 24/7 fro the next nine weeks. Oh, that reminds me: I’ll be at the MTC for approximately nine weeks. I have this little card that came in my packet that says my estimated departure date is 26 July.

The first day was pretty cool. We got our I.D.s, name tags and companions. My name tag says: ELDER FULLMER KIRCHE JESU CHRISTI DER HEILIGEN DER LETZTEN TAGE. Way cool. We also met our teacher Bruder Evans. I really like him a lot too. He served his mission in Switzerland. We also got organized into Districts. My district is my class that Bruder Evans teachers. There are nine of us in the District/Class. There are two other sets of Elders and one set of sister missionaries. Then there is me and my companions – the Dritt. Those other four Elders are going to Frankfurt and then the sisters and the three of us are going to Berlin. I really like my District alot. It is pretty neat that we all get along so well.

After the first day, I began to feel very overwhelmed to be honest. Here is a bit from my Journal entry on 28MAY11:

“Oh, my goodness. Today was the fourth day at the MTC. I have just felt so overwhelmed. My teacher is Bruder Evans. He is awesome. My companions are awesome too … Despite all this and a great district, I have just felt so much self doubt. On our third day we taught an “investigator.” He teaches her, but for the lesson he only spoke Deutsch and we had to teach him! I understood absolutely nothing of what he said. Luckily Elder Brunett understood most of it. I didn’t say a single word. Today was our second lesson. I said a broken prayer and one other sentence. Elder Brunett & Elder Stovall did the rest of the talking. THey both said they could feel the spirit so strongly, but I felt nothing. Why?! I just felt defeated, like I would never learn the language … Later that day during class, we had a moment to ourselves and I prayed. I prayed to feel the spirit. To feel some comfort … I really felt the spirit. Then Bruder Evans asked us all to to turn to Matthew 14: 24-33. I felt an immediate response to its truth. The disciples were scared. They were in the middle of the storm on a boat. Like me they were overwhelmed. They they saw a man out on the water. Not knowing it was Jesus they were frightened. When Peter realized that it was his master he walked on the water to Christ. However he lost faith and began to sink. I have felt like this the last four days. I went on my mission; I walked out onto the stormy sea, but I began to sink and I was beginning to loose faith. The language was overwhelming me and I didn’t feel like I was a asset. When I read verse 31 & 32, I felt an immense rush of of the spirit and comfort over me. I felt embraced in my saviors love. He immediately reaches his hand out for mine. What Glory! I started to cry and just felt so much peace. I know my savior loves me. With out a shadow of a doubt, I know that he loves me. What Glory! I know that through him I can learn German.”

The language is definitely hard. We were told that the German speaking branch is on the Church’s language pilot program. Which means they are making us learn by immersion. We never learned the alphabet or pronunciation. We just jumped in. This was especially hard for one of the sister missionaries and myself who never took any German in high school or college. I’m trying to stay positive. We all start as novices, you know? The better your spirit, the better your German. It doesn’t work the other way around. That I am grateful for.

Yesterday was Sunday and it was the best day. My Branch President’s name is President Dunn. He and his wife are both great and has so much love for the German speaking missionaries. Our first Priesthood meeting was great. President Dunn spoke about recognizing the spirit. He used parts from a talk that Elder Bednar gave in General Conference a couple conferences ago. Sacrament Meeting was mostly in German except for the main talk. My companions and I went to choir too. I quickly realized that I am no longer a tenor or at lease I can’t hit some of those high notes. Sunday night we had a fire side. Brother Allen and his wife spoke. Brother Allen is the director of the missionary department at Church headquarters. Oh, we got to walk up to the Provo Temple too!

Will you please send me one of those fleece blankets up in my room? I have instituted my I-am-not-going-to-sleep-under-my-sheets-because-I-never-want-to-make-a-bed routine. However just sleeping with a sheet is a little cold. Could you also send me a new bottle of Cetaphil Facial Moisturizer? Feel free to use money from my acount. Also please send me my pea coat and my colored pencils if you can find them. The color pencils should be in the desk draw up in my room.

Can I leave you with my testimony auf Deutsch? Ich weiß, dass Gott sie liebt. Himmlischer Vater will alles gut für sie. Ich bin dankbar für die Lieve. Ich liebe mein Himmlischer Vater. Ich weiß, dass Joseph Smith ein wahrer Prophet war. Durch Joseph Smith stellete Gott seine Priestertumsvollmacht. Ich weiß, dass das Buch Mormon wahr ist. Wann sie beten, werden sie das Heilige Geist in ihre herz fühlen. Der Heilige Geist hilft sie die Wharheit zu wissen. Sei sind ein Kind von Gott. Ich weiß, dass Jesus Christus sie liebt.

Finallz I waled into the Bookstore office with my companions and vocally said that I loved this paper poster of Gordon B Hinckley quote. One of the ladies there gave me a copy. It says, “Things will work out. Keep Trying. Be believing. Be happy. Don’t get discouraged. Things will work out.” This is my new motto.

I love you all very much,
auf Wiedersehn,
Peace,
Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer

Elder Austin Fullmer – Off to the MTC

Dear Friends,
I’m in Las Cruces, NM right now for my sister’s graduation and I am visiting friends from high school. Tonight is my last night before I leave for the Missionary Training Center. My flight leaves from the El Paso Airport at 6:10 tomorrow morning, so the day is going to start pretty early. I report into the MTC at 1:00 PM tomorrow afternoon, and I’m super excited. Honestly, I have to keep reminding myself that this R-day will not be anything like the R-day I experienced two years ago. Hopefully there won’t be twenty-somethings yelling at me tomorrow.

In the future, I’m not exactly sure how communication is going to work. For now I am a 100% sure that I can receive mail by post.

My address is going to be

Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer
MTC Mailbox # 224
GER-BER 0726
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

I would love letters! I’m not sure when I will be allowed to use my email or what the rules will be with my email. Obviously you can always email me; I’m just not sure if I will be able to email you back. Regardless, I will be allowed to email my parents once a week and my mom will be forward that email to all of you!
Her email is lenamariefullmer@msn.com.  Also, my cool cousin Clifford has created a site for another cousin of mine who is also on a mission and myself. He will be posting all of my emails on that site. Right now you’ll find great letters from my cousin Tyler Fullmer who is serving in Brazil. The site is http://elderfullmer.wordpress.co. Hopefully my emails will start appearing there. If I get to send home any pictures, they will be at this website.

Well, wish me luck! I’m off to the MTC. Hopefully the German language treats me well.

Love Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer

Elder Tyler Fullmer – Provo MTC Pics

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Elder Tyler Fullmer – From the Sao Paulo MTC