Christmas at the MTC

Dear Family,

Time is incredibly short for emailing. I’m trying to find a way to email pictures, but no success so far. I got the Christmas box, with good things to eat, and the mp3 player. I don’t have the charger for the mp3 player, though.

Elder Bean and I took part in the first ever companion exchange in the MTC (for missionaries in training, that is). I spent all day on the day before Christmas Eve with Elder Glad, who is in our zone but not in our district. He is three weeks ahead of me in Spanish, so I had no idea what was going on during the lessons we taught together. Elder Bean spent the day with Elder Juhaz in their district/classroom. It was stressful, but we learned a little.

We had a half day of classes on Christmas Eve and a fireside, then no classes Christmas Day with a talent show (everything from an elder/magician turning five dollars into five twenties with the camera right on him, to a group of Ukrainian and Russian elders singing “You Missionedy Now,” to a Lady Gaga song, as well as regular singing, music, Mongolian dancers, and much more). After the talent show, we took a break for lunch and then heard from Elder Russell M. Nelson, who spoke three times over Christmas and yesterday. On Christmas Day itself, we exchanged cheap gifts between district members and then played with Elder Smith’s new tape recorder, which his girlfriend sent him. We recorded messages to send her and mine was voted second best (long story involving an armadillo and a southern accent).

Last night we heard from the managing director of the mission department, who used to work for the Church’s ad program. He showed us clips of old LDS adds and let us take off our jackets in the meeting, winning our eternal affection. He announced that President Smith, the current MTC president, will be gone in two weeks. I hate to lose President Clegg, one of his counselors, who last week at a devotional showed us a video of his assistance at the conversion of a major basketball player. He an amusing and powerful man, both at once.

A BYU student ward bishop performed over an hour of memorized acting for the story of Willard Richards, who witnessed the murder of Joseph Smith, and a couple of older MTC workers (one of whom is now the MTC president in the Phillippines) performed “A Christmas Carol”.

Kent Coble, one of the people I met in Brazilian Jui-Jitzu class at BYU, left today to go to the Phillippines. I have a picture of him I would like to send if I can figure out how.

I wish you could have seen my reaction when I heard the news about Bro. Foshee’s decision to be baptized. I don’t have enough time to communicate my excitement, but there’s lots of it.

Love to everyone, and hope you are well (I have a cold, but I can’t share it with you). And goodbye,
Elder Belyeu

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