Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Alexander Week 5 from MTC

Week 5 from the MTC June 10 to June 15 2013

A few pictures on P-Day . Me, my zone, and Elder V's Birthday

Hey family, I have been thinking about our trials and naturally difficult times will come when amazing things are about to the Book of Mormon every morning (like really study) & I promise you will have strength to get through the day also if you pray. Always pray:) I am trying to be more exactly obedient because we have been promised miracles if we do so.  I have been learning so much! It is crazy! My Bulgarian is improving so much, I am excited to call you on my way to Bulgaria so you can all get to hear awesome Bulgarian:) We have officially ended our 5th week I cannot believe I am going to be actually in Bulgaria in less than a month it is so exciting I am very excited to go. Next Wednesday 12 news Bulgarians are arriving it will be super awesome. As I have been setting goals & truly following through with them I have had incredible results. have been trying new things like play futbol (soccer) I scored 3 goals in one game! I have been learning to box from an Elder in my zone & I have been telling people about chess players like Bobby Fischer I love when people are interested in that kind of stuff:) I have been singing in the choir for a very large special event taking place on June 23rd of which I am sure you have heard about called the Missionary Work..  hahah I don't know what it is called exactly. But the First Presidency will be running it & it is historical.
The stuff you sent me from your Stake and Ward Conference was awesome about the 4 X 4 plan These are things I have been thinking and working on.
1.) Pray always
2.) Study the Book of Mormon daily
3.) Express gratitude to the Lord for your blessings
4.) Attend the blessing of the temple, especially since I won't have it
5.) Treasure the friends & family you now enjoy
I have been learning and understanding the importance and role of the Book of Mormon. It is so Powerful. I love it!!
Their are several Croatians in my Zone and it has been really great getting to know them and listen to their language. I am sending you a Croatian Book of Mormon to keep. Bulgarian and Croatian are super close! We still have SYL (Speak your language) days. We need to do 20 a month. I am very interested in hearing some stories about Grandpa Kallen, I know practically nothing about him. I would also like some recipies from Croatia.
As a zone we are really trying to serve one another and to pray together more. It has really helped. I feel like I am becoming a better teacher when it comes to the Gospel. It has also been really great to hear all the other languages being spoken. I can't believe I have been here for a month already.
I have been studying the Book of Mormon seriously and I have really been liking it. My testimony is growing. I feel like time has been flying by so fast. I read this great talk called "The Fourth Missionary." It has really changed my perspective. Many things have touched my heart here and I feel like the Lord is guiding me.  I love what I am doing. I love you all.
Elder Gustafsson
P.S. Be strong & endure, I know there are trials but you can handle it if you rely on the Lord.
I love you so much, I love being here & I am so excited for Bulgaria.

MTC Week 4

Week 4 from the MTC gathered from a few letters written during the week. June 1 through June 8 2013
Elder G with Alexander Gustafsson

Elder C with Alexander Gustafsson

These are a couple of missionaries that are in Alexander's Zone. They all hang out together on P-Day.

Hello family, I hope all is well!  I have had you on my mind from time to time, and I hope that all is well! This week I had a lot of great experiences. I feel like I am becoming a better teacher. Twas humbling indeed! I had the opportunity to teach a native Bulgarian in TRC. My Bulgarian is coming along quite well, it will just take time. One of the Elders told me I was an intimate communicator. That is the weirdest thing I have ever heard and have no idea what it means!
I have really loved studying the Book of Mormon.
I love hearing all the interesting things that are happening at home.  I realized that Ingela's birthday is coming soon. Mom it looks like you will get to be there this time since I won't be at the International Chess Festival this year. The first time missing in 3 years.
As a Zone we are trying to learn 25 words a day in Bulgarian so that we can increase our vocabulary. As I am learning the new words for the day I try and go back and review the previous words. It is quite difficult I have discovered the Missionary Pattern: you leave home, dislike the MTC and miss home, then you arrive in your missionary country, you miss the MTC and don't really like your new country, then you love your new country and have to leave to go home, you miss your country and dislike home. You can never be happy :(.
I have discovered that it is weird to write in English. It is quite humorous actually, I think and dream in Bulgarian. I am working really hard to create experiences to share with you each week. Love to you and all the family Elder Gustafsson, your son.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Week 3 from MTC

Here in the MTC we are on a very tight schedule! We are supposed to get up at 6:30am but my companion Elder V and I get up at 6:15am to start the day off right. I have taken some pictures of myself and my companion and some other things but the time is so tight on the computer on P-Days that I haven't had time to download them. I will hopefully get that next week. I have been sick for a few days with a cough and sore throat. I think it is lack of sleep and maybe allergies. I have seen Elder Beals and Elder Davis from our ward but I didn't get to spend much time with them. They seem to be doing well.

I traveled with my District to Los Angelas this week to go to the Bulgarian Consulate to get our Visa's.  It was awesome to speak with some native Bulgarian's and to try to understand them!! When it was my turn to talk with the lady about my Visa she looked really mad and said "You have 5 names!! We cannot put 5 names on your Visa! Pick 3!. It was kind of scary but I picked 3 and then we finished up.
Our driver from the airport was Ooshan from Sri Lanka. He has 2 sons 10 and 5. After everyone kept asking him questions he and I talked for a bit longer so that I could get to know him. I kept asking him about himself and we had a good talk. He started to ask what I believed and all sorts of things, so I felt I did some good missionary work. He was very nice and interesting and I left him my "For the Strenghth of Youth pamphlet" and my email.

Connie and Matt sent me some awesome cookies. I love packages and mail!
Grandma sent me Macroons one of my favorites
And mama sent donuts!.
Susan sent goodies and everything was green!!
I loved everything. Tell them all Thank you.
In our district we are trying to learn 25 new Bulgarian words each day for our vocabulary. I learn the new words and then I try to review the ones from the days before also. It is difficult.
I have been told the food in Bulgaria is very good. I am glad!
Well that is this week. Tell everyone I miss and love them

Your son Elder Gustafsson

Week 2 Letter from MTC

Alexander wasn't able to call me for Mother's Day so this is what he sent

This week I taught my first investigator in Bulgarian and it was a blast!! especially not being able to understand anything that they said back to me. I can pray in Bulgarian but it is still a work in progress.I will be here in the MTC for 9 weeks. They had to draw my blood yesterday! I was not happy! As I am writing this I realize it is difficult for me to not write Bulgarian characters. I met 2 people from Sweden this week who are going to Greece to serve. I felt bad that I couldn't communicate as well with them in Swedish then I would have liked. I will work on that. P.S you can always send me more Swedish Chocolate!
Mom I would like to send you a Mother's Day Gift. That would be my testimony:

I do not know all things and I am still learning, but I know that God knows us, and that through prayer we can receive answeres to our questions. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I have the best mother in the world.

 Have a wonderful Mothers Day! Your son Alexander

This is where the mama cries :)