First Week Greetings!

Elder Baker and Elder Peek - Provo Templ

Feb 10: Here is Scott’s first letter from the MTC.  It took a whole week for us to get it because his Preparation Day was a week after he arrived.

Hello family and friends!

Oh my gosh, what a long crazy week it has been.  I’m surprised I still know how to use a keyboard.  They gave me the worst p-day possible, I’ve had to wait an entire week before I could say anything to anybody about how it has been here.  Which isn’t so bad, but it just gnaws at you when people have questions and you can’t answer them at all.  So, you want to know how I’m doing?

The days in the MTC are loooooong.  I don’t know how quickly this week has passed by for you, but here we make jokes about “Hey remember that meeting we had with that guy?” “Which meeting? When? Oooh, you mean that one three months ago!”  Yeah, that’s kinda what it’s like.  But the Elders here say that once you get past Sunday, the rest of it flies.  Which I think is actually true; now that I have the routines down okay and know what I’m doing for the most part, the past few days since Sunday are actually a bit of a blur.  This next week may be quick after all.  So, before I start telling what I want to tell you about, Mom, you had a list of questions. I’m going to rapid-fire answer them READY GO!!!

Yes, there were other elders, one of which was on my floor in Winter at BYU.  Elder McKay Ahping.  Cool guy.
Yes, I slept on the plane, then wrote all my thank-you letters and journaled.  I’ve written 13 pages in my journal so far! I’m a nut.
No, I’m too shy to talk to strangers still.
Yes, I wrote the thank yous.
My companions name is… well I’ll get to that in a second.
My schedule is work work work work work eat sleep work work work.  That’s all you need to know.
The food is Cannon Center food, so the chocolate milk is good and the rest is acceptable.
I did not see KJ, she got caught up elsewhere and didn’t make it in time.  It may have been for the better, and she’s still
I’ve done a lot of studying and memorization.
Spirit? Yes, many times.  Just you wait.
Nervous? Sometimes.  Teaching is scary, but I’m learning a ton.

Okay, so now I have another 20 minutes (pant pant pant) let’s see what else I can tell you about.  I got your letters, it seems like they arrive at a 5-4-day delay.

The hardest part for me about the MTC is just adjusting to the new schedule and not being able to communicate.  I have been dying to write this email, and can’t wait to start writing letters today to everybody.

Okay, what are the most important incidents I can tell you about?  Well, I haven’t told you about my district yet.  Or my companion.  Hehehe,my companion is none other than Elder Peek, my good friend from BYU.  We are the only ones here called to Melbourne East, Australia.  The rest of my district is headed to Portland, Oregon, where my friend Trent Christianson is right now.  There is another companionship headed to Perth, Australia, but that’s it.  So we’re together.  We are an awesome team.  It is a privelege to have him as a companion, because there is no better way to adjust to the rigorous MTC life than with a friend you can trust and joke with already.  It’s great.  We’re also a fantastic teaching team, we are both good talkers, know our stuff, and are on the same page with ideas for what to talk about next.  We do need to work on familiarizing ourselves with the scriptures and things, but that comes with studying.  We are working hard, testing each other here and there, and are memorizing scriptures daily.  It’s great.

Also, I was called as District Leader!  It’s a little tricky for me, because I can be a little wishy-washy when being told where to be when, but Elder Peek keeps me in line and picks up what I miss.  I’ve also had to guide our district the right way a few times, we tend to not focus on studying sometimes.  However, this is simply because we all get along so well together, and can talk talk talk talk talk about all kinds of things. Meals together are a wonderful pleasure, we have lots of fun sharing our ideas together.

I’ll tell you a bit about our district.  First that comes to mind is Sister Perez, from California.  Basically, all you need to know about her is that she is Rachel from Glee.  She has that total enthusiam in everything.  We go for a temple walk and she says, “Okay, everybody has to bear their testimonies to three different people before we leave!”  She’s that total spiritual giant go-get-’em chatterbox that has a vision.  Totally Rachel.  Then there’s her companion, Sister Bullock.  She is really smart, and she radiates the Spirit every time she talks.

I’ll tell you more about the Elders in my letter, I want to talk a bit about other stuff.

Gym time is great, I’ve taken it upon myself to take full advantage of every workout machine they have.  My upper body was aching with soreness for three days from doing pullups, dips, crunches, shoulder lifts, and essentially every machine I could find.  I only just now recovered, and so I’ll be killing my muscles again tomorrow.  Last time I checked, though, I’m still only 145.  Gotta keep bulking up and eating so I can feel less like a stick.  Also, basketball, volleyball, and running are great and all, but it is a lot of fun to play foursquare.  Elder Peek enjoys the competition, and I just enjoy the quick reflexes it takes.  So once I exhaust my limbs from strenuous lifting, I go use whatever strength I have left to bounce the ball out of other’s squares.  Good times.

I talked a bit about what’s difficult about the MTC, let me be more specific.  In the video game world, the MTC would be described as a level grind.  You just work work work learning as much as you can, accumulating all those experience points to make you stronger until someday you can hold your own against that tasks given you.  And the thing is that you really don’t get much time off.  Every minute is scheduled to give just enough time to eat, sleep, get dressed and off, so that the rest of the time can be used for studying, classes, and meetings.  It’s literally a class/study all day everyday.  In terms of any gaming cravings I have, not so much.  I only wish I could sit in front of a TV when my head is aching from thinking too much.  It would be nice to just sit and veg for a bit, but that goes away once something else interesting enough can take my attention.  Time is of the essense, and after all, this is the Lord’s time, not mine.

Okay, time’s almost up, here are my last requests.  Keep writing me! Oh, and thanks for the cookies.   Oh! here’s my address.:

Elder Scott Baker
MTC Mailbox #161
AST-MELE 0222
2005N 900E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

I love you all, I have to go.  Bye! Church is true!

-Elder Baker

Elder Baker, Elder Peek & Sister Perez "Dinner Time"

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