Monday, September 27, 2010

Crazy Week


This week has been pretty crazy. It's been quite an emotional rollercoaster! Things didn't go so well with the tripanionship. We weren't progressing much together. There were a lot of mornings where we wouldn't say much to each other. No bueno! At one point Elder Taufa and I got into a dispute where he yelled at me. Luckily Elder Tholen came in before I could go off on him. Needless to say things weren't going well.

Luckily, the Lord blesses his servants. Whenever I was feeling down about the tripanionship, the Lord would always find some way to cheer me up, whether it was through soccer, other Elders randomly telling me to cheer up, etc. One day Hermano Petersen was talking about the tender mercies of the Lord. I listened to wat he said and really tried to look for the tender mercies in my life. It is filled with tender mercies!! I could hardly stay mad when i thought about my many blessings. Another thing that kept me going was the Church website. They have these video clips callled "Mormon Messages." I suggest EVERYONE watch them. They are amazing. Usually they're clips from general conference set to music and pictures, etc. These always cheered me up. I even received some personal inspiration about faith, hope, and charity. I don't have enough time to give my new insight on the three subjects. But to put it simply as way to show my faith and have charity in my heart, I'm going to try live my life with a more positive attitude and be less of a pessimist. If it weren't for my companionship troubles I wouldnt have received this new insight on life. I am so grateful that the Lord tries his children for their own strengthening!

Sunday I was greatly blessed! I have a new companion. Elder Rouse broke his foot/ankle two weeks ago. His district left today. He has to stay until November. So Elder Rouse is my new companion. It is already going great. We had an amazing companion study today! Yesterday was kinda crazy, having to move his stuff and saying goodbye to his district (most left yesterday evening). Then this morning we had to wake up at 4 am to take his old companion to the travel office. I am really looking forward to this new companionship. We both want to be obedient to the rules and work hard! Today i even get to go to Babylon! (leave mtc campus) Elder Rouse had a dr. appointment.

Last Monday i went to the travel office. They said there's 99% chance I'll be in provo for all of my mtc time. They said they'd tell me when my visa gets here. no news yet.

Well that's all for now. Keep the faith. Remember our Savior always.

elder buchkovich

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Still in the Provo MTC

After reading mom's sad letter about Aunt Mary, I can't remember all that I was going to say today. But i'll just start typing and we'll see.

I got my shoes from mom finally!!! I was so sure my visa would come last week b/c i said, "by the time i get that package, i'll be leaving for spain." i got the package, but no visa. oh well. there's always this week!

Tuesday we had a really amazing LGM (large group meeting, it's when several zones meet for a lesson on teaching once a week). It was about the Message of the Restoration. The teacher had us do this activity where we had to picture living in the time of Christ's earthly ministy. We were to picture him teaching on a hill, then we were to imagine making eye contact and him stopping his lesson and walking over us. then we were to imagine Him giving us an intimate, loving blessing. Then we were to imagine seeing Christ a week later. He still smiles at us, but down at us from the cross. Then we were to imagine the great apostasy and then our own personal "darkest hour" in life. He turned of the lights. Next he had us think of how the Restored gospel has blessed our life. I don't think I've ever been in a room with that many young 19 and 20 year old boys/men sniffling and holding back tears. It was really touching. I am so grateful for our Savior and his Restored gospel!

My companions and I have started practicing teaching a lot more. Our old teacher, Hermano Patten is our "progressive investigator." THis week we converted to teaching every lesson in Spanish. I did not know the definition of hard until I tried teaching a lesson in another language that I'm still learning!

I can't believe I'm halfway done at the MTC. I'm kind of sick of it here and just want to get out in the field and start teaching!!! however I am also scared out of my mind. i don't think i'll ever be ready to hold up a conversation with a native spaniard!

Well that's all for now.

Elder Buchkovich

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another week gone by!

Buenos dias!

Another week gone by! boy is the time going quickly! almost half way done with the MTC!! still no news about my visa. another elder from a different zone who got here the same week as me got his visa and is leaving for madrid. i think i've talked to him before and his fbi clearance got done a lot quicker than mine. my district leader said he had a dream last night about me getting my visa this week. we joke around about it being revelation.

In a week from wednesday we teach our first lesson in Spanish. thus, we've already started practicing. it is really hard, but it keeps the lesson simple. and our unity teaching as a companionship is a lot better when we can't go on on in english.

yesterday my district sang a special musical number in sacrament meeting. let's just say there was nothing special about it. my district isn't very musically talented. and on top of that we all choked and sang super quietly. some of the other elders were laughing during our song. oh well. what we did was really cool. we did a three part harmony (in spanish of course) with "nearer my god to thee" and "i need thee every hour." We made the songs into a medley singing the first verse of nearer my god to thee first then the first verse of i need the every hour. we did this for the first two verses.

yesterday was a hard day for the elders in my district to keep focus. one of the branch presidency members brought his daughter and her friend to sacrament meeting. both were very beautiful daughters of god. the presidency laughed (they really did) up on the stand as each elder in the zone noticed the two girls. my companions blessed the sacrament. i watched their eyes continually wander towards the girls. it was hilarious. then at the temple walk we saw numerous pretty girls walking on the grounds. no bueno!

i went to the temple this morning. i missed it last week. it is just so peaceful there!

i really love being a missionary! when you live the gospel and are constantly studying it, you are just happier. my entire life i've always kind of kept church for sundays. and left it out of my "wordly" life. but i realized that being a true disciple and follower of Christ means continually living in His gospel in a way that would make him proud. i've been reading a LOT in the new testament and Jesus the Christ about our Savior. i've never felt so close to him. even when I'm home i want to devote my life to serving him and bringing others to Him. i wish i had realized the greatness in having a close relationship to the Lord a lot earlier in my life. I am so grateful for His Atonement and the opportunity I have to serve a mission.

i love and miss you all!

elder buchkovich

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Last Picture Post

And the last one that I am posting is him in front of the Provo Temple. he actually sent more but this will do for now!

These two pictures are his tripanionship and of his district.

This is the famous map picture that evry missionary seems to have!

This picture is of Alex saying goodbye to Michelle at the bookstore. What a silly grin he is wearing!


Alex sent a few pictures home and I have been trying to post them. I will try one more time and hopefully will be successful this time! This one is of two elders he met at the airport who were coming home from their mission.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Semana 3


Not much happened this week except class and studies. We tried an English fast on Friday. It was a very quiet day in my district. lol. Actually it wasn't that bad. We're doing it again tomorrow. And by the end of the week our teachers are switching completely to Spanish and we'll have to speak Spanish in class. Speaking of teachers, we get a new teacher again tonight. Hermana Redd is starting to do speech therapy for her speech therapy masters program, so she can longer fit in working at the MTC. Our new teacher is Hermano Peterson.

I learned a lesson on humility this week. Remember last week how I almost scored in soccer every game? Well I spent so much time last week focusing on scoring for myself that I wasn't really contributing to my team. So this week the Lord humbled me. I didn't score at all! In fact times when I should have shot the ball I was overcome with and urge to pass it, and thus I did so. Being a missionary, I'm going to liken this unto the Gospel. As a missionary I cannot focus on getting baptisms just for my own glory. I need to work as a team with my fellow missionaries, the ward members, and the Lord in bringing others to salvation. If I focus on myself, I will not have a truly successful mission.

I also learned about sacrifice this weekend. Saturday was the first BYU home football game. My plan was to stay inside and study so that I wouldn't be distracted. Well, it would be my luck that I had gym during the game and could here every single cheer! I could even smell the food!! I realized that in my entire life I am NEVER missed a season of college football. I probably haven't even gone a autumn Saturday without watching part of at least one game! I also realized that I really didn't care that I'd be missing two years of football. The Lord's work is much better. Then on Sunday the MTC President spoke. He mentioned the sacrifices some foreign missionaries made to be here. It really put into perspective how lucky I am. How little I had to "sacrifice." I am so grateful for the blessings in my life.

Now for some humor. I keep foregetting to mention a joke the MTC president told on our first day here during orientation. He was doing a survey of where everyone was from. He asked all the missionaries from Utah to stand. An army stood up. He then said, "Stay humble. After all Utah was God's fifth choice for Zion in the Latter-days!" Also some missionary slang that I love: "missionary goggles"- the phrase used to describe that fact that any girl looks beautiful to Elders. "I'd baptise her!" - used when you see a very good looking girl.

I guess that's all for now. I might write more later. Adios!