Thursday, February 9, 2012

1st Preparation Day Email

February 9, 2012

It's good to hear that everyone is doing well.  I'm excited to get a package and all of your letters! We can only read our mail at night when we go back to our rooms for the day and we can only write letters and email on P-days but it makes the days even better when there's mail for me at the end of it. Good to hear dad's thumb is healing, I need him to get better so he can ski with me when I get back and hopefully not hurt himself again.  That's great to hear mom that you're so close to the end! I actually didn't finish before I left, I got stuck/lost in the wars of Alma and never finished but I have read a lot of 3rd Nephi and all of Moroni since I've been in the MTC, and some of Alma when I have time so I can finish the Book of Mormon at the very least by the time I leave the MTC.  We get about 2 hours of personal study time each day but all of it so far has turned into companionship study since we have to plan for our lessons every day with the potentially fake investigator we are teaching.  We taught our fifth lesson to her yesterday and committed her to be baptized! If she's actually an investigator then we get to baptize her on the 21st and if not then at least we got the great feeling of having someone commit to baptism, and all in Spanish of course.

So here are some things that have happened this week.  I have run into some people I know. Elder Livingston (a friend from BYU) lives in the room next to me and has class on the same floor I do so I see him a lot.  I have also seen Elder Smith from my hall at BYU and Elder Chase Russell, my fellow Coloradoan from my hall at BYU.  He was supposed to leave the day before I got to the MTC but none of the Elders here who are supposed to go to Mexico have their Visa's yet.  They all got their new assignments yesterday and are leaving sometime between then and the end of next week.  Elder Russell left this morning for McAllen Texas (where my fellow missionaries Elder Wilson and Elder Whittington are currently serving!).  I will miss him a lot but it was great to see him a lot over the past week.  Someone started a tradition at the MTC by bringing tabletop foosball table that's about 1 ft x 2.5 ft long.  It gets passed down from elder to elder when the person who currently is in possession of it leaves the MTC. Elder Russell had the table (he was the 5th in the lineage) and passed it to me last night! I'm honored to be a part of this tradition and will have to give it some good wear and tear.  I will also have to constantly think about who I will give it to when I leave.

I haven't said too much about my district yet, besides my wonderful companion.  Elder Jackson and Elder Jurado are the other two in my district.  Elder Jackson is from Wako Texas and is an interesting kid, definitely not someone I would normally get along with.  He is going to Buenos Aires North.  Elder Jurado is from Vegas and is going to St Louis, Missouri.  These other two elder in my district are interesting but we all get along really well somehow.

Yesterday Elder Perez and I got our backpacks taken/stolen in the cafeteria (someone just moved them to the front desk since you're not supposed to have backpacks in there). They said it was going to be really bad if we did it again and they were going to notify our branch president but when I talked to him last night he just laughed and said don't worry about it, it's not a problem at all. You're going to suffer lots of persecution on your mission and the MTC cafeteria will just be the start of it.  I also decide to have an ice cream bar during lunch this week and it got stuck in my mouth kind of like a tongue gets stuck to a pole when it's really cold outside.  I had to rip it out and it took some skin with it and hurt really bad.  I learned my lesson: dessert (however it's spelled) is also dangerous.  No more bad food for me.

We only get 50 minutes for gym in the MTC and that has taken some getting used to.  I have played volleyball the past couple days and I have already made an impression.  Everybody knows my name even though we don't have tags on, and I still don't know anyone's name.  The MTC also has records for physical activities and I plan on beating at least one before I leave.  No idea which one yet.

My scheduled release date is April 3rd, I didn't know before and it never said anywhere in my call letter but now I know! 9 weeks. I'm excited for every one.  Elder Perez took the test to move to advanced classes and even though he should be there they decided to keep him here, lucky for me! But now he'll only be here 6 weeks so it looks like I will have another companion before I leave.

Someone tell Daniel Woolley to write me! I have so many things I want to tell him.  I need his address though first... and I also just want him to write me.

Hope everyone is doing well! Next week let me know what's going on in everyone's lives!

Elder Gaskill


  1. Sounds like he is off to a great start!

  2. Never imagined the variable hazards at the MTC. Sounds like you are doing well John. Keep your eye single, and you will have immeasurable successes. Much love, Uncle Marty