Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Email - February 26, 2013

Well well well, I'm back! Did you all miss me? :) I specially handpicked that card for Syd, despite weird looks from the cashier and all the cashiers asking me if that was for a special someone. I just smiled and said "obviously." :)

Oh my gosh, I can't even keep track of how many people I've seen here, my list is at 42 people. It was awesome seeing Tom! He didn't realize who I was for a second until we almost ran into each other and then he realized it wasn't just some punk missionary running into his shoulder! I guess I should probably get pictures to you guys soon, huh? It's not worth the wait down in the laundry room where the British kids taught us how to scrum in a rugby match today, but be expecting some soon! Either SD card or hard copies. I have plenty of gems on there.

Ah I love Sundays in here so much, they are without a doubt the busiest days, but you go to bed thinking "why was I cursed with the need to sleep? So many people to baptize, so few baptismal fonts." Hahaha I love every speaker. Most are from the missionary department, this week was Brother Allen, I missed his first name, and the one the week before was Craig C. Christensen, I believe he's in the Presidency of the 70..? They're all awesome, and then we always watch the movies afterwards.

We currently have two investigators, Slavko Kovacic and Stefan, and both are our teachers. Behind Sundays, teaching lessons is the best part of the week. You would think it is so distracting to have a pretend lesson, but it's not. Our teachers play the parts so well and they become a whole new person in your eyes, and the Spirit is so strong as you bear your testimony in broken, horribly grammatically constructed German, but they see how much you care and want them to know what you know. I can't even imagine how amazing REAL investigators must be, but I cannot even wait. We also had TRC this week (I don't know if you'd know what that is Griff?) but basically we teach either RM's, Members, Students, or legit investigators who are here and can speak German. We are given no time to prepare and have to come up with a lesson/spiritual thought on the spot. We got an old man who served his mission in Germany 50 years ago, and loved it. It was such a cool experience, and seeing how much he loves the language and the people got me more excited than ever. I can't wait, even though I will have to give up the constant supply of packages that my companions hate me for :)

Just to remind ourselves of what technology is like. Speaking of not knowing things, Mase, are you being serious about a meteor in Siberia?! And I heard the Pope stepped down too?!? I've only been in here for three weeks, and the world is already falling apart?!? We seriously hear nothing in hear (obviously it's to keep us focused) but if you have any other news about Martians or WWIII or the iPhone 22, let me know!

I miss my little nug, Cohen and his crazy laugh. My companions don't find it as funny to run into the room and jump on to the pillows screaming. In fact, they usually leave the room right after that. Haha has he learned any more words? (P.S. sorry Al, I have no time already and I'm slowly working on writing the boat load of letters back to people, right now. Anyone else who is wondering why they haven’t gotten a letter back yet, tell them I'm sorry and it won't be long!)

Wanna hear about my day? No? Too bad, I'll tell you anyway. So it was the regular P-Day, and we were going to go to the gym, but it was too crowded and they said we couldn't. So we got back to the room, (the black market room is the hangout in our building) and just playing around, Elder McColgan (the Welshman) shot Elder Penrod/Kuli (pen in German) in the head with a rubber band. All is fun and games until we bought every pack of rubber bands in the bookstore, and then the closets are cleaned out, the suitcases are unzipped, the chair tipped over, and before you know it, it's a war zone. For an hour we barricaded ourselves into corners, closets, and under desks and had a 4 on 4 rubber band war, all because they told us to find something else to do. It never ceases to amaze me the things that suddenly entertain you in the MTC without all other forms of entertainment :) so don't be worried about me, I find ways to keep myself entertained and inflict pain at the same time. :)

I apologize for the random format of my emails, there's always so much to say and not nearly enough time. I'm still perfecting the emails to get everything in in time, but even if I don't, just know that I love all of you and this Gospel more than you could ever know. Without all of you I wouldn't have this gospel, and without this gospel I couldn't have all of you.

Diese Evangelium ist die größest segnung im meinem Lebe. Durch Jesus Christus und sein Opfer, ich habe die gelgenheit zu lebe mit meine Familie ewigkeit. Gott ist unsere Vater im Himmel, und möchte uns zu ihm zurückkehren beim die rechte wählen. Wir sind nicht volkommen, aber durch das Sühnopfer können wir alle unser Sünde waschen weg. Die Menschen im Deutschland brauche diese Botschaft, und ich will es geben mit mein ganzen Sinne, Macht, Kraft, und Herzen also sie können wissen was ich weiß. Ich leibe dich alles, und Gott werde mich beschützen, wenn ich macht was er will. Ich habe gebetet fur dich jeden tag. Ich liebe mein Erlösser, und ich weiß das er lebt. Im Namen Jesu Christi, amen.

-THE Elder McGinn. :)

It's About Time. Elder McGinn and Uncle Tom

Lori's brothers Kevin Mangum and Bart Mangum and our brother-in-law Tom Macdonald currently serve in branch presidencies in the MTC.  They and their wives have been on the lookout for Elder McGinn.  Kevin actually spent part of one Sunday staking out the cafeteria for him.  We've been surprised no one has run into Cameron (or maybe they're not willing to admit it).  Shows you just how many missionaries there are in the MTC currently.

We received the picture below from Tom on Sunday morning, February 24th. They both look great.  Incidentally, Tom completed his three years as mission president in the Oregon Eugene Mission almost two years ago now.  Thanks, Tom!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Elder McGinn and Sister Thomas

Part of the great experience Cameron is having in the MTC is being there at the same time as so many of his friends.  He reports to us in each email the "sightings."  Below is Elder McGinn with Sister Taylor Thomas, one of the great sister missionaries from our stake currently in the MTC.  Sister Thomas will serve in the California Sacramento Mission speaking Spanish.  Taylor's parents and our good friends John and Kay Thomas sent this picture to us.

About Taylor.  She was so eager to serve a mission!  At 10:23 am on Saturday, October 6, 2012, just moments after President Monson announced the change in age limits for elders and sisters, Taylor sent me the following text: "Hi President, this is Taylor Thomas.  I'm ready to go on my mission now!  So I will see you soon!!"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Elder McGinn and Elder Haines

Elder Jordan Haines, one of Cameron's friends from Timpanogos High School, has been called to serve in the New York Rochester Mission.  Here is a picture of a meeting between Elder McGinn and Elder Haines sent to us by Jared Haines, Jordan's Dad.  Based on his attire, we certainly hope it's Cameron's P-Day and not him making a run for it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Email - February 19, 2013

 Meine Geliebter Familie!

I've decided I live in Narnia. Time is just an idea in here, but it doesn't really exist. It's hard to distinguish what time of day, or even what day it is, by looking at the bricks on the inside of our classroom. But it's flying. The days feel like weeks, and the weeks feel like days, and I love it more everyday!  It's weird seeing someone from the real world in here, it takes a little for me to realize who they really are before I run them down aggressively.

We just picked up two brand new investigators, Stefan and Slavko Kovacic (you better believe he's from Bulgaria, Mase!) We teach our first lessons tomorrow night, no notes, no nothing. It can be intimidating, but it gets the leaders what they want: terrified elders babbling in terrible grammar and occasional blasphemy if they don't realize what they said. Haha no, I love it. It just makes me look forward to them being REAL investigators for once. The German gets better and better everyday, our teachers won't even talk to us in English anymore, and whenever we hear an English-speaking elder pray in English, we all think "what a pansy." (they don't speak the Adamic language anymore for Iowa, Dad.)

Room 12M 121 has officially become a black market. Every elder who is leaving or just doesn't want their treats drops them off at our room, and we're now running an underground business. The food is free for the Krauts in our branch, but any other elder who wants anything has to make a trade, bigger or better style. Our stash grows everyday, and soon we'll have the bookstore outta business.

I ran into Mack just yesterday, three hours before he had to leave! I'm so jealous, he's so stoked to get out there. Has anyone heard about Trev, I live in a snow globe, we don't get any information in here. BTDubs, I told you I'd bring my list next time, and here it is! Confirmed Visuals: Mack, Nate Bartholomew, Sean Lee, Patrick Clarke, Chelsea Jensen, Carly Madsen, Brack, Bryson Davies, Liz Donakey, Benny, Chris Brunst, Jordan Haines, Kaleb Egbert, Matt Boyd, Jon Thompson, Austin Buxton, Easton Rothwell, Matt King, Sean Weitzel, The Watsons, Mrs. Jones and Hub, Taylor Thomas, Jake Benson (Lehi track kid), Austin Taylor (lineman from football), and Schuyler Gilliam. I left off about fifteen names that you wouldn't know, but it's ridiculous, and all of my district hates me that I know everyone. They call me Elder McVollkommen, which means Elder Mc"Perfect". Keep sending packages, I love how much they hate me and just want it to grow stronger :) sucks to suck.

I have a love/hate relationship with P Days in here because they're P Days, duh, but I hate them because they're still so busy! If i sound a wee bit stressed, that's definitely why, so i apologize! (and no, i'm not going back to capitalize all of those "i"'s) I wish I could write for hours, but I have to get to choir. Someone said I might have a duet with Josh Groban later this month. Haha it's like track, people do it to get out of class :)

Ich liebe diese Evangelium. Jesus Christus hat for uns wirklich gestoerben. Er ist mein Erloesser, und mein Koenig. Ich weiss und wir koennen allen durch die Heilige Geist wissen das Gott im Himmeln ist unser Vater und hat leibe fur uns das wir koennen nul verstehen. Familien sind ewig, und durch die Suehnopfer und betreffenden umkehren wir koennen und werde mit Gott leben. Diese Kirche ist die wahr kirche an die Welt, und die Menschen auf Deutschland und alles uber die Welt kann gluecklich sein. Ich leibe du alles, so viele, und ich willst du zu wissen das ich bin sehr glucklich und bereit fur die Menschen auf Deutschland. Ich leibe dich. Mehr als du kann wissen.

-Deine lieblings Sohn :) 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cousins. Elder McGinn and Elder Reading

Cameron's cousin Brady Reading from Jacksonville, Florida entered the MTC the same day Cameron did.  Brady is the oldest child of my sister Michelle and her husband Wayne Reading.  Brady was set apart by his stake president in Jacksonville and then traveled to Utah to stay with Grandma McGinn Monday and Tuesday before entering the MTC.  Elder Reading was able to join us for Cameron's setting apart.  It was fun to have him there.  This is a picture of Elder McGinn and Elder Reading together in the MTC.  Great to see them both looking happy!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Email - February 12, 2013

Well, well, well..long time no see! Haha I feel like I've been in here for at least a month, but it feels like I got dropped off just a few hours ago too! It's a time warp in here, and everyone knows it. Days can drag on sometimes, but before you know it you've been in a week!

Where to begin..I love it here. It's exactly like everyone told me it was. It's rough to say goodbye, but you don't even have a second to think before everyone is talking to you, asking where you're going, prodding you through a line, giving you books in different languages, and then you sit. Alone in a room, waiting for a person on your envelope named "Gunnar Rex Ueda Pancheri." I didn't know my companion was from Star Wars. Then people start walking in, turn on the lights and wonder why you didn't and just sat alone in a dark room, and eventually you all start talking. Everyone had come in but my companion, so I was still a little nervous. In my district, it's a kid from Highland, Alpine, Spanish Fork, Wales and England, somewhere in the territory of Idaho, three sisters (Canada, Utah, and Virginia), me, and whoever my companion is. I heard a thumping down the hall and knew it was him. It just took time for everyone to warm up to each other, and now I love him! Elder Pancheri is from Idaho, plays baseball and has only been active for about the last 7 months when he met his girlfriend. He's funny and easy to get along with.  That's the companion, Elder Panda.

Let's talk about my branch president, Pres. Peterson. He was made the branch president three weeks ago when they split their only German branch into two. And he looks EXACTLY like the bad guy in National Treasure 2. I realized that in district meeting. So I’m always a little nervous he's got something up those artifact-stealing sleeves of his. He's a great guy, and he loves the missionaries and we love him.

Third, it's ridiculous how many people I've seen here in five days. I forgot my list, but I'll name a few: Benny, Mack, Brack, Jordan Haines, Austin Buxton, Chelsea Jensen (she's in my district, but left this morning for Berlin! Pics will be coming soon, of course), Chris Brunst, Skyler Payne, Nate Bartholomew, Patrick Clarke, Kaleb Egbert, Mrs. Jones from Oak Canyon, and so many more. I think I'm at 25, I'll bring the list next time. The only people missing are Cade and Bryson. I wish they were here and can't wait for them to get here and love and live it up in here! There is nothing like seeing so many people you know so well working so hard to change lives.

Fourth, the choir is MASSIVE. Biggest choir they've ever had. Of the almost 5000 missionaries in here, the choir was about 1000 of them. We get to sing at the devotional tonight, and I'm pretty stoked! There's not a lot of music here because it's the MTC, and it's so relaxing to get out of our jail cell classroom with a 12x12 in window in the top corner (yes, we measured) for a little.

Fifth, I don't know about you, Dad, Griff, or Mase, but I ANNIHILATE people at 4 square. I've quickly become the Lebron James of that square, feared by many. My reign will be swift but terrible.Haha

Six, I can pray and bear my testimony auf Deutsch! It's so cool, you all think it sounds like phlegm, but I think it's so pretty and smooth! In Sacrament on Sunday I was called up out of the blue to bear my testimony and rocked it.

I have five minutes to wrap it up, and I didn't even talk about everything I wanted to, but I'll slowly get you all up to speed in here! Just know that I love it. There's a feeling here that keeps you positive and up beat all day, it's seriously so hard to be negative, you have to try. They keep us so busy and I'm the youngest but best German speaker in my district, so it's fun! It's fun being the best, huh dad?

Haha I miss you all. My squeaky bunk isn't near as comfy as my bed at home, and even though I'm in a little snow globe called the MTC without my silver bullet, nothing could make me come home when there's so much that is waiting for me and my district out there in Germany. I thought I couldn't get any happier until I got mom's rolls last night, and now my district hates me :)

(get ready for google translate) Ich weiss dass diese Kirche, die Kirche Jesu Christi der wahr Kirche ist. Ich liebe das Buch Mormon, und ich bezuege dass es die Wahrheit enthaeltet. Wir koennen durch der Heilige Geist wissen, das der Sohn Gottes lebt und uns leibt. Jesus Christus ist mein und unsere Erloesser, and wir koennen zu Gott zuruckkehren, indem wir ihm naehe bleiben. Gott hat viele leibt fur uns. In namen Jesu Christi, amen.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cam's Mission Begins - Feb. 6, 2013

Cameron at the Provo Temple just before entering the MTC.

Long line of cars waiting to drop off missionaries at the Missionary Training Center.  841 missionaries entered the MTC today.  More missionaries than ever before.

Cameron was more than ready for his final goodbye.  Here he is with his "Host" missionary on his way to check in.

Cam and Friends - Nov. 7, 2012