For those who don’t know, P-Day (or Preparation Day), is sort of the day off for missionaries. Once a week, they have a break from their missionary duties to do laundry, shop for food, clean, write letters, and sometimes do a little sightseeing. This is the only day they’re allowed to write letters. Nowadays, they get an hour on a computer to read and write email, but they can also write physical letters outside of computer time. They are still supposed to do their morning missionary routine on p-day, which includes Gospel and language study time, exercise, planning, etc., and at 6:00 pm, they’re back to their usual missionary work.
In the MTC, there’s no need to shop for food, cleaning is minimal, and there’s no sightseeing — missionaries don’t leave the MTC while they’re there, except to go to the Provo temple, which is up the hill just across the street from the MTC. That is the other thing they get to do on p-day, usually early in the morning.
Here are excerpts from Zed’s letter to us from his first p-day, which was Thursday. I’ll refrain from editing, so you get the real deal, misspellings and all.
Hey all! i’ll try to get out as much as possible – i don’t have a tooon of time.
wednesday was actually a blast after i quit choking up at the curb – they really don’t give you any time to weep or anything haha, so i was in class with the teacher in less than 30 minutes. my host was really cool.
my comp’s name is elder smith. he’s from park city and he’s really cool. we’re basically a trio with another elder, elder kingsolver, because guess what – his companion is the only one going to albania, so they have to be separated a lot of the time. the elder going to albania is from hungary. yeah. his english is good, but it’s still got to be soooo hard for him to learn albanian from english, which isn’t his first language. his name is elder medvecky.
My other two roommates are elder hyer and his companion elder runyan. they’re both going to finland also but they’re in the other of two districts.
the two sisters in our district are: sister moffat, who’s from utah somewhere nearby, and sister lafferty, who’s from oklahoma. she’s 23, which is awesome. everyone else is around my age – when i got here i discovered that i’m actually older than the zone leaders and most of everyone else which is weird haha.
so, my district is: me (i’m the district leader as well), elder kingsolver, elder smith, sister lafferty, and sister moffat. it’s a really fun class and we have really great teachers.
we’ve been teaching one “investigator” (she’s actually one of the teachers of the other finnish class), and it’s been going alright – teaching in all finnish is really hard but it’s fun. she said yesterday in lesson number 4 that she wanted to be baptized, so woohoo! we’re excited about that. our last lesson with her before we get a new investigator is tonight, i think.
food is pretty decent for the most part, but last night my comp elder smith got really sick from something – we think it’s food poisoning but we’re not sure. he felt totally normal all day yesterday but after dinner he started feeling weird and he spent the whole night puking. he’s sleeping right now, hopefully he’ll feel better when he wakes up.
got to go to the temple this morning and do initatories, which was cool.
um. sunday was good – we had mission conference in the morning, sacrament in early afternoon, and devotional and a movie at night. i prayed in finnish in sacrament which was cool. the devotional and movie were awesome – the devotional was elder nelson’s wife – she was an amazing speaker and i really loved her talk. the movie was the character of christ, an mtc christmas devotional by david a. bednar. that was also amazing. if you can find it look it up, but i’m not sure if it’s available to the public since it was an mtc devotional.
send mail. lots of mail. i’d love a dearelder a day, haha, it’s the best part of the day. so, maybe assign each day a kid and have them write me then; i’d loooove that.
okay, gotta go soon, so here’s some finnish:
tiedän että mormonin kirja je totta. todistan että jos luet mormonin kirjaa, voitte tuntea Pyha Henkeä. rakastan kirkkoa ja rakastan teitä. jeesukseen kristukseen nimessa, amen.
i’m not sure about spelling there, but the grammar should be right haha.
i’ll write you all next week and hopefully i can send a recording!
PS the shift key on this keyboard is nearly broken, otherwise i would use it more haha
Just a few comments: the missionaries do a lot of role playing in the MTC to learn to contact, teach, etc., so when he talks about teaching in Finnish, he’s talking about a fake teaching situation. We laughed at his “woohoo!”, since the “investigator” they’re teaching is someone who went to Finland as a missionary and, of course, has already been baptized. They try to emulate the obstacles and objections the missionaries will find out in the field, but I suspect they agree to baptism more readily than real people. 🙂
Zed will be 19 in January, so when he says he’s older than everyone, he’s talking about being months older. So, not that much older.
And about dearelder: You can go the website dearelder.com and write to missionaries there and they print out a physical letter and deliver it. It’s free to write to missionaries in the MTC and if you write before noon Mountain Time, they deliver it the same day (Monday through Friday). You can write to missionaries out in the field, too: for some it’s free and for others, you pay the price of a stamp. It’s a pretty great service. I read somewhere that they deliver 5000 letters a day to the MTC.