Week 10

Hey y’all!!!! Things are great in LA!!

Monday: Today we went on some adventures through the canyon and drove out to Malibu and took some pictures. I had a really fun time driving! Then, in the evening we went and saw Jila for a little while and talked with her about the gospel. She’s still doing super awesome!
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Tuesday: This morning we had the New Missionary Training Part 2 which was great. I met another missionary from Florida! After that, we had to book it out of there to get to Elder Spalding’s root canal appointment down in the bottom of the mission. He went through his visit and got his tooth fixed. That took a little while, but I was able to read a lot and study some stuff. So, it was all good. Then, we drove back to the valley and had dinner with a member named Jose! He’s awesome and we were able to talk with him about some good stuff.
Wednesday: This morning we had District Council which was really great! We talked a lot about keeping an accurate area book planner which is really important! We then had some lunch and decided we needed to update our ABP with all of our people. This really helped us determine exactly where we are with all of our friends. We were supposed to have a lesson with Jila again, but she couldn’t make it. So, we sent her a spiritual thought and did our weekly planning.
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Thursday: Early this morning, we had ward correlation. We discussed all of our friends and then we had a meeting with the sisters about boundaries for our areas. We were trying to split up the work for all 6 ASL missionaries so we could better serve the Lord and His children. So that was awesome. Afterwards, Elder Spalding and I kind of had “some time to kill” because we couldn’t just drive an hour and a half back up to the valley and then back for dinner with the Martinez’s and then teach our ASL class. So, we decided to grab some lunch and do our studies at a park overlooking Redondo Beach which was AWESOME!!! I had not felt more at home until then. The beach didn’t exactly look the same, but it smelled mostly the same. After that, we had dinner with the Martinez’s and then another awesome ASL class.
Friday: From 10-12 today, we did service at the Braille Institute. I always love going there and helping the people. They’re all so nice. Most people there were already being helped, so we weren’t really needed for guiding as much. But, we still go to talk to all the awesome people there. Later that day, we had a lesson with Jila and we found out that she made us these awesome bracelets! Did I mention that Jila is amazing? Because she is. Then later in the evening, we went and visited with Sandra and Beto. Beto is finally back in town, so I got to meet him and we invited them to church.
Saturday: In the morning, we had a lesson with Rafael which went really well and he explained to us why he hadn’t been able to go to church the past couple weeks. He told us he was sorry, but that he’s going next week. After that, we went down to the south part of the mission again for a lunch with some of Elder Spalding’s family friends who were in town. They’re all such nice people and it was good to meet them. We stayed down in Torrance for a while because we thought we would have a service project down there, but we ended up being called to go interpret for a baptism in Van Nuys. Crazy day! Have I mentioned before that we drive a lot?
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Sunday: CHURCH!!! Church is so great. That’s all I can say. What other time is there during the week to just sit down and ponder about the Savior? After church, we had studies and then got together with some other Elders in our apartment complex and talked for a while. I love Sunday.

Week 9

I had a great week!
Monday: Another P-Day bites the dust!!! In the morning, Elder Spalding had a meeting with President Cordón (which was cancelled). We woke up early to try and beat traffic. However, we forgot that it was Labor Day so LA at 6:45 was a ghost town. Not surprisingly, we arrived early and decided to go get McDonald’s for breakfast and eat on the Temple grounds. After his meeting, we met April and Dorone and toured the Temple Visitor’s Center. We had a blast! Afterwards, we had lunch and chatted with them. The rest of the day was a normal P-Day.
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Tuesday: Around noon, we had a lesson with Rafael about the Word of Wisdom. He was in full agreement with that principle which was awesome! We will take a few steps at a time with him until he gets baptized!! Then, we came home and Elder Spalding took a nap because he didn’t get much sleep the night before because of his tooth (more to come on that).
Wednesday: In the morning, we did most of our studies and planning for the week as well as a Facetime lesson with Jila because the afternoon was going to be super busy. Around 1, we left for Redondo beach to have Elder Spalding’s tooth checked out. We were there for quite a while because they ended up coming to the conclusion that he needs to get a root canal. Yikes! That took up most of our afternoon. Then, we had quite the time counting Teslas on the way home. Just on the interstate in a 2 hour period, I saw 175 Teslas. They grow on trees out here! Later that night, we started our exchange with our district leader Elder Mathewson.
Thursday: Early in the morning, we had an appointment in San Fernando. After that, I had my driving test at the Mission Office! Fun fact: I don’t think I’ve ever driven a car that small except for my electrathon car… and even that felt bigger! I passed by the way. Later, we had correlation at Brother Fu’s and then dinner at the Martinez’s and then ASL class. We finished up by driving all the way back home! It was a long day!
Friday: From 10-12:45 today, we did service at the Braille Institute. School is back in session so there are students there now! I met an awesome guy named Eduardo. He’s from Cuba and he used to be a body builder. He’s still buff! He’s both deaf and blind so we help him get around and talk with him. He’s super awesome. Afterwards, we drove home, had lunch, did some studies, and then headed over to Maricela’s to help her study for her citizenship test.
Saturday: DEAFEST!!!!🤩😍🤩😍 We woke up and prepared for the day and met a man with the keys to a church building nearby to pick up some stuff for DeaFEST. Then, we headed to downtown LA for the event! We set set up and prepared for the event. All of our hard work for the event came together and our table looked great! The event started and people started coming by and talking to us and we got a lot of people’s information! Everything went well and we had such a good time! I also had someone stop by the tent who wanted to have a Bible bash. I kindly asked her leave. Fortunately, there were no casualties but it was a close one! That ended up being our whole day, but it sure was a day well spent!
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Sunday: CHURCH!!! Church is so awesome! All the people in our branch are so amazing and I love interpreting for the branch. After church, we met up with the sisters to split up names that we received from DeaFEST. We also helped them move the big “LOVE” sign into the church from the event. Then, we came home to eat some dinner and then had a lesson with Sandra and Beto. After they, we came back home and settled in for the evening with studies still to do.
Love y’all
Elder Tew

Week 8

Hey y’all!!! Here’s my week in review.
Monday: We found a new friend to teach! Her name is Jila and she’s awesome! She’s hearing, but now ASL missionaries are allowed to have both deaf and hearing friends of the church. Anyway, other than that it was mostly p-day stuff like doing laundry and calling home. :)
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Tuesday: Nothing terribly exciting happened today. We went and visited Aurelio and his little girls. While there, we dropped off a package for them that Elder Spalding’s mom sent. They were super excited about that!
Wednesday: We had another district council today. That was mostly it. Most of our appointments cancelled on us. Bummer.
Thursday: The day started off with a super long zone conference with the mission president. It was super great! Then, we hied to Kolob (aka drove to Compton) for a lesson. After the lesson, we had ASL class with the sisters where we teach people from the area who want to learn sign language. Then, we drove all the way back home.
Friday: The day started off normally and then we headed down into the city for service at the Braille Institute. That was so much fun!!! The classes for art and such start next week, so we’ll be able to do more than just set up and clean next week. After braille, we came home for studies. Then, we went to visit some less active members nearby. No dice on them being home, so we did some English speaking tracting around the park. We placed a Book of Mormon with a man named Aaron!
Saturday: It was an awesome day! We had a lesson with Rafael in the morning. Then, we had a partial exchange with the Zone Leaders because we were headed to the Temple to do some work there. Elder Spalding’s recommend was expired, so we had to swap companions for a couple hours. Elder Terry and I went and met the ASL south sisters (Sisters Ramsey and Williams) at the Visitor’s Center close by. Once Sonia and Lizzy arrived, we went and did some family history work with them followed up by some baptisms! I was able to do the prayers all in ASL!!!! That was such an awesome experience!!!
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Sunday: Nothing super special happened today.  We went to church and did some interpreting then drove home and did studies for the rest of the evening.
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Weeks 6 and 7

I’m finally in Los Angeles!! It’s been a minute since I’ve updated everyone, so let me back track a bit. I’ll start with my last week in the MTC and then work my way forward.

So the last week in the MTC was kind of sad, but super amazing! We had the opportunity to share our testimonies in class and see how much we had all grown together in the MTC! We said our goodbyes and a tear or two was shed.

We woke up early Monday morning to see the New York ASL missionaries off. It was bittersweet to see them leave. Then about six hours later, it was my turn. We hugged necks (not the sisters of course), said goodbye, and headed for the airport.

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When we landed in LAX, we were greeted by the mission president, President Cordón! We drove to the mission home, walked around the temple, and toured the Visitor’s Center there. Then, we ate dinner with the President’s family. They are way nice! Fun fact: Their daughter is going to serve a mission in Ft. Lauderdale! After the meal, each of us had an interview with President Cordón. Following that, we went to where we would be sleeping for the night and hit the hay. It was a long day!

When we woke up the next morning, we had breakfast with President and his family. They’re so great for feeding us like that! Afterward, we had a little bit of training followed by a little more training. Finally, we met our new companions! My companion is Elder Spalding from Utah and he is awesome! Next, we drove home before heading to an appointment with a little girl who cancelled on us. Then, we had one more appointment before going back to the house for the evening.

Wednesday was packed with appointments (who mostly canceled on us) and contacting less active members here in the valley. Thursday we had correlation with the sisters, Sister Vanisi, and the Branch Mission Leader, Brother Fu. They’re all super cool and willing to help us with our problems. After that, we had dinner with the Martinez family. I then had the opportunity to teach my first ASL class to people here in LA who want to learn how to sign. Super fun!

On Fridays, we provide service at the Braille Institute which is awesome! We help them with interpreting, setting up stuff, and whatever they need. Afterwards we had District council where I met my district for the first time.

Saturday, we went out to visit Rafael who is deaf blind. He’s also super awesome. He loves to learn about the gospel. Fun fact: He has a baptism date! Go Team Jesus!! Anyway, most of the rest of that day we spent contacting less actives and talking to people that seemed interested in learning more about Jesus in the past. That’s where we found Jila (more to come on her).

Sunday we spent the majority of our day at the church building which is down in Torrance. We have church where we interpret –  either voice or sign for deaf blind. There’s also a Spanish interpretation for those who need it. That’s three of languages in one meeting! After church, we have another ASL class and sometimes more meetings with the ASL North and South Sisters.

That’s all for this past two weeks. I’ll keep you updated next week!

Love y’all!!!

Elder Tew

Week 5

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I had yet another amazing week here at the MTC!!!

So this past week, we’ve had many more opportunities to teach preparatory lessons to our teachers and to learn how to prepare lessons and teach with the spirit. One very interesting thing about teaching deaf people is that some deaf people don’t know ASL! Therefore, communicating with them is interesting. Needless to say, trying to teach them the Gospel is quite the sight to see. If you would like to give it a whirl, try playing a game of charades to teach a Gospel principle to someone and then have them respond with what they think you are teaching. Now, imagine doing that with someone who has to charade back to you what they learned. TA-DA!! Now you know. It was quite interesting to do!!! Our teacher said that Elder Smith and I did a fantastic job!! I’m just going to go ahead and say that in no other language do you get to create your own language to teach someone the Gospel. Did I hear a “BEST CALLING EVER?!?!?”

Anyway, this week has been exciting!! I received my travel information to get to Los Angeles! I’ll be leaving the MTC Monday August 19th, at 10 AM! I’m excited to go out into the field and serve, but also a little sad to be leaving a great companion and such a wonderful district! And don’t forget the amazing Branch Presidency and the ASL teachers here who are absolutely inspired!

I am so thankful for my call to serve and for all the amazing support that I have back home and across the globe!! I LOVE Y’ALL SO MUCH!!

Until next time!!
Elder Tew

Week 4

This week has been great!! I’ve had plenty more spiritual experiences, but I won’t bore you with all the details.

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Fun fact: I guess I must have forgotten to mention that the MTC is currently under some maintenance
and repairs. So, they’re taking down some old buildings. Those buildings are right next to our classroom, so during class we hear no voices and
all of the destruction of the buildings next door which is awesome.

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Also, the elevator in our building has been fixed. Needless to say, Elder Smith and the rest of our district have been using that luxury since it’s been repaired. It’s an old elevator, so it’s a little scary. Naturally, we try to fit as many people on at a time as
possible. I believe we’ve reached as many as 22 missionaries on one ride. Awesome!

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I’m doing great and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to serve the Lord.

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Also, a quick challenge for you is to sing “I know that my Redeemer Lives” and sing the first line over and over to the melody of the song all the way until the end. It’s pretty amazing what those words can do to the Spirit.

Love y’all!!

Elder Tew

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Week 3

Hello everybody!! What a fantastic week it has been! It’s been chock-full of spiritual experiences, laughs, and singing!

This past week on Thursday, Elder Smith and I had
the opportunity to teach our first TRC lesson!  For a TRC lesson, people from around the world (and some people that live nearby), volunteer their time to help the missionaries in the MTC teach in their new languages. “Friends of the Church” stop by or call in and we have the opportunity to practice our teaching skills in the new language. So, we had our first experience with that which was awesome! Our first lesson was with an actual deaf member of the church and we got to meet with him in person and share a message and invite him to do something. Our second person was one of the interpreters that volunteers here sometimes. Needless to say, our second lesson went better than our first because we got to adjust our lesson a little bit to improve it.

Friday and Saturday were pretty normal and Sunday was the last Sunday for the Germans and Hungarians so they sang “I believe in Christ” as a whole. THE SPIRIT WAS STRONG. I absolutely love music. Music is such a beautiful way to testify of our Lord and Savior and to tell Him how much we love Him.

Monday was normal as well and then Tuesday came… Aside from Sundays, Tuesdays have got to be my favorite day of the week. Tuesday starts off as a normal day – lots of studying and some exercise and then some food and a class. After class, we have a quick dinner and then we get to go practice our song some more for the Tuesday night devotional. We have an amazing Choir director, Brother Egget, who’s funny and knows how to bring the spirit through stories like a punch in the face and combine all that with the songs that we sing. Wow!

So many personal prayers were answered this week during the devotional from Sister Craig of the General Young Women’s Presidency. The spirit is so amazing and it’s awesome to think that feeling the spirit here on earth is just a sip of what Heaven is like. The Church is true ladies and gentlemen. I love my mission and I am one happy missionary!!

Love y’all!!

Elder Tew

Week 2

Hello everyone!!

I had another great week here at the Missionary Training Center! What a tremendous experience it is to be here with so many other wonderful missionaries! Every day is a new day to experience the Holy Spirit and the amazing testimony it can give us. This week has been filled with lots of classes and plenty of emails from my Momma!

Language study on the roof of T3

Language study on the roof of T3

So, just to give you a regular day as an ASL missionary in the MTC with an emphasis on how much quiet there is during the day, the schedule goes
somewhat like this:
6:30 – Wake up/ Get ready for the day
7:15 – Daily Plan
7:45 – Book of Mormon Study (Silence/ Share story in ASL)
8:15 – Breakfast
8:50 – Exercise time
9:50 – Get ready for next activity
10:30 – Personal Study (Silence)
11:30 – Companion Study
12:45 – Lunch
1:30 – Class (Silence)
4:30 – Language Study (Silence)
5:30 – Dinner
6:30 – Class (Silence)
9:15 – Return to Dorms
9:45 – In dorm room for the night / Journal
10:30 – Lights out

To give you a sum total, that’s eight and a half hours of silence a day…so naps here are pretty easy. JUST KIDDING!

Elder Smith and I on English fast day

Elder Smith and I on English fast day

This past Friday though our district decided that we wanted to do an English fast all day long which meant that no words were to be spoken all day, not even to other people who didn’t know sign language! The day was great until right at the end when we were mentally, physically and spiritually tired. But, I am glad that I had the experience to participate in that. We will be holding another English fast this Friday again so, pray for me!

All the Elders on English fast day

All the Elders on English fast day

Anyway, I don’t want to waste too much more of your time so I just want to share a spiritual experience with you real quick and then you can be on your way. During one of our companion studies, right at the end, I signed the closing prayer. At the end of my prayer I signed, “Father, we thank thee for all the blessings that we have.” After I concluded the prayer, I took a step back and thought about that sentence. What a blessing it is that we have the opportunity to call him “Father.” I love my Father that I have here on earth as well as my Father that I have in heaven. What a blessing it is for me to have two such amazing Fathers in my life! I testify that as we pray to our Father in Heaven, He can help us even more than our fathers here on earth can. I love you Dad (and Mom).

Until next week ladies and gentleman!
Elder  Tew

The whole district and some this past Sunday

The whole district and some this past Sunday

 

Week 1 – I made it!

Hello everyone!

This is Elder Tew coming to you live from the Provo,
Utah MTC!! I am doing very well!

This first week here has been a blast! The first day here I was welcomed by a “host” missionary to
help me find my dorm and show me where all the classes were etc.  After dropping off my bags, it was GO, GO, GO the rest of the day. I didn’t even get to unpack! But, it was all good because I got to unpack that night. The first night I fell asleep pretty quick because I had been awake for 19 or so hours and I was tired. But, the following days would not continue to be as easy.

We have had many opportunities to feel the spirit here at the MTC! We have personal, companion, and
language study daily which helps us bring the spirit into our day. Then, add in 6 hours of ASL classes everyday where we “talk” about the language and how to testify, pray, etc.  To that, add the
wonderful branch presidency that I have here and my wonderful district and companion. God is good ladies and gentlemen.

My companion’s name is Elder Smith. He is from South Jordan, Utah (I know that’s insane that he is from Utah). He’s smart and feels the spirit very often and is definitely a huge help to me and helps me
with my weaknesses. He’s a true Utah boy, so some of the things that I mention from back home he is clueless about. But, it gives me a chance to inform him on why the South is God’s country! Anyway, he’s awesome and I am so grateful that I have such a wonderful companion.

This past tuesday during a devotional, our district comprised of 8 Elders and 6 Sisters in accordance with another ASL district having 4 Sisters and 10 Elders had the opportunity to sign, not SING but rather SIGN a song with the choir. WHAT AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE THAT WAS!!!! We
sang the song “Consider the Lilies”. In the song it says, “Consider the children that must suffer here on earth. The pains of all of them He carried, from the moment of His birth.” I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, was sent here on earth so that we could return and live with our Father in Heaven again. I testify that He knows our pains and He is there to help us with empathy and NOT sympathy. I know our
Savior lives and that He loves us.

Until next week!
Elder Tew

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