Elder Huffaker

Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Area, Van Nuys

All right, here's my (I guess) long e-mail back to you. First off, going to do e-mails was kind of dropped on me; didn't know we were coming to do that, so I forgot my reader to send pictures (sooo sorry). I have a ton though, so I would probably send multiple e-mails in order to get them all sent.

So about getting sick, I actually had a cold recently, that I got in the MTC, I don't know if I told you that yet or not. I actually knew that dad was looking to get something like a tablet, I just didn't know if he was actually going to do it or not. That's pretty cool that he got one though.

That's cool that you finally opened your Mothers Day present, took you long enough, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. Glad Darcie got to go to the temple. My mission just had a recent temple trip, and we go about 3 times a year, so we won't be going anytime soon. But the temple we would go to is the LA temple.

Okay, so we had 15 missionaries flying with us, and we went to the Burbank airport from Salt Lake. (I actually saw the flight that was heading for Lewiston on their reader board thing, but I didn't try to get on it. (like I would, LOL). My trainer is Elder Morgan, we get along pretty well, we are serving in Van Nuys (pronounced like very nice, with an accent, I'm not sure which accent) and we are a.............................................. bike area! I'm told this is the biggest bike area and we arrived during the hottest time of the year. Woohoo! Elder Morgan is from Show Low, Arizona, northeastern mountains.

We live with the Andersons, in a sort of guest house out behind their house. It's pretty big, bigger than I thought I'd ever have out here. Anyway, we borrowed a bike from them and while riding it, it pretty much fell apart. The tires don't hold air very well, the brakes are awful, the pedals are somewhat broke, the frame is literally starting to fall apart, it was hitting the back wheel, the shifters don't work well, the seat pad fell of so we had to tape it back on, and it was a city bike so there were no shocks, which you think wouldn't be a big deal, but with the earthquakes (which we do get, but I haven't been in one yet) the sidewalks fall apart and are very rough, which is not fun on a city bike. Oh well, anything to get around and do the work is fine, especially since we just got a bike from one of the members who never use their bikes. It's a really nice 21-speed mountain bike with a bigger seat on it. Can't wait to try it out.

I also had to get a library card so I could use the computer here at the library for an hour. Next week though, the library will be closed because of the national holiday so we will just go to the church.

So, we are getting fed really well, the members here are awesome. We have a calendar specifically for the ward to sign up to have us over for dinner, and we are almost booked through September, there's like 2 or 3 days that are open, and some of the members say, "If you don't get anyone for that date, just come over and we'll feed you." So there's no worries about going hungry here.

Also, for the most part, when we are not in a discussion or eating, the rest of the time is usually spent getting from place to place. I haven't done street contacting or door knocking since I've been here (except for knocking on doors of previous investigators).

So tell me, how is Dad doing at Welenco? Is he getting plenty of business? Is Brandon helping him a lot? How are things at home? Please ask any questions, I will try to have photos next week, and ask questions I forgot to answer too.

Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Growth at the MTC

Okay so this is my last P-day in the MTC. By the way I said previously that I can't send pictures from the MTC. I will have to try and see if I can send them from the field. There is something with the programing that doesn't allow me to add attachments to my e-mails. Sorry about that.

The MTC has been a great experience and quite a testimony builder, we learn so much in so little time. It feels like I've been here for ever, yet I'm already leaving. We are also starting on this new "program" where, when we get to the field, we, instead of our trainers, are the ones leading.

I'm pretty excited to get out of this place and into the field. I know it is going to be one of the hardest, if not the hardest thing I will ever do, but I can already tell it will be totally worth it. There's no where else I'd rather be than serving the Lord.

Already I am adjusted to the schedule, I can especially tell when I'm waking up just a couple minutes before the alarm goes off. We did pictures the past days with our district and our teachers, and I will do my best to get those sent.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More of MTC Life

So I'll try to send pictures later, I forgot my camera and card reader. Doing laundry again, this is my last full week in the MTC. Feels like I just barely got here and now they're about to send us out.

We are singing, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” in Sacrament Meeting this Sunday; the sisters volunteered us.... oh well. Elders Irvine, Kruger, Rasmussen, and myself have the bass part, Elder Beasley had the tenor part, and the other elders are just going to sing the melody. Elder Tollworthy, Gallup and Stevenson..... two of them are TONE DEAF. Doesn't help when we are singing separate parts.

Nothin’ much to report other than I just tried the SD card USB reader, and the MTC computers are incapable of reading it. Probably some security thing. Oh well, ask me questions.

Still don't have a scripture or quote or anything, almost never have time for myself. Oh well again, that's the way it is.

[After my return email with questions for him, came his answers in this follow up email:]

Okay, so Elder Kruger is from Red Deer, Alberta Canada. MTC food sucks, and yes, he is also going to San Fernando. We have two 4-hour classes every day except for p-day and Sunday. We went to the Provo Temple, which is round, and we are going today. I have 30 minutes for e-mail. No general authorities have spoken, and it [speakers] is in the gym. I do get to help with hosting [the new, incoming MTC missionaries] tomorrow.

Life at the MTC

Hi everyone. So the first days started out as the easiest and then turned in to the hardest. After Sunday though, it feels a little easier. I'm probably getting used to the schedule.

Anyway, the second full day we were here, they threw us right in to teaching investigators. They are just our teachers for our class, but it's kind of stressful when you don't know what you're doin' and they make you teach. Also, none of the returned missionaries can give me any advice about the MTC really, because we are the first group of missionaries that they have implemented a new course, which is apparently nothing like the old one.

Our schedules are pretty full and we are either in class, studying, eating or in the gym. Except for p-days and Sundays. We had a fireside on Sunday, which you need to be 45 minutes to an hour early to in order to get a good seat. We have a devotional tonight, so we are going to head to that super early.

Other than that, we have laundry and we get to go to the temple today. Washing machines are hard to find because they are all full, and we have way more dryers than washers. I suppose that is a good thing when you need to move your stuff, there is always an open dryer. By the way, Mom, air drying the towels did nothing for them. I am washing my towels and drying them here. All of them, because after using the shower and drying off, I had little towel fuzzies all over me. Nothing else really to report other than I want to get a picture of my district, my companion and I next to the map, and a list of their names. I know them all, but I don't know how to tell you so you know who is who.

In companionships we have: Elder Kruger and myself, Elder Irvine and Elder Beasly, Elder Tollworthy and Elder Stevenson, Elder Gallup and Elder Rasmussen, Sister Tapusoa and Sister Jensen, Sister Snater and Sister Thompson. All of us are in the same district, 7a, and Elder Irvine is our district leader.

Oh by the way, I received my pants from the Missionary Mall, but they also gave me 8 shirts, so now I have 18 shirts. What do I do with the other shirts? They are still in the package.

Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hello, MTC!

On Wednesday, August 3rd, Cameron entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah! The MTC has changed their missionary check-in method since the last time we were there, so our family experience was a bit different this time.

Unlike previously, when the families went in with their missionaries and had a short meeting, now the new missionaries are dropped off at the curb. There were missionaries helping to direct traffic, and along the curb there were about 30 stations, each with a host missionary there waiting to greet the new arrivals, guide them where they needed to go, and help them with their luggage. We had all the family (except Brandon, who had to work) to say goodbye to Cameron. We had spent the previous week in Salt Lake while the girls were at a BYU camp. During that time, Cameron helped in providing some service to his aunt, and we also made a trip to the Salt Lake Temple and Temple Square. It was a good transition from civilian life.

With the length of our trip, by the time we went to the MTC, Cameron was pretty anxious to get going and truly start on his life as a missionary. Cameron does not need to learn a language, so he will only be there for about 3 weeks before leaving for southern California. He will leave the MTC about August 24th. The other interesting thing is there are two other missionaries from our valley that are serving in the same mission, and Cameron’s best friend is serving in neighboring Riverside! Please see the sidebar for his mailing address. These are a few pictures from our day - enjoy!
Final family picture -- except we're missing Brandon with us! Then it would have been complete.
Cameron & his sisters - life is nothing if not interesting!
Cameron and Emma. We think she'll have an easier time remembering Cameron than she did with Brandon.
At the MTC, curbside, we said our final goodbyes. Here's father and son:
And a posed picture with the mom:
Nothing was going to slow him down: Cameron was READY to go:
Good luck to our missionary!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Call

Missions always begin with receiving the mission call in the mail. Cameron's mission call arrived and he opened it on June 1, 2011. You can see he was a bit excited to tear into it:

Then came the reading:
He is heading to the California San Fernando Mission, and reports to the MTC on August 3, 2011. Cameron was (and still is) pretty impressed by the letter. As with all mission calls, it is signed by the prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. It's humbling and touching to know that it was hand-signed. Cameron will truly treasure it forever.

He had about 2 months for the remainder of his preparations before reporting to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. More than enough time!

One Mission Ends, Another Mission Begins

Thank you for reading about Brandon's mission experiences in Jamaica! He returned home on May 5, 2011, having served faithfully and honorably for his two years. Brandon is currently working and looking forward to college life in January.
At this point, we are changing this blog to now share the mission experiences of Cameron, who is called to serve in the California San Fernando mission. We are so thrilled to have another missionary son serving the Lord.

We invite you to keep reading, as Cameron's mission unfolds before us.