Friday, February 25, 2011



Today I walked outside and there was over a foot of snow! There was a blizzard over the night that would maybe have rivaled the blizzard of 2010! ;) Well its just been another week at the MTC! So nothing too much new to tell you about.

For my teaching experience this week Elder Flamm and I taught an investigator named Napolean. He was this old guy who liked to talk a LOT! But it was good to practice our listening in Spanish. Also it was our first week doing all of our teaching in Spanish. Its pretty basic spanish and teaching however it is crazy that just in 5 weeks i can teach somebody about the gospel.

I am still playing four square every gym time! I seriously am professional now (and so humble). But lets just say that I have another home in the king's square. Mom, you would be proud of me for what I have been eating for breakfast lately. I think for thee past week and a half I have been eating oatmeal or cracked wheat with a blueberry bagel. It's the best! I probably make the cereal just as unhealthy as the other cereals... but i still do enjoy it.

I had the best President's Day EVER. It is probably one of my new favorite holidays. I wore my blue and red tie to celebrate. And dranks a glass of milk (white) cranberry juice (red) and powerade (blue) for each meal that day to show my patriotism. It was a great day to be an American. (did i amp this holiday up so that i didn't mind that i wouldn't be getting mail? yes... but it was worth it) :)

Elder Zollinger left for Mexico today. I guess I haven't really told you about him. But he was supposed to leave the mtc the week I arrived. But due to health problems he kept getting pushed back weeks and weeks. He always came into our room to see how we were doing. He hhas been a great friend and it was sad and happy to see him go. (he was working onn 4 months in the MTC)

I enjoyed getting to hear from everybody this week (except for ALEX ha ha) he must be busy rock climbing. But thanks for the popcorn Mom! and for the goodies mitch! Until next week!

Elder Vaterlaus

Sunday, February 20, 2011

One Month In!

Hello Everybody!

As of today I am a month in on my mission! Also I am halfway done with my MTC experience. It has been great.

Earlier this week I had two meetings about my visa for Argentina. The first one we just signed a couple of papers that were all in Spanish and they took every single fingerprint I have. It was just incredible (not really but i did feel like I did pretty good because I am a pretty good finger painter) The meeting on Tuesday was with the consulate from Argentina. He flew to the MTC from LA instead of us going to LA.... sad i know. But it was really great because he gave us about an hour and a half to ask him questions about Argentina (he was born in Buenos Aires). He said there would be two things that we would love: the people, and the food. So, I am looking forward to that. Also he said the postal system is terrible and that nothing valuable or of food would make it to us. The best way for packages would be through fed ex or ups depending on whats there he said. I asked him what he thought about Bahia Blanca. and he said he didn't like it because there isn't much tradition there. But that's fine with me! He said its set up around the military base and that there is incredible fishing (after my mission!) and we could run into some penguins. Overall, I got extremely excited about going to Argentina and I really can't wait.

Valentine's day at the MTC was basically incredible! ha. The cafeteria had Valentine cookies.... what could a guy need more. Its been pretty nice weather here this week with the exception of a freak snow storm. I am still four-squaring it up and will probably join a four-square league when I get home. I've also gotten letters from lots of friends this week from BYU and high school so it was really fun to hear from them.

Today I am going to get a haircut; my hair has gotten really long so I am really excited to get rid of most of it. Then i will do some laundry and write some letters! Days just don't seem to be long enough here at the MTC.

Yesterday, we had our teaching opportunity. We spent about 20 minutes talking in Spanish to investigators about their families and we left a message with them about prayer and the steps of prayer. ex. primero, nos dirigimos nuestro Padre Celestial. Segundo le agredecimos por bendiciones y Su ayuda. Luego le pedimos bendiciones y estas cosas que nececitamos. Finalmente, terminamos en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen. That's basically the steps for prayer en espaƱol. Sorry for those that speak Spanish... still not that great at writing it! Anyways, Elder Flamm and I were thinking yesterday about how we have learned more Spanish in four weeks here at the MTC than throughout two years of high school. Its crazy how much Heavenly Father helps me out with learning the language.

I hope to get a dear elder, letter, or even package from all of you ;) Ha just kidding but i do love hearing from each of you!
Con amor,

Elder Vaterlaus

Friday, February 11, 2011

Week 4


This has been an incredibly fast week! It feels like just yesterday I was writing my last e-mail! As usual though not much has happened.

In our Teaching opportunity this week our assignment was to be prepared to pick somebody up to go to church and to get on a "bus" to go to church. We had to talk to the investigator for 15 minutes about their family, school, work, and commitments that we invited them to do. It was great! Elder Flamm and I were able to use up the 15 minutes easily (but that may have been because our investigator LOVED to talk!... I think that's how it will be in Aergentina) So the Spanish went much better this week than our last TRC. The next part was to go back to the investigators home and teach about the plan of salvation in English. it was just our second time teaching it so it was a little rough. Yet we have already improved drastically.

That's awesome about Taylor! He is going to love Des Moines, Iowa and he will do great at learning Spanish. That was cool too how alex was there to talk to the Dickinson's about the mission! Right now there are about 4 other elders from my graduating class here so its fun to see them around.

Crazy story today! When we were going to the temple today I saw Emily in our session! What a crazy coincidence! It was a pleasure to see her. Although it feels like i haven't really been gone that long so it was kinda funny. But what a treat.

Sundays are my most absolute favorite days. (other than pdays) porque on sundays we have our church meetings mostly all in spanish and we learn a ton about the language and also about how we can feel the spirit without knowing what is said. we also get a devotional from somebody working in the church missionary department. And after the devotional we get to watch movies (Legacy, Joseph Smith, or the Testaments) We also get to go walk to the temple. Its fun to go somewhere other than our classroom and rooms. Overall sundays are extremely relaxing and get us ready for the upcoming week.

Next week the elders in my district that are going to Argentina have two two hour meetings. 1st meeting we are meeting with an argentine visa agent. And the 2nd meeting we will meet with a member of the Argentine Consul. Both are at the MTC. We are looking forward to that and hopefully we will have our visas soon. We keep hearing about how missionaries headed to Mexico, Brazil, and Spain are getting reasiggned because they don't have their visas yet.

Another funny story from this week. There is this Elder in my district who always wants our sleeping room to be cold. And me being the son of my mother always want it warm. We argued about it for a bit. But then I decided that it didn't really matter. SO I have been sleeping in my long johns and jacket every night so that I can stay warm. The other elders make fun of me. But at least I am getting good sleep, right? :) Well thanks to all that have sent me letters and dear elders! Keep them coming por favor! (Emily, you should repost my address on fb) Thanks for all of your prayers and support!

Con amor,

Elder Max Vaterlaus

Monday, February 7, 2011

"On my mission..." - Week 3

Querido mi familia y mis amigos,

Time is really starting to move now! This past week for my teaching thing we had to knock on peoples doors and talk to them in Spanish for about 7 minutes.... I really need to work on my Spanish :). We then taught the investigator the first lesson about the restoration and it was really great to teach with the spirit. the "investigator" was great and it was really a neat experience for all of us.

I have enjoyed hearing from everybody! It's been great to hear about everything that has been going on. I enjoy the BSU updates very much so keep them coming. Its really funny. Our teacher Hermano Heap is presumably the younger brother of Todd Heap who plays Tight End for the Ravens right (Joe? ) But we don't know that for sure so we always ask him funny questions to figure out more. We know that his favorite team is the ravens and because his brother lives there. Kind of a fun thing we do during our breaks.

Dad would have been proud of me once again for my service activity this week. Elder Flamm and I cleaned the bathrooms of the main building. But they are cleaned every single day (maybe more than one time every single day) so they really weren't that bad.

On Tuesday we heard from I think Elder Steven R. Duncan of the first Quorum of the Seventy and his wife. They had incredible talks. Both mentioned that no effort in missionary work is EVER wasted. Elder Duncan also taught that as missionaries we are bridge makers for the investigator to Christ. That every persons bridge starts somewhere else yet the destination is always the same! Its great to think about how our goal is to invite others to come unto Christ even though people can come from all different places in life.

Well I am really sorry about these emails. Hopefully when I get out into Argentina things will start to get more exciting to hear about. But my mission has been exciting to me!

Also, I went to the temple today and it was incredible. I always keep looking around to see if Emily is going to jump out of nowhere and embarrass me :) The temple is truly an incredible place and has so much power to give me peace, hope, and joy. I love going because I get to think about my family a lot and all that you have done for me.

I finally have adjusted to the schedule somewhat! I found out the problem.... the room was always too cold to sleep! so once i started to turn the heater on I have had the best night sleep I had had in a long time.

Ha I set up the valentine's card that LauriAnn gave me on my shelf. It is a heart with a puppy on it that says smile. So every time I look at it I just cant help but smile.... Thanks LauriAnn!

My Spanish is coming along and I understand the concepts extremely well. Just putting them into use however is the difficult thing for me. I have been struggling with saying what I want to say even though I could write it down quickly if I needed to. Any suggestions? I have just been trying to use my Spanish as much as possible and to trust in the Lord.

Hopefully I hear from everybody! :) It always makes my day when I hear from you guys.

con amor -
Elder Vaterlaus