Thursday, November 29, 2012

MTC Moments


Cleaning spray graffiti PeacocksFor the rest of Thanksgiving, we had a service project/humanitarian aid type thing and a Thanksgiving musical program with just some elders and sisters in the MTC that performed.  One of the songs was a piano medley that was arranged by the missionary with “I Believe in Christ”, “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission”, “Called to Serve”, “I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go”, (and there could have been a few more songs in there too) but it was really awesome.  That night we got to watch 17 Miracles which is a great movie. I had heard some good things about it, but I just thought it was another one of those church movies, but I really liked it.  [picture is one of my cleaning spray graffiti peacocks that I mentioned earlier]

Later that night we had a little bit of free time and our district started playing this game "Destiny Shots". Basically, we would throw an empty bottle across the room into the trash can and predict something that would happen if we made it.  For instance, if you make this shot, then you’re going to…  Some guys are not going to get any letters from girls, some have decided their wives already and all of us have the power to break the barrier of the friend zone.  Also some hermanas will now be having quintuplets...congratulations?


This is Elder Lamb.  He fell asleep on Thanksgiving...under the bed...smiling…with beef jerky open next to him...not sure how that even happened.

Sunday, we found out that our triple companionship was being broken up because Elder Dew, who was supposed to leave on Tuesday morning with the rest of his district never got a reassignment call (they’re all being reassigned because none of them got their visas).  He is now companions with Elder Belnap and I'm with Elder Forward for probably about another week because Elder Dew should have his reassignment any day now.  Honestly though, being in a normal companionship is so much better than a triple companionship.  Three people is just too many and it's impossible to get anything done and teaching is a lot harder with three.  As far as my Spanish is going, it's progressing and I feel like I'm about where I should be at the moment.

Every Wednesday, we start the morning with a "task".  This week we “went” to the doctors office.  We just had to explain what was wrong and then receive a diagnosis from Doctor/Hermano Davis.  We get in there and he asks Elder Forward what's wrong, Elder Forward says "Pienso que estoy embarazado".  I thought for sure he just didn't know what he was saying because that means "I think I'm pregnant" rather than embarrassed, which is a word it’s often confused with.  Doctor/Hermano Davis thought so too but he repeated it "Pienso que estoy embarazada?" while pointing to his belly.  Neither one of us could really avoid laughing because apparently he really thought he was pregnant.  Hopefully that scenario never really plays out in real life though.

This morning we got up early, did our laundry early and went to the temple.  They have the best breakfast there.  Maybe that's just because I refuse to eat anything the cafeteria makes for breakfast other than oatmeal and fruit but it was the best food ever.  Just thought I'd let you know. 

Still no word on the visas but I have no idea what that really means.  At least I haven't had to resubmit the power of attorney paperwork three times like Elder Belnap has.  I'll obviously let you know if that changes.


This is Elders Dew and Moore. They were my first Zone Leaders and Elder Moore is going to play football at BYU when he gets home so I'll have an “in” with the team when I get home.  Also, before you look at the name tags, guess which one is which!

Thanks to everyone that has sent me stuff so far! I love getting stuff in the mail.  Also thank you Eva for the tree, ornaments and reindeer antlers.  We already had lights in our room and now the room also smells like Christmas.  It's kind of the best coming home at night to that smell.  Love you all and I'm loving being here!

Elder Peacock

Thanksgiving Part 2

[Email dated 11.22.12]

Ok so we got to hear from ELDER HOLLAND!!!  It was awesome.  Between our companionship we all tried to guess who was going to come. My guess was President Uchtdorf, Elder Forward guessed President Eyring and Elder Belnap guessed Elder Holland.  We were all obviously excited that it was him and as you know he is my favorite speaker.  It started with some musical numbers from his grandchildren that were amazing, one of which was his 8 year old granddaughter and I don't understand how that little girl could sing like that but it was amazing.  Then Sister Holland spoke and just talked about her testimony of the Book of Mormon, her experience with that and said something along the lines of: When you know the truth of the Book of Mormon you will not be able to contain yourself and you will want to tell everyone that will be there to hear you.

first-vision-128369-tabletElder Holland then told us some of the things he was grateful for and these things are not like what you usually hear around the dinner table at Thanksgiving.  The big thing that he talked about for most of the time was that we take it for granted living in these last days and in this last dispensation.  We owe it to all of the saints that came before, we need to take this work to every corner of the earth and give that word to everyone.  He also bore powerful testimony of Joseph Smith.  Every promise, power and privilege that was given to the earth in all of the previous dispensations have been restored through Joseph Smith.  EVERYTHING that has ever been given to the children of God we now have available to us here and now.

That's about all I have to add but I love you guys. 

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Elder Peacock

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hey Everybody!

So I'm sending this email Wednesday night as opposed to Thursday because as you well know tomorrow is thanksgiving.  We have a special schedule because tomorrow we get a special devotional in the morning with someone from either the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency which is really exciting! We don't know who it is yet and I've heard President Monson and Elder Holland but really nobody who says that knows what they're talking about so I'm excited to see who it is.  But since we have that and then some service stuff along with some other Thanksgiving stuff that I don't really know about yet we don't really get a P-Day.  I mean we technically do but it's tomorrow morning and we have to be seated by 9:40 for the Devotional so really in order to get laundry and everything done, we're getting up at 5 because we'll only really get 3 hours even with waking up at 5.  Oh well it should be cool getting to see one of the Twelve and/or First Presidency.  Also about that talk "Missions are Forever" It was given here so I don't know if those actually get released, but if they do then you should also look for "Character of Christ"  [click HERE for the text of this talk] by Elder David A. Bednar.  It’s also awesome.  Strangely enough, it seems like most talks given by General Authorities are awesome...weird.

So this week was another pretty good one.  On Friday, we met our 2nd teacher who turned out to be the investigator we had been teaching.  Hermano Draper is also the brother of one of my friends from BYU, small world.  But he is also from Southern California and is a huge Lakers fan so I've got some support there.  As far as teaching and Spanish go I feel like I'm progressing a lot which is good.  Also today we were practicing our door approach, so just how we talk to people when they open the door and one of the times, the teacher posing as just random people freaked out when we opened the door and asked if we were the police.  It was hilarious and if that ever really happened I don't know if I'd be able to keep my composure.

On Saturday, we clean our building in the morning for like and hour so like cleaning the floors, toilets, sinks, etc.  One of the jobs that they gave me was to clean some wood paneling and they gave me some spray that turned white until you wipe it off.  So I started out by just drawing stuff like smiley faces but then decided to get a little bit cooler with it and I started tagging peacocks all over the walls.  It might seem lame but it made cleaning the building a lot more fun and I do have pictures of them but this computer doesn't let me send pictures and I don't know if I'll get to another one this week so you might have to wait for pictures.  Then on Sunday after coming home from our Temple Walk, we decided that we needed a heel-clicking picture.  So Elder Belnap, Lamb, Egolf, Hermana Pierce and I did it like 6 times and it was timed perfectly. Elder Forward just couldn't get it.  He did get a lot of pictures of people doing the splits or falling though.  It was a little bit disappointing.

So most of our District, and our zone really, are in the choir and on Tuesday we sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and it was awesome.  I wasn't too familiar with that song before because it's not a hymn (word on the street is that it's being added in the next edition).  But it really is an awesome song and my companions would agree.  Elder Belnap sings it basically non-stop, which was cool at first but now I can't get that song out of my head. I guess it's better that he sings that song than any one of the number of 'NSync, Backstreet Boys, One Direction, or any other Boy band that you could think of.  Ok one more story and then I think I'm out of time,  but Elder Egolf hid in Elder Forwards closet and waited for at least 10 minutes until Elder Forward finally opened his closet and Elder Forward just about died. Probably one of the funniest things that I have ever seen.

Ok also just a note about my visa, I don't have one.  Neither do any of the Peruvians in my District so I'm not worried about it.  Elder Belnap however was not happy when the district in our zone that has only been here a week has already gotten their visas for Guatemala.  He was about to fight some of the Hermanas...not really but he was not happy.  None of the 5 of us actually took it that hard but we'd like to go to Peru soon.  An entire District that was supposed to be gone to Mexico and Peru in a week all just got reassigned to stateside missions so that might be where I'm at.  We'll see though, I'm ready for it either way.

Ok I love you all and I miss you but I love being here. I love all the letters, so thanks to everyone that has written or sent me anything.


Elder Peacock

P.S.  All Peacocks, we're royalty tomorrow. In Spanish Peacock is Pavo Real.  The direct translation is Royal Turkey and seeing as it's turkey day, we're royalty.

P.P.S.  I may or may not get to check my email tomorrow but sorry if I didn't answer your questions, I don't have my mail with me at the moment.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oh. And About That Visa….

[card dated 11/15/12]

I got a note today that I thought I needed to tell you about.  I won’t be leaving the MTC on time.  “You will continue with your training at the MTC.  We will let you know when your visa comes.”  So, really I have no idea when I’ll leave until right before I leave.  I’m really ok with it, I just thought that since I got this after my P-Day was officially over, I needed to at least send you a note about it and let you know.

Love you guys!!

Elder Peacock

Saturday, November 17, 2012

1st Email Home!

[dated 11/15/12]


IMG_0484So I am definitely loving the MTC right now.  It's just an awesome place.  I'll start with the basics I guess, I'm in a triple companionship, my companions are Elder Belnap from New York City and Elder Forward from good ole' Provo Utah.  Elder Belnap is 6'9" he is not a basketball player.  Not a volleyball player.  He actually plays baseball.  He's a pitcher. Right-handed, not a lefty.  He also loves bird watching.  I've gotten pretty good at telling people that list of things because everyone asks him the same exact questions.  He sticks out a little bit so I end up telling everyone the same things about him a couple times a day and then he doesn't have to say anything to anybody anymore.  He's a cool guy, also went to BYU and stayed in the dorms so I'm not sure how I never noticed him before.  Elder Forward lives like 5 minutes away from here. He is a great guy and has a great testimony and I love the guy. 


As far as our District goes, there are 11 of us, 5 (including our triple) to Peru and 6 to Mexico.  They're all cool guys and we all kinda just clicked right off the bat and we're all pretty good friends.  I was called as District leader, so that's been interesting.  Our district is awesome other than the fact that it's hard for most of us to stay on task.  Also a lot of the time that we're together, they like to sing boy band songs (N’sync, Backstreet Boys One Direction, etc...) haha I'm not so sure how I feel about that.  One of the other elders in my district is really cool (not that the others aren't cool but this one is particularly  cool).  Elder Lamb is from AZ but he has a lot of ties to the SCV and has a lot of family that is there and spends a lot of time there so I'll probably end up seeing him a few times in the future.  He was a football player, most likely going to play at SVU but I'm trying to get him to forget that and come to BYU, he's trying to get me to go to SVU and play football there but there is no way that would ever happen. 


Our teacher is Hermano Davis and he is awesome.  We already taught 5 lessons to a guy that went by Juan Carlos but apparently he is really going to be our 2nd teacher.  We didn't find that out until after we taught him so that'll be weird to have him teaching us after him being our "investigator".  But Spanish is actually going really well.  From Hermano Davis’ first impressions, he suggested that one other Elder and myself try taking the Spanish verbal test to see if we were ready for the intermediate class as opposed to the beginner class.  Both of us were given the choice and decided to stay with our district because apparently you learn the same stuff, it just changes the kind of speakers you can talk to outside of class. 

IMG_0431Yes mom, Eva did send me Target.  I didn't have much time before class but I figured I would have enough time to just grab the package and it wouldn't be that big of a deal.  I ended up getting the biggest box that I have ever seen and then I basically had to run home carrying this massive box and then run to class and then still ended up being late to class.  Haha I love the package, it was just bigger than I was expecting.  And mom I did get the package thanks!! also I don't know that I can do anything with much more food.  Thanks for all the letters an packages! I have to go right now but I love all of you and if you guys need anything you can always write or email and I'll get back to you eventually. 

Love you guys!!

Elder Peacock

P.S. One of the best talks that I've ever heard was shown on Sunday, Elder Holland’s “Missions Are Forever”.  It was given at the MTC and it's the best.

P.P.S.  I also forgot to mention that I won't know anything about my visa until 5 days before I'm supposed to leave so the 22ndish.

I’m Alive!

[card dated 11/7/12]

So I’m writing this on Wednesday night, they told us that we should at least write home to let you know that I’m alive.  I am in a three person companionship with Elder Belnap from New York City who is 6’9” and Elder Forward from Provo, Utah.  It’s really easy to stick together, we just keep our eyes on the “tower” and we’re fine.  Nothing all that surprising has happened so far.  Got to know the district, and some little teaching exercises.  Bryce, pay attention in Spanish.  Some guys here took three years and know absolutely nothing.  I at least know the first day’s worth.  I love you guys and miss you already.


Elder Peacock

P.S. P-day {personal day} is on Thursdays but not this first half week.

The Big Day: MTC

Tyler had heard that one of his favorite Provo restauranIMG_0920ts offered a free meal to missionaries on the day they entered the MTC, so he had planned his day weeks ago.  (I’m thinking the “free meal” was kind of an excuse to go, since he wouldn’t have been the one paying anyway!!)  It is a Brazilian steakhouse—the kind where they bring meat and more meat to you at your table.  We figured with an 11am meal, he’d be perfectly timed for meat sweats beginning at 1, when he was scheduled to report.

Apparently we were not the only ones to hear about the free missionary meal because the place was packed by 11:30 with new missionaries and their families.


Some last goodbyes to Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Michelle.


Years, months, weeks, days… of preparation. And, it all comes down to three minutes at the curb.


And then Elder Pearson whisked him away with his bags.  His back was straight and his shoulders squared.  Wish we could say the same for ourselves.  Vaya con Dios, Elder Peacock!


The day before Tyler entered the MTC, we took the opportunity to attend the temple in Manti.  Tyler’s Peacock grandparents all grew up in Manti.   Jeff and I were sealed in Manti in 1989.  It is full of personal and pioneer history and absolutely beautiful.





Elder Peacock

On Sunday, November 4th, Tyler was set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by our Stake President.


We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.            ~Article of Faith #5

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tyler’s Other Family

A little background is in order.  Tyler came home from BYU mid June.  His missionary papers went in the Sunday he came home, which was the first day he was allowed to submit them (120 days before his 19th birthday.  As of last month the minimum age for male missionaries is now 18).  We knew that he would end up having at least 3-4 months at home before he’d leave on his mission so a job was definitely going to be needed!  Not only to fill the bank account, but also to fill his schedule so that he did not languish in those months.

Project KindleOur friends Chad and Eva Payne run a nonprofit organization, Project Kindle which operates summer camps for kids impacted by HIV.  The week Tyler came home they were running a day camp for kids with special needs.  I volunteered Tyler to be a camp counselor.





Little did we know. It was the start of something BIG.  Our lives will forever be changed.

2012-09-03 09.32.56Soon he was babysitting for the Paynes, tutoring their daughter in math and helping Chad build a jungle gym for their 6 children.


Eva offered Tyler a project.  For pay!  It was a grown up project, updating a book that is used to educate people on HIV.  He loved it.  He would go to the Project Kindle office in the morning, coach JV football at the high school in the afternoon, come home for dinner, and then go to the Paynes to tutor or help stuff mailers for Kindle.  He’d come home late and repeat again the next day.  When we drove to Utah in October he brought his work with him.  Later he also crammed in some hours working with a tile contractor friend of ours.  Every minute lived.  I’ve never seen him happier. 


In the process, our families became tied together through our mutual love for this boy young man. They have enormous hearts and are generous to a fault.  They showered him with love and praise and love and gifts! and more love.


It is the greatest joy when someone else sees in your son the things that you see. 


This was Tyler’s last day at church before entering the MTC.  I love this picture of Eva because she is trying so hard to smile through it but you can also see the tenderness and struggle for composure.  Although they had known Tyler well for years, in the last months he had become one of their own.

There’s a lot of Tyler to go around so it’s easy to share.  It feels like there really is someone else out there who really knows how much we miss him.  We love the Payne family.