September 25, 2014

Hey all!

So I’ve officially been in the MTC for 6 weeks, so I should be out of here in 3 weeks if my visa comes in time. I got my call pretty late, so there's a good chance I could get postponed or even reassigned somewhere for a little bit.

The new Macedonians are here! Their names are Elder Chingas and Sister Hassell. I only got to meet the elder and he seems like a really great guy, which I'm very glad of considering he's going to be my companion multiple times.

We got another apostle this week, which is so crazy! Elder Ballard came this week, and he just gave practical advice on how we can improve ourselves as missionaries. He told us how valuable all our time is over the next two years, and we need to act like it. He stressed how important goal setting is for us, which is something I've struggled with while being here.

This week we got to start Skyping natives for our TRC time! We got to talk to a lady named Violeta, and going into it I thought I wasn't going to understand anything, but she spoke really slow for us so I got most of it. There were only two people for us to Skype, so Sister Thatcher joined us and we taught a pretty good lesson on prayer. Violeta knew a little bit of English, and every time she said something she would say "Understandiie?," which was pretty funny. The experience also made me realize how far I still have to go in Bulgarian. I decided I'm just going to learn as much Bulgarian as possible, and then the last few days really study up Macedonian. If I do both at the same time, it's just really, really confusing and makes me take a few steps back in Bulgarian. All in all, I am very pleased with my progress with the language. Ever since I really started praying for the gift of tongues I've noticed a big difference, which I don't think is a coincidence.

On Sunday, we got to watch the rededication of the Ogden temple. We got to hear from Elder Bednar, Elder Eyring, and President Monson. The best part of it was being able to hear the prophet pray, the closest man to God on earth talking to Him. He gave a really good talk about how we need to love the temple, appreciate the temple, and go to the temple. This past week I had some questions when going into the temple, and it really felt like I was receiving revelation from Heavenly Father about those questions.

I'm still loving my time here in the MTC. It has been a tremendous help to my testimony, and I've learned so much here so far, and still have so much to learn.

Elder Rigby

Top: Laundry, Hmmm which shirt to wear!?
Bottom: Make-up Elders preparing me for "The Jump"

September 18, 2014

To start things off, the MTC has caught the plague. Pretty much everyone here has gotten sick, and it's impossible to avoid. I got it Saturday, and had to take the night off because my head hurt so bad. I'm still not feeling totally better, but the headache is gone! Somehow Elder Raisor has managed to avoid it, he's gonna have to spill some secrets.

One of the elders in our zone went home on Tuesday. We all know each other well, so it was pretty devastating to us, especially his two companions. He was probably the funniest person here; he could make me laugh like no one else. 

Last week, there was an announcement about protocol if one of the Quorum of the 12 comes. Everyone got really excited, and then last week it was just a General Authority. This week, we heard that the devotional would be broadcast to all the MTCs, so we got pretty excited again. Then on Tuesday, we got word it was Elder Scott that was coming! Elder Raisor is from here in Provo, and one of the Executive Secretaries in his ward gives really close seats for devotional to missionaries from his ward, so we got to sit in the 2nd row. Sure enough, Elder Scott came! Everyone stood up, and the first thing I noticed is he's really short!! They all seem really tall, but I guess not. He gave a really good talk on prayer, and during the opening song, he looked right at me and smiled for a few seconds, which was awesome.

We did an English fast yesterday and only spoke Bulgarian, which went really well! It was easy to get frustrated with ourselves, but all in all it helped all of us a lot with speaking the language. Apparently, we are getting two new Macedonian missionaries next week, so I won't be the only one anymore!

It's weird to be past half-way at the MTC. Time doesn't really make sense here. Some days it feels like I've lived here all my life, and some days it's feels like it’s only been a few days. I'm still enjoying my time here a lot, and I hope everything is good with all of you!

Elder Rigby

Me, my Macedonian pride, and our entire zone of missionaries in front of the Provo Temple. We all found out later were not allowed to bring flags to the temple.  Whoops!

September 11, 2014

I'm so close to the half-way mark in the MTC! We just started our 5th week. Some days it feels like I've been here for just a few days, and some days feel like I've lived here all my life. Time definitely is going by crazy fast, and I only have another month to get the language down!

Elder Raisor got his tonsils out a few weeks before entering the MTC, and he had to go to a follow up appointment on Monday, which means we got to leave the MTC! We took a shuttle to the office, and when we walked in, Frozen was playing, which was a blast to the past. It was just strange to be around people that weren't Mormon while wearing the missionary name tag! People were either really nice to us, or avoided us like the plague.

I got called to be our district leader in our huge district of 5! Elder Hardy was the DL before, and he did a really great job of it, so it puts a little pressure on me. So far it's been pretty easy.

The Bulgarian is still coming along well. Our teachers are all really great, and the old Bulgarians left, so we always have two teachers at a time, which helps a lot!

I've been trying to write down a lot of stuff in my journal. All the devotionals have been amazing here, and they will be something I'm really going to miss once I get out in the field. The rumor here is we’re getting one of the 12 Apostles coming this Tuesday to speak to us.

I've made a goal to only think virtuous thoughts, which has been really helping to always be happy and being able to feel the Spirit. The MTC is a great place that I have come to love.

Elder Rigby

Thinking virtuous thoughts !

Harry Potter day. We discovered that a lot of Bulgarian words sound like Harry Potter spells, so after a few weeks of casting, Elder Taylor and Hardy wanted to celebrate it. I got stuck with being Hufflepuffs since I wasn't there when they planned it.

September 4, 2014

There weren't as many highlights this week compared to the last few, but I'll try to talk about the interesting things!

Elder Raizor and I's lessons with some of our investigators (our teachers) have been getting better and better! They really emphasize teaching with the Spirit, and sometimes that requires taking a step back when we're really confused, which is pretty much every time the investigator talks. So we just speak about what we’re prompted to say.

I had the opportunity to host all the new missionaries yesterday, and during that time, I heard someone yell "RICHARD". I looked back and it was Elder Gilman!! There was another missionary hosting him, but I told him I would be hosting this missionary and took all of his bags. It was really crazy to see someone I knew.

I also got to see Elder Hunt at the last devotional. He saw me when I was on the big screen, and he managed to find where I was sitting! He's at the other MTC campus so the only time I'll see him is during devotionals.

And the last person I saw that I knew was Dominic, my cousin’s fiancee. Seeing all these people I know is strange after going 3 weeks without.

Macedonian has quite a few differences from Bulgarian, but hopefully I'll be able to get them down pretty quick! Life has been moving very fast here in the MTC. I'm out of time, so until next week! Here are some pictures of life here.

Elder Rigby

With my companion, Elder Raisor

Meditating outside the temple

My name badge in Bulgarian

Too much study on P-day

My dorm room (4 of us)


My District: (left to right)

Elder Raizor
Elder Taylor
Sister Thatcher
Elder Hardy
(they are all midgets)