Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Week 7

From: Collin Boren
Date: Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 1:46 PM
Subject: Week 7

Hello everyone in the outside world!
How is everybody! Thanks everyone that has written me and mom thanks for the package! It was awesome! Is there anything that I can do for anyone? Just let me know!
It's crazy being in a place that you are volunteering at and you feel like a prisoner sometimes. You can't do this and you can't do that, you hear it all the time! LOL and they make it hard to even see anything outside of the MTC with the fence and the trees surrounding the whole place. The only time you can feel free is when you head to the temple! ha ha but other than that it has been an amazing experience. It's neat to see all of our district improve in a lot of ways. Our language is starting to get better, and our testimonies as well. Although, we are starting to see the end in sight and some of us are starting to get 'lepa'. Lepa direct translation is you are rowing into an island and you stop rowing and let the waves take you into the island. Our Branch President and teachers have explained to us how much more we can still learn if we take advantage of this place. I feel like I can take advantage of what the MTC has because my dad has taught me to work and I went to a year at BYU and learned how to study. It's almost like the Lord has blessed me to have both of those opportunities. Now I just have to keep being obedient and the Lord has promised me with lots of blessings. That's the thing. Whenever we are obedient to the commandments the Lord has given us, then he promises to bless us. We can't receive those blessings unless we are faithful in keeping the commandments. D&C 121 explains this principle. I'm still working on being exactly obedient. Sometimes I slip up now and again, but let me tell you it is hard not to break a rule once in awhile. Not because you say no but that time doesn't allow for you to get everything you want to do in. Or it's just a very strict environment and you are expected to keep a lot of rules. Anyways it has been awesome. Sometimes it is easy to get frustrated but I have learned to be a lot more patient with myself, because if you aren't then you are mad all the time, and that drives away the spirit. It's also neat to be teaching an investigator and you know right after the lesson there is no way that you did that on your own. You understood every word you said and understood most everything they said, one because you studied it but mostly because the spirit is helping you along the way reminding you quickly of the materials you have learned. Some people here only focus on language study and they study the language during gospel study. I have found that you I am much more effectful when I have invited the spirit first. I have found that I will read 30 minutes of just english and then 30 minutes of both samoan and english. It has been working great so far.
Our teachers are starting to use the K style with us in teaching appointments. It makes you so mad! Why do they have to make things so complicated by having so many ways of speaking! ha ha They have the K style and the T style and then you have to know the respectful language when you are talking to someone else and when you talk about yourself you have to speak the normal language. And then we haven't even gotten into the Matai language yet. Which is when you are talking to a Samaon Chief. Our teachers say it's like 3 languages in one. So it's fun ha ha but I know that I will eventually get it when my Savior needs me to. I will continue to work hard so that someday I will get the language down and hopefully I will be able to help people recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I know that if I can do that then I have helped them in so many ways. I know that the Savior has a work for me in Samoa and that if I stay faithful he can make me into a better missionary then I can on my own. That is why I have to be a hard worker and an obedient missionary.
I can't believe that there is only 2 more weeks! I am starting to get really excited! But i'm also starting to get really nervous! I have never been out of the U.S before and had to speak another language. It will be hard at first for sure but I know that it will be well worth it! We are starting to go over the culture stuff a lot more in class it's actually pretty cool! They say that lot's of people stop you on the street and ask you to come inside to eat some food. He says it's ok to say no but you have to say a really nice no and it takes awhile. He also says people won't even have any food ready and if you say yes they will yell at their kids to go and hurry and grab food, while you talk with the parents. He says if it's apparent that they don't have any food, it's better not to be a bother and just to decline the offer. But he says it's funny because so many people will basically tell you to come over there and have some food. And every house you go to they offer you food, it's their way of saying thank you for coming to my home. They really like missionaries a lot down there. They are a very God-fearing people. So there is a lot of superstitions or however you spell that lol. He said during the Tsunami that they spent like 2 hours giving blessings to people and that most of them weren't even members of the church. Obviously you have to be very respectful to them and the way you show them respect is using words that show respect to them and using words that make you lower than them. Like when you go to their house you say sorry for stupidly trespassing on your house, but will you let us in. Then you say things like thank you for welcoming me to your palace your heiness. ha and when you talk to people you have to be on the same level as them. So if they are sitting down you either have to bend your knees or sit down with them. Because if you stand up then you are making yourself above them and that's not respectful. It's actually pretty neat to think about. Oh and the kids pretty much take care of the parents. The parents just tell them what to do and when they are no longer needed then they can go do whatever. The boys of the family have a little house out back most of the time and don't stay in the same house as the family.
Anyways I love you all and thanks for all of your support! It means so much and thanks for being such a great family to me! I have also had the best of friends and they are the best. Love you
Elder Boren

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Week 6

From: Collin Boren
Date: Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 2:24 PM
Subject: Week 6

Holy Smokes...

I can't believe it has been six weeks! Wow only three more to go! We just barely sent out the Tongans and it was really crazy... They have been here the whole time we have and we have grown really close to their district. It made me realize that I'm going to be doing the same thing that they are in 3 weeks! Crazy! Life here in the MTC has been really fun and really busy! We have been teaching a lot in Samoan and I have gotten a lot better than where I was, but I still have a lot to go. I know that it will come eventually and that I will be able to say what my Savior would have me say, but I've been working hard to learn it and to gain a stronger testimony. Our teachers said the spirit can not draw anything from an empty well... That hit me really hard, and then our Branch President had us read a scripture. It's a scripture mastery in D&C that talks about how we take knowledge with us from this life into the next life. After he read that and explained what the doctrine meant to him, he switched life to MTC and he switched resurrection to Mission Field and person to Missionary. It was really neat to see how much more that scripture meant to us at this time because it was directed at us. It talked about how much more of an advantage we will have with the knowledge we gain here. I know that to be true and I know that I need to maintain the spirit here so I can learn that much more effectively and to work hard. Hard work and Obedience are key for a successful missionary! I'm working on trying to get both down and hopefully I will become the missionary the Lord wants me to be.

So how is everybody? Are you all having a nice summer? It's crazy that Chanses and Andreas summers are over and there headed back to school. I wish the both of you the best of luck out there and remember to study hard but also to take some breaks as well. I learned in a study last year that students that spent an hour exercising a day did better than those that studied and didn't have any exercise. Thanks mom for the package, it was very thoughtful! How is everyone else. Jack and Abby thanks for writing me! I always love to hear from you. Good luck with try-outs bud. I hope Shauni and Lindsey got my letters, for awhile their I had a hard time getting a letter to you guys but hopefully they got their. It's still just as hot as ever out here in good ol Provo. Hopefully it's cooler where you guys are at ha ha.

I'm still learning a lot! It's amazing to see how much a missionary can learn if they use their time wisely and have the spirit. I know that I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am now on my own. It's just another testimony to me that the church is true. We have learned a lot about accountablity as I already stated. In preach my gospel it talks about all the blessings missionaries obtain but that they are accountable for their use of time. Because we aren't on our own time anymore. We are on our Savior's time. It's interesting to think about that. Like I used to always pick out the missionaries and notice how quick it is to pick them apart from everyone else. Now I can't even imagine how easy it is going to be able to pick me out being a Palagi and in clothes that nobody else wears down there. It helped me realize that I always have to be doing the Lord's will, because how bad would it look like if I was breaking the rules and acting like a teenager with this nametag on.

The other day in the TRC I totally froze in our first lesson. I had a very hard time understanding anything and I could barely speak any Samoan. It was humiliating! The next lesson went a lot better! Not like way better, but I could at least understand some things that they were saying and say some things. Afterwards it hit me hard to even study harder than I was in the language. I have never studied so hard in my life, even more than I did at BYU and he was asking more! I couldn't believe it! I had a bad attiude about it at first but then I knew that I needed to push even harder! My Savior has done everything for me, why can't I try a little harder! Studying has been good and in teaching sometimes I shock myselves at what I just said. I know that the spirit can help me speak whatever needs to be said. There is still a huge language barrier but I know that that's how it's going to be for the next while. Especially in Samoa where I won't be able to understand anything they are saying! ha ha I know that this place is an amazing place. I know that if you take the most out of this place that you will be that more ready for Samoa and that you won't have to waste time in the field learning stuff I could have been learning here. I never knew how much you could enjoy the scriptures. Since being here I can hardly take my hands off of them and you actually can't wait for church to start. You get anxious about everything! It's such a spiritual environment here and it has been a blessing to my life. It stretches you more that you could imagine but that's really good right! It's good for us to be pushed and challenged so we can conquer those challenges and become stronger, but here it seems like you conquer one hill and once you get to the top of it you realize there is another huge one standing right in front of you... Ha it's insane! But at the same time you look back and realize I have already learned a lot! I want you all to know that I love you. Thank you for being my friend and always being there for me. I want you all to know that I know that my Savior lives and that he loves all of his children. I know that God wants all of us to return to Him, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way we can reach that final destination. Cherish the scriptures, and liken them unton yourselves. Make them fun! I love you all so much and God be with you till we meet again!

Tofa Soifua!

Elder Boren

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Week 5

From: Collin Boren
Date: Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 2:17 PM
Subject: Week 5

Holy Smokes!
Been here 5 weeks and it seems like we have only been here a couple of weeks! I hope everyone is doing good wherever they may be... Thanks for all the letters Lindsey, Shauni, Mom, Dad, Andrea, Kim, Annette, Angela, and the Hawkins and Lancaster kids! They have been fun to read and make my day! Everyone jealous that they don't get as cool as drawings as I do! I get tractors and missionaries and me dunking it! Hard to beat that! But I truely do love all of your letters. I guess thats the only way we will be able to communicate for the next 23 months... Ha Lindsey made a funny but true comment that me leaving on a mission has actually brought us closer together lol! Pretty sad... Mom and dad Thanks for the package! The resistance tubes help out a lot! They give you a pretty good workout actually! I'm proud to say that when I got to the MTC I gained 5 pounds right off the bat, but then me and my district get together and do an ab workout for 10 minutes every night! They call it B-90-X lol! It's helped a lot and now I'm back to 202... Ha sorry if that's not interesting but after being at the MTC for awhile its hard to talk about interesting stuff!
Anyways I've been learning a lot here at the MTC but the language is still coming slow! Our teachers say that we are quite a bit farther then they were because we have a lot of resources. We have a lot of language books and for an hour everyday we get to do TALL. It's a language program and it helps you listen to native Samoan speakers and practice sentences and vocab. It's pretty nice and I know that the Savior is helping learning this language and helping me learn the gospel as well. I know that this is an inspired place and that if I use it for what it is I can be much more prepared out in the field. So this last week we started doing lessons in all Samoan. It's pretty crazy and they have to be pretty simple and they speak slowly, but it helps a lot! You learn a lot, and it's good for you but it challenges you a lot! Saturday at the TRC a girl was volunteering and she was straight from Samoa. She spoke so fast and she spoke in the street talk. I couldn't understand hardly anything and it was scary too. She was like why don't you know the language better... It made me mad and I wanted to yell at her in Samoan did you learn English in one month! ha ha but then I realized I just need to relax... I guess in Samoa they teach all english at school and in college they teach you how to go to America and hopefully you will come back and help Samoa be better. Kinda crazy but I guess that's why there is so many polynesians over here. It's funny that they have so much pride in their country but most of them don't even bother teaching the language to their kids. I just got called as our District Leader. Ha it's alright and all but really it just gives you more meetings to go to. During those meetings you wish you could be studying. But the branch presidency really helps you strive to be better and I know that it is helping me.
All in all it's been pretty fun here but it challenges you a lot! It's hard not to get dissapointed when one of your lessons doesn't turn out very good because of your restrictions with the language. I also know that discouragement weakens faith. I try really hard not to but sometimes it's extremely hard not to! You practice and practice, you study and you study, and you are no where near what they expect you to be! ha ha but I know that if I continue to have faith and continue to work hard the Lord will bless me. I know that learning this language is not going to be easy, and I know that the first few months will probably be pretty rough, but how can I expect it to be easy for me when it was never easy for any other missionary. It was never easy for Joseph Smith. I mean all the things he sacrificed and he had to go through all that! It's crazy to think that someone would go through such an extremely difficult lifestyle like he did and this gospel is a lie. I know Joseph Smith sacrificed almost everything to bring the restored gospel back to this earth. I know that Jesus Christ was perfect but suffered many afflictions. He paid for my sins and it saddens me that I will never be able to repay Him. I guess the least I can do is give two years to spread His gospel. I know that our Father in Heaven loves us all so much and that's why he provided a way for all of us to return to him. I know that Jesus Christ is the way we can return to our Heavenly Father. I know that he atoned for our sins because he loves us. I'm so thankful for all the sacrifices from every prophet that has ever lived. I am so thankful for all the sacrifices of all the saints that have lived before me. I am so thankful for the sacrifices of my ancestors to help me live in the United State of America and be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder-Day Saints. I have been so blessed in so many ways! I know that this gospel brings TRUE HAPPINESS! That's the reason I'm serving a mission. Is because I know how much this message can help them. I know because I was once an investigator and had to figure out if this was the right church for myself. I hope that I can be the missionary that he would have me be. I hope that when these two years are up that He can say 'Well Done.' I know I still have a long ways to go but I'm try my best! I just want to let you all know that I love you and I am proud of you all for the righteous decisions you have made throughout your life. Continue to love this gospel and our Savior Jesus Christ. He has done so much for me and you!

Elder Boren

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Week 4

From: Collin Boren
Date: Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 9:25 AM
Subject: Week 4

Talofa Lava!
O a mai oe?
How is everyone! Hope everyone is doing really good! I had a really great week at the MTC! I learned lots in the language and gained a stronger testimony and learned some really cool things about preach my gospel. I got lots of letters and a package from the Rinderknechts and my parents! I have been really loved and thank you all so much! The cookies that you made Andrea were delicous! Thank you so much! I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have here in the MTC. It was hard at first to get used to it, and the first few days are really hard cause you are always going to some newby orientation or something but ever since then it's been great! It is strict and there is a lot of rules, but I know that it is a truely inspired place. They just completely changed how we are going to be taught and how the TRC works. From now on the teachers are only going to teach in Samoan when we are learning the language. In the TRC it is nothing but Samoan from now on and starting Thursday we have progressive investigators and we can no longer speak english to them. My roomates love you guys and they have never even met you! lol my bud told me to say that! I trying really hard to learn the language and grow a stronger testimony. I want nothing more than to bring the Samoan people the happiness that I enjoy from the gospel everyday. This upcoming Monday is that half-way mark! Can you believe that I have almost been here for a mounth? It's crazy! If I was speaking english I would already be out in the field! A district that is heading to Virginia leaves tomorrow and I made some really cool friends with them. I can't even imagine how the field is going to be! I'm really nervous about it already. The hardest thing to do is being able to understand people, and when we get to Samoan it's even harder because they talk really fast like we do in english but they also slur their words too... Ha ha so it will be interesting but I'm excited for the challenge. I know that I can do anything with the Savior helping me. Like I have learned so much already and I know it's because He is helping me. Like I was trying to learn the language before the mission. I spent hours on it and I haven't even learned a fraction of what I have learned here. I would be dumb not to believe that this is a inspired place! It truely does challenge you a lot! I don't think I have ever been this challenged in my life. I'm working hard and trying to make the most of my experience so I don't regret it when I step on the plane. From my teachers the earliest I have heard of someone being fluent is 5 mounths! That is so fast! The slowest I have heard is a year! But my teacher who said that he learned it in 5 said you will get what you put into it! I know if I work hard and be obedient that the Lord will bless me. I just want to be able to explain that things the Lord would have me say to the people. I know that he will help me with what he needs done.
So how is Vernal? How is everyone else doing around the country? I can't believe how green it still is! It's august and it looks like may! Sounds like your crop is growing fast dad! Hopefully it doesn't grow to fast so you can't keep up! How are you mom! How is your ribs? I'm sorry I bet it is horrible to try and move around! You are always in my prayers! I hope your lives are going really well and that you are all enjoying your summer. I love to hear from everyone and no Lindsey and Shauni your lives don't sound boring! They sound like you guys are super-moms and love your kids and husbands! I can tell through your letters how much family means to you and that is awesome! One thing I learned out here is that your family is all that matters! I have always put families as a very important part of my life! But I have learned that the other things in life really don't matter. Worldy possessions can let you have fun, but they don't have the capablity of being eternal. Family and knowledge are the only things you can take to the next life. That's it! Our families and the things we learn here are the most important things! Along with our Savior's gospel of course. I'm so grateful that my Redeemer loved me enough to come down here and atone for my sins! I wish I could repay him back for everything that he has done for me! In the scriptures it says that there is no other way to make it back to our Heavenly Father save through our Christ! He has blessed me in so many ways and I guess I can postpone two years of my life to serve him. If that is what he wants me to do right now then that's great! It's the least I can do! I miss you all horribly! I love you all so much! But I have realized that this two years isn't really a sacrifice. It's an opportunity that I have been given! There is a few things that I wish I could still do at home, but I'll be alright for now! I miss you all so much! I love all of your letters and please continue to write! Sorry I was really busy last P-day and I didn't get to write a few people, but I will try to be a committed writer.
Tofa Soifua!
Bye and be blessed with life!

Elder Boren

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Week 3

From: Collin Boren
Date: Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 3:39 PM
Subject: Week 3

Well hello out there in the real world!

Ha ha how is everyone? How has their week been so far? I love hearing from all of you and I promise you that I have written everyone that has written me. Sometimes P-days seem really long and sometimes they seem like they weren't nearly long enough! Ha ha oh well. Anyways it is really hot out here in Provo. I guess it's getting me used to Samoa. Is it hot out there in Vernal? I can't even imagine how hot it is in Oklahoma and Las Vegas! Probably too hot for my liking! Samoa will probably be to humid for my liking, but I guess I will just have to get used to it ha! Thanks mom for getting the blog up and sorry for giving you the wrong password. Thanks lindsey for putting music on it and making it look nice. Oh and thank you for the packages mom and dad! I got the cookies for Pioneer day and the clothes the other day. It means a lot and I know that I am loved! Thank you all for the letters again and I really appreciate hearing from all of you. I finally got my missionary mall sandals and they are legit mom! Wow you did a good job, they are perfect for the Islands. All of the Samoans said they are taking some like them.

Classes have been really fun but long lately. We only have one teacher teaching us right now because one of them went to Oregon for a family reunion and one of them went to China for a study abroad. It was neat to hear from all of them and all of their different teaching techniques. But Sister Parker has been doing really well. The language task is really hard! ha it's quite a bit different than english so that makes it hard but it's also simple too. There's weird rules that aren't in english but then there isn't like grammar rules at the same time. It's an interesting language and I'm trying to focus on it and learn as much as I can. I know that If I ask the Lord through Faith that he can help me learn the language a lot faster. I've made a goal to try to emulate the Brother of Jared's faith. I know that it is near impossible to have as much faith as he does but I also know that it won't hurt to try. I read a passage in Enos the other day that struct me pretty hard. Pretty much it said ask with faith and know that the lord can provide it and it will come. It was something like that ha ha don't hold that against me. I think it was like Enos 1:15. I think Enos and the Brother of Jared had awesome prayer and faith stories and I realized the other day. They were just like us. I mean yeah they were prophets but they are people too. They put their pants on one leg at a time. They weren't just given that, they worked for their testimony. They went through the same trials or more difficult ones than we do. They were just made a prophet one day by accident. They had been working for it their whole lives. A quote by President Packer hit me. Something like big spiritual expriences don't happen that often and when they do we should hold them dear to our hearts. They are very sacred. That was coming from an Apostle of God. It was interesting to think about that and what he was trying to say.

We were watching a movie about Thomas S. Monson and his life. It was so cool too watch how the Lord prepares his prophets. He was 22 when he was called to be a bishop of a ward of over 1000 people! He was called into the stake presidency shortly after and then he was called to be a mission president at about 28 years old. He was extremely young when he was called to be an Apostle like in his 30's. It was cool to see some of the experiences he had. When he was a bisop he got a phone call from a ward member saying someone in his ward was in the hospital and if he could go to the hospital and give a blessing. He said he had to go to a meeting and he would stop by after. In the middle of the meeting he was prompted very strongly to go but it was in the middle of the stake presidents talk. Right after he finished his talk president Monson said he ran for the door and headed to the hospital. When he got their the nurse told him the patient died and was saying his name right before he died. He vowed at that time that he would never not listen to a prompting again. And it was incredible to hear some of the promptings he had and he listened and it blessed so many peoples lives.

I just want you all to know that I love you and that you mean the world to me. You have all been amazing examples to me. Dad how is the ranch life going? You enjoying the new tractor? Andrea said that you invited her to go ride again. Remeber to take Jake! I miss him a lot! How has it been since everyone has left? Mom how has your ribs been? You crazy girl, going and getting hurt after I leave. I pray for all of you a lot and pray for you to all be safe. I know that the Lord has answered my prayers but it was funny to hear that you got hurt. Not in a bad way funny but I got your letter right after I asked to let you guys be safe. Anyways, lifes been good hear in the MTC and I'm learning a lot! I'm trying to work on the language really hard and the gospel thing all day is awesome! It's a very spiritual experience that I will never forget! I know that if I am obedient and work hard that that is all I can do! All I can do is what He asks of me and I'm trying my best to do that. I know that I am far from perfect but I am working on becoming better each and every day and hopefully someday I can get to that point that I need to be. Sometimes I get so mad at myself for not doing everything the way it should be! It's hard not to mess up sometimes because there is a lot of rules! I'm trying to work on them the best I can and I feel like I am doing a good job at keeping the rules. I also know that If I work hard and ask the Lord to help me learn that he will bless me too. Our branch president has us work on a christlike attribute each week. This past week I was working on humility. I was trying to make sure that I never took credit for anything I did, because this is His work and not mine. I know that if I do it His way that I will be much more successful with the spirit helping me than if I were to try and do it on my own. I'm so thankful for my companion and the relationship we have built. We are trying to push each other to reach our goals and it has been helping a lot. I love you all so much and I want nothing but the best for you! Let me know how you are all doing. Andrea, keep pushing to find an answer to your career. I think whatever you choose your Lord will not care because he knows your heart and that you want to help serve others. He can use you in whatever you want. love you

Elder Boren