This post actually has 2 weeks of emails. The first one, MTC 1, was so short and quick I wasn't going to add it, but decided it was a good preface to the 2nd email, MTC 2. Unfortunately he has not sent any pictures, so I thought I'd just add some pics and info about the MTC after the emails for the heck of it.
Just in case anyone reading this doesn't know some of the "Mormon" vernacular, MTC stands for Mission Training Center, and there are several all over the world. Tayler's older brother, Grant went to the MTC in Mexico City, Mexico. Tayler is currently at the one in Provo Utah. P-Day means "Preparation Day". A day set apart each week for shopping, emailing, doing laundry, and any other "house keeping" type of work. The rest of the week is dedicated to serving the people and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Just another little side note, I love how he bolds "BRUSH MY TEETH" in MTC 2. This is one of the things I constantly nag him about, because frankly he is horrible at it. He made sure to point out it was being done... such a good boy!!
"Hey mom! MTC has been alright so far, met my mtc companion Elder Cox, he's awesome. So... thus far I've had a series of misfortune, from me getting little sleep Wednesday night, to me losing my id card and having to find it, to me getting a cold the following day, woopie! But, other than that, I'm busy, and enjoying the classes. Love you! My P Day is on Thursday! Bye!!!
-Love, your son, elder Tayler Hagen"
"Alright, I got some splainin to do. Last Thursday wasn't a P-Day, it was an introduction day, which means that they gave EVERYONE new last Wednesday a chance to write, regardless of when their p-day is. Essentially, we only got 3 minutes to read and write all our emails.
So, onto my experience thus far.
The MTC isn't some Wonderland like most missionaries say it is; its long, classes last hours on end, and, I don't get to sleep in until 12 😥. BUT IT's alright. I've have seen and felt so much since I've been here to convert anyone. It's such a spiritual experience, I kid you not, I am seeing miracles around me every day here. Like, most recently, I lost my little white handbook, prayed, and knew exactly where it was.
My schedule starts at 6:30, when I wake up, BRUSH MY TEETH, shower, and get changed into white shirt and tie. After that, we head to class for ten minutes for a devotional on most days, others, like p-day, we spend that time starting laundry or extra study. Breakfast is usually after that (every meal is usually eggs and potatoes, its great for the first couple days, but it starts to leave an eggy taste in your mouth after that). After that, we have class, usually with our teacher, Sister Hanshaw, who apparently knows the Murphy's, Holmes, and the Merkley's, from back home. Exercise period follows, which is a blessing. Lunch, more class, Dinner, and bed.
My companion Elder Cox is awesome. I kid you not, he is almost identical to Dr Brennan from Bones, but not as socially lost. He knows the scriptures front to back, knows every lesson plan, and can solve a Rubik's cube in under a minute! He is going to the same mission as me, as well as the majority of the rest of my residence; Elder Olson, who lives only about 2 hours north of our house, Elder Simmons, who is going to Houston Texas, right next to Grant's mission, Elder Bendel, and Elder Goff. They are all football players and wrestlers, Elder Olson, Elder Goff, Elder Simmons, Elder Cox (Elder Cox does Track), Elder Bendel. they are loud and noisy at night, but honestly, I wouldn't want to change residences, they are all spiritually strong in their own way.
The food is alright on some days, greasy on another, salty another, decent on others, essentially, I can't give you a definitive answer, cause, there ain't one, it's different every day, it just depends on whats for breakfast/lunch/dinner, but I assure you, it's a buffet.
Alright, so, the part I've been dreading bringing up, I've been mute for the past 4 days, and will be for the next 3-6. Remember how I told you I was sick? Well, It gets better, because my allergies, (and yes, I have been taking the pill), my nose was all stuffed up, and all that icky gross mucus, dripped down the back of my throat, for hours on end, pulling and straining my vocal chords. This started the Thursday after the 21st, which is the day after I got here. I didn't go and see a doctor until Monday. I did then because when I woke up I almost puked because of how much pain I was in. But I'm feeling a lot better now! I got medication from the BYU pharmacy, and its been healing.
I got Dad's box, I'm going to write to him as well, but PLEASE tell him thank you thank you thank you from your loving son, that box, has made my MTC experience go from an 8 to an 9.
So, I'm going to end here, my laundry is about done and I need to change it, and people are waiting to use this computer. LOVE YOU, MISS YOU, don't forget Tay Tay. Know that I am going to be homesick for my entire mission, but I am doing miracles where I am right now, so please, email me, write me a letter, send a box, a postcard, anything!
-Love Tayler, or, Elder Hagen
ps. I can't send pictures yet, cause, I have not had the opportunity to take any. I've literally been in class from dawn to dusk and my residence never seems to be in the same place at the same time. SO, I'll work on getting you some."
Here is an Arial of the Provo MTC. It is a gated campus. Only missionaries currently studying there, teachers, and leaders are allowed in. Missionaries rarely leave, except for certain times, like playing sports on P-Days on the big green field north of campus. We were told there are about 2,000 missionaries currently in this MTC, and there are more than 50 languages being learned. They are currently expanding this MTC. The next set of pics shows some concept drawings and a link that talks all about the expansion. It's pretty exciting!
To read about the expansion:
The various MTCs around the world. One of Tayler's best friends was just in the Preston England MTC.