Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Email - Received Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hey Family!

So i know it has been almost two weeks since my last email, but unfortunately it couldn´t be helped... The Church arranged for our group´s travel on a Tuesday, which was my P-Day in the Provo MTC, and we left for the airport at 8:00 in the morning, so i never had the chance to check or write any emails last week. Sorry...I was bummed out too, but there really wasn't anything that i could do to chance that.

Okay, so first of all let me answer Mom and Dad's questions. Dad, no, i didn´t get the chance to get any extra badges made before i left because i didnt even know that was possible. Sorry =/ Mom, the scripture reference that i initially wanted on my plaque was D&C 76:5-6, but I´ve started reading my scriptures in earnest and have found a new scripture that I would rather have put on my plaque, 1 Nephi 13:37. It´s a wonderful scripture and gives me so much joy in my heart with regard to the work that i´m getting the opportunity to participate in. Dad, that´s too bad that business slowed down, I was really wondering what was going to happen when I left. But as Josh always says...Just have Faith! =) Oh, by the way, I´ve loved my "Family Ties." They bring me a boost whenever I turn my tie over and read the scriptures and words of encouragement that you all sent me with. Mom, Dad, and Hope, I´m so glad that you had such a good time in Disneyland with the Tidwells. I sent two letters through the mail before i left and if you got both of them you know more about what I had to say about your trip and how happy I am that you all got a good vacation with people you love. Oh and Mom, thank you for the update on Matt´s condition. I´m sorry that the accident happened, but for some reason i have peace in my heart when i think about his future. He´s going to be okay, the Lord will protect him and spare me the anxiety. ;)

Here´s a bit of news, unfortunate and otherwise: I still have my P-Days on Tuesdays, I get to write my emails in the morning at about 10:00, but i only receive DearElders and emails on Tuesdays too. So throughout the week, I dont get the chance to receive anything, but I love every word that you all send me, so keep it coming PLEASE! =D I got only Mom´s Dear Elder today, but that okay because it was full of good news and uplifting words of love and comfort. I´m so glad that the blog is working well because I want to stay in contact with as many of my family and friends as I possibly can. =) I´m so thankful for your news Dad and Mom, it will be crazy awesome to start receiving DearElders and messages from Grandma, Sierra, and Alonna! I was hoping that those three would eventually be able to get their rears in gear and get in contact with me. =P As for addresses...i dont know what to say other than that everything I´ve heard about mailed letters from Guatemala and the US is that it´s slow and a little bit unreliable. Fortunately, i think that DearElders will still get to me no problem, I´ll just have to wait for them patiently. Oh and Sidney, thank you SO much for your letter. Good timing! It got to me exactly 24 hours before i stepped on the plane to go to Guatemala and it lifted my spirits so high! I needed a boost last Monday and you gave it to me in Spades! =) Mom, I really need you to check to see if my letter got through to Josh and see how his preparation is going. There´s so much more that I would´ve done if i had known what i know now and I think my advice could really help him be so much more prepared mentally, spiritually, and emotionally than i was. Nevertheless, his spirit is going to do wonders in Peru, I know this through the Holy Ghost as he has also confirmed many other answers to my prayers in the Temples and otherwise. I want my whole family to know that the Temple truly is where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can reside and that every one of you that is worthy of a recommend should make a commitment to go often with questions in their hearts. They WILL receive answers. I testify to this truth in the name of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. Amen.

No for a little bit about Guatemala. The weather here is AMAZING! It´s almost like the entire country is air conditioned! I haven´t seen much of the country yet because the MTC (CCM here) is just barely over and acr of land. The facilities here are wonderful and the food is better than I could´ve ever hoped for. My new companion is Elder Tuaone (pronounced two-a-oh-nee) and he is a 20 year old Californian. He´s cool, but we dont talk a ton. However, we teach SO well together...in English. We´ve had three opportunities to teach the lessons in English and we blew it away all three times. I feel so good about my knowledge of the doctrine, but now I have to get the Language down. I feel the Spirit helping me every day. It will come, I know it.

My time is almost out, so i have to say goodbye. Keep your letters coming. I love you all. The Lord will bless you if you ask him to. He has already blessed me SO much. Go tot the Temple, even if you cant go inside. The Lord will give you Peace in your heart. The Church is true, gain a testimony of it and keep helping it grow.

Love Always,-Elder Preston William Tucker

Friday, April 24, 2009

Letter - Received Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 19, 2009

Dear Mom, Dad, and Hope,

I'm always so glad to hear good news from home! I wish I could've been with you guys at Disneyland; it sounds like everyone had their dreams come true last week. I'm happy that the Tidwell family had such an awesome experience, especially Uncle Gordon. He deserves to finally let out his inner child. :) Dad, I'm so proud of you for taking my requests to heart, I really believe your life is going to change drastically over the next two years. Mom, it is great to hear about how your experiments and school schedule is all falling into place now. I totally would've been in on the tye-dye extravaganza if I was home for it. It's also so encouraging to hear about Mom's studies in "Jesus The Christ" and my whole family's growing efforts to come unto Christ. That's my purpose in my mission, as stated in "Preach My Gospel" Chapter 1: "Invite others to come unto Christ..." and I'm glad that my family is following His example even while I'm not home. Hope, I'm glad to hear that you're being brave for me. I love you so much! Stick with it and I'll be home before you know it. I'm going to try and send you a birthday card, but in case I don't get to before I leave for Guatemala, I wanted to wish you an extremely happy 10th birthday! I'll be home for number 12 and I'll bring you back something pretty from Guatemala, okay? Again, I love you so much and miss you every day. Matt, get better quickly cousin. I know the Lord was looking out for you and that he truly does love you. I'm sorry about your car, but I'm just glad you still have your life. Ask for a priesthood blessing for your arm and you'll get well a lot faster. Stay safe, I love you. Aunt Metzie, you WOULD spend your time off work using power tools! So glad to hear your hobbies aren't changing. :) It brings peace to my heart to hear that Kim's family is attending church and that her boys are doing so well! Kim, I love you always, keep up the good work sister. :D I've always looked up to you as kind of my big sister (figuratively, because I have been taller than you since I was 12) and I've been so excited lately to hear how well you've been doing in church and school. Mom, thanks so much for keeping me up to date on family news. If you could, make sure that Josh got the letter that I sent him this week. I don't know how fast DearElders will get to me in Guatemala, but I do need to keep hearing from everyone. :) It keeps my feet on the ground underneath me. As for packages, I feel like I have everything I need, along with quite a few things I could only hope to have. I received my "Pack-It Folders" and I'm excited to see how much space they will save me. I have to pack tonight, so we'll see how it goes soon. One other thing that might be nice to have is a few more books of "forever" stamps, just like the ones you sent me to Provo with. Postage cost is going up in May and it would be nice to be prepared for the change.

Okay, now for a little more news. The bad: we missed a shot that I needed to go to Guatemala. It's okay though, the MTC gave me a Thyphoid immunization shot, so my record is complete now. The only bad part is that you, my parents, have to pay for it. I've enclosed the instructions and amount of what needs to be paid. I'm sorry, I would've paid it myself, but I have no way of monitoring my card balances and I didn't want to use my emergency cash if I didn't have to. Thank you for
taking care of so many things for me. You truyly are the best parents in the world. :)

As soon as I get the chance, after I get to Guatemala, I will email my new address to you at home. I'm traveling on Tuesday, which would be my normal P-Day/E-mail day, so I'm not sure when my next opportunity to write will be. I'm excited to finally be on my way. I know you all will constantly keep me in your prayers. Thank you!

The good news: Everything is going well for me at this point. The language is coming along better, but I'm still a little worried about being immersed in the language and having to get by. I have faith that I'll receive the help that I need. I completed my goal of reading through, cover to cover, my English copy of "Preach My Gospel". I can teach well in English, but I know I'm going to have to develop my Spanish much more before any of my teaching skills can "translate" in the field. Like Josh always says, "Just have FAITH!".

Alright, I'm out of time for writing. I love you all and miss everyone every day. I've taped my first memory card to this letter. Enjoy the news and the pictures of my district and I. I'm so excited to see my blog when I get the chance. Thank you everyone for all your love and support.
Love always,Elder Preston William Tucker

P.S. I heard an interesting quote today that I think one of you might find interesting. "When it hurts more to stay the same than it does to change, anyone has the ability to change." - Anonymous I applied it to my situation with learning Spanish and going to the Guatemala MTC and decided, it might easier than I think it will be. :P

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mission President Email - Received Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dear Parents and Loved Ones:

Your missionary arrived "safe and sound" Tuesday night ... and was involved all morning at the MTC here in Guatemala --- in orientation for their next phase of training. They finally got into the classroom in the afternoon (yesterday) and have started learning more Spanish & teachings from Preach My Gospel. Just a few minutes ago I enjoyed visiting with them while they ate ice cream (on a short break). I've attached a photo of them out in front of the flags in the entry of the MTC here in Guatemala. Sorry, it’s not a great picture---but enjoy!

You are no doubt very proud of your missionary. You should be! This is a very good group of 10 missionaries who join another extraordinary group of 3 North Americans who are in their final three weeks PLUS 55 Missionaries from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Chile, Panama, and other Latin American countries.

Your missionary has Preparation Day on Tuesdays and will be writing to you then. I know that your support and letters bless your 'missionary' a lot --- and will be greatly appreciated.

In addition to email, you may choose to send letters as well through the pouch according to the instructions received in the call packet of your missionary. This is a one page 8.5X11, triple-folded, taped or sealed with the address and stamp on the outside. (see written instructions in the call packet)

Pouch Address:

Guatemala MTC
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

For the next several weeks you can ALSO send letters, packages, or other mail to your missionary at the following address:

---Name of your Missionary---
Centro de Capacitation Misional
Boulevard Vista Hermosa 23-71, Zona 15
Vista Hermosa 1 C.P. 01015
Guatemala Ciudad, Guatemala C.A.

I recommend that you don't send anything to the above MTC address after May 18th or it may not arrive before the departure of you missionary on June 2nd. Anything you send after the of May should be addressed to his/her mission address. Otherwise, there can be significant delay in them getting their mail because of the time it takes to forward the or have the missions drop by at their convenience and pick up and distribute mail to missionaries all over the mission. You can use regular US International Mail Service or Federal Express.

I also invite you to go to our personal website at:
When you get to the site, click on “Guatemala MTC”... You can then browse around or take a tour of the MTC. Within a few weeks you may find your missionary in one or more of the pictures. ENJOY!!!

We come to love these missionaries a great deal and appreciate you lending them to the Lord for this season of their lives.Please “REPLY” to this email so that I know we’re in contact. Thanks again!

President David A. Christensen

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Letter - Received Friday, April 17, 2009

April 14, 2009

Dear Mom, Dad, and Hope,

There were a couple of things I forgot to mention in my e-mail today. First, I know my travel plans for my transfer to the Guatemala MTC. My visa went through on time and I will be leaving on time. You all would be very surprised by how often missionaries here in the Provo MTC get their visa requirements and travel arrangements messed up ….. it happens a lot! So, Mom, I’m extremely grateful that you kept reminding me to get mine done and submitted. I admit, Momm’s always right; tell Hope that I say not to forget that fact. : P

Second, I do have another new companion. His name is Elder Riches, he is from Grantsville, Utah, he’s the oldest in his family, and his mother is from Spain and has taught him to be fluent in both English and Spanish. He’s helping me a lot with my Spanish speaking and I’m helping him with grammer and writing. Elder Ivey, my old companion, left to go home last Friday to take care of some personal things. He’s going to return to the mission field in six months, so everything is going to turn out for him, I know it.

Oh, I forgot to mention before, my travel arrangements are as follows: I depart for Guatemala next Tuesday from SLC around 12:00PM noon, we connect in Dallas, TX, then continue on to arrive in Guatemala City around 7:00PM. Keep in mind, it’s against the rules to try and see me off at the airport, so please don’t get me in trouble. : ) I’m both excited and anxious about going to Guatemala so soon, but I know everything I do there will be for my benefit. I’m really on my way now, I’m going to a foreign country to do the Lord’s will! This experience is so unreal at times when I think about the scope of it all.

Now, since I’m now finishing this letter at the very end of my P-Day, I want to take a little time to talk about an extremely cool experience I had today. Not only did I get to attend an endowment session at the Temple this morning, but I got to see an apostle of the Lord speak to the entire MTC tonight. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke at devotional tonight and it was kept a secret until we were all ready in our seats! I love the emotion and conviction with which he speaks of missionary work with, he speaks to my very core. I wrote a lot of notes and am saving them in my journal, but I do want to share one quote that I loved especially. “The whole world is a hospital. You’ve been sent in with a First Aid Kit. But you go in the name of the Great Physician. You’re going out to save the world. You can’t do it all by yourself, but you know someone who can.” – Jeffrey R. Holland, April 14, 2009, Provo MTC Devotional

That’s what I’m doing. And I’m going to do it with the help of my Master every step of the way. I love you all, I miss you every day. I will do His work, then return with honor.

Love always,
- Elder Preston William Tucker

P.S. Go ahead and post this letter to the blog. : ) I want everyone to be able to enjoy my experiences.

P.S.S. Keep the DearElder letters coming! I love every single one. : D

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Second Week Email - Received Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hey Family!

So, my second week at the Provo MTC is coming to the end and I'm not going to say that I can't believe it's already here because I've been very aware of every day. In a good way though. Every day is long, but fulfilling and full of learning. So I could go on for hours in the e-mail, but I still only get 30 minutes.

First, down to business: I have received every letter that has been sent to me through DearElder and it works like a charm. I love hearing from my District leader that I've got DearElder letters waiting to be opened! Keep them coming! I love and cherish every word that I've received from Mom, Dad, Hope, Josh, Sidney, Aunt Metzie, and everyone else that has sent me thier love and support. Mom! Thank you SO much for sending me my "Easter Basket." I loved everything that you sent and a lot of it is going to be very useful in the weeks to come! The silliness lightened my heart and the usefulness calmed my mind. I have found out that there are a few other things that I need/can have. Dad and Mom, when you get the chance, send my Leatherman multi-tool to me as soon as possible! I've needed it a lot in these last two weeks, but I've gotten by. I found out from a Zone Leader that it's okay that I have it, as long as I put it in my checked baggage when I travel. Also, Mom, I've got a challenge for you! My old companion (yes, I'm going to explain in a second) Edler Ivey had a couple of useful items that every missionary on the floor was drooling over. They are from "Eagle Creek Travel Gear" and what they are are basically folders for your clothes. Let me explain...the come with instructions on how to fold your shirts and pants around a flexible board, then stack them neatly and the flaps of this device compress the clothes and velcro shut! When Elder Ivey left the MTC, he was able to fit 11 shirts in one, 6 pairs of pants in another and all of his ties in a third. All of this fit in what would've been HALF of my big bag! How cool is that?! Anyways, Mom, if you can, find a couple of those and send them to me PLEASE! =) So that's it for the business end of things. Now for the News. =P My goal of trying to completely read through Preach My Gospel cover to cover (before i leave Provo) is going well. I'm at Chapter 9 and advancing fast. Yes, I should've read it before entering the MTC, but now that I AM reading, I'm so grateful for it's words of wisdom and love. Everyone, not just missionaries, should read this book. It will bless everyone's lives, I promise. It's teaching me, day by day, to be more like Christ and it gives me comfort by the Savior's words.

A little about a day in the MTC...every day we are up for 15 hours and each hour is filled with meaningful activity. I'm very tired at times, but I find strength in prayer and I keep going day by day. I continue to struggle with speaking Spanish as much as I should, it's a language that depends completely on verbs to express yourself. I feel, in my heart, that things are going to get better with my language skills, but it's just hard to pick up old tricks in just two weeks after not taking any Spanish for 3 years. I've heard that, in the Guatemala MTC, hardly anyone speaks English and that it'll be pretty Do or Die, but I know i'll get better as I'm almost forced to practice. =P The food here in the MTC is wonderful, but at times it can get monotonous. I long every day for Mom's home cooking, but I know that she'll be waiting when i get home to fatten me back up. ;) Josh, you'll probably put on some weight when you get here, but that's just fine because you'll need the energy later. I'm so excited for you to get here in June. I keep thinking about it and the more i think, the more i realize that Josh, you've lived your life in preparation for this service. You're obedient and loving, and you always want to learn. You're patient and friendly and that will help you immensely with your relationships with your companions and your district. You'll love it here, I think, but it's up to you to make the best of your experience here. It's on you, but the Lord will help you always.

Mom, Dad, and Hope, I continue to write in my journal. Not every day anymore, but at least every other day. I want to keep a good record of my mission so that when i get back you all can read it and be able to experience the highlights of my work in the Lord's name.

I miss and love you all every day! I'll write as much as I can and cant wait to hear more from you this week. Vaya con Dios!

Love Always,

-Elder Preston William Tucker

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First Email! - Received Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dear Dad, Mom, and Hope!

Thank you so much for sending me a DearElder this week Dad, and Hope, i just got your letter today and it made me cry because i love and miss you so much! I'm so excited that I finally get to email my family and tell them all about my first week's experience at the MTC.

Just so you know, Mom and Dad, I'm keeping a journal for my mission and I've been successful at writing in it every night. I've actually really enjoyed spending about 20 minutes every night to reflect on my days here at the MTC.

Dad, in response to the letter you sent me, I've outlined and summarized all the important information about my first few days here, so here it goes, are you ready...?
First of all I was assigned to district 23C, which is a beginning Spanish district. My companion was Elder Atoa, a 20 year old Samoan kid from Salt Lake City. I'll explain the "was" part later in this letter. After meeting with my branch presidency I was pulled out of a class and called to be the District Leader, but my calling didn't even last long enough for me to receive any training. The next morning, during our first session of Spanish instruction, my instructor Hermano Ruckham asked another Elder and I to step out of the class and go take a language evaluation. I was evaluated and the Sister that quized me determined that the other Elder and I belonged in an Intermediate Spanish district. Elder Ivey and I were transferred to district 47B together and we made companions, as we had left our other companions in the other district. Elder Ivey is 19 years old, from Nevada City, CA, and he comes from a big family. Only three other missionaries in our district of 12 are going to Guatemala as well. The only bad thing about that is that all of them, Elder Ivey, Elder Miller, Elder (He's from Canada, hard name to spell), and Elder Wood are all going to Guatemala City South. The other missionaries in our district are either going to Spain, Chile, or California. Our instructors are Hermano Gruber and Hermano Adams. Gruber is big, cheerful, fun, and wants to eventually be a BYU football player. Adams is thin, more serious, strict, and very intelligent. He's only been home from his mission for 10 months, so he's still pretty fresh. Hermano Gruber went to Ogden, UT on his mission, and Hermano Adams went to Chile.
There's my summary, now here's the heartfelt stuff. =P

I NEED TO HEAR MORE FROM FAMILY AND FRIEND VIA DEARELDER, PLEASE!!! I can only respond once a week, but I get whatever is submitted teh day it's sent, so please keep them coming more often! =)

Learning Spanish is a struggle, but i'm trying to do it with a smile and the Spirit. Dad, you were right, I should've read Preach My Gospel before I came, but I've made a goal to read it through once before I leave Provo. I'm very glad that I brought a family picture. I miss and pray for you all every day. I'm doing very well with the 6:30AM to 10:30PM schedule, surprizingly, but i wish we had more than 50 minutes a day for gym. The showers are freezing, but that's okay because it keeps me on schedule. General Conference was IMPONENTE (AWESOME)! I loved every session, especially the third general session. President Monson really got me back on track with my thoughts and feelings. We hardly have any time outside of class and meals to study, but that's okay because we're getting plenty done during regular study time.

I only have 30 minutes a week to email my family (on P-Day) and I can only write letters on P-Day as well. But regardless, please send me DearElder.com letters as much as you can. I LOVE to hear from you! Tell Josh to use DearElder too! I love you all and cant wait until I hear from you next.
With all the Love and Spirit that I now possess, -Elder Preston William Tucker.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Preston's Mailing Address

For any of you that would like to write Elder Tucker on his mission, I have posted his mailing address below:

Elder Preston William Tucker
MTC Mailbox #203
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Elder Tucker has now moved into the mission field and the non-pouch mission address is listed below:

Elder Preston Tucker
Mision Guatemala Central
Apartado Postal 921-A, Guatemala

An easy way to write him is to go to www.dearelder.com and write him using their web site. They will type the letter and deliver a paper letter to him. While he is at the MTC use the Provo MTC selection. Once he departs, after April 21, 2009, use the Guatemala City Central selection to get it to the mission field.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

First Letter! - Received Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dear Mom, Dad, and Hope,

The MTC is a wonderfully spiritual place, filled with testimony and love. My companion's name is Elder Atoa, who is Samoan and rather large, like me. Our roomates are Elder Tuaone (Tongan) and Elder Ivey. They are both from California and are excited to be here, even though they think the weather is freezing.

My branch presidency are all wonderful men who care about the work and want us all to succeed. I believe I will enjoy my time here in Provo, but I am anxious to get to Guatemala. Mom, I do need you to respond to this letter and include the dates of my three Hep B shots and both of my two Hep A shots to complete my immunization records. That is something I need as soon as possible.

I love you all and want you all to know how much it means to me that you support me in every decision I make. The Lord is pleased that I made this decision, however Satan is not. This is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done, but it will be worth every minute. Thank you for preparing me for this experience, your help will prove invaluable in helping me to turn my heart over to the Lord.

Write back soon, write often, I'll need your love and words to keep me focused and joyful.

With all my love,
Elder Preston Tucker

Friday, April 3, 2009

MTC Experience

Elder Tucker entered the MTC on April 1, 2009. He was accompanied by his mother, father, and kid sister. Before entering the MTC we enjoyed a hearty meal at Tucano's in Provo.

Processing missionaries through the MTC is a very fast and efficient process. Missionaries through one door and families through another door.

Temple Experience

Preston went through the Bountiful temple for his own endowment on Saturday, February 21st. Those who attended: Grandpa and Grandma Welling, Grandpa and Grandma Tucker, Paula and PW Tucker, Robin and Vern Provost, Karen and Jon Madsen, Gayle and Greg Wyner, Dina Driggs, Jill and Ken Howard, Amanda Howard, Ronna and Gordon Tidwell, Amanda Dixon, and Preston's Institute Teacher.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Mission Begins

This blog will be used to record Elder Preston Tucker's mission to the Guatemala, Guatemala City Central mission.

Elder Tucker began his mission on April 1, 2009. He entered the MTC in Provo, UT at 1:00PM MT and was escorted by his immediate family. It was an awesome day!