21 July 2011
Dear Mom and Dad and Everyone Else Back Home,
At the request of the MTC Presidency, my first letter home is handwritten rather than email so you can know that I am safe and sound.
I love it here at the MTC. There's this spirit of camaraderie everywhere you turn. Everyone cares about everyone, and though the schedule is odd and different, it's easier with so many people all doing the same work. My companion, Elder Van Dyke, grew up in Cedar Hills and is also my district leader. It's interesting to know that the elder I get to serve with grew up so nearby.
Earlier today I was asked to act as senior companion in my companionship with Elder Van Dyke; however, as my DL he technically still outranks me. But ranks don't matter. It's the work that matters.
Sister Jones said that I could tell you that my missionary tag was put on with love. Thank you for the package, though I swear you're trying to make me fat. My preparation day is on Tuesday so that's when you can generally start expecting emails.
Tell Nik he had something right. The missionary approved backpack is a plain black Jansport. I've purchased it and a few other items already.
I love you all. Write again soon.
John Y. Roberts