Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blog Post #4 - MTC Observations

What's up everyone?

Well, today officially marks one month of my Mission. Time really goes by FAST. It feels like i've only beeen here for a week so far. Whoa. 1 down, 23 more to go.

So, to commemorate the 1/24th of my mission, I want to state a few observations of my whole MTC experience so far...

1. The MTC food. The low quality and repetitiveness of the meals they serve has finally pushed us around the point of protest. In fact, one day, when they served fried pieces of whole chicken, one of our sisters proceeded to twist a leg off. Guess what happened?

It gushed blood. Literally. Like up to a foot across, and that was it for us. What did they do, hack off the chicken and serve it within the hour??

Some of us have already chosen to live off salad and cereal from now on, and I'm contemplating crossing that bridge.

2. Last sunday was fast sunday, and several meetings were cancelled in observance, thus most of our district took the advantage of a urgently needed extra few hours of sleep. Normally I would enjoy it too, but my stuffy nose kept me up. I seriously loathe colds.

At least we finally had SNOW that day, and I woke up to a fresh blanket of snow. Joy! Our district was planning on an epic snowball war for P-day, but unfortunately the MTC presidency had the delight to tell us that snowball fishts is strctly not allowed. Drat. Oh well.

3. There are a lot of short people in the MTc. I mean, a LOT of short people, like no taller than four feet or less. In fact, three Elders and a sister are registered as dwarves. I feel like the Goliath to a whole bunch of Davids. Just a statement.

4. The Referral center is good, but sometimes it can get a bit scary. From there you get to chat with people from across the country who responded to church advertising. We met a lot of nice people who wanted to learn more about the church, but (please kindly pardon my french) you also meet some of the idiots who ask about the strangest things. One man spammed about evidence of Evolution, the big bang, etc. one woman told stories of her being 13 years old and pregnant (yikes), one man told us that temple garments "turns him on"??!?!?!

And here's the real kicker. One man said he wants to "Come onto Christ". Fine and all, bout the problem is... the words "Come onto christ" was implied in probably the most extremely inappropriate way ever. If you don't know what i'm talking about by now, then for the sake of your further sanity and mine, DON'T EVER ask me to explain it to you. EVER.

5. Another elder left, who is also our roommate, so our room has become somewhat quieter. Van Dam was very ectastic about finally getting the bottom bunk previously occupied by the other elder. He really don't like top bunks.

Two sisters in out class, Badger and Hansen, found out that they are going to be stuck at the MTC for a lot longer (6 more weeks) and they're pretty torn up about it. I surprised them by giving them both gifts of their favorite candy and they seemed to like it very much. I think little tokens of frienship goes a long way, don't you think?

that's about it for now, snce I don't have much time. One more thing, I ran into Kol Gibson at the MTC. We had a nice long chat yesterday and he seems to be doing very well.

okay. one LAST thing. To my family and friends: Please please please PLEASEEEEE send me letters! I'll reply back, of course! I'm tired of seeing nothing but spiders and cobwebs in my mailbox. IF you don't, I'll break my tie from the nearest tree and exclaim,"THAT WAS MY FAVORITE TIE!" You wouldn't do that me to me, would you...? =-(

haha. bye.


Blog Post #3 - Wait...

okay, so-

As of yesterday, Elder Nightingale has flown the coop for his mission assignment. He will be greatly missed, especially from me, but we hope he is doing very well. At lead it was a fun three weeks with him.

Wait a minute.

Have it been 3 WEEKS ALREADY?!? Where on earth did the time go?? The days feel like watching turtles go by, but when you look back, it like someone attached a jet engine on said turtle. Uh-oh... I'm now incredibly afraid that if I blink, my whole mission might zip by and I missed everything, and I've suddenly grown a 2-feet long beard, and absolutely reek of 2 years lack of hygiene.

There I was, having landed at the LAX airpirt, rubbing my hands in anticipation and exclaiming "I'm READY" when suddently the mission president taps my shoulder

"Your mission is finished now. Time to go home", he says.

"Finished? I just arrived here!", I say

"Arrived? HA! You've been here for the last two years! Seriously, go home. you have the rest of your life to look after!" he says

Anyway, a funny thing happened yesterday also. Yesterday morning, most of the class was either still half-asleep or dozing off. then the unexpected happened. Out of the wild blue, a bird decided to dive-bomb right into our class window, making a loud slamming noise. the shock of the impack scared us all wide-awake. I think that God doesn't want us sleeping on His time, so He sent a little surprise along the way to jump-start our day. Yikes.

This week, we got to hear from Sister Lant, of the Primary General Presidency. She spoke about inviting and feeling the spirit, and challenged us to find ways to find the spirit easier and better because on outr missions, we will ABSOLUTELY have to rely on the Holy Ghost to help us succeed, because without the spirit, we will never be able to, no matter how charismatic and well-teaching we are. It was a very marvelous talk, which in fasct beings me to another topic:

Today, we got to go to the Provo Temple again (no temple last week due to thanksgiving). After the endowment and I walked into the Celestial room, I felt very strongly impressed to sit down, close my eyes, and pray, so I did so twice. I prayed about pretty much everything that happened in the past month. Since the computer clock is ticking down, I will not be able to explain everything, but suffice to say, it was a meaningful two prayers. After I closed my prayers, my eyes almost immediately became fixated on a Book Of Mormon lying on one side of a table, never letting it escape my sight for at least a few minutes. It was then that I knew straight away the answer to my prayers was; that I should read the Book of Mormon once more, AND listen to its words more carefully. I really felt the spirit that morning, and as I left the temple, the cloudy dawn became a clear, crisp day, and I felt a lot different than when I entered the temple.

I think, at that point, I really became a missionary.


PS: The bird is fine, by the way. It held on to a tree branch for a moment, then flew away as if nothing happened.

Blog Post #2 - Week 2


Oh, hi.

Wow. it's been two weeks already. Freaking amazing. I thought the days went by like molasses, but then when I look back at it.

odd. odd indeed.

but anyway, I've been having loads of fun so far. just last tuesday, Apostle Dalin H. Oaks graced the MTC with his presence. He first spoke about the statistics of missionaries in the MTC and in the field; how over half of all missionaries are learning 52 different languages; included was 15 ASL missionaries. That was when I immediately knew that he was talking right at me. Really cool.

Elder Van Dam: He's pretty cool too. He comes from a huge family: 12 kids. I think one of them are deaf too so he learned some ASL before coming to the MTC. His ASL is getting better everyday to the level of normal communication so we got a chance to really talk and bond. Oh, and he's going to Los Angeles too.

Lemmon and Nightingale are doing well. Nighingale just got informed that they're sending him out in about a week. Lucky him.

the five ASL sisters in our branch are nice too. all hearing, but fairly versed into ASL, so...

Anyway, last week, we had our first referral center appointment where we talked to actual people online who had questions about the church. It was ok, but you meet the strangest people online. One man had a "concrete testimony about the Big Bang Theory, science, and stuff like that. Another man discussed the intricaties of *cough* his intimate moments. etc. etc.

But on the plus side, we hooked an appointment on our FIRST call. W00t. Think that's a good omen or something?

We also had opportunities to teach real investigators in person at the MTC last friday. I think it went well, as the investingator (Amanda) didn't show us out the door on the first minute. yikes. I was very nervous but I think I did fairly well.

agh. Time running out. again. BUT... a story before I go.

Two mew missionaries arrived on a island where they were supposed to be teaching. There, they were immediately surrounded by tribial natives wearing masks and paint. And spears. lots of spears.

One elder made the mistake of saying Hello in plain english, and for some reason the natives bound them up with rope and carried both elders off to their giant idol on the island. there, the natives chanted to the idol to burn the elders in sacrifice, but the idol has done nothing. the chanting went on for hours and yet nothing happened, so one of the elders finally decided to wriggle out of his ropes. he than put his hand in his pocket as the natives stopped and looked on suspiciously. He then took out a lighter and flickered a flame. the natives, all 2,000 of them, jumped back in astonishment. the elder then lit his post on fire, showing that he could make fire when the idol couldn't. every native on the island collective bowed on the ground.

At that, he told the natives to read the Book of Mormon, and pray about it (the right way, of course).

Withing a month. the two elders baptized all 2,000 people. the Mission president's jaw dropped to the sand.

Anyway, enough about us. What's up on the home front?


PS: Please PLEASE send letters. it gives me a thrill of seeing the shiny white envelope in the mail. If typing is REALLY your thing, then send me mail at THANKS!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Blog Entry #2: MTC Email Restrictions

Hi Everyone. How are things going for all of you. It's great on my side too.

I hate to be a bother, but for the duration of my stay at the MTC, I would like you to please send me letters via regular mail (or you can use The MTC has cracked down on the email usage policy and programmed all the computers so that when we use up our 30 minutes of email time, the program shuts down automatically and I risk losing everything I type. Harsh I know, but that's what it is.

For that reason, I want to reserve as much time as I possibly can to type about my exploits thus far, so I'll have very little time to read any email you might have sent.

Thanks and I hope you understand.

They are saying that I "MIGHT" be sent out a bit earlier than January. The operative word is "might" since it is still up for discussion. I will keep you appraised of the situation.

Love you all very much,

Elder Zack

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blog Entry #1: Hola from the MTC

What's up, mi amigos?

I'm alive and very much well at the MTC. Honestly, the place is amazing. I don't know how I even got so nervous in the first place anyway. The classes are fun; the teachers are awesome; the companions there (all 15 of them) are great. The food... well, not so much.

That's pretty much my only complaint about the place. You see, they tend to overcook everything so it turns out dry. Especially at breakfast, where the eggs and bacon are so dry it’s uneatable, at least in my opinion. Look, I know we're all in a nervous fit over the whole flu thing, but even so, IT WOULDN'T HURT TO JUST COOK THE FOOD A LITTLE BIT LESS.

By the way, they weren't kidding about the flu incident. I mean it. There's like, a hand sanitizer dispensers every 10 feet all over the hallways in the MTC. There's an immunizations clinic every week, where they nosily check up on your medical records to make sure you're tip-top.  Last week, they cheerily informed me that my tetanus was out of date. Oh really? How could I have missed that one? Whatever, shoot me up and let me get out of here already.

But enough about that. At the MTC, we have a really hectic schedule. We're supposed to wake up at 6:30 AM and be in class within the hour, and we don't rest until 9:30PM, and even then, that's all taken up for writing in our journals and getting ready for bed.  Lights out is at 10:30PM In fact, we're recommended to wake up earlier than 6:30 so we get first dibs in the showers.

We do, however, have about 2 hours every day except Sunday for gym time to at least wind off a little. We have soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc.

We have 15 companions, for whom my one assigned companion is Elder Van Dam, but we travel together a lot with another pair: Elder Nightingale and Elder Lemmon. In my opinion, Nightingale is a very awesome guy. Elder Nightingale (Seen in the picture) tells the best stories, but of course, I came in a close second, so we often made up stories together, mostly during out free time.  (Elder Nightingale is the deaf elder I met at the Missionary Mall the day I started.)

So far, my week has been pretty spiritual. On Sunday, we had a fireside where Sheri Dew (AKA the CEO of Deseret Book) spoke to us about the trials, challenges, and dangers of missionary work and encouraged us to stay strong and endure to the end on the front lines against the armies of temptation and darkness. Awesome talk! On Tuesday, we had a devotional meeting with Brother and Sister Edgley, of the Presiding Bishopric. He spoke pretty much about missionary work too.

Well, my time is very almost up, so I gotta sign out, but not before leaving you with a story that Nightingale and I came up together during our free time.

WARNING: If you are prone to excessive laughter, please turn away now. Thank you.

Throughout the week, a few pairs of missionaries came up to me and Nightingale and started talking to use for a good 5 minutes each, while we had no idea what on earth they were talking about. One of them spoke in Chinese. (I could tell, by the way.)

I mean, Hello! We're deaf! And stop looking at us like we're morons or something!

Wait, what if they do this to us for kicks? How dare they? Fine.

So we talked around and came up with a good plan for revenge.

So one day, we walked up to a missionary pair and went signed something like this to them (no voicing):

Hello, My name is Mud and My companion is Brain Dead. We would like to share to you a message today about our hideous butt rashes. Also, that combover don't really work for you and that has got to be the tackiest tie we've ever seen. Plus, with that suit, you need to seriously reconsider your taste in fashion. Also, there's been a rumor going around that you have a thing for the MTC president's wife. We testify that you have absolutely no clue what on earth we were talking about. We close in the mane of the almighty Jabba the Hutt, Amen.

At time, the pair looked at each other, then looked at us and softly signed, "You realize we know sign language, right?"

Well, that's it for this week. Bye and have a great day.


Elder Tritsch

P. S.  My new email address is

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Elder Tritsch is in the MTC

Dear family of Zachary Aaron Tritsch,

We are pleased to inform you that your missionary has been safely checked in at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. We thank you for supporting your missionary and know that your family will be blessed as a result.

Your missionary's mailing address while at the MTC is:
Zachary Aaron Tritsch
MTC Mailbox # 146
CA-LA 0113
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Please note the following items:

1. Your missionary's service began today. Please do not arrange or request visits with your missionary, including meetings at the temple or in proximity to the MTC.

2. All missionary mail must come through the US Mail or commercial delivery services. Hand delivered items will NOT be accepted. Do not send pizzas, fast foods, ice-cream, or any items that will spoil if they are not refrigerated within 24 hours. Missionaries are not called out of class to receive packages, nor do they have access to a refrigerator.

3. Communicate with your missionary weekly through letters sent to the above address or through the email account that the missionary will set up within the first two weeks. This account is to be used by immediate family only. Telephone calls for missionaries cannot be accepted. Your missionary will correspond with you on his/her first preparation day.

4. Families and friends should not plan to visit missionaries departing to their field of labor at the airport or MTC.

Should you need to communicate with the MTC call 801-422-2602. Do not reply to this email.


Provo MTC Presidency

Thursday, October 29, 2009


2 weeks till my mission.

Where did the last 3 months zip by? It's like I have a lot I need to get done, but NOT ENOUGH TIME TO DO IT!

At least I got my shots over with. H1N1 vaccines are a strange thing, that. You see, instead of putting a big ol' needle through your arm like any other shot, what they do is take a different kind of syringe and stick it up your nose so that it sprays a fine mist, like you're almost drowning, or something.

But now I won't have the flying pigs (Get it?) so I can't complain. Also, the line at the health center moved pretty quickly. I had excepted to be stuck there for some 4 hours being boar out of my mind, looking at some medical poster about oinkment, so it was alright.

Puns aside, I recommend you get everyone you know (and yourself, of course) immunized. it's fairly quick and painless.

In other news, I'm pretty close to finishing all my classes once and for all, but BYU's snail mail is making getting the final exam here, difficult. It's now a neck-to-neck race against time. Still, it's a sense of relief to get all the hamwork (Sorry!) done.

Well, that's it for today. I gotta start packing right now.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This post kicks off my new missionary blog. If you want to send me e-mails to keep in touch with on my mission, my address is:

ANYWAY- My mission officially starts on November 11 when I report in to the MTC (Missionary training Center) that day.

How do I feel about all this? Well, to put it simply, I'm eager, nervous out of my mind, elated, surprised, and at times, going "OH CRAP, WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO?!?!?"

But overall, I can't wait because it'll be a whole new experience for me. Suffice to say, it'll be a pretty interesting two years.

(At least, I hope.)