The first week 12/12/2011

Hi from the mtc!
I only have 30 minutes to write letters each preperation day, (monday) so this may be short! This wwek has been a whirlwind. from when I got dropped off at the curb I was in my first class with my companion within 10 minutes and have not had any time to relax since that time. my teachers are really amazing! they have both returned from missions within the last year and are so in tune with the spirit. I was told that they have re done the way they teach at the mtc within the last few months and I can tell that it is preparing me so quickly for missionary work. in just the last few days my companion and I have already taught about 5 lessons. It is pretty intimidating but I have been amazed at how the words i have said have come with such ease. Grandpa told me the spirit here is only matched by that in the temple and I am really gaining a testimony of that.
on thursday night I was called to be the district leader of my district. it has been a really humbling experience but I have been seeing the lord qualify me for that call. I have 10 elders in my district. 2 are going to perth australia, one going to melbourne (my companion elder hosman) and the rest are headed to sydney. we got the chance on thursday when we met our branch presidency to bear our testimonies as a district and I know alll these elders are really great guys, and that as we are obedient with exactness and have faith that we will be prepared to be great men of God. my branch president, president gubler is amazing, he is so strong in his faith and amazing with the scriptures, he said when he extended the call as district leader that by being an example and loving my district that I would see miracles. It has been amazing. I have made it a goal to serve with exactness, and to really get to know and love all the members of my district. Time goes by so differently here. it feels like my life before coming last week is a distant memory, and yet, I am quickly realizing how much I have left to learn. There is already such a bond of brotherhood within my district, I have never seen the unifying force of the gospel so strongly as I have in this last week with the other 9 missionaries who are so different from each other. some have been struggling with every imaginable trial, but the lord has blessed me with a knowledge of the good he sees in each of them, the potential they have asmissionaries, and I truly love all of them. every one of them has expressed to me that tehy knew after one day that I should be the district leader and they havethanked me for many things. it has been a very humbling experience, I was not expecting this responsibility, but as I have been humbled I have been qualified, I am still praying amolst hourly for counsel, because I really do not know what I am dioing, but all has gone well so far, I have great zone leaders, great brance presidency, and a great district. I have less than 5 minutes each night to write in my journal, but I felt that I needed each of these elders, they have taught me so much, and up to this point, the transition has not been that hardfor me. there have been so many blessing for this call. I am sure I will only see more in the next 2 weeks.
 the schedule and the rules and everything about the mtc are a much higher standard than I have ever had in my life, it is really exhausting, there is no moment of the day that I have not been devoted to the lords work. iot is amazing, it is helpingme to forget myself and go to work.
how are things at home? how is chad doing?? kevin, any new track stories? haley, I want to hear about the sat!, heather… working on any new songs, little boys… staying out of trouble? 🙂
I really love you guys, I have a scripture that I want to share with you next week about the families of missionaries 🙂 its really cool. I have seen it for me  when chad has been in new york.
only a minute left.. mom could you make sure my mtc address is mailbox 172? and tell anyone who asks that is the best way to get in touch with me! I would love to hear from them. also, mom, could you send me anything on we can read letters daily, but only e-mailfor 30minutes so I would like to read your emails before preperation day so I have a full 30 miuntes to write back.
I love you guys, I love the lord, I love my district, I love this work.
with all of my heart,
Elder Faulkner (Ryan, in case there was confusion with the other elder faulkner:)
ps I am leaving here the day after christmas!
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