Hola Mi Familia, August 31, 2012
Hey how is everybody doing?! Man, I can't belive that I've been here at the MTC for over 2 weeks. It has gone by really fast. The days are really long, but then when you look back on the week you just had, it goes by in a blink. Well everything is going great here at the MTC. I'm still loving it here its really not bad. Its crazy because remember what Pres. Welch said in my blessing as I was getting set apart about me knowing I am in the right place at the right time?? Well yeah that has totally happened to me already from day 1. My district, companion, teachers, zone, branch presidency, zone leaders, etc. are all so sweet. Me and Elder Astle get along so well. He is a great guy and we share a lot of the same interests. We both have a drive about us that we both want nothing less than to be obedient and work hard. My district is so great as well. I'll name off the guys...whoops...I mean ELDERS for you: Elder Hauser/Elder Hansen; Elder Garcia/Elder Ellison; Elder Doughtery/Elder Allred; Elder Stephens/Elder Chote; and finally Elder Yano/Elder Thompson. Yeah we have a big group. Most districts have about 6-8 elders and we have 12. It is a blast, and all the Elders work hard, but when at the same time we all like to have fun. It great. I know that I'm here at the right time and everything. I wouldn't want it to be any different. Oh and to answer mom's question our investigators are actually our teachers that are acting as someone that they taught when they were on their missions. It really does feel real though because they don't ever come out of character. We have to be speaking spanish the whole time during our lessons. The teachers here at the MTC are mostly BYU students that have been home from their own missions for only about a year. We have one teacher that has only been home from his mission a month! Also you asked if we have to speak the language all the time. The answer is agency haha. We are encouraged to SYL (speak your language) as much as you can. During class and throughout the day, we do our best to speak the language as much as we can, but when we are in some certain situations we just want to speak english. There is acutally goals that districts make that they won't speak english for an entire day, or for certain periods of time in a day. The longest my companion and I have gone without speaking english is about 3 hours. Its pretty crazy how much spanish we know already I won't lie. But, I'm well aware that as soon as I step foot in Mexico I won't have a clue what anyone is saying!! Don't worry I'm looking forward to it.
Anyway, it sounds like you guys are all really busy with everything going on at home! It's that time of year. I hope Jami, Kaylee, and Tyler are all doing okay with their classes and workin' hard. Dad it sounds like work is going good and that you guys are having a good time, I'm glad. How's the golf game?? Hopefully it goes to the pit by the time I get home so I can kick your butt haha ;) I'm jokin'. Mom I'm so happy to hear that experience that you had! It makes me think back to the everything that fell into place when you were looking for a job at Shelly. I know that didn't end up working out....hmm...maybe it was just a trial of your faith, and now here comes the blessing when you least expected it! :) It's so cool to see everything work out for you and that you're teaching 5th grade with a picture perfect class. WOW. We are very blessed. Make sure to thank to Lord for all of our blessings. We enjoy so many each and every day. Tell Jami and Kaylee to keep up the good work and to keep their noses clean. High School is make or break. It can be one of the greatest times of your lives. It is what you make it. Either you work hard and enjoy every moment, or you end up looking back with some amount of regret. In any case and no matter what you make out of the experience one thing is of necessity; the greatest importance: Make good decisions. Family first. Do the basic things that matter most, scripture study and prayer. Keep the commandments. Strive to follow the prophet. By listening to their words you will come closer to God. Most importantly look to the Savior as your greatest example. Strive to be like him. Follow him and his teachings; his church and you'll find in yourself a better version of yourself. I promise that this is the case. Do these things for yourself, and you'll find yourself happier than you've ever been. ENJOY IT :)
Just to finish up I wanted to share with you a really cool experience that stood out to me this week. On Tuesday we had something that is called TRC training. It is when real members of the church volunteer time out of their day and come to visit with missionaries just as themselves, so that we as missionaries can get a feel for what it is like to get to know people and share a message. We had only had a few minutes to prepare a short spiritual message, and yes, you guessed it, it has to be all spanish :) So we go in there and talked with this awesome lady named Joseiphina I think. In our broken spanish we got somewhat aquainted with here and continued to share a simple spiritual message with here about God our Heavenly Father and how he loves every one of us. I spirit filled the room as we spoke and shared scriptures. At the end my companion shared his testimony, and then came me. I don't remember everything I said, but as I walked out I remember thinking to myself "how in the world did I speak spanish so well." It wasn't that I was saying things I'd never learned before, but it was the manner in which I was able to say it. It was simple, yet strong. I love being a missionary. I want you all to know that this is the Lord's work. God loves us and has a plan for us. Central to that plan is the Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for my Savior and His Atonement; it has changed my life forever. We can all develop strong relationships with our Heavenly Father if we just Come Unto Christ and follow Him. Thank you all for your amazing examples in my life. Thank you for your love and support! It means the world to me. I love each and every one of you, and I miss you all. God be wich you til' we meet again ;)
P.S. if you have time you should all read Moroni Chapter 7 the whole thing. Its great. Love you!