May 16, 2013
First week in the MTC
I just realized that I didn't tell anyone my address! Ooops. Oh well, now you have my email address. I have been looking forward to emailing all 8 days. And now it's here and I don't really know what to say. The MTC is great. I am loving it the more I am here. Sorry for that really depressing letter I sent you. Please save it, I want to read it when I get home from the mission. I think it will be funny to read. I'm doing much better now. Here at the MTC its never a good day or a bad day. Its just good moments and bad moments. But the good moments rock! The spirit it way strong here. I am loving it! I can't believe how much I have learned in just 1 week. Seriously, it's ridiculous. Spiritually and with the language. Man, spanish is hard. But it is ridiculous how much I know in just 8 days. All my prayers are in spanish now, I can pretty much read preach my gospel (predicad mi evangelio) in spanish and understand. I even started reading the Book of Mormon in spanish. I never hear english anymore, it's pretty sad. Since the first day, my teacher Hermano Mitchell (who rocks) only speaks spanish. We learn about how to be good missionaries...in spanish. We learn how to speak spanish...in spanish. And when we participate in class he wants us to always answer and speak in spanish. Already some words come to me in spanish before english but I just only hear spanish. But I'm improving super fast. My 2nd day I was so overwhelmed that I came out of class just so frustrated and kind of just gave up with trying to understand. But now, I can go through the whole 3 hours just in spanish and understand pretty much everything. Church is in spanish here. I am loving it....I think you can tell how much I am loving spanish!! I was asked to lead the music in sacrament meeting. It's harding leading a song, in spanish!! But I am getting better! I am loving spanish and I am totally being blessed with the gift of tongues. I know it's not me at all. Seriously, I could never learn this much if I wasn't a missionary serving the Lord. Man, He is blessing me so much! I know he's watching over me. Everytime I am super down about something and pray for help, He answers. In incredible ways. One day I was super frustrated because the people in my distrit (whom I love) can kind of be...unfocused at times. They are hilarious but sometimes they kinda forget why they are here and treat it more like and EFY and it totatlly drives the spirit away. It was pretty discouraging because I am only here for 6 weeks and I want to have a really good experience here! But they just joke around and don't take things seriously. I was praying really hard about that that night...for help pretty much. Then the next day the elders walked into the classroom and said, So we had a "corazon to corazon" last night and decided that we kinda went too far and need to settle down and take things more seriously. I was .... shocked! Then we had a district meeting later that day and our branch president talked to us about that same thing. It was amazing.
Sunday was amazing! Everybody here said if you can make it to Sunday you can make it through your entire mission. How true was that. The first 4 days were...rough. I thought to myself, if I got sick right now and had to be sent home....I'd probably not come back haha That's really sad. But once I made it to Sunday...I LOVE IT! I love the MTC! I can't wait to be a missionary and I don't want to leave! 18 months seems like nothing! I love my classes and studying...even though it's ALLL day. Anyways, back to Sunday, it was amazing. For relief society we get to go to "music and the spoken word." This week was about mothers...oh happy mothers day mom!! I missed you a lot that day! But the speaker on sudnay said there isn't a better present you can give your mom than being where you are right now. I hope that's true! Hope you had a great day! ANd happy birthday Sara! I thought of you for sure! How was your "surprise" birthday party? I'm sad I missed it, but Happy Birthday! Love you!!! Anyways, back to Sunday. The speaker for relief society was the lady who wrote all the best hymns and primary songs...can't remeber her name. Anyways, she wrote As sisters in Zion, A Child's prayer, Armies of Helamen, I Love to see the temple, Love is spoken here.... I can't think of the others, but a bunch and they are all my favorite ones! Anyways, she gave an awesome talk, and then we just sang all her songs, she changed the words to "As Sisters In Zion" so it was about Missioanries, and we sang all these songs about it that she wrote and by the end everybody was crying. It was great. Then later we had a devotional, we got to watch the Joseph Smith story, LOVE! and walk to the Temple. It was great. And other stuff but I can't remember.
Elder Russel M. Nelson spoke to us a devotional on Tuesday! So aweesome! He talked about how much the ancestors of our investigators are praying for our success. I never thought of that before but it's so true! He said a lot of great things, I took good notes. Oh mom!! During devotional, my companion and I sat next to Elder Patterson! The one from the airport. haha It was funny! I just realized I never told you about my companion. Her name is Hermana Pingree, she's from Salt Lake, super social and cute. We make a good companionship at least with our teaching. We always talk about how cool it is because we kinda make up for what the other lacks. We really compliment each other. She's also going to Seattle so we'll be together for the full 18 months. So that's a nice thought! We're in it together! Pretty awesome!
Okay, best part of my week, my investigator!!! I didn't really like the MTC until I started teaching. Our 3rd day here we had to give a 40 minute lesson in Spanish to our new investigator, Joti. It's crazy he's not real but I love him so much! I found this new passion for teaching that I never knew I had. I LOOOOOVE teaching! Everytime we get to teach I get so excited! The first time I was nervous cause I was like, oh my gosh I don't know spanish. But halfway thorugh my lesson I realized that it's okay, as long as I follow the spirit I'll teach what the Lord wants me to teach. Most people in my district didn't find that out untl their 4th lesson. Most people literally write word for word what they want to teach and just follow the lesson plan. I try to stress to my companion to not do that, buuuut I think she's starting to firgure it out. It's just so much better when you jsut come in there with the spirit, good preparation, and key vocab words necessary to teach. That's all I do. My spanish is atroshus (don't know how to spell that) but I just talk to the investigator and we get way father with him then planning a lesson and reading it word for word. By the 4th lesson he said he wanted to be baptized but...he's living with his pareja Gaby, so he needs to get married first. Our next lesson is going to be about the temple and being sealed together and were going to use the proclamation to the family. It's going to be good. Anyways, today...we got a new teacher and guess who it was? JOTI OUR INVESTIGATOR! Kind of embarrassing cause he has seen us teach and knows how bad we are but kind of awesome because I already love him so much. It's crazy how much I love Joti. He's not even real but after our first lesson I just loved him SO MUCH! So anyways, my investigator is now my teacher. He's such a good teacher. I really love class.
Oh, you know how the MTC is making another campus in Raintree? BYU housing? Well, they picked 1 zone, of all the zones to go...and we got picked! Crazy! So we are moving there May 28th. It's it's completely own MTC. It has it's own mailing building, cafeteria, classrooms, gym, bookstore, eveything. So I won't go to the MTC every again. It's gonna be called the west campus. So that's sweet, we are the first district to go there! We are legends! haha. So that's exciting. We got to take a field trip there today! We left the MTC and went into the outside world! Pretty exciting! We got to go on a bus and it's ridiculous how excited we were haha.
Thanks for the dearelders, I can't describe how much it means to me when I get one! Dearelders are way better than getting emails because then I get the full hour just to write emails instead of reading and then responding. And getting dearelders during the week is really nice. Its always sad when everyone gets a letter except you. But...not that sad. It just makes my day when I get one. Thanks Mom and Holly and Grandma and Jared! Jared...you didn't write your full address on the dearelder sooo I couldn't write you back! I really wanted to write you back! So send me your address. Anways, I am going to try and send some pictures! I am taking a lot of pictures haha. Love you all sooo much! ....sorry this letter isn't too spiritual but seriously, I am being so spiritually fed here and I love it! I know the church is true! I love missionary work! I love jesucristo y su expiacion. Yo se que este evangelio es verdadero! En el nombre de Jesuscristo, amen!
OH!!! I saw seth!! He's doing great! We ate dinner together just before I wrote this email. We got a picture together so I'll have to send it...if I have time. Love you! And if you love me...dearelder me :)