June 15, 2012
I've officially passed my first week and a couple of days at the MTC, and wow time is flying by!
I'm understanding most of everything I hear from my teachers in class in Spanish: so that's great! However.. they speak nice and neat, nice and slow, and nice and simple. I tried talking to a native Spanish speaker (who is going to my mission!) and I couldn't even understand, "?Conoces ese elder?" (Do you know that elder?)
I'm sorry to hear I missed Kyle's talk, I'm sure wishing I had Kyle's linguistic abilities right now! but I know with hard work and the gift of tongues, I'll get there!
We finished teaching 5 lessons to an "investigator" named Cezar Jimenez; the first lesson was on our second day at the MTC and had all of our nerves rattling. We didn't get much progress with him until the final lesson, were my companion (Elder Bay) recited from memory Joseph Smith's first vision in Spanish, the spirit was strong and he accepted a challenge to baptism! Then... the next day Cezar walks into the class room... after teaching him for a week we find out he's our second Spanish teacher! Hermano Barnard.
It's great to hear about all of the moves back in Washington. Congratulations on the house selling Mary! Glad to hear that the Blacks will be moving back into the ward.
Eating healthy is extremely difficult here at the MTC, one of the teachers said he gained 50lbs in the 3 weeks he was here.. and I can see why; I have to get an average of 3-4 plates of food, take off all the unhealthy nonsense, and mash together any spec of healthy food to create a some-what healthy dish. So most of the time I end up consuming a far too generous amount of grease injected hamburgers or deep fried mystery meat. (Note: No need to send any baked goods to me, every elder receives a voluptuous amount of these and thus there is an enormous surplus of baked goods floating around the hall. Candy is a rare commodity in my room though!) So far I've only gained .9 pounds in this week at the MTC (they have industrial scales we can weigh ourselves on during service projects, I think our entire district weighs about 1400 pounds).
As a district, we do a service project every Tuesday morning, so far it looks like I'm back at Matthew's, as I'm stocking cereal and condiments in the back storage room. We also get to help prepare food, which I'd rather not have seen how they mass produce the things i put inside my body, but there's not much you can do about that!
I ran out of garments (10 pairs) on my first official full week and had to purchase 3 more pairs; so make sure you come with at least 12 pairs to the MTC Peter! You will use two pairs a day (gym + morning change).
So sorry I'm going to miss out on Fathers day, Love you Dad! Wish I could Skye you since mother's day isn't for another 11 months, but rules are rules, and there are quite a lot of those here at the MTC. Obedience is the most stressed value here, and the point was brought up during a district meeting: "You pray all day for investigators or for the Spirit to help you convert people. If you can't even get out bed on time, or get to bed on time, or follow the little rules, do you think Christ will trust you enough with one of his precious souls that has the potential of become a god or goddess?" - Elder Case, district leader. I'm glad you and mom kept me busy and taught me how to work hard, because a mission sure is hard work. I am grateful for all the work they give us, we don't have time to think about how much we're doing or what we're missing out on!
I love receiving letters from Dear Elder, Mom, please post the link/directions to Dear Elder on my facebook, i don't have anyone's address's so i can't write them, and dear elder is just a simple email!
My new favorite literature is Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage, but sadly i only have about 10 minutes a day to read it, but so far I've loved what I've read!
Went to the Provo temple today for the first time, the session was great, they have a separate floor for the Elder's clothing/changing since we go there so often. On my way out I ran into none other than Cami and Rachael Schiel!
My testimony is certainly increasing very rapidly, since not only do I learn it in Spanish, but first I take it to heart in English, so I can develop essentially two testimonies of everything I learn.
I'm very blessed to be here on a mission, and i hope to bless the lives of my Family and those who I teach!
Hurrah for Israel!
Love you all very much, and I keep you in my prayers, whatever language that may be.