Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Week 1 - Only Letter from MTC!
Date: November 17, 2014
Area: MTC Provo, Utah
Companion: Elder Henderson (From North Carolina)
How are you all?? Things are great here in the MTC. When I arrived on Wednesday (Nov 12th) I was so excited to see that Elder Josh Reid (from my home ward in St George) was my Host! That just made my day. Hey got to take me through to get all my tags, books, etc. and then show me around the dorms and campus! That was such a sweet blessing! I've seen SOOOOO many other Elders and Sisters from home and other places, and it's always so exciting when I get to go and want to give them a hug but then instead awkwardly give them a handshake and try to put all the excitement of my soul into that gesture. Seriously, try thinking of how you can portray excitement in a handshake, it's hard. The classes here are awesome because they are all in Spanish and all the people in my Class (which is also my District) are latinos/Native speakers. I'm the only white Elder in my district, so that's pretty cool I guess.
My companion is Elder Henderson from North Carolina and he is the best! He knows a lot about the Gospel and is very obedient. He speaks really good Spanish too! He is headed to the Monterrey East Mission in Mexico. My Spanish has improved a ton in the last 5 days, it's insane. I can understand like 95% of everything I hear and read, and this is such a great blessing!
On Thursday, the day after we arrived, I became Senior Companion (Not that this really means much in the MTC haha) and my Companion and I became Zone Leaders over our district. This is pretty humbling because like I said, I'm the Gringo and my companion is half Gringo, so I don't know how I feel about being a leader to 50 other Elders and Hermanas that can speak so much better Spanish than me! The Hermanas and Elders in my district say I have like amazing grammar, but they can speak much faster but they also speak slang, so that's kinda hard for me to understand. But seriously, the Lord has blessed my Spanish so much. Oh and SPANGLISH! AYYY!! They'll be talking like 100 MPH and I'll be understanding everything and then I'll be like wait what are they saying know?! THEY ARE SPEAKING ENGLISH! It's hard to switch back and forth, and it's hard for me to write in English now, so I guess that's a good sign? Haha!
I am leaving the MTC on Nov 24th at like 3:30AM and I'll be flying to Atlanta and then to Mexico City, so I'm stoked. There are a few other Elders (8) in my travel group, but I'll be flying to Atlanta with a bunch more. So the food here is good but it's super weird, I don't know how to explain it. I miss your food mom! I am always full, but I just feel like my stomach is blown up with a balloon. Haha I don't know, it's not that bad I guess hahaha. It's like a petri dish in here because it's SOOO cold outside so everyone has colds and it spreads like the plague here.
A few of the Elders in my district and a Hermana had to go to the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City on Saturday so we took the Frontrunner up to Trax in Murray and then Trax to the Consulate. It was super weird because we drove right by South Jordan and I could literally see my Old house and Skylar's house from the Frontrunner. Weird! Also I ran into a bunch of people I knew from High School and other places and the people I was with thought that was nuts. We talked to all the people we could on the Train about the Gospel and I have a super funny story haha.
So Elder Silva went to the bathroom and when he was walking back this lady started talking to him. She looked homeless ish and her husband was there with her. He was talking about the Gospel and she had actually been baptized in the LDS church when she was young, and her husband really loved religion and was looking for the right church! He had read to like Alma in the book of Mormon. Elder Silva called me over to share a scripture about baptism but they had to get off really soon. Anyway, while we are talking to him about the importance of baptism he takes off his glove and hawked this GIANT loogie in his hand and then like wiped it on his leg. HAHAHA Elder Silva and I were trying so hard not to laugh/gag/throw up.
Also an Elder named Elder Thomas was with us on the trip and he is in another zone and had been to the consulate before, but had to return to sign another paper. He is from Washington and is sooo funny but he's been here for 5 weeks and speaks like no Spanish hahahaha so the Hermana was testing him getting him ready for the field and was asking yes or no questions. He really likes food, and is afraid that if he says no he will be turning down food hahahahahaha. So this Hermana would ask questions like, Quire casarse con mi hija? (Do you want to marry my daughter?) and before she can hardly finish he answers SI! haha He is going to get engaged a lot on his mission because apparently that is really a question a lot of people ask the American Elders hahaha.
My testimony and conversion has grown sooo much here! Yesterday we watch a talk by Elder Bednar entitled "Character of Christ" that was given at the MTC a few years ago on Christmas, and it changed my life. Seriously. I cried so much and I LOVED IT! It's not online or anything though, there is a similar one he gave at BYU I but it's different I think. I'm gonna go beg the front desk to give me a copy of it and I'll let you know how that goes! Elder Bednar talked about how Christ ALWAYS turned out to others, not into himself. We talked about how after Gethsemane and being disappointed by three of his Apostles and betrayed by one, he still had enough compassion to care for the guard's ear. I could seriously write a million pages on the things he taught, but hopefully I can get a copy for all of you. He talked about how a Testimony is good, but without conversion to Christ it is not enough.
I love you all so much and appreciate the prayers and letters from all of you!