Hola! What an experience these past two weeks have been! It has been such a wonderful experience to be learning, studying, and improving while here at the Missionary Training Center.
Just so you all know, my sister Chelsea is posting excerpts from my emails, so don't worry--I am not out bloggin while on my mission!
But as far as learning Spanish is going, I am loving it so much! Everyday, I am speaking it all day, with rarely any English (we count our English words). I am really experiencing Heavenly Father helping me out with learning the language of Spanish. I just switched to the intermediate Spanish class, from the beginning, last week and so I got a new companion and new district. My new companion is Elder Hercules. He is 22, and he is such an awesome Elder; we are becoming such fast and close friends. We have been making goals in relation to learning how to learn the language better, teach better, learn the scriptures better, and serve those around us with a greater influence--all preparing us for our service in Tuxtla Gutierrez Mexico. He is going there as well. We are progressing and having a marvelous experience in learning and feeling the Lord's spirit in our daily lives.
The experience so far is great. I know God wants me where I am now. My days are pretty much composed of Spanish lessons and study, Scripture lessons and study, teaching missionary lessons and study, and all this in Spanish. I am loving it. I don't have much time, so this week will be a little short post, I'll try to type more next week.
I know with all my heart that the work I am becoming acquainted with and engaged in is true. I know my Savior lives, and that my Father in Heaven loves me. This church I am serving for is the Lord's church; what a blessing it is in my life.
I love y'all!
(Also if you can can you forward this to other family members)
I am stressed out once again as the timer begins to click on 29 minutes and 14 seconds left. Please excuse my words if they come out as scrambled eggs.
Life is so wonderful right now! I am so grateful to be where I am! First off, I love Spanish. I love it; I love it; I love it. I am learning it pretty well--the past three days i have spoken under 30 words of English (discluding the evenings). I would love whoever can, Mom and Chelsea, etc., to write me in Spanish instead of English if you want to. I can testify, and I know that Heavenly Father is helping me with this language because I know I could never grow and progress to this point in such a short period of time. I feel like I am going to make wonderful progress by the time I leave the MTC. Speaking of leaving the MTC, my companion and I are going to fast for our visas and so we can know what Heavenly Father wants us to do while we are in the MTC. I am certain that from that fast I will understand what Heavenly Father wants me to learn before I get out into the field (and perhaps that means waiting a few more weeks for a visa).
My companion and I are best friends. Elder Hercules and I are getting along so great, and we have a better relationship than I thought was humanly possible in but a week. He is 22 and a wonderful Elder--we are setting our goals so high every day and every week, and I am certain we will accomplish great things and draw closer together and closer to our Father in Heaven during this wonderful experience and opportunity to be at the MTC. My new district and new class is awesome! Our district has a total variety of individuals, and we have become a closeknit family. We speak Spanish all the time. We aren't even allowed to say, "Como se dice..." We have to spell English things out in Spanish. One of my teachers is a Latino returned missionary--she is a powerhouse and pushes us so hard! The other is a sweet Elder who lovingly helps us improve and encourages us to live our testimony and make our testimonies central to our teaching.
A few random things. During a devotional on Sunday, I sat next to an Elder who before his mission was playing professional soccer for Chelsea! Like one of the best teams in England!!! I was like--awesome! Also, during gym time I have been pushing myself on my pushup record. The MTC keeps a record of the highest straight pushups, pullups, mile run time, etc., and I beat the MTC push up record. I did 143 push ups. My goal while I am here is to get 200 straight pushups so no one breaks my record for a long time.
Today, I just got back from the temple. I did proxy sealings as a child. It was a special experience, and a sweet feeling to be able to participate in that ordinance. I know with all of my heart and all of the conviction that is in me--from experience, feelings, observations, and witnesses of the Holy Spirit, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. That the church we are a part of is the Lord's church on the earth. More than anything, I know, I feel, and I believe that my dear Savior and friend lives. That Jesus Christ truly can help us overcome anything and become the best people that we can be. I am so grateful for the testimony that I have, and the gifts that Heavenly Father has given me to feel the sweet pricks of the Holy Ghost confirming my convictions. So often missionaries start talking about deep doctrine and things we will probably never know in this life, but I am so grateful that the uncertainties of this life are weighed completely down with the truths and precious doctrines that we do know. I know God is watching out for me right now, and I am grateful for that.
I hope that that isn't too short, I am stopping at 15 minutes, so that I can email Angela and Dad. Please show this email to Dad and others though! Thanks!
Question for you mom--what do you wish missionaries would do and/or learn during their time in the MTC?
I love you dearly! I think about you a lot, every night before I go to bed, but I certainly am as far from homesick as possible. I am soooo happy to be doing the work I am doing right now, and I can't wait to get out into the field. I love you mom! Miss ya! and miss the family tons too! You are all in my prayers.