Well, Christmas has come and gone in the MTC, which is strange seeing as it feels like yesterday was December 1st. I feel like I've been here forever, and yet the weeks slide by faster and faster. It was a wonderful time being here during Christmas! We were blessed with many wonderful devotionals, two of which were with Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a talent show, and Mr. Kruger's Christmas. It was incredibly uplifting; there are few things as amazing as being taught at the feet of an Apostle. And that evening, while watching Mr. Kruger's Christmas, I was so overcome with gratitude for who Jesus Christ is. Mr. Kruger goes up to the baby Jesus in his dream, telling the baby how much his life and influence has meant in Mr. Kruger's life. I was touched, and once again reflected on who Christ is in my life. He is everything. I know He lives; I know He is our Savior; I know He is our brother, our friend, our only sure path towards joy. I love Him. It was very special spending the Christmas season as an authorized representative of Jesus Christ, taking His name upon me in a way that I never have. I love wearing my plaque which states, "Elder Palmer...La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias." It will be terribly difficult when I have to take that off in two years.
Mom, you asked me how study has gone, and a few questions along with that. We have somewhere from 3-5 hours a day, which is called missionary directed time (MDT). I feel like this is my companion and my most effective time. We have incredibly uplifting companionship studies--immersed in Preach My Gospel coupled with the Scriptures. We have learned that as we truly study study-not just study-the scriptures and talk and testify together, it brings a sweet Spirit into our studies. I learn so much with Elder Hercules; one thing, he often poses very thought-provoking questions for us to think about, and almost always it leads into us finding out different perspectives and different little treasures in the Scriptures. Oh, and it is sooo awesome to read the scriptures in Spanish! It clarifies and adds a different perspective to numerous passages, and also, I just love the Scriptures in the Spanish language. Language study is coming along great. I feel like I can say anything I want with things related to the Gospel, and I am still working on other subjects. As Zone Leaders, we get to interact, interview, and train a number of native Spanish-speaking missionaries, which is an incredible help! (Also humbling I might add. haha) I can understand most of them with most everything, but there are one or two natives who seem to never even touch their lips together when they speak--making it a little difficult for an American missionary at my level.
Life is great in the MTC. I am excited to get out to the field, but I am loving my time here. A number of Mexican missionaries are still having temporary reassignments, and visawaiting actions happening, so we will see what happens in that regard. But whatever happens, I know it is part of Heavenly Father's plan. That is very comforting, even though I often wonder what that plan entails. I am doing great, my companion is doing wonderful, our Zone is doing pretty well, and the MTC is a wonderful place (minus the really cold weather--I am glad I am going to Mexico not Siberia!)
Well, that is about all for this week. I feel like I said nearly nothing, but I am seeing little miracles and tender mercies every day. I know God and Jesus Christ are heading and leading this work I am a part of. What a blessing!
P.S. Elder Nelson said 6 new countries are dedicated for the preaching of the Gospel! Bosnia, Angola, Macedonia, Mantenegro, Slovenia, and Croatia! Awesome!!!