Hola! Well, the weeks are going by so fast now! Every Tuesday, when I email home, seems to come faster and faster. I have been here 3 weeks now, with 6 more left (if all goes well with getting my visa to Mexico)--and boy am I grateful to be here! The MTC has just put up Christmas lights all around, and at night they seem to light up the environment. I just love it here! There is a sweet spirit here as everyone here is trying to becoming the best people, missionaries, and disciples of Christ as they can be.
My companion--Elder Hercules (I will never stop loving his name...even if we do get stopped everyday by people asking "whoa is that really your name?")--and I are doing so great! We have developed such a strong friendship and care for one another. We are always looking to improve our goals and set the standards a little higher for us. I have total confidence that together we will be able to achieve great things, and start becoming the missionaries we so want to be. He loves kitkats, which is really nice, because the few times the mood between us isn't perfect, I feel like I can buy him a kitkat to make it better. No, I am only joking. We really have a respect for each other, understanding that neither of us are perfect, but that we can each grow and learn from each other. I love Elder Hercules, his sweet spirit, testimony, and friendship.
The Spanish language is beautiful. I feel guilty whenever I speak in English...and I am so excited for the time when I will be able to speak Spanish to nearly EVERYONE down in Mexico. Every day, we are really trying to count the words that we say in English. My goal is to stay under 10 english words a day, but some days I just can't do it. It is so fun and exciting to learn a new language in this way! I am learning greater self-discipline and studying skills than I have in a long time! Que bueno!!!
I am grateful for the time we get everyday to study the scriptures. I am developing a greater love for them every day, along with Preach My Gospel and its wonderful teachings. On a normal day, we will have personal study in the morning, breakfast, companion study, personal language study, and then a couple blocked hours for teachers to instruct us on becoming the best missionaries we can and learning the language. Also, we have some time that we try to go and practice teaching one another, and practice contacting other companionships in the MTC. You can really tell which missionaries are sick of other missionaries contacting them, because if you and your companion approach a companionship who starts running away that is probably the case. But, in one experience, my companion and I were teaching a volunteer investigator about the Plan of Salvation. After a special meeting, we closed by asking her to pray. She said such a beautiful prayer that invited the Spirit so strongly. Although she was just a volunteer, and not a "real" investigator, I couldn't help but think about the people in Mexico that God is preparing for me to come and share the Gospel with. I am constantly reminded at how amazing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. It has changed so many lives in the past, it is changing so many lives right now, it has changed my life, and it will change so many people's lives in the future--and even more miraculous, in my opinion, than all this is that it is true. It is so true, and what a blessing that is.
Elder Holland (an Apostle for our Church, for those who don't know) came and spoke to the missionaries the other day. Since then, I have watched three other videos that contained other talks he has given, and his fire for missionary work has contagiously spread to me and inflamed my love for missionary work! I am so grateful for how much love he has for his mission. He kept on telling us how much his mission meant to him, and how much it influenced those he taught. I know that the next two years are going to change everything for me...for the better. I know, much more importantly than changing me, is that it will change the lives of wonderful Mexican people. It is so special to think about the fulness and restored Gospel being carried by thousands of missionaries to nearly every minor part of the world. I know that the Lord is leading this work.
Christmas time is wonderful. It is such a blessing to have all the decorations, all of the "Christmas Spirit," and feeling that comes from this time of year help point me back to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and what he has done for me, and all of us. I know his death, suffering, and His life was not just some story or cultural tradition. I believe and know that He lived, suffered for us, died, and lives again today. Christ is leading His Church, guiding His people, and embracing all those who will come unto Him. I am so excited to jump into the stories about Christ for study!
I guess overall things do not sound that exciting...but they sure are! Every day is amazing! I am feeling so good as I try to diligently become the missionary I know that the Lord wants me to become.
I send my love and my best wishes,