Thursday, June 16, 2011

First Letter

I have only been here three days, yet it feels like I have been here forever. It feels like home. There is so much to learn and do here at the MTC. This is only our third full day here and we are already praying and bearing our testimonies in spanish. Every sunday they invite a missionary at random to speak, with only seconds notice. So each week we must prepare a talk on the topic that was delivered the previous week. And yes, we prepare this talk in spanish. We only get 30 minutes to email each week on preparation day, so I will try to fit in as much as I can. I may find I need to write snail mail given that time permits. Thank you for all the letters and support the first few days, I greatly appreciate it. I have found that I am able to put behind the things at home and focus on the work, but I am still glad to hear things are going well. I love it here. The first day they were speaking spanish to us, and I like the analogy we heard that it is somewhat like drinking water from a firehose turned on full blast. Oh how true that is. However I have noticed that as I go forward with faith, praying in spanish, however broken it may be, that it becomes easier to take everything in and learn. I did write a letter and send it out either yesterday or the day before, but I'm not sure when you will get home to read it. My first companion is Elder Jolley. I have been assigned to be the senior companion. We get along very very well. I don't think I could have asked for a better first companion. And our district is simply amazing. We have four Elder companionships and two Sister companionships. Last night the Elders in our district met in the district leader's room (Elder Lenon) and read the first chapter of Nephi in spanish. I felt that this was a great way to learn the pronunciation, even though we didn't understand everything we were reading. This brought our district closer together. Today during gym time we are going to go outside to the sand courts and play some volleyball. Speaking of volleyball, I met Elder Varney here the first day I arrived. I have seen him several times since and we have talked a little bit about the MTC and our missions. There are three Elders in our district going to Chile Osorno, and the rest are going to Texas. The Sisters in our district are going to Spain Madrid, but they will be here only three weeks and then report to the Spain MTC. Yesterday we had the opportunity to teach our first investigator. Our teacher plays the role of the investigator, but they completely adapt the personality to make it as real as possible. Our goal is to invite the investigator to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. As is our purpose as missionaries here in the MTC and out in the field. This practice seems very real. The food here is pretty good, and they have quite a variety. I did receive a package yesterday but was unable to pick it up because the post office was closed, but I will pick it up today as soon as Elder Jolley and I are done doing laundry (that's where we are now). As for the letters go, DearElder letters get here the same day they are sent, handwritten takes the obvious USPS time, and email I will only be able to check once a week during preparation day, and have 30 minutes to read and write. I have been told some missionaries will print their emails, read them, and reply handwritten. I may find this to be the most convenient option. I will have to see what time permits. I apologize if I may not include everything in my emails and letters, but I will do my best. Quite frankly there is much to do here, and my mind is focused. I love you all and thank you for the support you have given me thus far.