Hola Familia!! WOWWWWWWW! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY SOOOOO MUCH! Thank you all so much for sending me the packages and dear elders! Please send more! Also, let my friends know about the dear elder thing. Its nice to get letters the same day you send them! So I have soooo much to tell you guys but we only get an hour for email and we are trying to be 100% obedient! I might be sending you all hand written letters if I don’t have enough time. So my first day was CRAZY! When the elder whisked me away the first thing we did was go get my name tags. Then, there was like 500 different tables with different papers and keys and access cards etc. Then they took me to the bookstore where I got a giant 15 pound bag with supplies and books in spanish and english! I felt bad cause the elder helping me was carrying all my heavy luggage, and I live on the top floor and there is no elevators so I felt really bad haha. Then we went to the classroom that I will be spending basically all my time in for the next 6 weeks. The hermana teacher only spoke in spanish and it was really hard to understand! Everyone in the classroom was the people who are in my district for the next 6 weeks. I met my companion, Elder Mercier(Mercy-A) he's awesome! I don't think I could’ve gotten a better companero!
The teacher only spoke in spanish for the next 5 hours. Yeah so side note, I found out that they put me in the intermediate spanish class???!!! So hard! I'm the most behind out of everyone in my district with spanish. Almost all of them took AP spanish this year! I didn't have time to open any of the letters in the "open now" packet the first night but I was able to open them throughout the week cause we were literally busy the whole day. I only had about 10 minutes to get ready for bed and write in my journal before "lights out". The spirit here is seriously SOOO STRONG!! The first two days I struggled with spanish and understanding but now I'm to the point where I understand almost all of what someone is saying to me! It's just hard for me to speak back.
Last Thursday we had interviews with our branch presidency and then after he called me to be the District Leader!! I was really nervous and didn't really want to be because I felt like I had soo much stuff to do and didn't have time. We had to prepare to teach a lesson on Thursday and Friday completely in spanish, prepare a talk for sacrament meeting, and me and Elder Mercier were assigned to teach priesthood on Sunday too! I felt like I had so much stuff on my plate and I couldn't handle the responsibility of being in charge of everyone. District Leaders are responsible for the whole district, conduct interviews with the senior companions, conducts meetings, make sure everyone is doing okay, reports to branch presidency, etc. I accepted tho of course. I'm soo glad that I did! It has been the best experience! Thursday night one of the Hermanas, in our district, Hermana Beidler, was struggling and asked me if I could give her a blessing, I did and I was really nervous cause the branch presidency was there listening. The spirit was SOOO STRONG!
The priesthood is REAL! She told me later that she has felt 100 X better. I love my district! I seriously feel like we have been best friends with each other for our whole lives! On Friday I told the district that we should set goals together so we set goals. I challenged everyone to be 100% obedient and everyone accepted the invitation! We have been doing all that we can do to be 100% obedient! On our temple walk on Sunday we even walked the long way cause the sign said "please don’t walk on the grass” haha all of the other missionaries probably think we are crazy but I know that we are being blessed with miracles because of it! I have learned more spanish in the past week than I have in 3 years in school.
|Left to right: Elder Bates, Elder Malovich, Elder Mercier, Elder Cook, Elder Smith, Elder Rasmussen|
Hermana Rounsville, Hermana Beidler, Hermana Peck
By Friday I could pray completely in spanish and it’s cool cause all of our prayers everyday, which is a lot, (waking up, gym, breakfast, class, ending class, lunch, class, ending class, dinner, study time, nighttime, companionship prayer etc.) are ALL 100% in spanish! I can basically say anything I want in my prayers because of what I've learned so far! THE GIFT OF TOUNGES IS REAL! My roommates are Elder Mercier, of course, who is from Oceanside, CA, he is AWESOME! He is going to Cordoba, Argentina. I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better comp. He has the same mindset as me and strives to please the Lord. He was actually an ordinance worker at the San Diego Temple before he came on his mission. He graduated in 2014. He's becoming to be one of my best friends! Also in my room is Elder Rasmussen from Draper, who is going to Santiago Chile, and Elder Smith, from Virginia who is going to Sydney Australia! WE all leave the same day! I know that we were all meant to be here together. All of us had crazy circumstances which led us to entering the MTC at this time. My companion was supposed to be in the advanced 2 week course that started on July 1 but they rescheduled him for July 15 intermediate randomly. For me my mission call took forever and I didn't get into BYU summer term. The others had similar circumstances but I can’t remember exactly. They are really cool and everyone in our district is here for the right reasons.
It's sad to see other missionaries in our zone (floor) who aren't obedient. They all stay up past bedtime and are playing games and stuff in the hall. One night they were being so loud during (quiet time 10:15-10:30) my companion asked them if they could be quieter so that we could feel the spirit. Guess who was the ones being loud? THE ZONE LEADERS! AHHH hahaha The other Elders in our distrito are Elder Schwartz (going to Orlando, FL) and Elder Malovich (going to Southern Argentina I forgot the name) who are both from SLC. They are awesome too. Our district is the only ones that are obedient and I'm grateful that I was blessed to be in it. The hermanas in our district are Hermana Beidler from Virginia (going to California somewhere) Hermana Peck from Arizona (who is going to Cordoba, Argentina) and Hermana Rounsville from New Mexico (who is going to Cordoba, Argentina). They are amazing and always have the spirit. Seriously tho I LOVE THE MTC! The spirit here is so strong! One of the Elders in our room was telling us about a talk one of the general authorities gave about how special the MTC is and how he said something about angels who are constantly on the rooftops of the buildings guarding us!!! When I get in bed I hate taking off my name tag cuz I love seeing my name next to Christ’s. I love knowing that I am a representative of him! I seriously can't go to sleep sometimes because I'm so happy! I just can't stop smiling!
|Where we spend 9 hours of our day|
It's funny because since we are in class so much only speaking spanish (9 hours a day) we forget how to speak English sometimes! hahah We also usually teach 2 lessons a day. 100% spanish! The first one was pretty rough but we have gotten a lot better! Our investigators are Antonio, and Alan. Antonio is a fake investigator, but we think Alan is real cause people have told us that and he doesn't wear garments.... So kinda intimidating. We learned that as missionaries we need to be fluent in 3 languages, english, spanish, and the language of the spirit! The language of the spirit is the MOST IMPORTANT! We had a very humbling experience and lesson when we were teaching Antonio. We were teaching about baptism but were having a hard time speaking. There was silence and I felt like I needed to ask him if he would pray for us, to know if the church was true right there! He did! The spirit immediately flooded the room! We realized it didn't matter what we were saying or what we were trying to say in spanish, but that the only language we need to be fluent in is in the spirit! Even tho are spanish was horrible it was the most powerful feeling! On Tuesday, Hermana Peck y Hermana Rounsville were getting a cold. They asked us to give them blessings. I was able to anoint the oil for Hermana Rounsville and mi companero gave the blessing. Then with Hermana Peck we switched roles. SERIOUSLY I CANNOT DESCRIBE THE POWER THAT WE FELT! Almost all of us were in tears after the blessings. I didn't even know what I said but I know that God put all the words into my mouth! I can't describe it! I LOVE THIS GOSPEL SO MUCH! I LOVE BEING A MISIONERO! Sorry I have no time! I will send you guys all personalized letters in the mail! Sorry! LOVE YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH! I couldn’t be in a better place. Its funny we all say that we are not in Provo, but in a whole different world. On our temple walk we saw a family and we were like oh yeah I forgot that there are children in the world! hahaha I get to go to the temple today @ 2! I got to go!
P.S. The food here sucks! Me and Elder Mercier eat either cereal, PBJ sandwiches, or starve haha. We have only gotten like 2 decent meals. But it’s all good!
|Thanks for the real food, please send more!!|