I finally get to write! Thank you so much for writing me! I only have about 25 minutes so I am going to type quickly. Yes, Wednesday is my P-Day. We were told that we could NOT write or type letters or emails on any other day besides P-Day. I can ask about that topic more to see if that is really the case, but that is what we were told. The first week was incredible. I have seen Dallin Gardner, Shawn Pritchet, and Caleb Rash several times in the MTC. I will quickly run through what this week has been like.
The first day was crazy. After a tearful farewell to Mom and Dad, I left with my escort and got my nametag, books, and stuff like that. It was pretty crazy and overwhelming the whole time! I had to go through an online Welcome Orientation in a computer lab, and then I went to my first language class where I met my district. I met my companion. His name is Elder Kearl. Mom and Dad, none of us guessed where he is from! He is from Riverton, Wyoming. He loves hunting and doing all sorts of outdoor things like that. He is also a swimmer. I have come to love Elder Kearl. He is a great man who loves to serve the Lord. He is diligent and happy to serve.
On the first day, we met our teacher as well. His name is Hermano (Brother) Ostler, a tall, skinny man that always has a great attitude. When we met him, he only spoke to us in Spanish so all of us were staring at him like deer in headlights as he spoke this crazy language. In our district, we have four hermanas (sisters) and eight elders. I absolutely love my district so much. They are tremendous people. On the same day, we went through 3 role-playing sessions where we taught investigators (actors). The Spirit was incredible during that time. It was absolutely phenomenal when things would pop into your head to say to the investigator. I did not speak much because there was probably 60 or 70 missionaries trying to teach. It was a wonderful experience.
On the second day, the routine began. In my room there are 4 elders. Me, my companion, Elder Lancaster (a short young man with a perfectly happy attitude, high spirituality, sense of humor, and love of God), and Elder Ames (a young man who was recently called as District Leader. I have grown to truly admire Elder Ames because of his sincere desire to lead and fulfill his calling. He is genuine and confident). We woke up at 6 and worked out, had personal study, language study, lunch, more language study, a workshop, and all other sorts of stuff that I don't have much time to describe.
I have little time so I will describe some other things really quick. The food is glorious. I eat like a king. I eat so much during the day and then work it all off during gym time and morning workouts!! It is great! On the second day, my companion dropped his tray and broke his plate so I often tease him about that! Gym time is fantastic. The MTC is very exhausting and difficult so gym time is fun. I go and play tons of basketball so I can run away all of my stress and frustrations!!
We have an investigator, who is also an actor (meaning he isn't a real investigator, but we treat him like one!). His name is Enrique. We are to teach him 6 lessons in Spanish, and me and my companion have taught 3 already. I cannot describe the reality of the gift of tongues in these teaching sessions. It is true. The Spirit is so strong, and phrases and words come into my mind as if Spanish was my native language sometimes! The Spirit helps me to remember words and to say things in Spanish that touch the investigator's heart. Spanish is so much fun. I can pray, testify, help teach a lesson, and have a broken conversation in Spanish. It is wonderful. It is great because me and my companion spend so much time praying for Enrique. I have recently been inspired that me and Elder Kearl should give him a blessing today. We want to show him that the priesthood authority is real and only exists in this church.
I have had so much joy in the MTC. So much joy. I have also had so much discouragement. There have been some days where I would look at myself in a mirror, see Christ's name on my tag, and wonder if I am ready for this. Once I really got discouraged and began to doubt the usefulness of this work. That was a low time for me, but don't worry, I have come out of it! Our Branch Presidency is brilliant. The president's name is President Wilkins, and I have had the wonderful opportunity of speaking with him and having him encourage me and help me. Brother Monson is his 1st counselor. He is the nephew of President Thomas S. Monson (the prophet calls him Kent if I remember right). Just like his uncle, he is a spiritual man. He acts and looks exactly like Thomas S. Monson. He speaks when he feels prompted. He pauses and ponders as he teaches. He looks at us as if we are the most wonderful beings that have ever existed.
I have felt the Spirit so strong and feel great. Yes I still struggle and have doubts. But the companionship of the Holy Ghost is impossible to deny. I cannot describe it. At the same time however, the devil does not cease to try and stop us. But it doesn't matter. We are pressing forward. I am pressing forward and feel wonderful as I do so.
Pictures will be coming soon, probably sometime today so be waiting for that!
Here is my testimony. Sorry, no accents over letters so hopefully you get it! It is by memory so I am not using notes!
Yo se que Jesucristo es el Hijo de Padre Celestial. Padre Celestial envió Jesucristo expiar para nuestros pecados. Yo se que José Smith fue un profeta de Jesucristo. La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días es verdadera. El libro de Mormón es verdadero. Yo se que familias son eterno. Nosotros podemos tener felicidad mediante El Evangelio de Jesucristo. Jesucristo tiene mucho amor para nos. Yo se que. Nosotros podemos tener el gozo y la paz en este vida. Yo se que Tomas S. Monson es un profeta verdadera. Podemos tener guía mediante el Espíritu Santo. Yo digo estés cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Translation: (I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ to atone for our sins. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. The book of Mormon is true. I know that families are eternal. W can have happiness through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has a lot of love for us. I know that. We can have joy and peace in this life. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet. We can have guidance through the Holy Ghost. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.)
Oh by the way, me and my companion's catch-phrase is Somos Oro! (We are golden!)
Just thought I would mention that for fun ha-ha!
And yes, I got the package :)