Wednesday, February 13, 2013
A new calling! Week 3 in the MTC
Thank you for all of your emails and letters that I have received! My MTC experience is continuing to progress and flourish and I am having a wonderful time.
I have two pieces of information that I would like to start off with.
First of all, me and my companion have been called as zone leaders. We are in training and will officially begin this Sunday. I am so excited and yet so nervous. Today he and I are joining the current zone leaders and welcoming the new district that is coming into our zone. I am nervous because I still feel so new, but it will all work out. My companion and I, for the past 2 weeks or so, have made a goal to meet with companionships from our zone and get to know them better. That has been a great blessing, and now with our new assignment to be zone leaders, we will have to expand that goal. I truly desire a personal relationship with everyone in the zone. I want them to know that they can come to me for anything, and I want our district leaders to have the same desire as I do, so that we can work together. I am very excited for this assignment. Elder Dame (Elder Flake's companion) is our new district leader. I think he is enjoying that.
Secondly, the moment that everyone has warned me about. The one moment that is the reason for so many funny mission stories....my companion is driving me nuts!! I love him and I think he is great but he really does have his quirks...just little stuff that annoy me! Oh well! I have to look past them and just move forward! When we have Companionship Inventory, we spend time as companions to discuss ways we can improve. That is difficult for me to do sometimes. I don't want to talk about what I can do better sometimes! But it is constructive and good.
Leonardo and David are our investigators (actors). Yes, David is paying more attention. He really opened up in one lesson and we invited him to be baptized. He will think about it. I had him pray right on the spot as well....I think that I do that a lot in lessons! I have really come to understand that having investigators pray during the lesson can be extremely spiritual.
Tuesday devotionals are awesome. We have had, I think, two devotions with a member of the 70 being the speaker. No apostle yet!
The language is really coming along great. I have gotten to the point where I can translate some of the Spanish in Preach My Gospel into English as I read.
The MTC is so much fun. We have random snowball fights all the time it seems. We would be walking when all of a sudden a snowball hits somebody, and then war breaks out. It is so much fun! My companion and I have not attempted to beat our record on the stairs yet! Maybe we will do it today. We tried going down the stairs in 8 seconds, but we got 15 seconds instead - haha! Elder Kearl finds it so funny about how I react to this weather! Sometimes I will be like a kid in a candy store looking at all this snow, and I will always be wanting to chuck a snowball at someone! Other times I am freezing and my companion (who is used to 20 or 30 degree weather) is totally fine. I sometimes tell people that in Mesa, snow is a myth!
I love receiving mail! Keep sending me some! Seriously, our poor district leader is going to get mauled some day when he gets us our mail! We all love getting letters!
I feel I am getting closer and closer to the Spirit. It is important to not get discouraged, even though it is hard sometimes. I think for the first time in my life, I have been really able to get out of discouraging attitudes. Normally, I would get depressed and stay that way for awhile. Now, I am trying hard to not do that. Instead, I just tell myself that I am going to move forward and do better. And that often works out.
Patience is golden in the MTC. Some people just make me want to pick up a table and throw it!!! I am trying so hard to be patient and loving (no wonder I am going to be a zone leader...it is like God is recognizing that I am progressing, so He immediately knows that it is time for more challenges! I am ready for it though!). My district can get very loud and goofy during some times, so I am trying to be patient because I feel that there could be less of that and more work. I will respond to this in love and not anger. :)
To answer your questions, yes we have service times in the week. We clean other building's bathrooms and stuff. That is actually a lot of fun! I enjoy it! I think that I have gotten a picture by the map...but it is on someone else's camera so I will have to try and get it.
I really admire two people on this mission....Elder Babcock and Elder Flake. Elder Babcock left awhile ago to Mexico. He was my best friend in childhood, and lo and behold he was my zone leader when I first got here. He is a great missionary. He is optimistic, sociable, and totally confident and spiritual. He will work miracles in Mexico. There was an experience that I had in my first week, I think, when I was really down and discouraged. I walked into a room when he and other zone leaders were at. Elder Babcock could just tell something was up. He looked at me without a word, and nodded his head as if to tell me that everything was okay. That was perfect. I didn't need much more than that during that moment. Elder Flake and I are a lot alike, I think. He has an incredible spirit and willingness to work. I know that he will continue to be great and do good.
One more experience that I had last night. When I went to bed, I said my prayer for that night. I was really tired so I decided to not give a very sincere prayer. Well, when I finished I got out of bed to go blow my nose. Suddenly I had one of my big bloody noses there in the bathroom, and I had to stay up and take care of that. During that time I was thinking to myself..."Ok, Ok! Sorry God I will say my prayers right!" Hahahaha! The bloody nose was just a bloody nose but I kinda felt that God was kindly reminding me that I needed to go back and do it right with my prayers :) I love it when I recognize His guidance in my life, even if it takes a bloody nose for me to notice it. :)
I am having an absolute blast. The Spirit is incredible throughout these days. I am learning so much. I will send pictures a little later today. :) Be expecting some letters as well. I will try and get them all mailed today. They should be there in a few days I think. :)
Thank you for all you do and for all of your support and prayers. Here are some more answers to your questions:
I have gained about 10 pounds, maybe more. When I checked before my mission, I was 145, but I don't know how long ago that was. I am now about 162.
The peanut butter shot has been mentioned, but I don't think I will need it at all. We had an immunization check in the first week, and they never said I needed it.
I believe that Elder Babcock is in Guadalajara, Mexico. There are others in our zone who are going elsewhere, like California, before visas finally arrive.
Sundays are great. They are relaxing. We have sacrament meeting, priesthood meeting, temple walks (except last Sunday it was cancelled), fireside, and we watch movies and recordings of talks from general authorities.
Yes we give talks. We are supposed to prepare a three minute one each Sunday in Spanish. Then we are chosen to give the talk in Sacrament Meeting. I have not been selected in any of the times yet.
At night, I usually study my language, or study the scriptures. We also love to talk, meet with members of the branch presidency, goof around, or whatever.
We are on a cool floor. We have lots of cool people there who love to have fun.
I have to take off soon so I will write back next Wednesday. Good luck with everything and I shall keep you in my prayers. Bye!