PDF of first letter from the MTC, Aug. 1, 2012
Aug. 8, 2012
Wow! I was not expecting a different letter from everybody! Thank you all so much! I only have a half hour for e-mail, so this will be the family e-mail and if I have time I will write back to everyone else. Speaking of which there is a website called Dear Elder where you can send e-mails and they will print out a copy and give it to me, so I will get it the next day. If you want to do that, that may give me more time to e-mail and I would be able to send you written mail also (if I have time). Time, time time! Things have been so busy here! From the moment I left you guys at the curb it's been pretty much non-stop. I can't really remember what I wrote you in my first letter so I'll just cover the first week pretty quick. I can't believe it's been a whole week! I think the first day you know about actually, so I'll skip to Friday. We taught our "investigator" for the first time Friday night. All in Spanish. That was pretty intense, but we were able to understand each other. Elder Pugh and I basically just memorized what we were going to say. We were able to commit him to pray though, so that was good. Then the next morning we taught again with practically no preparation time. And we did amazing! We just knew what we wanted to say in English, but had no Spanish preparation. But we were able to teach him much better and actually teach him, not a lesson. Fast forward to today, we have taught him four times and he is reading his scriptures and praying everyday, he feels the spirit, and we have committed him to come to church and to be baptized! I know none of it is real, but it is still an incredible experience to see the gospel change someone's life. I think the most powerful experience I've with teaching though was the second lesson, we had Daniel (the investigator) pray with us for the first time. I didn't understand everything he said, but I was able to catch him asking Heavenly Father if what we had taught was true, if the Book of Mormon was true and if Jose Smith was a prophet. I was filled with a joy and a love I've never felt before. I think that was my first real taste of missionary work and I loved it!
My district is incredible! I can't believe I've only known these guys a week, I love them so much. They are all so eager to serve, have such strong testimonies and love the Lord. I am learning so much about their examples. Elder Pugh, my companion, is from Rexburg and he is amazing! We get along really well, in fact he reminds me of Cyrus sometimes. He is so sensitive to the spirit and so eager to do good. We've already developed such a trust and bond. I usually do most of the talking in our lessons, just because I know more Spanish, but when he bears his testimony the spirit is there so strong. He is really good at following the spirit in what to say as well. The other Elders in our district going to Spain are Elders Taylor and Shumway. They are also our roommates and awesome guys.
Sarah and Erin, thank you both so much for your emails! I'm sorry I didn't get to respond to them separately, but please keep writing them, I love hearing from you both so much! That is an awesome idea about the quotes Erin, there is power in inspired words. I hope you enjoyed the vacation (I'm super jealous you go to go to Bryce! I love it there)!
We are supposed to fly out the 22nd, but they haven't told us anything about our visas yet. I'll keep you posted.
Well I am out of time, sorry! I'll try to be more prepared next time and using the Dear Elder might help. Also, if there is anyway you could find out the addresses for my friends from school (Sarah, Alexa, Morgan) that would be awesome so I can write them back.
Thank you so much for writing me and for all your love and support. I love you all so much!
Aug. 15, 2012
Hey thank you for all the notes and for the letter! It was nice to get mail during the week. Thanks for trying to get my friends' addresses too. Sorry you're back at school already, Mom. Meetings are no fun, especially on a Friday. We have double class time on Fridays, 3 hours then dinner then 3 more hours, so I feel you. But we learn about coo gospel stuff so its not too bad. :) Haha, that's hilarious about the girls getting lost. I shouldn't talk though, I remember one time we were going to movie and I told Bekah to turn at the wrong place. I think we missed the movie too. I don't think any of us are very good with directions. I didn't know Elder Thorly, but I did have several classes with his younger sister Brooke. That's cool that he's home! I wish it were possible to eat well. The food here is pretty terrible. But then I guess I'm pretty spoiled by your amazing cooking. I'm getting by alright.
Well, I guess I better start with the bad news. Last week all of the Elders going to Spain received a note from the travel office saying that no one's visa had cleared and that we would not be leaving on our scheduled date. It said they would let us know when they had our visas, so I have no idea when I'll be flying out. I'll write you as soon as I know, but that may be awhile. I've heard a rumor that everyone in Spain goes on vacation for the month of August, so maybe after the end of the month we'll have some news, but no promises. I was pretty bummed out at first, but I am in a good place here with good companions, so I should be fine for a while. I just hope I don't reassigned to a different mission for a while. So, pray for my visa!
So, I actually have a request for some things I need, if that's alright. If you could send me one or two more plain t-shirts of mine, that would be awesome. Also, I've realized that I have no way of telling time, or an alarm clock. Some of the elders here have these slick "travel alarm clocks" that I think are pretty cool. I think the brand is Sharp and I heard you can get them at Target. They fold like a cell phone. That would be really helpful if you could get your hands on one to send me. Sorry I'm asking for stuff already, I'll try not to make it a habit. :)
So we haven't been doing too much teaching lately. We finished with our first investigator and now he is one of our teachers, Hermano Clarke. He is way cool! So this week we teach him as a different person and our first teacher Hno. Riboldi as investigators. On Thursday we did the TRC where we taught people who are actually members. It was a little tough at first, because what are we supposed to teach them, right? But Elder Pugh took over and bore powerful testimony and I followed suit. He is really good at bringing the spirit. We got notes from the members thanking us for helping them feel the spirit and for sharing our testimonies, so I think it went well. Also, one of the people we taught was a girl in my graduating class, so that was fun.
Oh, fun story really fast! On Sunday I saw both Pres. Rodgers and Pres. Doman. I guess they are in branch presidencies here.
Well, I'm sure what else to talk about. Everyday here is pretty much the same now. I suppose my letters will get more interesting when I have real people to teach and tell about. Spanish is going good. I say almost all my prayers in Spanish now :) I love learning a new language! It's cool too, because everything we learn is gospel related.
Well I am out of time, but I want you to know that I love you more than anything! Thanks for raising me in this gospel, I know there is no other way to be truly happy, not only in this life but after as well, and I want so badly to share that knowledge. I know this is where I am supposed to be and where the Lord wants me to be. Thanks for supporting me always. Love you guys!