So sorry its taken me this long to send out my first update; this is actually the first time I've had a free moment as my P-day is on Thursday and they don't give new missionaries a P-day the first half week. But let me assure you, I am having an awesome time! It's like a constant dose of the Spirit every single day. If I had any doubts before, I am even more positive this is the place I need to be.
Now, for the essentials... my companion is an awesome guy from Kaysville by the name of Elder Morrell. He's really good at keeping things simple, which is good for me because I tend to get really elaborate with my lesson plans.
Spanish, is acutally coming really well! I've learned more Spanish in three days than I did a whole two semesters in High school. I've grasped the language fairly wuickly even to the point where I've started saying my personal prayers in Spanish. I even found the courage to bear my testimony in Spanish this past fast and testimony meeting. It's incredible how much the spirit manifests itself when you bear you testimony in another language; you can only say the simple things when you're learning a new language; and really it's the simple things that bring the most spirit in one's life.
They called me as a District Leader, which is really cool because I get to collect everyone's mail. We have three guys in our district that have steady girlfriends back home so its really funny to see their faces light up when you hand them their perfume scented letters. But seriously, I love the opportunity to lead out district meetings and bring the members of our district together.
My schedule is pretty standard; class and personal scripture study all day. We actually have an ongoing pretend investigator that Elder Morrell and I continually teach, set up appointments and such. Oh and we have to do all our lessons in total spanish! It's a really interesting experience; his name is Daniel, he has wife who's a member and a three year old son. We went into our first lesson hardly knowing any Spanish. I bore my testimony about la amor de Dios and familias eterne but that was about it. However, the spirit was so strong!
We are now in our fourth lesson; yesterday we invited him to be baptized...he said no. He simply wants to gain a witness for himself that the Book of Mormon is true and that this is God and Jesus Christ's church. Once he recieves that witness, he will accept the Gospel:)
An interesting thing I learned yesterday was the correcting to a common misconception I previously had about missionary work. I used to think "Oh, don't challenge and investigator to baptism on the first lesson...you might scare them away or turn them off from receiving the spirit." This is incorrect. You should ALWAYS invite a person to baptism if they show interest. The worst thing that will happen is that they'll say no, and even then they will become more curious as to what the Gospel is really about. Plus the very pupose of a missionary, as outlined in Preach my Gospel, is to invite all to come unto Christ. And what better way to accomplish that than to lovingly invite people to follow the example of Christ, find faith unto repentance and be baptized?
It was fun to see an MTC devotional with Elder Christofferson yesterday. He is so much fun to listen to; I mean he has a way with delivering witty, religious jokes. And his testimony of the Gospel....unshakeable!!!
I don't have much time, but I'd like to share one last insight... I am not at the MTC to learn Spanish. I'll admit, the first three days my mind was stuck with the frame of mind "study Spanish, study Spanish, study spanish. I want the best instrument I can be in the Lord's hands, so study more Spanish." But I've had so many testimonies and witnesses that my main purpose is to convert myself to the gospel first. I need to develope my testimony even further; there's a whole new level of confidence I need to achieve to boldly teach the gospel. Spanish proficiency will come, but my testimony is the most important.
I love this Church and this Gospel. I miss everyone sooo much and hope you'll al continue to read el Libro De Mormon. Este libro es verdadero.
Love you all and God speed,
PS. Family, use Dear Elder to send me letters, I need as much email time to actually type my letters than I do to read them.
Also Liz, please copy and paste everything in the letter onto Facebook! :)