Hi family! I got lots of letters from you all this week and the pumpkin bread. Yum!! Keep the letters coming :). Thank you! Sorry I didn't respond to all of your letters yet. I haven't had a few minutes to do anything really. Our P-days are on Thursdays and since I got here on a Wednesday we just skipped our first one. That's why it took so long. But I am excited to tell you all about the MTC!!
Also, my companions and I, besides the one other sister, are the only sister missionaries in our zone. As a result, we have been called as the Sister Leadership Training Leaders. Ha! like we even have anyone to lead. But as a result we have a ton of meetings on Sunday so that's fun. I actually like it that way. The busier the better. I think it has kept me from getting really homesick. I love you all so much! But, I don't think I have fully realized how long I will be gone and I again haven't had all that much time to think about things at home. But I hope all is going well for you. I have also become the zone/ward pianist for our ward. It is a little bit different doing the hymns in Spanish. Luckily, everything but the page numbers is usually the same.
As far as what I have been doing goes, we study super hard, eat, study, eat, study, gym, eat, repeat...more or less. But it is so great! Our studying is overwhelming. My head is just full of everything gospel and everything Spanish but that's just the way it should be and that's what I need to prepare for Argentina. Until a few nights ago, I couldn't even sleep because my head was just whirring, full of everything that we were learning. I just laid there translating stuff into Spanish and couldn't sleep. But it finally caught up to me and I am having no problem now. In class, we are taught by a young man who goes to school here at BYU named Hermano Martinez. I don't even know how to begin describing him. He is the most humble and sincere person I have ever met and because of it he has an ability to teach by the Spirit and motivate more than I thought was ever possible. I feel the Spirit in his class as strong as when I am good about studying my scriptures and I have never felt that from a person or a class before. And when he prays, you can almost feel our Heavenly Father in the room because he has such a close relationship with Him. Hermano Martinez is seriously incredible. He has already impacted me so much. I just hope and pray that I will be like him one day. It's truly astounding how powerful he is.
After a meeting with a member of another district, we decided to try to speak Spanish all the time as a district with each other. We were successful for about a day but kind of fell out of it. However, my companion and I are still trying to keep it up, and subtly force everyone else to too. It's really good practice to constantly speak Spanish. Oh my heck! The Spanish.... it is so overwhelming. Since I am in the intermediate group as soon as we got in it was ALL Spanish ALL the time with our teacher. He's native and he speaks relatively quickly too. I'll admit the first two days were a real struggle, but the longer I am here the more I understand and with less effort. I am so much better at Spanish today than I was one week ago. It's crazy! I'm still no good at all but I sure am a ton improved and hopefully I just keep learning at the rate which I have been learning because it is fantastic! I'll have to work super hard and I'm still praying for the gift of tongues :).
As part of our classes, we have to teach an "investigator" who is really just one of the instructors pretending to be a Spanish person that knows nothing about the church. Everyday we teach one of the lessons to him or her. Right now we are teaching someone named Melvin about the church. It is really tricky because not only do we have to know the doctrine but we have to be able to teach it all in Spanish and teach by the Spirit too. Super tricky! For the first several lessons, my companions and I practiced a ton and memorized exactly what we were going to say before we went in. It went all right but I didn't feel like we were teaching by the Spirit like we should have been. So yesterday before our lesson, as we were planning, I finally said, "Sisters, I would like to try something. I know it's super scary in Spanish, but I think we should just go in to our lesson having studied the material, ask him questions and then just answer them the best that we can without preparing or memorizing a script, or really even practicing, because we need to be flexible and teach by the Spirit. Plus, this is the best place for us to experiment with our investigators before we actually get out in the field."
So, we did. And the Spirit was so strong in that room. We literally pumped our fists when we walked out. We asked Melvin to be baptized. He said that if he read the Book of Mormon and received an answer about it being true, that he would. So, we are still waiting but it is super great. I can't wait to have real investigators....and to be able to explain things better to them.
The other day at devotional the whole MTC sang "Called to Serve" as our opening song. Talk about cool! It was so great :). I only wish we would have been standing but it was still really cool. I've always imagined being a missionary as I sang that song and now I finally am. Though to be honest, sometimes I forget I'm a missionary....still haven't fully adjusted yet I guess.
I have so many super cool spiritual messages written down in my journal that I would like to share with you all but I can't so I would first like to tell you all to watch "The Character of Christ" MTC devotional by Elder Bednar. It is an old devotional that we watched this week and it is MIND BLOWING! No kidding. One of the Elders said "I felt like I did when I went through the temple for the first time" and it really does. It is fantastic! Also in a devotional this week by Elder Schwitzer of the 70 is he said, "The Lord will make of you a missionary." I thought that was so cool. Because being a missionary isn't just being set apart to be a missionary, it means being truly converted and having power from our Heavenly Father. But, if I am humble, work hard, and trust in the Lord that is the kind of missionary I will become because Heavenly Father will bless me. I couldn't become that on my own but through the Lord all things are possible.
How are things going in Idaho Falls? How is school? I want to hear all about what's going on! Sorry I haven't responded to all of your questions but I have completely forgot them. Whoops! My bad.
I love you all so much!!
I love you all so much!!
P.S. sorry this letter was so long. I'm not even sure what I just wrote I just had to fill you in on so much! I'm sure my letters will be shorter later on.
P.P.S. I was going to send pictures but they are either blocked on these computers or my camera is having issues. I'll figure it out and let you know. It says "access is denied". Any ideas? I really want to send you some too darn it! Love you!