Hola mi familia y amigos!
My first week in the MTC (CCM en espanol) has been pretty crazy! I got here last wednesday and was freaking out more than I ever had once I saw the MTC but I couldnt go in. Once I got in I DID almost forget to hug Bethany goodbye because I was being hosted by my good friend Elder ellis who is going to thailand. Once I was in it was full steam ahead. I was led through a ton of buildings that look EXACTLY the same and get all sorts of books and supplies dumped on me all while i was dying of heat stroke because i was in a dark suit on a hot day. I dropped off my stuff in my room (on the top floor) and went immediately to my classroom (on the top floor) to meet my teacher, Hermano Rasmussen who served in mexico. I walk in and hear a string of words I had never heard of in my entire life and i was confused. This went on for about 2.5 hours! En el classe nosotros hablamos solomente en espanol :)! It was a weird day and it seemed to go on forever and i saw several friends from BYU which made things a whole lot better. Mi companero (i really want to be able to type with accents and stuff but I can’t haha) has been very sick since we got into the MTC. He has had to miss most of 2 different days where he was in the MTC medical office. It has been very hard for me but I cant even imagine what its been like for him. On Thursday we started to plan our first lessons for our first investigator which we would teach the next day (solamente en espanol) and elder christensen was not there. I was so scared and frustrated and alone that i wanted to cry. It was probably the lowest moment for me here in the MTC. I went to dinner still freaking out, not knowing how anybody could do this. I was looking down and I was basically tackled by someone. I had no idea who it was until I looked up and I saw Elder Thurgood my old RA. I realized it was my best friend Elder Tolk and I squealed like a little girl. I knew that The Lord had saved them until my lowest point and I am so grateful for that. The little bit of time i had with them encouraged me to push on. We taught that lesson and it was pretty good but could be better. The second lesson with Kimie was a little bit better than the first but the really amazing one was the third lesson (on this monday). Even though this particular person we are teaching is a member actor the spirit which comes and helps us in our teaching and the testifying that it does is VERY REAL. We taught kimie about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith (en espanol: Nosotros enenamos sobre la restauracion del Evangelio de JesuCristo mediante la profeta Jose Smith). We read his account of the first vision and we challenged her to pray right then if the message was true and Joseph Smith is a prophet. She did and i asked her how she felt during the prayer. The only word i could pick out in the whole sentence was “tranquilidad” (thats how most of our conversations go. We can pick out 2 or 3 word and possibly piece together a sentence haha). Anyways I got that word and my companion and I testified that the tranquil feeling she was having was God’s way of telling her about the truthfulness of the message. I came out of that lesson jumping and fist pumping. So happy for the gift of the spirit and overwhelmed with the love I had for Kimie and her willingness to accept God’s will for her. After that lesson the MTC has been a breeze (basically haha). I had always heard that the first few days of the MTC are way rough but I seemed to think that my experience was different. That my time was harder than it usually is for everyone else. How stupid I was. We all have our trials to bear and I’m grateful for my humbling experiences. I have an AMAZING DISTRICT. No joke they are the most supportive, funny, and spiritually powerful and comforting people I have ever met! Anyways yeah thats about it. Spanish is coming slowly but surely. The more i practice, the better i get, so thats good. I have made a ton of progress since I’ve gotten here. I can pray, bear testimony, and teach (with varying degrees of success) all in Spanish which is fun. By the way thanks so much for the Dear Elders mi familia! I love them and my district started calling me Van Pelt because I was getting so much mail (like The Best Two Years yeah?) Oh yeah, shout out to Beth Knight, Brother Constantine and Garrett Hoffa for being the only people outside of my family to write me. Love you Guys!! Lets see what else do you guys want to know. MTC food is hit or miss. The dorms are pretty jank but you live in your classroom and only sleep in your dorm so it doesnt matter haha! I’ve got some pics for you guys but i’ll send it in a separate email in just a second once I can figure this thing out. Love you all soooooo much!
Livin’ the dream,