Hello Family and Friends!
So much has happened this week but I'm having a hard time figuring out what is worth mentioning in this email! I hope everyone is doing well at home and as always thank you so much for your letters, emails, and packages! I grow to love this work more and more every day and I look forward to the day that I get to put this training to use! Once again I'm sorry that I haven't gotten the chance to print off any pictures, but I am planning to get some printed off today so hopefully you should have those by the end of the week.
To start off I guess I will talk about one of our activities that we do on a regular basis that I haven't mentioned yet. A couple times a week my district goes to the Referral Center where we either make phone calls to verify that people have recieved there orders of free copies of the book of mormon, church videos, etc., or our district also has the opportunity of doing live chats with people who get on mormon.org and have a question. Both are great opportunities to teach people about the Gospel and to bear our testimonies! I have had a couple great chats with people that I think are very receptive to the gospel and could end up getting baptized. As a district we have set some "key indicator goals" for how many baptisms (we're shooting for one baptismal challenge!) return investigators, new investigators, and lessons we want to teach to people through the RC! The other day I spoke with a guy named Adam who had questions about the Spirit World. I gave him a brief lesson on the plan of salvation and challenged him to read more on the subject in a talk on Mormon.org and to pray about the things he's heard. I actually set up an appointment with him for later today to talk about his thoughts and feelings and hopefully I'll get a chance to teach him some more! He said he found great comfort in knowing that he has a loving Heavenly Father who wants him to be able to return to live with Him.
As always the devotional last night was another highlight from this week. I've been singing in the MTC choir with a couple of Elder's in my district which has been a lot of fun. Last night we sang an awesome arrangement of Redeemer of Israel. Anyways, the speaker last night was Elder Sybrowsky (spelling?) of the second quorom of the seventy. (Dad, apparently he worked at Dynex, did you happen to know him?) Both he and his wife spoke to us and they introduced their family, many of whom were in attendance. Before speaking individually they stood up as a "companionship" and talked to us the importance and significance of having a companion. They have 9 children, 8 who have served missions and the last one who will be turning in his papers this week. They expressed their love for missionary work and they both shared the conversion stories of their families which were both amazing! He also shared a story about how yesterday as he was eating lunch at a "secret location" in the church office building, he sat down with L. Tom Perry and talked about how he would be speaking at the MTC that night. L. Tom Perry asked him to pass on how important it is that we always stay with our companions and that we love them, watch out for them, and take care of them. It was a great devotional and as always the Spirit was very strong.
Elder Hinton and I are still getting along really well! He has been doing an awesome job in his assignment as district leader and I really look up to him in so many ways. I'm so happy I got a companion that is easy to get along with. Our district has grown so close and it's going to be sad this week as our 4 Elder's headed to the Dominican Republic leave on Thursday. Tonight we will be carrying on the tradition of singing "God be with you till we meet again" in spanish, which is always awesome! I actually got a video of us singing last night which hopefully I can get to you before we leave for Argentina!
I really haven't noticed much improvement in my spanish which is pretty discouraging! Then again, I probably haven't put as much effort into learning it as I could have. I am learning more and more every day, but I think I really need to sit down and set some goals that will help keep me motivated to increase how much I learn every day. I am confident that the language will come, I just hope it's sooner rather than later!
This past week we lost one of our 2 teachers, Hno. Rollins, as he went back to school and had a schedule that wouldn't work with the MTC schedule. He was such an awesome teacher and we all learned so much from him! He was kind of an awkward guy, but he had a great spirit and a hilarious sense of humor. One day to practice our spanish he set up a classroom like an airplane, and we had to talk to other passengers on the "secreta avion" in spanish as he stood at the front with a headset on his head and pretended like he was a pilot. It was pretty ridiculous but we all had a good laugh and I actually think it did help our spanish! We got some good pictures with him and Elder Day (An elder in my room that is an awesome artist) put together a nice card for him that we all wrote in. I think our new teacher is going to be really great! His name is Hno. Shulca, and he's a native speaker which will help our spanish a ton! Tonight is our first class with him.
Well it looks like I am about out of time so I'm going to wrap things up. I hope you all have a great week! I would like to leave you all with a challenge that my branch president, President Nelson, has given us on a regular basis as we have been here at the MTC. The challenge is to Pray every single day and ask Heavenly Father to give you more Charity. We learn in the scriptures that Charity is the greatest of all the gifts of God and I know that that is true! If we strive to have greater Charity each day I know that we will not only be happier ourselves, but in a way Heavenly Father will also be able to show His love through us in a way that brings joy and happiness to others. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!