I have first got to say that I love the MTC. I have never felt the Spirit so strongly to the point of almost being palpable(spelling?). The only times that I have ever felt this close to the Lord was after my Patriarchal Blessing and the first time I was in the Celestial Room of the temple. If anything, the MTC is going to be awesome for the sole reason that I can fell the Spirit 24/7!
The first thing I did when I got here was meet my District which turns out to be a group of 10 of us in the classroom where we assemble everyday for missionary and language study. I walked into the classroom to be instantly blasted with Spanish. It turns out, I did well on the Spanish phone call test and will be in the intermediate class. This means that we speak Spanish the majority of the time. Thankfully, a lot of the Spanish from High School is coming back to me but I exhausted that knowledge within the first couple of hours. In the short week that I have been here, I am able to give a talk, pray, do a contact, and bear my testimony completely in Spanish. I have learned tons! I keep telling myself that I am so lucky to be learning Spnaish and not Cambodian.
I have gained a huge appreciation for Preach My Gospel since being here. In my classes we have been getting all sorts of investigator scenarios and then applying Preach My Gospel principles and plans to come up with some awesome ways to meet investigator needs. Whats cool about Preach My Gospel is that it tells you how and what to say to an investigator but then leaves the actually wording and application to you and the Spirit. This is such an amazing idea and I can see why the gospel is booming in areas such as Mexico. I feel so blessed to be one of the missionairies that gets to preach the gospel of Chirst to such accepting and ready people. I have meet so many people that are going to Mexico and have heard some pretty cool things about how ready the people are to hear the gospel. I wish I could tell you about all of it but I have exactly 11 minutes and 36 seconds to write left. I am only given 30 minutes every P-Day to write an email.
My campanion is Elder Zylstra, from LA County California. He is the best companion that I could have hoped for. Not only do we both have very similar interests in singing but we both share great enthusiasum for the preparing to be the best missionairies that we can be. We have been taking advantage of the benches around the MTC campus to find quite spots to do our personal and companionship study. I have learned so much from my time in these studies and have learned so much from the testimony and knowledge of my companion. We have our first discussion to teach on this coming Friday and have been really preparing and practicing. We work really well together and I am so grateful to that!
I have definitely felt the Lord's love for me this last week as I have fully extended myself and invested all I have in missionary work. I had an experience the first few days where I found that I was comparing myself to the other missionaries in my District. I begann to get really discouraged by the fact that I knew less spanish or would sometimes say something kind of dumb. Fortunately, I quickly realized throught the amazing advice from my family that I should never compare myself and that I need to have a good attitude to get anything out of my time here at he MTC. I learned my lesson and know that for me to get be a successful missionary it will take commitment to the Lord and almost nothing else. I love you all and cant wait to write you next week!!
Elder Ethan Janis