My Dear Family,
Oh my goodness I have no idea where to start because there has been SO much going on!! I wish I could just call you all up and tell you what has been happening because that would be a lot faster ha. And also, you all know how I can't summarize things very well. But I will try my very best :) First let me say that I am sorry that it has taken this long to write/email! My prep days are Friday (today) and so this is the first time that I have been able to use email. They actually gave us a short prep day last Friday but me and my companion didn't know we could email so we just wrote letters and I didn't finish any of them!! I tried to finish them throughout the week but honestly there is NO time to do anything like that unless it is your prep day. I really don't even know how missionaries can write in their journals and such because it is just one thing after another. We go back to our residence at 9:30 pm and lights have to go out at 10:30 pm, so we have that time to get ready for bed and write in journals and everything but I still seem to never have time to do that. I am sure trying though because I know that these experiences here in the MTC are very precious and I will want to remember them forever. So, the MTC. It has been a great journey so far and I am coming to love it here. The first few days were very hard for me and didn't want to come home but I missed you all so much. But one thing is for sure, Heavenly father is with me because I know I could NOT do this on my own. I have been so used to being with family and coming home everyday to you all and I really missed that the first few days. But I have felt Heavenly Father's love and I know that He is helping me through this experience. The first day was just how Trevor explained it. It was very busy and I was a bit overwhelmed but it was a great experience. It feels so wonderful to place my name tag with Christ's name on it over my heart each day. I am thankful that have this opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ and preach His everlasting Gospel. It is difficult to remember all the way back to last week and I really am shaking right now because there is so much I want to tell you about but not enough time! The range of feelings I have felt in this last week has been crazy. So the first here I of course met my companion. Her name is Hermana Freestone and she is from Morgan Utah. She has been a great example to me of having faith in Jesus Christ and of being happy. She is a much better spanish speaker than me and helps me a lot. Although, sometimes I think she gets annoyed with all the questions I have ha. I am trying to not ask so much and just figure things out on my own, and doing that will help me really understand things more as well.
The district I am in is wonderful!! I have come to love all of them so much and they are all such great people and missionaries. We have all bonded so well and so quickly and it has been a blast learning with them. There are 4 sisters in our district and 5 elders. The first day at the MTC one of the sisters in our district (Hermana Boothe), didn't have a companion because she didn't show up. So we were in a trio for the first few days and that is why that picture has the three of us in it. But a few days later, she was able to have a companion. But not her original one, she still hasn't showed up (Hermana Freestone believes that she got engaged the day before entering the MTC haha probably true but who knows). So her new comp is a sister named Hermana Boomhower. She was originally going to the Las Vegas West mission English speaking but her second day here she broke her foot and couldn't leave to go to vegas when the rest of her district did. So they actually put her in our district and now she is learning spanish but still going to the same mission. It is going to take her foot about 6 weeks to heal and so that is why they put her with us. She had a very hard time the first few days in class because she has no spanish background. She was very discouraged but she has been incredible. The last couple of days she had completely changed her attitude and has complete dependence on the Lord. She is a great example to me in that way.
Spanish is hard. Erik, if you have any advice for me I will happily take it ha :) I knew that being on a mission would be very hard, but oh my goodness it has been even harder than I expected. But the amazing thing is that I am soooo happy. I think about how busy and crazy the schedule is and how tired and exhausted I am, and then I ask myself "Well then how in the world am I so happy?!" The answer to that is Jesus Christ. I know that I am happy because this is the Lord's work. There is no other explanation. If the Gospel of Jesus Christ were not true and eternal, I could not do this. Because it is true and good and right, I am happy no matter how exhausted I am or how busy it is being a missionary. The first few days I was so discouraged because I did not have enough faith that Jesus Christ would help me do this. Which was a very dumb thing to think I know. It was just so hard and rough and I felt like I was never going to be able to learn the language. The hardest part was teaching an investigator the first Friday I was here. Oh and the lesson had to be in spanish. Just like Trevor said. That must have been the hardest day of my life haha. Me and my companion prayed so earnestly and sincerely and we worked very hard to prepare the first lesson. It was definitely a humbling experience for me. I keep thinking that this mission would be so much better if I could just speak english. Which is funny considering how much I wanted to learn a nre language. I get frustrated because I want to say things in the lesson but I have no idea how to say them in Spanish. I keep thinking that this would be a much happier and spiritual experience for me if only I didn't have to speak spanish. BUT, I have stopped thinking this because really, the fact is that I AM NOT speaking english I am speaking spanish. And this call is a call from the Lord. And I know it is up to me to make this experience a happy experience. My purpose as a missionary is not to learn spanish, it is to help people come unto Christ. And I need to remember that. I know that Heavenly Father know me personally and my testimony of that has grown this last week because I see all these missionaries who are learning Korean or Japanese or Finish and I just think they are amazing! Spanish is one of the more easy languages to learn and it is rough. And I know that even if I did have to speak one of those harder languages, I could do it with the help of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father but it would be difficult. I am so thankful that I am learning spanish and that the Lord knows me and my limits. It is hard but it is coming along slowly and I am receiving lots of help. Well I have lots more to say but time is out so hopefully I can do the rest through letters. I know I didn't really say much about what has been happening but I am going to work on writing better emails. Or at least I hope they will get better ha. I was really rushing through this email so sorry if it doesn't make sense. My brain is going 1000 miles an hour right now it seems. But thank you all so so much for the letters and email and for your prayers and love and support and just everything. I love my family so much and I think of all of you each day. Thank you once again for the letters and emails! They really are treasures! I love this work and I know I will grow to love it even more. Heavenly Father has not left me comfortless. Love you all!!