Hello Family and Friends!
Already to December! November flew by here at the MTC. I have learned a lot over these four weeks and have made a lot of friends. It is such a great experience being able to devote all of your time to living the gospel and also learning Spanish.
It is amazing how fast we learn Spanish here at the MTC. We passed up basically all that I learned in just a couple weeks. It is crazy especially for the couple of elders in our district who had little to no Spanish before leaving on a mission. We definitely get some help as we learn Spanish. In our zone we have a saying to help improve our Spanish. Hablar Su Idioma. Speak your Language. That has helped me out so much. By speaking I learn a lot faster. It is really fun to be able to carry on conversations in Spanish with the other elders.
We also had a very helpful workshop this week on how to make a more effective language study plan. In the workshop we focused on applying our language study plan around our investigators. It is such a different experience to learn Spanish not for yourself but for others. By focusing on the investigators i have found that my language study is much more effective.
I do not think I mentioned it last week but I became district leader last Sunday. I spent a lot of this week trying to figure out what I need to do as a district leader though here in the MTC I am not much more than a glorified mailman. Though I think that my most important job is to help the members of our district become better missionaries. I have spent a lot of time in study and prayer, as well as part of my fast for this week, finding out how I can become a better leader. The two things that I learned this week in regards to being a leader were Charity and Example. Charity is very important as a leader. You really must show the true love of Christ to help others along the way. Example is also very important. Without showing a good example the people that you lead will follow that bad example. Hopefully as I strive to apply these principles in my life I can become a better leader.
It was a hard week to become the district leader. We had the four elders that are going to Bolivia leave on Monday. That was a hard but happy time to see them go. The most trying part of this week was the early departure of Elder Lowe. He had to go to the hospital this week again because of his Crohn's. After he got back he went and talked with our district president who told him that he was going to have to return home the next day and stay until his disease is under control. He then came back and told us. We all said a prayer together and Elder Lowe had to leave to pack. We spent the next hour studying on how we could best help him through this through the scriptures. It was a very spiritual experience as we devoted our time to Elder Lowe who really needed some lifting up. We dropped him off at the travel office the next day. It is so weird not having him here. But we continue in the work knowing it’s what he wants us to do.
We also have the oldest zone leaving this week. They are all such great examples. I have become close with most of them. We sang for them last night to send them off. One of the elders, Elder Tesch gave me a passdown. A couple weeks ago he found an umbrella in the free bin. He decided to make that his passdown. I am excited to pass it down when I leave.
We had a very good fast Sunday. For our two hour mission conference we heard the testimony of our leader. Their testimony of the Book of Mormon. It was such a great learning experience and they really helped us to learn how to gain a better testimony of the book. We also got to watch the First Presidency Christmas devotional. Who else enjoyed the visual of a young troublemaker Thomas Monson. To me it seemed just like him. And also his always great example of service and charity for others. The part that touched me the most was when President Eyring talked about missionaries. I never thought of how the message that we bring is truly a gift unto all men.
I know that this gospel is true. Joseph Smith truly did see the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove. The Book of Mormon is the most true book on the earth and in the words of Joseph Smith, "Men can come closer unto God by living its precepts than any other book." This gospel has changed my life and I know that it will change the hearts of many more to come.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.