Thursday, July 23, 2009

3 More Weeks

I just want to get OUT OF HERE and TEACH! I’m soooo happy I only have 3 more weeks here. Don’t get me wrong, this place is amazing and I have learned so much, and definitely need to learn much more, but I just can’t wait! I’m soo excited! I’ve been finishing Alma this week, and that book is just filled to the brim with so many awesome missionary experiences and testimonies that it just makes me want to explode out of here and talk to the first person I see. I guess I say that now, but when the time comes I’ll be dead scared. Nah, it’ll be fine.

I have a testimony of My Savior. I love Him, and I hope that we can all just go out and tell the world how much he loves them.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A typical day at the MTC

Since we couldn’t go proselyting last weekend and wont be able to in the foreseeable future (meaning this weekend as well) due to the swine flu, I thought I’d let you know how a usual day goes at the MTC, or the CCM.

Regular days start with, of course, waking up at 6:30

Next comes breakfast at 7:25, which is ALWAYS cereal, a roll, fruit, and maybe some over salted eggs if we get lucky... maybe. Nah I like it, don’t worry!

Then we have a nap, I mean personal study time. No for real this is one of my favorite times of the day. I’m currently trying to finish the Book of Mormon by next Monday. I’m in the middle of Alma, but I think I might make it. I’ve just been so into reading the doctrine though, so I guess that’s important as well. Well, or course it is!Then we have companion study at 9 and then comes district\class. For 2 hours and fifteen minutes we either cram Preach My Gospel or Spanish into our heads, or use the computers for TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning). Which consists of very distinct voices screaming words at you like you are five years old. It’s like watching Sesame Street all over again! I love it!

Then we have lunch at 12:15, which is meat, meat, and more meat plus a salad.

Then we have class again, then exercise time for about 1 and a half hours, in which we run around like maniacs playing ultimate Frisbee or running because we are so sick of being inside.

Then comes an hour of language study time, or PAC. This we use at our own discretion, though of course you have to be glued to your companion at the hip. Then, more class, dinner at 6:45, which is MEAT, more class, planning at 9, appointments with other missionary companions to practice at 9:30, then to bed at 10:30.

As our district leader Elder George cleverly put it, “It’s basically like a more righteous concentration camp..." And though it gets a little tedious sometimes, I have learned more here about the gospel then I ever could have anywhere else, so far as I know. I am starting to cherish my scriptures more than anything I own and I hope to continue learning and growing so I can better teach the gospel and bring people to "this great and marvelous work."

I was reading about Ammon and the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi today. Now there are a people who had perspective. I don’t have time to tell you the whole story since I only have 5 minutes left, but please read it, especially what Mormon says about how the Lord works to bring about his people to righteousness. It really touched my heart. They were willing to suffer, even to death, willingly, for what they had learned and what they knew. Again, I also encourage you to share this gospel. I know it is true. It’s not even a question! I love it! Please share it with those who you hold dear to your hearts! Show them you love them! Teach! Open your mouths, and the Lord has promised us that they will be filled! I love you all, and pray for you every day. Keep the faith, and hold to Christ. There is no other way to be truly happy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Si, es suyo, es suyo!"

This past Saturday we finally went out proselyting for the full 7 hours in Buenos Aires. We went to a very humble part of the city, where most of the roads were wide mud avenues and the sewage poured into the hand dug gutters and dogs were everywhere. And I could not have been happier. There were many willing to listen to what little I was able to teach. I don’t think a single person angrily turned us away. Everyone just seemed so happy and content, no matter what conditions they lived in. Some had a little more than others, but everyone just kind of smiled or politely told you they had no time. (I know that’s usually code for I don’t want to hear your message, but even then they gave us their name and address to come by later!) As we began, me and my companion Elder Wally were very nervous. We started walking down a paved avenue looking for people, knocking on doors. We finally came to this little shop where there was a guy about in his thirties leaning up against the wall smiling. We came up to him and started talking and introduced ourselves. As we got to know him, we found out his name was Pablo and he was Catholic and had a family. He was very happy, and gladly listened to our message. He listened intently and was fascinated with what we had to tell him, especially when we shared with him Joseph Smith’s first vision and testimony. We handed him a pamphlet. But the best and most wonderful part was when we pulled out a Book of Mormon. His eyes just opened wide, and his mouth dropped. It was like he was saying, "There’s more?" He took it into his hands. Then he began to ask us, "It’s for me?" Then we happily replied "Sí, es suyo, es suyo!" It’s yours! We told him what it was, and how it was another testament of the reality of Gods love for us. You know what, I’m not really sure I can remember much of what I really said, but I will never forget that look on his face as we handed him the Book of Mormon. We committed him to reading 3 Nephi 11 with his family and read to him Moroni´s promise. He gladly accepted it and he said he would read it with his family. As we parted, he thanked us and we thanked him and kept on walking....Well, I can tell you right now that I had never been happier in my life then when we handed him that wonderful book. As I have been reading it lately, I can testify that it truly is the word of God, that every word was inspired, and that there truly have been so many testimonies of the reality of God’s plan for us and our Savior’s mission, and the unending love they have for each of us. I will never forget that moment, and I hope to enjoy many more like it and see the smiles this book can bring to people’s faces.
Know that I am well, the Lord is with me, and my stomach is full of cow intestines from today’s very interesting lunch. I am so happy though it is still hard.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It's tough but I'm doing great.

"I have learned so much in just these few weeks. I love the scriptures and I hope to continue learning more and more! Anyways, as you can see, things have been going great. Tough, but great. I have definitely settled into the schedule here at the MTC, or in Spanish, the CCM. The first group of Latinos and the oldest North Americans left last week and new ones have come today to fill in. They are mostly going to Paraguay and some to Uruguay. Sorry Joey, I can’t remember that Italian Elder’s name. He was really cool though. Everyone is cool here!

Its hilarious, the new North Americans came today, and I already feel like I’m a little seasoned. I can still remember how I felt when I walked in the door that first day. I should hope so since it was only three weeks ago. Still, you learn so much so fast here that it feels like I’ve been here for weeks. I am already kind of anxious to get out. Oh well, at least we get to go proselyting every Saturday. This weekend we start going for 7 hours I think. We're pretty much going to be out all day. This past Saturday went better. We knew a little bit more Spanish, though we still sounded like we were two years old. We had lots of people say they didn’t have any time, but allowed us to write their names and address down for other missionaries to come back later. Only a few people rejected us, the others just didn’t even answer the door, or weren’t awake or home. But the scariest part was that we were brought into someone’s house for the first time. I was really anxious, and to make matters worse, I could hardly understand the young guy because he was mumbling so much. They have a different dialect here called Castillano, which is a little more fluid than Central American Spanish. The words REALLY run together and you have to do all you can to make sure you aren’t smiling if they are telling you a tragic story, like a family member who dies. I was pretty much just looking into his eyes and smiling the whole time. We began to read the lesson, when he stopped us because he had run out of time. We had just started talking about Christ. I would have just went right to the Restoration had I known that he had so little time. His brother walked in, and we asked if other missionaries could come back another time. They agreed and we took down their name and address and gave it to the front desk at the MTC. While we were teaching, I had been holding a Book of Mormon. I had a prompting while no one was looking to just leave it on the table and walk away. They didn’t notice. I then said to my companion, ¨"just keep walking, don’t look back," hoping that he wouldn’t notice and rush after us to give us back the book. It was kind of funny. During our reptor, the president comically told us “that doesn’t count as a placement..." Ha-ha, I wonder if he’ll even look at it. Who knows?

I have had some rejections, but I just keep remembering what it says in Preach My Gospel about rejection, that if you share the message in any capacity and with real intent, no matter how broken the language may be, it is up to them to recieve it. If they are not ready, they aren´t ready. I hope to remember this my whole mission. If someone really wants to listen to this wonderful news, they will make the time, or have the patience to listen to our broken spanish, that will improve over time. "