October 26, 2010
Dear Mom and Dad!
This is my last letter from the MTC as I got my travel plans this week and I’m flying out to Portland Oregon next Monday, November 1st! I can’t believe I’ve been here for 9 weeks as it feels like I just got here. Anyway, so much has happened this week I have to tell you about!
First of all, at our last Devotional Russell M. Nelson came to Speak to us! It was absolutely amazing as I felt the Spirit so strong. Just knowing that one of the Lord’s chosen Apostles was addressing me and all the missionaries was great! He gave us a virtual handshake as he wasn’t able to give ever missionary a handshake personally. His talk was awesome and he said that we are safer on our missions than we would be at home. He extended a special blessing of health and safety to each of us as we go out on this journey for the next 2 years!
My companionship is going really well and we are all getting along. It is really amazing to see the difference in your companions after you do a little act of service for them. Like making their beds or ironing their shirts. It might not seem like a big deal, but it is one of the ways you can show them you love them!
I was able to be a host last week and it was a great experience. I had to stand out in front of the MTC on the curb and wait for the new missionaries to arrive, and then show them around the place. It was weird to think that I was just in their position a short time ago, but now I am about to leave. One Elder I hosted was named Elder Ricks and he was from Rexburg Idaho. He was a potato farmer and was a really cool guy. I wonder if the former Ricks College, now BYUI used to be named after one of his relatives. I showed him the ropes and told him valuable information like what not to eat in the cafeteria!!!!!
I learned an important lesson this week which I probably already knew; it was just further fortified in my head. When you have a problem with someone or want to talk to them about something, do it in private because when you do, their whole demeanor changes from being defensive, to being understanding. If you call someone out in front of a group of people, they are obviously not going to listen, but if you take them aside, they will see that you truly care. This is something I learned this week and will strive to do so I can express how I feel without the other person feeling like they are being attacked.
I traded and got 3 new ties this week and they are sweet. You kind of have to think like a businessman when you’re trading ties. You might trade for a tie that you’re not so fond of, but you know someone will want to trade you a really nice tie for it in the long run. So I have traded for some ties that I don’t like very much, but in the end have come out on top as I have received exactly the ties I’ve wanted in trade. I still have 2 ugly ties I want to get rid of before I leave, but I have a feeling that I will be able to trade them for some good stuff.
My teachers have been teaching us some powerful lessons where the Spirit is so strong. Hermano Garcia taught a lesson about Elijah in First Kings about a woman and her son that had nothing to eat. Elijah asked her to bring him something to eat and she did, exercising her faith. He then blessed her and she was able to have food for the rest of her life. Anyway, Elder Garcia related that as missionaries we have the power to do the same thing, as we can promise people blessings and tell them everything will be alright as they exercise their faith in Jesus Christ. It truly is a blessing to be on a mission and see that Heavenly Father loves each and every single person.
I also learned another valuable lesson this week. Even though you may be right, it is still a good idea to apologize if feelings have been hurt. It only makes things better and easier. You never know what can hurt a person’s feelings and all you have to do is humble yourself and say sorry. It’s not too hard!
Another miracle has happened! Mom, remember the letters that you and Abuelita wrote me that were all in Spanish? I picked them up the other day and was able to understand both letters perfectly. It was like reading then in English. Spanish is coming along really well and I understand what I read now.
Pull-ups are going good; I’m almost to my goal of 35 in a row now and hope to win the tie contest.
I learned that another one of my weaknesses is that I find it hard taking criticism from people who have authority over me and think they have the right to tell me what to do. I have a problem when people tell me to stop doing something that I already know in my head, I shouldn’t be doing. I think it has to do with pride and I need to work on that.
RC went good this week again. RC is where you call people on the phone about the Church! I talked to this lady on the phone for a while and shared my testimony about Jesus Christ! I also sent her the video “Finding Faith in Christ” and I will be calling her next week to check up on her. She sounded like she was ready to have the missionaries drop by and talk to her.
I have really long hair now on the top of my head, so I can comb it over or pull it straight back. I’m getting it cut today so I don’t look like a Squeege when I meet my Mission President next week. I did a crazy part for my last day with my hair long on top. It was funny, it’s when you part you hair straight down the middle and you look a bit goofy.