Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mission Email: Week 2

     Well, I certainly can't believe I've been here for two weeks. It seems really crazy to think about. Sometimes it feels like I just got here, and other times it seems like I've been here FOREVER. I can't imagine how it feels after your 11th week here (I was talking to a missionary learning viatnamese and he was just finishing his 11th week ._.). But the MTC is treating me pretty well, I think. It's difficult at times, but the Lord always sends something (whether it be a feeling, person, or talk, etc.) that really brings my spirits back up and reminds me why I'm here. At times it's been a bit discouraging  because I'm teaching fake investigators ( completely in Spanish, so it's very difficult to express what you want to say and answer questions, etc.) and I'm not really doing a whole lot to bring souls to Christ, but I know that everything here is directly related to my preparation to enter the field. I know as soon as I get out there (and learn to speak Spanish XD) it'll become more than worth it. =)

     Spanish is coming so much faster here than it could in any other place in the world. It's really amazing how inspired the teachers are and how well everyone picks Spanish up and remembers things. I know that the Lord is helping us to learn and understand the language. He's even helping me really enjoy the learning and love the language. The more I learn about it, the more I seem to like it. I can't wait to really be able to speak it fluently. =)
     We had a fireside this week where Elder Nelson spoke. He gave a really amazing talk about the Book of Mormon. He told us how inspired the process of translating the book really was. When they were translating the Bible into English, they translated from a known language at the rate of 1 page a day through the work of 50 scholars. Nowadays,people translate the BoM or Bible at the rate of 1 page a day with the help of computers and other modern technology. Joseph Smith, however, translated the BoM at 7-8 pages a day from an unknown language. Now if that isn't amazing inspiration from God, I don't know what is. That really built up my testimony of the truthfullness of the BoM.
     Anyway, I'm doing well here. It seems that the days will be long, but the weeks will be short. I figure it'll all eventually mesh together anyway.
- Elder Seth

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Missionary Letter

Well, I've just about completed my first week as a missionary. Life here at the MTC is extremely busy, but the Lord has helped carry me through each day.

When I first walked into the MTC, I definitely felt like I was at BYU. The dorms felt a ton like Helaman. Everyone was just as crazy and loud (during the one hour of free time at night) and the food in the cafeteria is exactly the same as the food in the Cannon Center. Other than that, though, it's been a new experience. They put me in Spanish classes the very first day I arrived and it hasn't stopped since. I spend about 6 hours a day in class, with another scheduled hour of individual language study in the class room. We speak in Spanish the entire time, so I spend more time speaking in Spanish than English. Especially since our district has been challenged to speak Spanish from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (it doesn't really happen, but we certainly do our best).

It's really amazing how far I've progressed in the language and in testimony since being here. Every day I see the Lord bless me with the gift of tongues amongst many other things. The days seem really long, but the Lord carries me through when it feels like it's a bit too much. I've been told that the first few days are the hardest, though, and I made it past that. It was really difficult until Sunday, but when that came around, all of the talks (in sacrament meeting, preisthood, and the fireside) were amazing and really helped me keep going.

So I've only been here a week and I've already been assigned an investigator (a teacher here who acts like an investigator that they taught on their mission, usually) and I've taught him three times. When we teach him, we can't use one word of English (and he asks some brutal questions, which are SO hard to answer). The first lesson went horribly, but we've been able to pick up more and more Spanish are are actually able to take the whole 30 minutes to teach him. I imagine it'll only get better as we go, since the most frustrating part is being unable to answer his questions.

My comanion is Elder Hill. He's a good guy. He laughs loud, is really optimistic, and outgoing. He was actually in Helaman halls last year as well (one building over) so I probably saw him a good number of times around there, lol. But I didn't recognize him at all. Anyway, he's from Utah and went to BYU, so he seems to know 30902347957803 people here (more like 15-20). But he's always saying hi to people from his home and from BYU. I've met about 6 people from BYU here and Elder Mark Coleman from back home. So it was pretty exciting to see him. My roomate from BYU is here as well and he's been going for about 6 weeks! So he's really tired of the MTC and wants to get out there in the field.

Anyway, I'm out of time. I hope everyone is doing well. =)