To my dear wonderful amazing family and friends and anyone else who might read this:
This week has been a different one. Working in a trio is kind of different from just being in a companionship, but it's still good. I've officially been on a mission for ONE MONTH today! Kind of crazy! I only have 17 months left to change the world! (If my visa comes in time for me to do that...) As far as my visa is concerned, I don't really have any idea what is going on with it. I went and asked the travel office about it on Monday, and the lady there wasn't very helpful. It was slightly discouraging. I don't know if this will be the case, but I've sort of shifted my thinking to be that I will just spend my 9 weeks here. I'm officially half way done with my MTC time anyways (the people who came into the MTC with me and went English speaking are out in the field already!) I'm not worrying too much about it though. If the Lord really needed me in Peru right now, he would provide the way. As I am here right now, there must be something else I need to learn, and I'm going to try and take advantage of everything the MTC has to offer. My companions got their travel plans (again). Right now they are scheduled to leave on the 14th of December, but we aren't really counting on them going. On days that aren't fast Sunday, we get to watch Music and the Spoken Word, and that is a real treat. I take whatever music I can get here.
They do have some Christmas lights put up and a small nativity in the "courtyard" here. Every time we go back to our residence halls at night, I see them and they make me so happy. Right now the only real Christmas music is when we sing in class. I hope we start singing Christmas songs in Sacrament meeting this week. They just make me so happy. You'll have to let me know how Christmas goes this year. I'm sure it will be different, but I'm sure it will be just as good. Christmas is really about remembering the Savior and His Sacrifice for us.
I've had some cool experiences this past week. After transitioning to a new companionship, I had a rough time the first couple of days getting my personal and language study time in, just because I wasn't sure how my companions did things (since they were companions before). Finally, on Sunday I decided that I needed to just buckle down and do it, even if they weren't. On Monday, I spent an hour going over 5 verbs in Spanish that I've gotten confused (poder, poner, pedir, pensar, y perder). Later that night when my teacher came in and started speaking Spanish, I felt that I could understand 95% of what he was saying, even though he wasn't necessarily using those 5 verbs. The Lord really does bless us when we do all that we can do. I feel like I can understand probably 80% of the Spanish that is being spoken to me (granted, I'm not in a native country...I think if a latino were speaking to me, that number would be significantly smaller)...I can understand what I read just about as much too. I know that my Spanish will improve too once I get to Peru. For now, I'm just trying to use it is much as I can. We're supposed to teach the message of the restoration in Spanish this Wednesday...we'll see how that goes. I know it definitely won't be as good as it would be if I could teach it in English, but I know it'll still be good, and the Lord will help me.
We also had a cool experience teaching in the TRC on Wednesday. The lady we were teaching was named Donna, and she had been investigating the Church for a couple of weeks. She had gone to Church on Sunday, and had some people talk about the Word of Wisdom in Sunday School. She liked her coffee, and she smoked, even though she had tried to stop. We talked a lot about the Atonement of Christ and how it could really work in her life, how it is through Christ that all things are possible. We used a scripture in Mosiah 24:13-15 (go look it up) and related her addiction to afflictions. It was such a powerful lesson. We could feel the Lord's love for her and the Spirit was so strong. And even though she was pretending to be an investigator, it felt SO real! I feel like it was definitely the best lesson we've taught as a trio. We're still trying to work things out as far as teaching goes, but I know the Lord will help us if we ask.
I love being a missionary and studying the scriptures. Even though I've only been out for a month, I know that I have changed from the person I was before. I have more trust in the Lord that He will take care of me and those I love. I know that I'm doing what He wants me to do, and it's just amazing.
I do miss you guys, but I know you're being taken care of. You should write down the blessings the Lord sends you, and then I can read about them when I get back! I am so excited for what I get to do! Sometimes it doesn't seem like I'll ever get out of the MTC, but I know that I will end up in the field, teaching real people and invite them to come unto Christ.
I love you.