Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week 11 (December 17, 2012)

Hey ya'll! How is everything is snowy Utah?? I saw a picture that Cari sent me of all the snow. That's a weird concept to me right now that there could be snow. It is still in like the 60's here. I am loving every minute of it. But it doesn't really feel as much like Christmas without it. But it is okay cause I know it's snowing in Utah. Haha. I heard that Jordan had her baby on Monday night! Congrats Jordan! Am so happy to hear everything went okay. Has Rachel recieved her mission call yet? I want to know when it comes! :) That is so exciting!

So last week I went on my first exchange and I went to San Angelo and stayed with one of our Zone Leaders. It was fun to be in a big city and to kinda get that feel again. It was super fun cause we got to go to the college campus and try to do some work there. But everyone did their best to avoid us. It was funny but dissapointing to see when we were walking up to someone, for them to see us and pull out some headphones and turn the music up. That was hard but I got to see the humor in it and laughed to myself. We tried a number of ways to get people to talk to us (one of them being a game of pool in the student center) but none of them really worked. The Elder that I was with, his name is Elder Rydalch from Oakly Utah. He is English so I didn't get to use any Spanish but I learned a ton from him on how to talk to people so that they will be more willing to listen to us and what we have to say. So that was definitely a good experience for me. Then the best part about being in the city was that in the morning before we started our day we were able to go to the church and play basketball! Ahh it felt soooooo good to go and play again. But I must admit that I was super rusty and couldn't do much but I was just happy to be playing agian. When I got back to good 'ol Big Lake we went to work on trying to find more people. We haven't really had too much success. We might make it into someones home and set a return appointment, but the return appointment is usually punched and we don't get another shot at them. But we keep our heads up and looking for the ones who have been prepared for us to find and teach.

We went back to Manny's house to talk to him on Friday to see how he was doing and if he was reading in the Book of Mormon. He said that he hadn't and he was too busy cause he went and visted his kids that week and had just got back into town that day. So instead of teaching him the second lesson we decided to sit down and read the Book of Mormon with him. It was a great experience where the spirit was able to testify of what we were teaching him. He struggles with the concept that Joseph Smith was a Prophet. So we taught him that the Book of Mormon is evidence that he really was a prophet and the gospel has been restored. When we finished teaching him we tried to get him to pray but he wouldn't do it! He was bound and determined not to pray. We taught him everything we could on how to pray, why we pray, what we pray for, things like that. He was super funny about it. We committed him to read and pray and he said he would. We also asked him to come to church with us and he said that he would do his best to make it. Then yesterday at church as we were walking in, we see Manny driving up in his truck! We were so happy to see him there. He was excited and very calm about the whole thing.

We also have been blessed for our work here with another investigator that I don't think I have talked about yet. His name is Roman. We started teaching him earlier this week as a referral from the branch presidents daughter. We taught him the first two lessons (lesson 2 being last night). He is very humble and accepting of everything we have to say. At the end of the lesson I was prompted to invite him to be baptized. He accepted and will be baptized this Saturday! He has already attended Church two times (which is the requirement here) and is super willing and committed. We are soo happy and excited for him to enter into the covenant and enjoy the blessings that we enjoy as members of the church.

 So I will have a "White Christmas" even though we probably wont have snow. :) That was pretty much the highlight of my week. But then yesterday we were reminded of our challenge that our Branch President gave us to translate Sacrament meeting for him. So in probably two weeks we will start doing that. So all I ask is your prayers that I will be able to learn enough to be able to do that.

The work is great. It has been a very special Christmas season for me to focus 100% on my savior. I know he lives, I know he came to earth to fulfill all righteousness. That is why we have this wonderful season. So many blessings come from having him at the very center of our lives. I challenge all of you to do that this Christmas season. Merry Christmas! Les quiero. :D

--
Elder KP


Week 10 (December 10, 2012)


Another week gone! How is everyone doing? What is the weather like in Utah? I never thought I would say this..... but I kinda miss the snow. It is a weird December for me. This past week it was like 85 degrees and just hot! I couldn't believe it! It was a Christmas Miracle for me. Hahaha. Gotta love Texas. This really is God's country. I was really so afraid that it was going to be as ugly as everyone made it sound like but it is absolutely beautiful! Ah the sunsets are just amazing, the landscape is endless, everything about Texas is awesome. I can see why the people here have so much pride for their state! The people are soooooo amazing too. We have met some of the nicest people on the planet here. We have so much left over food in our fridge it is incredible. We have this funny old couple that are kinda like our "parents". They feed us and take care of us and just love us like we are their own kids. It makes it hard sometimes to want to go out and work but we still do it.

We are still teaching the Martinez family. They are super solid and have real desires to come closer to God as a family. We had a particularly good appointment where they invited us over to eat and then right after we shared with them a great video on christmas and it kinda talked about the restoration too. It was awesome cause at the end we were asking questions about it and then all of a sudden the Dad asked, "who is Joseph Smith?" Talk about a blessing. We scheduled a return appointment and talked a ton about him and the Book of Mormon. So if things keep going the way they have been and they keep keeping committments, we may have a "white" Christmas, even though we may not have any snow.

We were also going through the area book and ran acrossed the name of this guy and we wanted to go visit him. We'll call him Manny. He is this super funny old guy that doesn't speak and English and always has a wad in that is so big you cannot see his fron two teeth. Haha he is such a charicter. I guess he has been seeing missionaries for quite a while because he showed us this papmphlet that was roughly "lesson 1" and it was black and white. I have no idea how long ago that was but he has definitely seen missionaries for quite a while. But he has a sincere desire to learn more and come closer to Jesus Christ. So hopefully we will see some progress in him.

Other than that the work is kinda slow. We are trying not to move too quickly because we could easily talk to ever person in this town in a week and a half. So we are being a little conservative on the finding but we are doing our best to make sure that it is still being guided by the spirit. We are working a lot with the members of the branch and trying to get the members that are less active to come to church. We had one family show up yesterday so that was great. Church here is crazy. It is so funny I think. We have probably anywhere from 15-25 people every week. Technically it is an english branch but about 60 percent of them can only speak spanish. So when we sing it is half english and half spanish. It is so funny to listen to!! But the members are so faithful and trying so hard that the spirit is everywhere. I love that feeling so much. Our branch president usually has to translate so that everyone can understand what is being said. It is kinda embarassing for him so he asked us if we would start translating. Neither of us are very good at Spanish but we told him that we are going to study hard and in maybe two weeks we will start translating. So that is what I am working towards. Hopefully it will come!

A slight clarification on my adress too that my dad brought up. My adress is 711 N Texas Avenue Big Lake Texas, 76932. I didn't include that so sorry. All is well I am loving it here so much. And with it being the Christmas season I can focus better now than I have been able to ever on the Savior. It has been such a blessing. Don't forget what the true meaning of Christmas is! Keep Him centered and everything else will be inhanced by infinity ;).

Has Rachel recieved her mission call? How about Jordan and the baby? How are they doing? Hope to hear from y'all some time this week. Les quiero.

--
Elder KP








Sunday, December 9, 2012

Week 9 (December 3, 2012)


Howdy ya'll! I am finally in Texas.

 And first thing, the weather here is sooooo much better than in Utah. It has been about 80 degrees here all week and I am loving it. :) Haha. So first things first. Last week on Thanksgiving, Elder Jeffery R. Holland came to the MTC and spoke to us for a Thanksgiving day Devotional. I loved listening to him speak. What an amazing man and apostle of the Lord. Then from Friday to Monday, everything was kinda a blur. I remember teaching a few times, packing, doing laundry and just getting ready to leave the MTC. I also found out that if I would've been in the MTC a week longer, Chase Holman and I would've been in the same Zone. So we would've seen a ton of each other! Just barely missed him. 

So Monday morning rolled around and we were so stoked to be finally leaving. We got up at 3:45 to get ready for the day and be at the travel office at 5. We loaded all of our suitcases and got on the bus and drove to Salt Lake City. It was so weird for me to be doing that cause I was passing all of these places that I knew, passed home, work, friends, family. I was within a mile of some of my friends and family as we drove. 


We got to the airport and I called home and got to talk to Dad, Josh and Ian at the SLC airport for a very long time. It was so fun to hear everyones voices and to be able to talk to them. Every time I think about that experience I think about families and what a blessing they are to us. Also what it must be like for a Father in Heaven to have his children gone and can't talk to them like we can when we are with our families. It makes me think of prayer and how important it is for all of us to pray and talk with our Heavenly Father. That would've been completely pointless if I called home and talked the whole time and didn't even get to hear their voices. We are fortunate enough to have the gift of the Holy Ghost so we can here the voice of our Heavenly Father through our thoughts and feelings. :) 

We flew to the Dallas/ Fort Worth airport and had a 1 hour layover there. I got to call Mom and talk to her for a little while and it was amazing. I realized that I kinda have to grow up but I am still a mommas boy. ;) 

We got into Lubbock and my first impression/thought of it was,"Wow, this is a LOT like Delta Utah. Haha. It was very small town, old houses and buildings, nice people. Just amazing. I kept thinking about how everyone said it would be so ugly. But I guess the Lord put me there for a reason and is helping me cause I think this is beautiful. It is Gods country out here. 


I met President and Sister Agustin at the airport. They are absolutely incredible. I cannot even begin to describe to you how much they feel like parents to me. It is incredibly weird (but in a good way). We loaded all of our stuff onto a trailer and got in the truck and they told us to get ready,"cause you're going to work". We were sooooooo STOKED!!! Our first hour in Lubbock and we got to go tracting. Apparently it was a new thing and they had never done it before. But we were so happy to be doing something that was "real" work that we hopped right on it and tackled a street and talked to everyone. We ended up placing 2 Book of Mormon's, Another Testiment of Jesus Chrst (we are told to call it by it's full name.), and set up appointments for the missionaries in the area to come back and teach the lessons. We got to speak Spanish to only one lady but that's okay. :) Then for the next two days we just did housekeeping training and work. 



Then on Wednesday I left to my first area and met my first companion. My companion's name is Elder Rockwood. He is from Enem Claw Washington (I guess he was in your stake Cadie and Bray?). He is a stud. He just barely got done training last transfer and now, he is training me. I have learned a ton from him. 


Area #1: Big Lake, Texas

My area is a brand new area. We re-opened it when we got here. It is in a tiny town called Big Lake Texas. If any of you have seen the movie "The Rookie" that will have sounded familiar to you. Our area is where that movie was filmed. So if you want to see what kind of country I am dealing with, go watch that movie. Haha. It is awesome though, there are about 2,931 people here. Very very tiny. It is one of those towns that if you blink, you missed it. Haha. Our first day here we got all unpacked, ate dinner and went tracting. our very last house of the night (after having no success in getting into a home) we knocked on a door and a family opened, let us in and listened to us. We'll call them the Martinez Family. It was awesome!! We taught the first part of the first lesson and asked if we could come back. They told us yes and wanted to learn more. So we are going back tonight to share a Christmas message and get to know them a little better. So we are going to do that tonight. On Friday we met our first preacher and he tried to Bible bash with us. I learned very very quickly, not to ever do that again. That was no fun. We are speaking some Spanish here. Most everyone speaks english but a few only speak spanish. Our branch president's english isn't too good so we have to speak spanish to him sometimes. In sacrament meeting there was only about 15 people. That was crazy! I have never experienced anything like it. It is so wonderful though. It was half Spanish and half english. They tried to get both of us to translate but we knew our volcabulary wasn't big enough. So we told them that we will try in a few weeks. But that is it! Crazy crazy week but I am here and loving it. The sky is huge, the people are absolutely incredible and I couldn't wish for anything better. Les amo. Have a great week!
Pictures:
1. MTC District
2. Leaving the MTC!
3. Landed in the Flat Zone
4. Welcome to Lubbock
5. Lubbock Temple
6. More of Nothing
7. Oil Pumps, Everywhere
8. Big Lake Water Tower
9. Tracting with Santa!
--
Elder KP

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week 8 (November 22, 2012)



Hello family! Happy Holidays to y'all (practicing my Texan accent;)! This is going to be a short letter because our P-day is on Thanksgiving and we don't have time to do any writing because we have a big service project that we are doing tomorrow. So hopefully I can get done what I need to in this letter. :) So first item of big news is that I got my travel plans last week right after I sent my last e-mail! I am leaving the MTC at 5 o'clock in the morning on Monday November 26, 2012. I am stoked! We are flying American Airlines to Dallas first and we have an hour and a half layover in Dallas then we will fly the rest of the way to the airport in Lubbock. I am so excited to meet my mission president and his wife. Apparently we have a lot of English speaking Elders going with us. So we'll see how it goes. All of the preparation for my mission ends on Monday. But I think I am as ready as I am going to get. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot more to learn but I just need to get out there and get going. I am so excited!! Anyway, that is that. Everything here is starting to get crazy again, but the Lord qualifies those he calls. He is preparing a way for us every day to get the things done that we need to get done. We are trying so hard to learn as much Spanish as possible before we get to the field to minimize the shock (to be honest, I don't think there is anything that I could do with my natural man self to prepare for that shock of my first lesson). But I am definitely becoming more fluent. I am not fluent yet but the words are coming easier and we teach natives every week that come to the MTC to volunteer and the conversation part is much easier now. I don't have to think about how I am going to say something, it just comes out. The gift of tongues is absolutely incredible. I only claim to have a testimony of it because I know that I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't have the help of the Lord guiding my every step. So grateful for that gift. We are becoming better teachers as well. On Saturday we taught William about the importance of repentance in the view of the Plan of Salvation. He committed to change and wants to change to show his love for the Lord. I read a quote the other day from Joseph Smith that made me realize why missionaries can have so much success. He said," And now, I ask, how righteousness and truth are going to sweep the earth as a flood? I will answer. Men and angels are going to be co-workers in bringing to pass this great work and Zion is to be prepared, even a new Jerusalem, for the elect that are to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth." Knowing that a prophet of the Lord promised that angels will be my co-workers in this work has increased my faith incredibly. And it is true in all of our lives. Anytime that we are contributing to the work of the Lord, we are living worthy of that promise. So in short, do gods work so you can see the miracles of angels in you lives. I know it's true, and I haven't even made it to the field yet. I wish I had more time to write but this is all I can do for this week. We have an apostle coming to talk to us tomorrow, so hopefully I can end the week on a bang. If you were planning on sending a letter to me, the last time I receive letters is on Saturday morning. So I will have my dad post my mission home address and you can send it there. Les amo. Remember that with you faith, anything is possible. So go and do good works according to your faith. Have a Happy Holiday!!


--

Elder KP

















































Week 7 (November 15, 2012)




Hola! Como estan? How is life back at home? How has the last week been? I want to hear from everyone. I really only have this next week left in the MTC and then I ship out a week from Monday on the 26. So I will be here for Thanksgiving!!! I hope they cook good food here. ;) I can't wait to see what it will be like. I am glad to hear that everyone is doing so good from the letters that I have received. How is the snow and the cold for everyone? I am so grateful that I am about to leave to somewhere warm! This cold is awful. Has Rachel received her mission call yet? We could be the twins serving at the same time! First ones since Rich and Russ. ;) Everything is very good here. Learning more and more every day. I want to leave here so bad but at the same time I want to stay and learn as much as I can so that I will be ready for the field. But, I am on the Lords schedule and it isn't about what I want, it is his will. But life is good. Love the MTC always. This last Sunday they changed me out of district leader. It is nice but at the same time, the opportunity to serve in that kind of capacity is taken away. But service is always needed. Whether you are a bishop or a member without a specific calling. Service is the key to love. That is something that I have studied a lot this past week. In Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel are the Christ like Attributes. One of them is love and charity. If anyone has access to a Preach My Gospel I would recommend studying that. It is so good. And like it says in the scriptures, the first great commandment is to love the Lord thy God, and the second is like unto it. Love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt 26). Then the scripture that says "...charity never faileth." How would it be to never fail? That is my challenge for this week. Study charity and pray for it to be given to you (it is a gift) and I promise that you will find more success and see miracles happen in your life and the lives around you. Monday we taught our investigator William. He is trying to overcome several problems that are keeping him from becoming baptized. We are working with him on growing his faith. They key to anything like that is point them to the savior. The savior satisfies all needs. That is our job and a majority of what we learn about here at the MTC, how we can point others to Christ. On Tuesday I got to leave the MTC campus for the first time! That was so weird! Elder Smith needed to go to the bank and get a new debit card so they got us into a shuttle and took us there so that he could do that before we left. We talked to a lot of people. It would be fun being a missionary in Utah. But I am glad for my call in Texas.Then on we had a member of the 70 come and speak to us. One of the things that he said that I loved so much was, "We have 2 years (talking about missionary work) to do what we can, and an eternity to think about what we did." I think this can be applied into our life in general. We have approximately 79 years or whatever it is now, but then an eternity to think about what we did with it. Don't waste a minute of it. Like my old basketball coach used to say,"Leave with no regrets." I love it. The spirit is always willing to testify of amazing things if we just listen. That I think is one of the biggest things that I have learned here at the MTC. Then on Wednesday I got to leave one more time and this time a little further. One of the Elders in our district needed to go to physical therapy because he had knee surgery and he couldn't get him companion to go for some reason so they had me go with him. We went to the Utah Valley Hospital in their physical therapy center. That was even more weird. Once again, talked to a ton of people. People in Utah just love talking to missionaries so it made it very easy. And get this. I was Hosting for all of the new missionaries later that day and lo and behold, here comes Branson!!! I was so happy! I chased him down and got to help him and host for him. I got to see his family which was so amazing! I missed all of them so much! I couldn't give anyone hugs except for Mason who came out to get a picture with me. :) I got him all set up for his room and classes. He did so much better than me on my first day. What a stud. I couldn't believe it the whole time that I was reunited with my best buddy. I loved it. Haha. I saw him this morning from a distance (not too hard to see a 6'4" redhead;) and it looked like that he was doing pretty good. Love that kid. Hopefully I will get to talk to you all soon. I don't get a phone call for Thanksgiving but I will write. Love you all! Have a great week!

Pictures
1. Snowing
2. Me and the Statue
3. Snow Man in Class
4. Temple Walk :)
5. Freezing at the Temple
6. Elder Summers and I
7. Elder Wilson and I
8. Elder Despain and I (Elder Jensen in the background)
9. Outside the MTC!!
--
Elder KP









Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week 6 (November 8, 2012)

Hello! How is everyone!

A lot has happened this week. Hopefully I can get this all done before the computer kicks me off. Haha. How is school for everyone? We heard that the storm on the east coast got pretty bad. We also found out about the presidential election. It was sad but still a great day in the MTC.

There is so much to talk about! Uhhhh I'll start with Friday last week. Sounds correct logically. On Friday we started getting more investigators. We became the investigators for our district. So we are teaching "new investigators" that are Elders in our own district. The purpose for all of this is so that we can get a feel of what an investigator feels like in a lesson. Also, what they need to feel in order to become converted to Jesus Christ and his gospel. It has been an amazing experience thus far. I have learned so much about being an investigator. I had never really thought about how important it is for us to feel how they feel. It is awesome. We also practiced how to find someone on the street, give them a 1 minute lesson and to set an appointment to come and visit later. It is a lot harder than it sounds. But with practice it will come. It made me think of how I may be doing that when I get to Texas. I want to get out there and get to work, but I have a lot of work to do.

I have felt a little stressed with the language this week. It seemed that I had hit that 6 week plateau that everyone talked about. But with a lot of prayer and hard work, I finally overcame it and am back on track. This week we started going out to the field for our gym time. It is so much fun to be outside and running around. We have been playing Frisbee. It feels so good to get out there and sprint a little bit. On Saturday I studied a lot about faith and how it needs to be grown and used to be able to work miracles in our lives. In Preach My Gospel it talks about faith in Chapter 6: Christlike Attributes. In there in one of the paragraphs it says something to the effect of, the Lord gets his power to bless us from the faith that we exercise and put in him. This hit me so hard and I realized what I could actually do with my faith. I could literally do so much more than I have been. So I have gone to work on applying that in our lessons and in my day to day life. The results are absolutely astonishing. I cannot ever remember a time in my life that so many miracles have happened. My testimony of faith has gone through the Heavens.

Fast Sunday was awesome. It is hard in the MTC but good at the same time. They remove all temptation of food by closing down the cafeteria. Good thing that they do. But the day was such a good spiritual day and I learned so much. We had great talks in all of our meetings. The one that I liked the most was called "The Black Name Tag". The speaker spoke about how amazing our black name tags can be in proselyting and getting work done. He also talked a lot about what it signifies and how it should remind us of our calling. I can't wait for members of our family to start getting "The Black Name Tag". We taught Sal on Monday morning and we taught him about the Word of Wisdom and how important it is that we take care of the bodies that our Heavenly Father has given us. We challenged him to give up all of his coffee, alcohol and drinking for one week. His response was so surprising we almost had to ask him twice. He said,"Yeah sure! That is easy. I could do it for a month if you would like?" He was so happy to give it up for what the Savior had done for him. He wanted to obey and make his Heavenly Father happy. It was an amazing experience.

On Tuesday I hit a milestone in my mission. I spoke 100% for the day. The only time that I spoke English was in a meeting that I had to conduct in our branch (so I am not counting that. hehe). It was so much fun. I realized that I could actually do it after that day. When I had to get up to speak English in that meeting I sat there for probably a solid 10-15 seconds, trying to figure out how I was going to say what I wanted to in English. Such a weird feeling! But I am grateful for it. It was a great day. We also had a member of the 70 come and speak to us. One of the things he said was absolutely amazing. He said," Discipleship isn't about giving something up. It is about becoming something more through being a Disciple of Jesus Christ." I love that quote so much. It is true. The things that we give up are nothing compared to what Heavenly Father gives to us every day. So I challenge all of you reading this to not be afraid to give something up to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ. Yesterday was a great day. We got so much done. One of the things that was highlighting our day was that everyone kept doing these little secrete acts of service. Like someone came and shined all of my shoes for me. It was very nice of them. I wont say what I did cause it is secrete service. But it was a good day.

I hope everything is well! I only have 18 more days in here. The 26 of November is the magic day! It isn't coming soon enough. Haha. I hosted for all of the new missionaries last week and one of them is going to the Portland Oregon mission. Maybe he'll get to see Russ & Jeanette? I am also Hosting this Wednesday when Branson comes in! It will be hard to miss him so hopefully I can get to him and help him out. I'll be reading in the Book of Mormon in 1 Nephi 21- 2 Nephi 4 this week if any of you want to read it and send me what you learned. I would love it. have a great week! Les Amo.
--
Elder KP

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 5 (November 1, 2012)

Hola familia!
Como estan? Haha. How is life in the real world? What is going on with that storm? We heard that it was pretty bad. How are Blaine and Heather doing? Thanks for everyone that wrote this week. I love getting mail from you all. Rachel I loved your letter and the Shout out to my car (yours too;). Thank you dad and Grandma for the packages. They were amazing. I loved the pictures that you sent. They are up where I see them any time I walk into our room. Thank you for the letters too Wendi, Rylee, and Kaitlyn (hope I spelled that right). The pictures of Ian on Halloween were great! He looked awesome! Charlie and Avery looked authentic and Gracie looked like a princess. :) It was good to look at some of the pictures. Jordan, you letter had me in stitches. My companions couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. Haha. It is weird to think that I have been here for over a month. It feels like and eternity. And to think that I am still so close to all of you is a weird thought as well. I hope everything is well out there (out there, I feel imprisoned. But I love it so it is okay;). This week has been amazing! I think this is the week that I have been waiting for since I have got here. I am finally beginning to understand Spanish and speak it. I am thinking less and less about what I am going to say and how I am going to say it. It's starting to be fun! The past week has been good cause I have learned so much about myself and the power of the Savior. I would have times where I would get home sick or feel like I am all alone, but then every time that I would turn to the Savior for help I was so happy and I wanted to leave the MTC and go share it with someone so they could feel it too. But I can't do it like that so this is how I am doing it. Sharing how amazing it feels when you have an experience with the Savior. So good. :D On Saturday we started a new service assignment in the MTC. We worked in the kitchens for an hour and it was crazy! I guess I didn't realize how much money the Church spent on the missionaries until I saw how much food we eat. It sounds bad but it is true haha. Anyway, Elder Miles was sick, so Elder Smith and I got assigned to de-stem grapes. We did 117 pounds of it. It seemed like an eternity but it was fun cause we talked and just sang church hymns as loud as we could. On Sunday we had a speaker come and talk to us, and he was the church official that was over all of the missionary work in the world. He said that missionary applications have jumped 471% in the last month! Unbelievable! Also, that since there would be so many coming out, that in 3-4 months, I could very well be a senior companion and training a new missionary. Talk about stress! I need to work and get ready! But I am excited for the challenge. On Monday we taught Sal again. He is making progress with his testimony of Christ and his power as Savior and Redeemer of the world. We talked to him about the plan of salvation and how it can bless him and his family and make each other stronger. We have really focused on the Book of Mormon and how important it is. It is such an amazing book! The next time you read it, just watch at how many times it mentions or even just talks about the Savior. It is mind boggling. On Tuesday I weighed myself and I am finally gaining weight! But only 4 pounds more than from when I got here. All I can say is it is about time. I have been working out in the mornings doing pushups, situps, and using the exercise band they gave us. I would like to think that the weight is from that but I am not sure. Innocent until proven guilty. Haha. On Tuesday we also taught William. He is starting to make some serious progress. We taught him about the plan of salvation and how it can help his family regain the relationship they once had and how it teaches his children to grow up happy and strong making good decisions. He liked this a lot and wanted to know more. So we invited him to start having Family Home evenings and reading the Book of Mormon together from passages that we assigned him to read (once again, The importance and power of the Book of Mormon, it strengthens families). He committed to do it and we are teaching him tonight so we'll see. Yesterday though, I had one of the best experiences yet in the MTC. I have talked about being obedient and then when you have done all that you can do, the Lord steps in and does what he does best... blesses you (2 Nephi 25:23). So I have been working really hard to learn Spanish and so all that I can to be worthy of the Gift of Tongues and I have been praying for it. Yesterday something clicked, something just... happened. I couldn't not speak Spanish. It was almost like English didn't even exist. One of our instructors, Hermano Hill said that by the start of your 6th week, you should be able to speak only in Spanish. Now I can. I am very very very very far from fluent but I can say whatever I want to in Spanish now. It is such an amazing blessing. I am so happy and Now I really want to get to Texas and get to work, but I know I have more to do. I also would like to extend an invitation to you. This week I am studying 1 Nephi Chapter 15-21. Would you read it with me and then mail me insights and things that you learned? I am hoping this will help me learn more then we can learn from each other. Plus we can all benefit and grow closer together from reading the Book of Mormon. I love you all. Go forward with faith. Les amo.