Friday, October 19, 2012

Week 3 (October 18, 2012)

Time flies on a mission! one more week and I will be out for 1 Month! The MTC is so great though, and the food (can't stop talking about the food) is the best thing in the world! I did lose a lot of weight though. Which to me is really backwards. When you eat 4-5 plates of food then sit for about 4 hours eat 4-5 more then sit then 4-5 more then sit you think I would be writing home for a bigger suit but nope! (sorry Kirsten)

This week has been amazing though. I have had so many opportunities to teach our investigators. On Thursday last week we were able to go on a temporary exchange with some Elders in our Zone to teach one of our investigators. I was assigned to teach with Elder Despain from Boise Idaho. He has been here for 6 weeks, so I was very anxious to learn something from him. It ended up being such a good lesson and we felt the spirit so strong, testifying of the things that we were teaching about. In the middle of the lesson the spirit took me away from the lesson for a second and bore a very strong witness to me of why I am here and how important the work I am doing really is. It was an amazing experience for me and a definite testimony builder of how the Lord works and the power of the Holy Ghost.

Throughout the week though, Elder Adamson and I have been doing what we call "Street Contacting" where we stop Elders in the MTC (or people at the temple on the day that we are there vitisitng) and we bear our testimonies to them in Spanish. It is fun and very powerful to be able to bear testimony with a surity in a language that is not yet my own. If you have the spirit with you and you just do as the Lord says and open your mouth, it really is filled.

We are still teaching the boy named Javier. It is really hard for 2 reasons. 1. he talkes so fast! (even faster than you Josh:) and we can barely understand him cause he slurs his words together. But we are still able to communicate with him. 2. He has no purpose, no desires, he is content with what he has and doesn't want any more than that. We have been really stretched on planning a lesson that will break through that barrier and help him out. I know that there is something. We just need to be faithful and trust that the Lord will provide a way. But it doesn't get any better than this. I love a good challenge.

So here is a funny experience. We were sitting outside on Saturday setting goals for our investigators and planning for them. While we were sitting there, we heard a roar of what seemed like 10,000 people from just a block away. In fact that is exactly what it was. BYU was playing I believe Oregon State (at least that was the rumor. No information really gets in here.) we couldn't plan anymore. Our minds were on the game and what could be happening. I have no idea how it ended but we all have our speculations here. Haha. Also another funny side note. The other night we were running back to the residency after gym, as I got close to the door I saw a big crowd of people bending over someone and someone started yelling for help. So I ran in to see what was happening and an Elder in my district had an inch long gash in his shin, all the way to the bone. He was running and jumped over one of the benches but didn't get high enough and smacked it on that and split it. It was pretty wide. So as best I could I ran and got my little tiny first aid kit (so weird not having my regular sized one) and controlled the bleeding and bandaged it up. By that time the MTC security people were there and they let me finish up. I knew he was going to need stitches cause it was wide open. So they took him to the hospital and that was that. It was kinda fun to do some work while on the mission. Never thought I would be doing that but hey, I was ready to go. Haha. I think I should be careful of my karma though, cause it usally isn't too nice back.

Thank you for the package as well Grandma! And to all of you that wrote me letters. I love hearing from you guys. It is so much fun to read what is happening in the life back home and how everyone is doing. The package was awesome. When I opened it up one of the Elders in our room said "wow. and I thought my family loved me" hahaha. So thank you guys. I got a letter from Branson's family with some pictures of their family. So good to see those faces again. Then I got a letter from the ward and it sounds like everything is great there. Thank you dad for your card and it's contents. Would you send a picture of our whole family? I miss seeing your faces.

I love all of you and hope to talk to you all soon!

Elder KP

Week 2 (October 11, 2012)

Hello hello hello!

How are you? I miss everyone so much! I realized after the last letter home how much you all meant to me. I knew it before but now it is a very strong reality. But the Lord provides a way to overcome any and all problems that we have so I know everything will be okay. :) I have received so many letters. I want to thank everyone that has taken the time to send one to me. It means so much to go check the mailbox and have a letter there waiting for me. It makes my day! (plus I look super loved to my whole district, but that isn't what matters hehe).

So since I sent a letter last a lot has happened. We finished teaching Florentino. He ended up being one of our teachers here in the MTC. His name is Hermano Wagner. He served his mission in Texas too, in the Texas Fort Worth Mission. It is weird to hear him talk in English, but especially because every time he addresses us he says y'all. It makes me wonder what I will come back with. ;) We have been learning so much Spanish and lessons, it is hard to remember what we do each day. The days are long, the weeks are fast! But everything is so memorable.

So conference..... WOW. We watched it all together as missionaries. When President Monson announced that Elders will be able to serve at 18 and Sisters at 19, the MTC lost the reverence it usually has for about 5 seconds while we let out a cheer/gasp. It was definitely the talk of the day. This has by far been the most spiritual and meaningful conference to me yet. I was able to learn so much and feel the spirit so strong. My favorite talks were by M. Russell Ballard and David A. Bednar. And now I can confidently say that Elder Bednar is my most favorite speaker of all time. I have had an interesting experience with him. So Saturday morning I was able to listen to him speak and testify of testimony and how we need to not only have a testimony but be converted. We then had the opportunity Sunday night during our "Sunday movie" to watch a recorded Christmas devotional by him and he spoke in great detail about the same thing. THEN Tuesday night we had the very pleasurable experience of having him visit us for our Tuesday Night Devotional. He again talked about the same things and gave us amazing tips on how we should study the talks from conference. My study has changed completely and has become more meaningful. So I guess testimony and conversion are things I need to learn.

Spanish is coming well, we were able to start teaching more people. A new man named Salvador who is a baptist looking for more truth. He is divorced and his family lives in South Carolina. He is very lost and confused on the topic of religion. The gospel has already blessed his life and we have seen significant change in just two lessons. He is so hungry for truth he absorbs our broken Spanish language like a sponge. Next we are teaching a young man named Javier. We have only had one lesson with him. He is a lost teenager and doesn't really have purpose in his life. We are so happy to teach both of them. Though it is hard, the Lord is guiding us in our preparation. I also had the chance yesterday to do something called TRC. It is where members of the church who speak Spanish come and we teach them doctrines of the gospel just like we would in an investigator situation. It isn't role play though. We find out what their needs are and what they want then give them a lesson, directed by the spirit, to help them receive what they want. The gospel has the power to give anything if we continually seek and ask for it. I don't have much more time to write. Hopefully I gave enough info. I testify that Jesus Christ is our savior and redeemer and through him, everything is possible. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon through the Power of God. And by reading and abiding by the precepts taught in the Book of Mormon we can come closer to our Heavenly Father. Go forward with faith.

Te amo.

Elder Jacob Kirkpatrick

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Week 1 (October 4, 2012)

Hola familia! Como estas??

Holy cow this is crazy! I can't believe it's been one week already. I am so swamped with stuff to do my P-day crept up on me too quickly. How is everything at home? I have had the chance to recieve a few letters from family and friends. I am so grateful for them too. They helped remind me I had a family back at home and a life outside of this one. Haha jk ;).

Thank you Cari for your letter. :) I can't believe it either. It has been so amazing though. I know that you will have a blast when it comes time for you and Matt. The work is just so busy and fun all the time.

Thank you Josh for you letter. It was brief and specific, just like you. ;) In answer to you question... I LOVE THE FOOOD!!!!!! It is soo good here and anyone who says they don't like the MTC food is in the wrong church. I'm kidding. But it is so true about the food. My companion and I eat for a solid 45 minutes whenever we go to breakfast lunch or dinner. Maybe I will put on a few pounds...

Mom, thank you for your letter. I am glad to hear that you guys are having fun. I was slighltly jealous when you told me you went to see a movie but that is okay. I'll just keep swimming. ;) I sent a letter to you last week in the mail. They gave us permission to write one letter home to our mom's so that they knew that we were okay. I knew you weren't worrying but I jumped at the chance to send something to you. ;)

Thank you for the letter dad and sharing that experience with me. It made me feel close to home and happy about what I am doing. Not that I am unhappy about it otherwise, It just enhanced the experience. :) I miss you all like crazy and can't wait to call you at Christmas. But I will be very busy until that time. I have shared a lot of your experiences on your mission dad. Hope that is okay. haha. But I am already making some of my own.

Entonces (so) down to buisness. Right after I was dopped off they took me to the main building to get my tag, books, meal card/ everything card, and while I was doing that I ran into someone that knew you mom and dad. Not sure what her name was anymore. Too much going on to remember names but she said to tell you hello. :) After we went to my residency (my room) and my key didn't work so I had to go back and get a new one. We finally got in and it is so small. I am sharing the room with 3 other Elders. After I went to meet my companion. His name is Elder Adamson. He is awesome. He is from Spokane Washington and is going to Equadore on his mission (if that is how you spell it). We have never had any problems and get along really really well. In our district we have 10 Elders. 2 of which are also going to my mission spanish speaking. Ironically they are the ones staying with us in our room. Their names are Elder Miles from Sandy and Elder Smith from Highland. Elder Miles is really quite and nice. Elder Smith is nice as well but he misses his "girlfriend". He is super funny about it though. The other Elders in our district are going to Mexico, Equadore, Texas, Pittsburg, and Detroit. We all get along almost too well. It becomes destracting sometimes. But it is all very fun.

Elder Adamson and I have been working super hard on our spanish. I must say it's coming faster than I expected. We are already praying in spanish, talking to each other about 50% in spanish and we have taught 4 full lessons in spanish. Each have been about 30-45 minutes long. Our investigators name is Florentino. He is a very humble man from Mexico. He moved here to work and send money home for his family. He wanted peace and happiness. We have taught him the first 3 lessons and one lesson we focused on just baptism and how taking that first step will help get him onto the path to living with his family for eternity. He committed to baptism and we are continuing to teach him. Unfortunately, we are teaching him our last lesson this evening. Hopefully we will be able to send him off with a strong enough testimony he will be able to continue to work toward his goal of baptism. We have grown to love him and his family. I I know that the Lord is playing a very intimate role in my life right now. I am learning so much spanish and my testimony is growing so fast, I have never experienced anything like it before. I love the MTC. The spirit just pours out of heaven and gives every missionary here who is praying for it recieves divine blessings. I know that all of this is for my good and I appreciate all the prayers that have come my way. I feel them every day and I am grateful for them.

I don't have anyones addresses so please send them to me. I would really appreciate it. :) Drea if you are reading this, please send me yours so I can send my letter to you.

Hoping everything is well. Go forward with faith. :D

Elder KP