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.
Elder Jacob Kirkpatrick