One month under my belt!! I cannot believe it. But it has been the funnest month ever. I love the MTC. So many things have happened this week. Elder Adamson and Elder Thomson (both going to Ecuador) got their visa's and left within 2 days. They left Tuesday night to Washington D.C. to get their visa's and then straight from D.C. to the Peru MTC where they will finish up their MTC Training. So my first companion is gone. Our branch president anticipated this and on Thursday evening changed my companion. So Elder Adamson and Thomson were companions for the last week here. I am now in a trio with the two other Elders in our district that are going to the Texas Lubbock mission (Elder Smith and Elder Miles). It has been a fun change. I get along really well with both of them and we have a blast. So by joining them I got a new investigator. His name is William. It was a little hard for me to come in and start teaching him cause they hadn't really found his needs yet but we all hopped right on it and are on the right track to helping him coming unto Christ. Also on Sunday I had a meeting with our branch president, President Cameron. In the meeting he called me to be the District leader for district 40E. Crazy crazy. I never saw that coming. Haha. But with the help of the Lord I have been able to accomplish the things that he has commanded me to do. I have heard a lot from everyone at home. It is so much fun for me to get a letter or a package and see what is happening outside of the walls of the MTC. We get to go on temple walks and attend the temple once a week but that is it. So as for news, we have none. But there are rumors here about Romney destroying Obama in a debate. But like I said, only rumors. Also, on Saturday I set an MTC record in "most Half-court shot's made in one gym period." I am almost positive that this isn't a real record being kept but me and my district decided that it is the new standard at the MTC. I hit 11 half court shots with 2 runs of 3 in a row. It was a good day needless to say. Hehe. This week though, I have had a my first real pangs of homesickness. I am pretty proud that I have made it this long without feeling that before now. But it is a good thing for me. I get to think about you all at home. I think about all of the cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, and it makes me happy that there are people at home keeping everything in order so I have something to come home to. :) Thank you dad for keeping the blog going. I am glad that everyone enjoys it. I will try and make something cool happen in the coming weeks so there will be something interesting to write about. There is still so much to write about anyway I don't really need to do anything. This week at the MTC we had the opportunity of having Elder Larry Echo Hawk, who spoke in conference this last month, to come and speak to us on Tuesday. In it he said something that changed my outlook on how I endure challenges. He said, "Hard things will come. Expect it, respond to it and become stronger." I love how he said that. It has prepared me so much more for being the district leader and a missionary in general. Hard things do come, even in the MTC. But we all have the opportunity to learn from them and most importantly, grow. I had an experience with learning Spanish this week as well. I was having a little bit of trouble learning the language and I felt like I had hit a plateau in my learning. I spoke with one of my instructors, Hermano Wagner, and he gave me some great hints and scriptures to help me in my learning. So we were teaching this lesson to Sal about how he can feel the spirit and receive answers to his prayers. I started out using my knowledge and skills to try and communicate. For very obvious reasons this didn't work. About a quarter of the way into the lesson I realized that. I knew what I was doing wrong. I put my faith in the Lord and opened my mouth. From there to the end of the lesson, I was able to speak every word that came to my mind, convey the message that we had been prompted to share and the spirit did what he does best and took the lesson home to the heart of Salvadore. At the end of the lesson we asked him to pray with us and if we could kneel. He was a bit surprised but did so. I asked him to ask Heavenly Father a specific question about one of the needs he had. As he prayed the spirit exploded in the room. Even though it was a "fake" investigator, we were teaching true principles and he applied them. When we were done praying I had very wet eyes (it's genetic and I blame Dad;). Such a powerful experience. I am so grateful for the spirit and his role in the work. I also was able to gain a very strong testimony as we were learning how to teach lesson 3 in Preach My Gospel. One of my companions was my role-play partner and we were supposed to be ourselves and the "missionary" in the role-play was supposed to find the needs of that person and teach the doctrine that would help them. As I began to ask questions and teach the spirit guided me as what to say. He opened up and told me what he needed. We had a very good lesson on the atonement where the spirit did all of the work. We both were so uplifted and full of the spirit we both began to tear up. As we knelt and asked Heavenly Father for help and to bless him with the answers and comfort he needed we both knew that he had received an answer. I love the MTC and this work is moving forth, with or without us. The Lord is in the details. The atonement is real and is for everyone. I have a testimony of Jesus Christ, that he lives, he loves us, he wants to help us if we only ask. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. The Book of Mormon is our number one tool in enduring to the end. I extend a challenge to read the introduction and all of the testimonies in the beginning of the Book of Mormon then do as Moroni directs in Moroni 10:3-5. I promise you will receive an answer if your heart is open. I love you all so much and can't wait to hear from you.
With all the love in the world,