YO YO YO!
(In Spanish that would be I, I, I! haha)
So the MTC is still great! We are just getting so much spiritual strength up in here (up in here) that you can't help but be happy all the time. I'm still not loving the whole sit at a desk for 4 hours, take a break to sit and eat, and then sit back down again for more hours thing, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!
What makes all of this so fun is my district. They are SO fun to be with but we also have amazing spiritual experiences together too. We are all way close now and we've only known each other for 2 weeks! We are all getting better at Spanish and now we know the baptismal invitation in Spanish as well as "Our Purpose." After every devotional and after conference we all share our thoughts and impressions or things we liked and each one ends in tears from both the Elders AND the Hermanas.
Oh, and "Fabian" is getting "baptized" this week! We are giving him his last lesson tonight. I am still amazed that we can have these amazing discussions with him in complete Spanish already. El don de linguas es REAL.
So I heard this analogy from someone and I thought it was kinda funny so I want to share it:
The MTC is like the Hunger Games because...
You are divided into districts.
You get messages over an intercom several times a day.
You're fed tons of food that you will never see again in the field.
...So get excited new missionaries! Haha. It's a really cool place and I know I will miss it... someday ;)
So some things I want to share with you:
1) Conference was awesome. We all watched it together as an MTC and it was so cool. Every time someone would give a shoutout to the missionaries, people were cheering and high-fiving. I think it confirmed to everyone that this is where we need to be and that we will touch SO many lives. I won't go too much into it right now because (hopefully) y'all saw it, but there was a lot said about obedience. It was a great reminder, especially for us missionaries, that this work needs to be done the Lord's way. 'Nuff said.
Also, Hermana Simonsen in my district is from St. George and goes to SUU and has been talking all week about how she's sure a temple in Cedar City would be announced this weekend, not really serious. Sure enough, it was announced on Saturday! That was way cool.
Conference is like a holiday here because we have no schedule besides watching the sessions. That + P-day today (Monday) = 3-day weekend! It was really nice :)
2) Last night we had a devotional with Vocal Point (BYU's acapella group) and it was so uplifting. We in the audience all got to sing hymns with them and the Spirit was so strong. Totally brought the house DOWN... just when we thought we were feeling on top of the world spiritually. The power of music is amazing.
3) If any of you get the chance to listen to or read Elder Bednar's devotional given at the MTC called "The Character of Christ," DO IT. It will change your life. Holy moly, that was the best talk I've ever heard. I was bawling throughout it, and those of you who know me well know that I only cry in stupid animal movies like "Fox and the Hound." ;)
4) Last Tuesday we had Elder Ringwood of the Seventy speak to us and he gave an awesome talk about Enduring to the End. One quote that stood out to me was when he said, "There was a reason that Nephi went back to Jerusalem for the plates before he went back for a wife." Just think about that for a second. I know that my mission will prepare me for THAT step further down the road... missions prepare you to endure to the end. He also quoted a lot from 2 Nephi 31, one of my favorite chapters of the Book of Mormon and said a lot of other cool things that I wish I had time to write. One big thing I took away is the difference between testimony and conversion. We want new members to be converted, not just baptized.
5) We went to the temple today and there was an older Hispanic couple taking out their endowments in our session. The joy I observed between them and their family afterwards as they were hugging each other was undeniable. I swear, that is what heaven is like. It made me think of my mission and why I'm here. I hope I can be a part of that for a cute old Peruvian couple someday :)
I am just so happy right now. It feels great to know that the Lord loves you and has a plan for you and it's even better when you know that you can share that principle with others who need this in their life. My visa may not come in the next 6 weeks, but I've accepted that that will be okay because if I end up reassigned in the US for a while, I will be where the Lord needs me. This will all be be worth it when I get to meet my Peruvian people! I really do feel like they're my people. I already love them and the Spanish language.
I LOVE YOU! Thanks for the support :)
"My folks, my blokes, my artichokes." (In a Scottish accent)
"I LOVE machetes!"
"...So he's tall and flakey?" (flacco)
"You eat like, a family of chickens at every meal Boxberger!"
- Elder Bowler
"To me, that's like putting kerosene on a fire... it's like saying, 'I'm angry' and then going and listening to Linkin Park."
"Brother Halsey is running around all sexy-like"
"I haven't heard that much nasalization since the last Bob Dylan song I listened to."
"You would like my bed."
- Elder Frehner