What a first week! First of all, when I got here, I saw a bunch of people that I knew so it was nice to see some familiar faces. I also saw a lot of scared faces but I was just stoked to be here! My companion is Elder Erickson and he's awesome! He's a jokester and we get along really well, and same with our district, so much so that sometimes it's hard to focus on the Spirit and the language. But we're starting to get that stuff down. Anyways, I got here and they sent me straight to spanish class where we speak only spanish! It wasn't too hard for me because I understand really well but it's so hard for me to remember words and how to put them into different tenses and all that crazy stuff. Later that night we went to a kind of coaching activity at the church and we taught people who were converts that were pretending to be their old selves. One girl, Hely, from Guatemala, was so sweet and sincerely looking for something to fill the void in her life. She even told us about the struggles that she has had as her daughter goes through the struggle of Cerebral Palsy. It was amazing to see how much she cared about her daughter and that she would someday find happiness in her resurrected daughter. It was an amazing first day experience that I'll never forget. It taught me that the people of South America are so ready to hear about the gospel and I'm so lucky to be the missionary that gets to take it to them! The next day, I felt a little sad and crazed because the days are so busy and I realized that I'm really doing this. But then I saw this Elder in my zone smile so sincerely at the teacher that night, and I realized that in that moment, he was completely unselfish and so happy about being on a mission. From then on, I've felt nothing but the love of the Savior and I realized the amount that He can help me, even if it only took a smile that night. Friday was my first lesson with an "investigator", Jaime, who speaks no English whatsoever. Wow, was that a learning experience. Haha I forgot everything that I was going to say and even how to say some of the pleasantries that everybody knows. I was so angry with myself. I came upon another realization! That if I wanted the Spirit to help me teach, then I needed to put in my best effort as well! So I've been trying just that for the last week! I also realized that bearing testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel can have the most amazing impact on an investigator, even if you don't even speak the language. That was the only part of the first lesson that I am glad happened. I bore my testimony. It was simple. But the Spirit was so strong and grabbed hold of the investigator. Luckily, the words have been coming and we've taught Jaime multiple times. Tomorrows is our last day and I hope he says yes to our invitation to be baptized. If not, I don't think it's a huge deal since he's most likely an MTC worker. But I still try my hardest to teach with the Spirit and get him to keep commitments. Then, on Sunday, I got to talk with my momma and the family! It was nice to let them know that I'm doing awesome and the Spirit is basically embracing me wherever I go. It made me miss home a little, and then I got back to work so it isn't pressing my mind anymore. I love the MTC. Even though I'm on the West Campus which is just Wyview, and the food is limited, and there's 1/100 of the people, and we have to walk a lot more, and the classrooms are small, I still enjoy myself. I can't complain because I'm just happy to be serving the Lord. Missions are hard, but they are called of God and I know that I was meant to be here with these people in my life. Thank you to everyone who has helped me to get here! I know that missionary work is important in the eyes of Heavenly Father. I know it, I live it, I love it!
Me and Elder Parker from my BYU ward!
Me and my companion in our dorm.
My full closet.
My sweet tie.
My sweet name tag and pocket.
Selfie with the district studying Espanol.
The Zone at the temple.
My companero and me and the temple being silly.