The days seem like weeks and the weeks seem like days. They have us studying about 10 hours a day when we aren’t either exercising or eating or going to a devotional. It’s better than it sounds, though, because I have great teachers and mentors, a great district, and I’m learning a ton. And I could always get better at Spanish (it’s a struggle!). I had a really cool spiritual experience recently. Last week we went to the temple and the whole time my mind was thinking, “Please help me learn Spanish or give me the gift of tongues! It’s so frustrating not being able to rightly express what I feel or think about what I’m teaching.” A literal voice came to mind and said, “Stop worrying about it. You have already been promised the gift of tongues and all of my support. Spanish will come and I can work with you no matter the language.” It was a great feeling. It was perfect because it reminded me of what I was promised when I was set apart and I felt silly for being preoccupied with worrying instead of just putting my shoulder to the wheel.
My district is a lot of fun and we’ve become really close. I do sometimes feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t gone through something miraculous in order to be here, but I’m sure I’ll be humbled in some way in the future. During a small study break we had mock elections and I was voted most likely to marry a guy from my mission. Pfffft. Actually, they all think me and Elder Nasilei should get married, only because we both play rugby and are going to the same mission. It apparently doesn’t take much.
Whenever I tell instructors (all RMs) I’m going to El Salvador, they get excited because all the Salvadorians on their missions were the best people. Whether they were state-side or not, they always say Salvadorians were their favorite. Hopefully they aren’t just leaving out the bad things 🙂 I’m excited to get there though. It might not be until April (When is my background check gonna appear!?!) but I get more and more antsy every time I have to walk to the temple in snow and ice with my rain jacket.
Since being here I’ve realized how powerful the Joseph Smith story and the Book of Mormon are in conversion. I memorized the first vision in Spanish and it’s made a ton of difference. On our first or second visit we just explain the restoration, tell the story, and tell them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. As crazy as that story would seem to non-religious or even many religious people, it’s all that it takes. We don’t even have to speak Spanish that well. To them it probably just sounds like a bunch of nouns and incorrectly conjugated verbs together, but then they read the word of God and they accept our whole message! (Obviously we aren’t really the ones doing the teaching or converting). It’s pretty cool to witness. By the way if you were wondering, they actually get real investigators for us to teach. We have three investigators at a time, two of them being fake but one of them is real (ours is Jose). Talk about nerve-raking!! Jose is pretty nice about our awful Spanish though and he helps us out. He doesn’t know a lot of English but he says a few English words every now and then if he knows them.
P.S. Reagan: I found your note! Thank you, I’ll treasure it!