Friday, March 8, 2013

Only 10 Days 'Til Mexico

Hola familia!!!

So I have officially been a missionary for over a month. How crazy is that?! I feel like I just got here yesterday. Time is seriously flying by and i can't believe I only have 10 days left before i'm in Mexico! i'm so excited to be in a different country with a whole new culture. I think it'll be so cool. I should be going to Salt Lake sometime in the next few days to talk to the consulate about my Visa (which i'm super excited about) and then i'll get my travel plans. So as soon as I know i will let you guys know so we can figure out what time I will be calling you guys! I can't believe my time in the MTC is almost up. As excited as I am about being in Monterrey, I'm pretty sad to leave the MTC, especially my district! Like I said before only 4 of us are going to the Monterrey mission so I won't see the other 6 at all. Which is way sad! we've all gotten so close and learned so much from each other. I realize more and more everyday why I was put into this district. I learn something from every one of them everyday and they have all, in their own ways, made me a better person. They're the best! It's definitely made my transition into the mission so much better. Oh, so good news of the week: Elder Keenan got pushed back a week! So he isn't leaving on Monday! He will be leaving with the rest of us. Which was so exciting, it would have been awful to have him leave early. So that was exciting! But all our really good friends in the zone are leaving this week, which is a bummer! But we're excited for them. Umm, funny story of the week: Elder Newman ripped his pants! Haha, it was sooooo funny. He just bent down to get something during class and we all heard the loud ripping noise. And his face was priceless! It was too funny. My district is sooo funny, I wish you guys could meet them. We also got to usher the devotional on Sunday, which was kinda cool.  Basically, we just had to stand at the bottom and look super intimidating, which for me isn't hard. Haha, and we got front row seats for the meeting! We had the Provo temple president come speak to us and he was really really good. We also got to host again this week which was really fun. We had a much "smaller" group of missionaries come in this week, with just under 500 come in. So we didn't get to meet as many new missionaries. And we also didn't get any new roommates! Wooh! But we got 2 new mattresses so we will probably get roommates next week for the last few days that we are here. The weather here this week was sooooo nice! So we did a lot of our studying and class discussions outside which was really nice. Both of our teachers are out of town this week in Vegas. One is going to the basketball tournament for BYU (so jealous) and the other is going there for.. something. Haha, i don't remember. But that means we'll have subs for the next few days. But we already met one of our subs and he's way cool! He served in Alabama and he started off as an English missionary but halfway through he got put in a Spanish area, so he had to learn everything in the field. Crazy huh? It makes me feel a lot better about my Spanish hearing stories like that. This week has been ALL about the subjunctive, which for me is SUPER confusing. So it's been a little frustrating, but i made a goal to only speak Spanish this week, even outside of class, and it's helped a ton! I definitely am feeling a lot more confident and my biggest problem now is just getting all the specifics of the grammar down. I just can't wait until I have my first dream in Spanish, that'll be so cool! Haha, but my Spanish has come such a long way. It's really cool. I decided that I like speaking Spanish a lot more than English, it just sounds a lot cooler and it rolls off the tongue better. Haha.

Umm, so this week my teacher made a really interesting comment. She said that she believes that humility is the most important trait. Because if you are humble, then everything else will follow. And I thought about it a lot, and I think it's so true! Humility is so key. It's what allows us to make changes and grow because we are aware that we don't know everything and that there are places for improvement. This goes along with my favorite scripture of all time, Ether 12:27. It also allows us to put other people before ourselves and be more receptive to serving others and to have more Charity. With humility, comes obedience. Which is so important on a mission, and just in general. We have to show God that we are willing to put His will before ours, and that is when we will be blessed. I've really felt so blessed while being in here as I have put all my time and devotion and trust in God's work. Remembering that this is His work that it's not about me at all has been really important to learn here. (I'm sorry if this email seems like it's all over the place, the computers are in the laundry room and everybody and their dog is in here so it's super loud and really hard to focus) Something i've been trying to do this week is memorize more scriptures. My goal is to memorize 2 a day, and so far so good! It's so nice to have them when I'm teaching an investigator to be able to use scriptures to apply to them. Also, I'm so close to finishing the Book of Mormon! I've kinda been stalled this week because I've been focusing more on the lessons in Preach my Gospel but I will definitely be able to finish this week before i leave which was my goal! Setting goals has helped me so much here because it's helped me notice my progression and it helps me focus on specific things that I want to work on. A scripture that I memorized this week that I really liked was Alma 37:6-7. Which talks about how it's by small and simple things that great things are brought to pass. Which is so true! To get the big end result that we want, we HAVE to do the little things everyday to get there. 

Congrats to Weston on getting baptized buddy! that's so awesome! Also thank you to the Leckies, Knudsens, and McCotters for your letters the past few weeks. I love hearing from you guys!

Audrey.. no letter :( write me this week!

Caden, same thing.... what the heck! I heard you were a stud this week in basketball though. Way to do me proud!

Grant! Thanks for writing me this week! I'm so sorry about your knee! that sounds awful! are you still on crutches? is it healing at all? Let me know how you're doing! Loved hearing from you this week!

Kendall: I already wrote you:)

Mom and Dad, thanks for your letters and DearElders this week! I love hearing from you guys and hearing everything that's going on. 

Well my time is up, and I feel like I was all over the place in this email. But I'll let you guys know about travel plans and all that soon! Love you all!!!

Elder Bird

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