Sunday, October 21, 2012
Hello family and friends! It has been a really good week this week. First, thank you to Mom, Emmy and G&G Christensen. And thank you to Mom and Sister Jakins for the treats. The treats are starting to pile up a little. It's like you all want me to gain weight or something.
This week I have gained a lot more confidence with Spanish. I feel like I am getting to the point that I can actually just open my mouth and have broken, error-filled Spanish come out. I personally believe that that is better than just sitting in quiet trying to think of the correct conjugation and what not. My companion and I had a really good experience in the TRC on Tuesday. We went in not as prepared as we probably should have been. They told us to get to know the volunteer we were assigned to talk to and then leave them a short message. We were able to carry on a conversation and then after getting to know them we talked about the where we come from, the importance of families, and the importance of faith. It was probably the strongest I felt the Spirit while speaking in Spanish.
This week I went through the Christlike Attribute Chapter of Preach My Gospel and chose a few attributes to work on. Earlier this week I had the thought that if I'm going to be a representative of the Savior, I probably should start being more like Him. I spent 2 or 3 days of personal study time studying about some of these attributes and it was really edifying. It is really nice not to need to worry about anything getting in the way of personal study.
Since I have been here, I have seen tons of people that I know, Before getting here, I thought that almost everybody had left. I have seen Elder Aaron Wheatley, Elder Seth Cannon, Elder Brandon Wardrop, Elder Tab McClain, Elder Jared Peterson. All 5 of those Elders are now gone now. It was really nice to have them around to start easing me into the MTC. I have seen Elder Morgan Evans (cousin) a lot. We have breakfast together almost everyday. It will be sad once he's gone. I also see Elder Victor Matiz (sp?) almost everyday. He speaks Spanish very fast, but his pronunciation is usually pretty clear, so we can usually carry on a conversation. His companion is from Spain and I never know what he is saying. And lastly Elder Dane Taylor and Elder Tyler Hill came in recently and I've gotten to see them both a few times. It's cool having everybody around.
So on Sunday, Brother Heaton from our ward spoke to all the missionaries. For all that don't know, he is the Administrative Director of the MTC. He talked to us about focusing on the importance of the message we teach instead of just reciting a bunch of doctrine. On Tuesday, we had Elder Shayne Bowen from the Seventy come and speak to us. His talk was really good. He gave the talk in conference about losing his son. He sounded so gentle in that talk, but he threw it down when he came to the MTC. He talked with so much power. He talked about being a life long missionary, heeding promptings, and some other good stuff (sorry I don't have my notes in front of me right now). But the reason I bring these two talks up is something that they both said to us. Once missionaries get into the field, they are trained some more for 12 weeks. At the end of that 12 weeks, they are considered a normal missionary. All of the missionaries that will be entering the field due to the age change will start entering the field around February. They both clearly told us that we may be called upon to train these new missionaries very soon after our 12 weeks of training. So going directly from trainee to trainer. Crazy crazy crazy. So they both basically said that we all need to step it up. The Lord is hasting his work and we are right in the middle of it. I feel very blessed.
I got my hair cut today by Sister Nash. That was really fun to talk to her. I think it is shorter on the sides than it has ever been. Quite the contrast to my hair a few months ago...
Lastly, if you know anybody or any of you are thinking about or working on mission papers, I want to hear about it! Write me!
This experience is already one of the coolest of my life. I already feel like I am growing closer to the Savior and gaining a greater appreciation for the Gospel. For all those that are on the fence about going on a mission, think of all the people you can help with this Gospel. If nothing else, I am very glad I am here for myself and my own progression as a person. Missions are a really good thing. I'm already pretty sure my wife and I will be going (whether she likes it or not!)
Love you all! Thank you again for the support.
Elder Tanner Christensen