Friday, November 2, 2012

Week 4 Update

Wow.  Today is November 2.  Tomorrow is my 1 month mark.  I am about half-way through the MTC.  I feel like I just started and I have a hard time believing that I could be anywhere close to ready.  Before I get more into that, thank you to Jessica S, Matt W, Dad, and the Martins for the letters.  Also, thank you to Durstelers, Jakins, and Martins for the treats.  All the food and treats plus sitting all day is starting to have it's effect.  I weighed myself 2 weeks ago for the first time at the MTC and I'm up 5 pounds today.  So that's not counting whatever I gained the first 2 weeks.  So Emmy, maybe I will return huge per your request.

So again, I'm almost half way through the MTC.  Super hard to believe.  I am slowly beginning to forget the world, but I still remember it exists every now and then.  This past week I kind of had a hard time focusing.  I'll need to rededicate myself this week.  Spanish is still going well.  I'm to the point that I can say almost anything that I want to say in a lesson, but outside of lessons, I'm pretty lost.  I still get to see Elder Matiz from our ward pretty frequently.  He is learning English and is fluent in Spanish.  I know what he's saying maybe half the time.  We had a really cool moment this week.  I ran into him outside reading the BoM in English with his Spanish BoM open at the same time.  He threw some Spanish at me that I didn't understand and handed me his Spanish BoM.  For the next 15 min, we just went back and forth helping each other with pronunciation and stuff.  His accent is pretty heavy, but I could understand everything he was saying.  Hopefully it was the same for me :)

I'm still having a good time here.  I feel like I've grown more in the last 4.5 weeks than I have in the last year.  It's a crazy feeling.  

This week was pretty good with my companion.  He injured his shoulder this week diving after a soccer ball and it's still bugging him.  His Spanish is coming along.  I'm trying to get him to just speak without thinking so much.  When he relaxes, he can speak Spanish pretty well.

On Tuesday, Elder Don Clarke from the Seventy spoke to us.  His talk was 40 min of pure applicable missionary advice.  It was really enjoyable.  He focused his whole talk on the word "help" in our purpose.  One of the 8 major points of his talk was "help your family experience your mission."  I would like to follow one of his pieces of advice starting now.  He said something along the lines of, "get your loved ones at home involved in your studies.  Let them know what you are studying for the week and invite them to study the same.  Then ask them to share the things the learned throughout the week."  You all know way more than I do, so I hope that I could tap into all of your huge knowledge bases.  This week, I am trying to understand the Atonement better.  We've had a few really good talks in class and I've been trying to gain a greater appreciation for the Atonement.  Since all of our teachings lead to Christ, and Christ's greatest work was the Atonement, I feel like I probably should understand that better than any other Gospel concept.  So, if any of you would like to join in on this study with me, I would absolutely love to hear your insights!  

So now an "investigator" update.  We have 2 investigators: Rancho, and Angel.  Rancho currently doesn't believe that he needs to be baptized because he was baptized as a baby.  He also isn't sure if Joseph Smith was a prophet.  This upcoming week, we are going to focus a lot on the Book of Mormon and hope that a testimony of the Book of Mormon will lead to a testimony of Joseph Smith.  Angel is "un pecador."  He said that he had many many sins and that he is trying to be a better person.  We talked a lot about repentance and the Atonement this week.  He said that he repented, but didn't feel much different.  Based on what he said, he did everything correctly, so we think the problem is that he doesn't know what the Holy Ghost feels like.  So that will be our focus this week- helping him feel like he has been forgiven.  He has already committed to prepare to be baptized and I think we are on a good track.

Thank you for all the love and support.  Again, if there are any mission calls in the works, I want to hear about it!  I love you all.  God be with you till we meet again!

Elder Tanner Christensen

Scripture Share: 1 Cor 2:9

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