Friday, July 30, 2010

7-27 Half way thru MTC

Hello family!Today is awesome because the temple just opened! woohoo and so we're going this morning which is going to be soo much fun! I havent been to the temple in a while because it was closed for rennovations :( BUT first ill answer katies questions for me hah that she has everyweek!1. Have i gained weight? I would say NO but im not exactly sure. I dont look fatter? I do stuff myself during lunch and dinner but i usually only eat 3 meals a day and ive been getting in the habit of doing a few workout at night when we come in at 9:30 but i ususally only do that for 10 minuteas. Its better than nothing though! So i would say no i havent gained weight. but that might be false.2. Am i considered on of the "cool guys now that ive been here a while? I would say yes and no haha. there is definitely a social "ladder" if you will, where the guys who have been here the longest seem like they are sooo good at spanish and know soo much about the book of mormon and stuff when really they only have like 2 weeks ahead of you hah. But Since we just got to our half way point this past sunday, we kind of feel "big", kind of senior to the younger guys and you get treated that way too with all the new missionaries struggling to learn spanish and get the hang of things. We've been around the block now ya know! I defeinitly have stretched and made a bunch of good friends in the zone. There are some really cool guys and my zone leader is actually one of my good friends from BYu ha!3. Do i get to help with the new missionaries on wednesday when they come in? Not yet i havent. I really want to do it so bad but i think they assign you a "host" when it's your last week in the mTC. So i wont go until the week befopre the 24th or the 23rd (im leaving one of those days). But what's cool is that on the 11th nate is coming in, and on the 18th mike kinney is coming in so HOPEFULLY i will get to host on of them and be there host missionary for the day. That would be soo awesome ( im gonna try and pull some strings). 4. What are you lookikng forward to most for when you leave the mtc? Definietyl teaching real people. I'm always talking about how much the gospel can change peoples life, and i havent even taught a "real" investigator yet other than on the phone. I really am so excited to witness the lord's work, change people, their thoughts and feelings toward god and their family, or seeing people be forgiven through the atonement, that is what i am anxious for! I'm getting a little tired of teaching "fake" investigators. It is fun, don't get me wrong and i learn a ton through each experience but i feel like i can only learn or grow so much in a simularted environment.5. Hardest thing about being a missionary? My job never stops! ahh i get so tired sometimes and i just want to close my eyes. I seriously think at any point during the day, if i closed my eyes for 30 seconds, i could fall asleep! Sometimes prayers are heard and ill start like dreaming in the middle of my prayer ha! But, the work is obviously very rewarding and its really fun when i can SEE my own growth. Other than that, it's just difficult to be focused and working ALL THE TIME. I'm just tired thats all ha!6. Best thing about being amissionary? I think the best thing is really trying NOT to think about ME. I like it where our whole work is devoted to someone else, whether that be the lord, or our investigators, we are always working to bwetter others, but in return we ourselves learn SO much. I when i have a powerful spiritual experience or when i humble myself and realize all that i'm blessed with becasue of the gospel of jesus christ, that's when i think i have such a blessed responsibility to bring that same joy and happiness to others. It makes so much sense in my head, why would somebody not want what I have with the gospel!? Thanks for the qwuestions katie i like having some direction when i write ha. I gota letter from mom and it soudns like everyone is doing great! I miss being at the cabin with everyone packed like sardines in there haha! tahoe sounds like so much fun! To answer moms uestion, i will be here until the 24th or the 23rd im not sure yet. And yes we have had some awesome devotionals. Just the other day we had a guy come and talk to us, and he brought a bunch of mormon commercials taht just had some catchy phrase at the end. Then he likened all the little catch phrases to missionary work and it was really humbling because it caused all of us to self-evaluate ourselves and just see what we need to do better. It was great. I hope daniel and emeily are doing well. I have been praying a ton for you guys and really hope that the surgery went well (i think it already happened) and i heard emily was not feeling well so i hope she is doing better as well. I miss walking through tillys with you guys haha and you were killing me when you talked about all the shopping we're gonna do mom when i come back and can where "normal" clothes hahaa. I'm already looking forward to it! I heard zach is going to Yutas? That soudns like a blast! I always loved having him around it was so fun when he came to our hosue. And I laughed so hard with the racoon story haha! thats crazy that it died in the garbage can and that dad has to clean it up now! sorry daddy! It's good to hear that everyones thinking about me. I won't say i'm too distracted but i do think about you some times ;) I really feel like i've grown tremendously and i'm still in the mtc. I'm so excited to see and reach my full potential with the help of the lord as i turn and rely on him. Only through him will i be able to work wonders and become who i am meant to be as a missionary. This week had some ups and downs. There are some nights where i will sit and eat quietly (dinner) and just think, i cannot wait to be laying in my bed so that this day can be behind me. There are very few days, that are easy, but there are also some days that are just soo annoying. Occasionally i will get soo annoyed with my district or comps and i just get so frustrated with every little thing that they say! haha i can just picture myself this past week at times being so frustrated and it makes me laugh. I of course don't say a thing because i'm such a wimp and i just let my little frustrations churn inside me hahaha! But really this week was great and we had interviews with our branch presidency for our "midway point" and he wanted me to tell you mom and dad that i really am doing great! Which i feel too, it's not just his words :). So last week, elder walker got some rash on his armpits which turned out to be some sort of virus. SO, we got to break the invisible barriers of the MTC and go into the "real world" of provo! Or in other words, we went across the street to the health clinic because they couldn't treat it here. It was pretty cool going out and getting weird looks from everyone, even though mmoosst of them said hi cause they were probably mormon ha. But it was fun to talk to people and not look like eevveeryone else all the time. it was an awesome feeling to stand out and just feel like we had something the people around us didn't have. It was really cool. We got to do thhaatt ttwwiice last week and both times we talked to a few people about where we're going and stuff and just miissssionary things. it was fun. When we found out about elder walker's virus thing we had a cool experience cause we got to givvee hhim a blessing. Me and elder nelson did it and it was a really powerful, sprituaall experience for all of us. And this week, his rash is doing soo much better and it's basicalllyy gone. Such a cool experience for us to witness the power of the priesthood working in our own lives. AANND by the way, the elder in my district that had bells paulsy is all better now, his face has returned to normal ha! I had a cool experience in the RC too(where we call people). I talked to a lady nnaammed jaqueline tisdale and we spoke for lik 15 minutse! She is a fimr believer in the bible buutt mostly, just loves to read and come clsoer to jesus christ. She doesnt really belong to a church so we got to talking and she already had a book of mormon. She wrote down all the stuff thhaatt ii had told her about and said she would read a few passages that i suggested. She was very open to it aanndd its always so nice to talk to someone thats willing to listen. BUT i called her on monaday and she said shhee ccoouldn't find her book of mormon so i was pretty bummed! ill clalll her again on thursddaayy aand see whats up. We had a cool experience teaching in the TRC as well. We taught a young mom with her little babyy thats like 6 months old. He was way cute and it was fun to have the baby there to make it feel more real. But we gave her the 2nd lesson in spanish which endedd uupp going for like 45 minutes. Our spanish is really improving and i know Heavenly ffather is helping me the more i study and try to speak. I'm getting my verb tensees down and what not and i just ffeeeel a lot more comfortable speaking. Umm i dont have much more time. And mmyy brain is kind of fried so i can't think of other stories right now. I did just get back from the temple tthhoouuggh which was AMAZING! It brought me such a peace and always gives me that reminder that families ccaan be together forever. I miss you all and love you so much! i hope my letters bring a smile to everyyoonnees faces. I love hearing from you all and you prayers and thoughts give me tremendous motivation. I love this work and i know there is no greater blessing than the gospel of jesus christ. He iiss oour savior and through him we can always be together! i love you guys!!!!!elder edwards

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

7-20 letter

hello family! i have missed you this week :) First i wanna answer kati'es questions:1: an 'awakening" i've had while out here on the mission... I would have to say the first thing that comes to mind is how important prayer is in our lives. I have always been pretty good at saying prayers before i go to bed and stuff but when we really think about what we're saying and ask with an actual desire to get help, the power is so real. i've had so many little examples of my prayers being answered, whether its just a little spritual boost that i pray for and then we get an awesome, powerful devotional. or even when we're teaching in the trc and i need the power of the holy ghost when i bear my testimony and stuff. It's just crazy how heavenly father really is listening to everyone of our prayers no matter how wuick and insignificant they may seem at times, I know that our prayers are answered, we just have to realize when we're getting an answer.2: is it annoying when you talk about summer plans, tahoe etc? it is definitely not anoying! I have planned out my day nicely so that when i get home at night, the last hour that i have is for writing in my journal and reading letters and getting ready for bed. Katie was worried that it was distracting me, but in all seriousness, letters from family and friends give me a HUGE boost! It is so great to hear from the boys and mom and dad and friends from home. It always puts a smile on my face when i read what's going on, but then when i wake up, it's back to work. So please don't hesitate on sending letters cause you think they are distracting me :). The hardest part is writing everyone back hahaha3:Last thought i think about before bed? Ummmm i dont know if i really have time hah! I usually get into bed, look at the underside of the top bunk and then roll over and pass out BUT if i do stay up which there are some nights where i just can't seem to fall asleep, then i'll usually think about something i was frustrated with that day ahah and then i tell myself i need to "learn" something from my frustrating experiences. That or i'll just think about the stuff that's going on from the letters. But just last night, i was thinking about a call back i had in the RC, and then i dreamt about me and my comp elder walker teaching someone the first discussion hahah!4:Tree of life showers? HA i laughed at this one but no we dno't. There are like 6 showers and two bathrooms on our floor, but it is still a mad rush to get there after gym and service and things like that. We have a bunch of elders on our floor and we have a threesome for our companionship so we have to book it back so we can all shower and get dressed on time.5: Most favorite thing about vbeing a missionary? there is a lot to love about this work i must say, but one thing that i love, is how i can really focus on other people. i think i'm a pretty good listener and enjoy hearing other peoples issues and stuff, so i kind of feel like a therapist in a way with a prescription that will heal any struggles ha (the RESTORED GOSPEL). So i like studying and reading and spending time, trying to help other people. I find that i'm most happy and focused when i'm thinking of how to better myself, in order to help others, not just for the sake of getting more talented at something (i hope that made sense). it's also cool not having to worry about the drama and stresses of normal life ya know. It's just nice to know that my whole day is planned out and that i know pretty much what i'm gonna be doing, every minute of the day. i don't have to worry about school work or drama and stuff, it feels great to have a goal and focus all the time. I love this work so much and can really see the differene that it is making in me. The first week or two, people kept saying "oh my gosh you sound so great and different like you're growing up and stuff..." but i didn't really see it ha! But now it's like ok, i still am travis edwards, but I just feel like a better person. Like i don't have to focus on me, me, me all the time. It feels great to always be (trying at leaast) thinking of others So that was the questions for this week ha. But i was so happy to hear about Jimmy and his 21! He totally deserved it too cause all my most recent memories of him at tahoe and vacation and stuff, have been good times and then some serious studying ha! But i'm soo happy for you katie and jimmy, i was praying for you guys a ton and i'm so glad that you can finally take a breath and feel relieved!!!! Also that is pretty cool about dad's ward missionary callilng. We just had a lesson two days ago about working with ward leaders and stuff and getting them to find referrals and whatnot. it sounds like a lot of the work can be done by the ward, and that can propel missionary work immensely! So i hope you take the calling seriously cause froma missionary;'s standpouint i've already started thinking about the ward leadership i will have to work with when i get to oregon hah. i liked that little story about peggy meeting my mission president and his wife too. i really am so excited to meet them and get to know them. gotta say thanks to grandma for the letter, i loved it! and i need an address for her, so i can write back, and i need austin white's address if you can get it??? I loved hearing about tahoe and all the stuff that is going on! i miss being with you guys and a part of me wants it to not be summer anymore hah so i don't remember what i'm missing :) thanks to the boys too for writing me, i will write you both back soon as i can! your letters gave me the biggest smile! This week, some cool stuff happened,. I had a great RC experience on thursday where i talked to 3 people for almost 10 minutes each! I talked about how we can spend forever togerther cause this lady, Felicia, had just gotten married. She was like oh my gosh i want that more than anything! so we talked about it for a while and told her i would acall her back friday so she had time to talk to her husband about meeting with the missionaries. So i called, and of course...she didn't pick up! i was soo frustrated and later, i had 3 other people to call back and NONE of them picked up! they all seemned intereested but i guess its hard to tell over the phone. I just thought though, how sad it is that people just ditch these opportunities to be together forever. I think some people think that If they just believe that they are together forevr, then they will be. But it's not like that. That's what makes our church different. We have what is necessary to make that happen but people just don't realize it! ahh it is so frustrating! Happier note though, we had to teacfh lesson 2 (plan of saklvation) on rfiday, and an hour befoer we went to go teach, my teacher hermano hidalgo comes to class and says hey" we need two companionships to teach in SPANISH!" So we volunteered hesitantly haha and tried to do it. It was painfully slow at first when we were just getting to know our investigator, but finally it picked up and we got into the lesson. it was really hard to conjugate all my verbs correctly like past tense and imperfect tense and future tense all lthis stuff. But i got the vocab down decently and often times if you don't know how to say something, you can say it anothe way that you know how. But it was soo cool to have never practyiced in spanish and just say a little prayer "heavenly father please HELPPP!!" haha and he did. We got through it with some definite struggles but taught it nonetheless. What was cool too, was that the investigator turned out to be hermano hidalgo's dad (my teachers dad) and so they talked on sunday, two days after we taught and his dad said, "you know it was cool to see those missionaries (referring to us) teach me and struggle through that lesson beacuse even though they weren't fluent speakers or they didn't know that much spanish, i could feel the power of their testimonies and i knew that what they were teaching was true!" It was toally cool to hear that beacuse it just shows how we don't need to be beautiful eloquent speakers to deliver a message, we just need that power and witness of the holy ghost. It was really cool that we got to hear what he said. other stuff, is this week i started feeling overwhelemd with how much doctrine everyone knows ha but it was awesome cause i started really digging into the scriptures and it became like a novel that i couldn't put down! i read soo much of it in like 3 days, and i just have this new sense of desire to read and learn about this powerful testimony of the things we teach. I know that as i read and grwo in the scriptures, my testimony of the power within, will really be strengthened. I dont have much time, but i just want to tell everyone how much i love them! i can really feel everyone's prayers and i've been surprised at times to see how positive i am being even when things are hard! I;m working on my laziness too haha and really trying to kick it into gear! i just know that this is the most important thing for me to be doing and i just can tell you how excited i am to teach and share this wonderfully important message! i m so glad that weveryone is doing well and i can tell that everyone is having fun and jstu enjoying themselves! last two things, i saw elder puilsipher off this week which was cool. he is on a plane right now to ukraine! haha that's gonna be weird when i leave this place! but until then, i will continue to update you and share with you my experiences! 30 minutes is so hard to describe everything thats happening! ahhhhhh i gotta run my times up! i love you all so much and i'm praying for you! reach out to those that need help! not everyone has this gospel like we do!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Carta de Travis 7-13

Hello everyone! i've missed you guys this week. For some reason I felt (just for a little while) that this MTC experience is getting al ittle repetitve. But i'm still learning a ton and I really am in good spirits. I just want to answer four questions that katie gave to me so: 1. most difficult annoying rule: There are a ton of rules for sure, but i would say the most annoying is probably waking up at the same time as your companion. I mean it totally makes sense to me but, since i'm in a three some, one of our comps likes to wake up at 6:10ish and do workouts and stuff so both me and elder walker have to wake up with him (instead of sleeping an extra 20 mins!) and just kind of shoot the breeze for a while haha.2. have i met other people going to my mission?: Surprisingly NO! i have not met a single person going although in one of our devotional things it was kind of interactive and there was a sister going to eugene oregon that was english speaking so ill probably see her eventually even though i dont even remember what she looks like. It's kind of annoying though i was really hoping to kind of get a crew ya know or at least know whos going out there with me but whatevs.3. Favorite part of the day?: this was a really difficult question ha! I love gym time, cause its a berak from long class hours, lunch, dinner, and so forth hahah. But in all seriousness, my favorite part of the day is when i feel like i'm doing real missionary work. Like when we go to the TRC and teach an "investigator" or something like that. I love my classes too but sometimes they just get really long being in that one little room all the time. i feel like the second i walk in there, my energy is drained to half of what i thought i had ha!4. My shedule?: I wake up at 6:10ish wiht my comps and just kind of lay in bed watching my comp work out haha. Im in that kind of comatose state so i get out of the covers and just sit on my bed for like 10 or 15 mins (otherwise i would fall right back asleep!). Then we get to our classroom by 7 (no shower), and study for 45 mins. Then breakfast, and 8:15 we have class or personal missionary directed time where we can study or work on whatever. then we have gyms in the morning right after breakfast or right before lunch. Lunch is at 12:30. Class from 1:15 to 5:30 (my least favorite part of the day!!!). That block always goes by sooo slooowwww. Dinner at 5:30 then 6:15 to 9 is another class block or mdt, depending on the day and sometimes we'll have devoconal or something after dinner. then at 9 we plan and get an hour from 9:30 to 10:30 to write in joournals, unwind and relax. But 10:15 is quiet time and thats when we say prayers and stuff cause we have to be IN BED at 10:30. They're pretty crazy about that. Thats another annoying rule i dont like. I think that if i'm still praying, we should be able to be up ya know? but they make us have prayers done and everything by 10:30 so sometimes i feel like i gotta cut off early (or just say it in english much faster than i do in spanish). Thats the few questions that i had this week.

But other stuff that happened: we had a sweet class on prayer and the restoration. We learned how as missionaries, we can really improve our prayers and how to get answers to them. there's a scripture in d and c that talks about pondering what you should do, then taking it to the lord and asking him if it be right. That way it shows we took initiative to think about what we're supposed to do and the lord can just give us more direction through a yes or no answer kind of thing (i want to say its in d and c 9?). But that was really cool and then we started talking about the restoration. At this point we had taught it for about 2 weeks so we knew our stuff and could really invite the spirit into our lessons and things. BUT we talked about all that we have because of it, and it made that testimony of the restoration sooo much more powerful. Essentially, the atonement works because of the restoration, families are eternal beacuse of it, and ultimately we can go and live in our father's fpresence at the end of this life for eternity. Literally everything that we have today, direction to our lives, a meaning and purpose, good standards, is because of the restoration. What a blessing it is we have to share that with someone else! It made me really want to actually share it with someone else, but also, it made me really want someone to receive it because i KNOW how much it has changed my life, and it could be the same feeling for someone else. I was talking with someone a long time ago and they said, ah man i'm gonna feel bad for you when you get doors slammed in your face and stuffl like that ha. And i thought, "yeah that would be kind of depressing if that happened all the time". But after this lesson i thoughut, don't feel bad for me, feel bad for them because they just missed out on an opportunity that could literally change the REST of the their life! It made me feel so sad for those that are missing out on this and that choose to reject it time and time again. If only they could feel the power that is in that lesson, they would know just like i do, the truthfulness of the events of joseph smith's life. so yeah the night was great! We went to the TRC on friday and taught somebody. First we had to do door contacting and we talked to a guy (in the trc) for 15 mins in SPANISH! It was kind of slow but we kept talking the whole time and really felt good about it. Then we left that door and went to the next one where we taught the first lesson again. We seriously NAILED IT! It was such a powerful message and we did a really good job of tying the investigators' concerns into the lesson and make it apply to them. We asked a ton of questions and just got her thinking a bunch. We also transitioned really smoothly which was beating us up for a while cause its much harder to do that with 3 people. It felt like i could stop talking mid thought, and one of my comps would pick it right up, we were all listening really well. It was actualyl really funnny because the week before we had a made a bunch of goals to improve on for this week in the TRC and we were totally not thinking about them before we taught but had practiced them all week. So when we reviewed our experience this week, we found that we met all of our goals just by practicing it a ton, but we also didn't think about meeting a bunch of goals (to measure our success), we just focused on the investigator and it was awesome!

We had another cool devocional on sunday night. It was Dallin H. Oaks (an apostle) daughter. And he was there too! She was a violin player and was amazing. The whole time i was wishing that TYler was there to see her beacuse i've never seen anyone in person at least, that was this good. She would talk, and then play a song, then talk, then play. The format of her performance was incredible too. I just loved the way she would bear her testimony about personal things, and then would play a song that would just confirm that testimony and let everyone in the audience feel that power. I'm not kidding i have never felt the spirit so strongly! It was like a wave that just covered me, my eyes started swelling up with tears and i just felt so amazing! she played a bunch of powerful songs too like "be still my soul, i now that my redeemer lives, he is the christ...and a few more". They were so powerful and on one, she told about how her mom had died of cancer and yet, she felt so comforted by the savior through his atonement. It made me think of you and how lucky I am to have you still here. It made me feel so close to you even though i'm way out here. I just have such a strong testimony that families are forever! and that is such a blessing. It made me think of the times that you had, and the feelings that you must've felt going throuhgh chemo and all the drama of your cancer, and it was just a powerful testimony to me that even though i wasn't always there, the savior was, and he knows exactly how all of us feel when we are down, when we are sad. It is such a comforting feeling to know that. Especially as i struggle and learn here at the mtc.

I don't have much time left but i think i got to most of what i wanted to say. i heard a quote this week that some of you have probably heard before but: A missionary is someone who leaves their family for a time, so that others can be with their families for eternity." I loved that quote and it is so true. I love what i'm doing, and it gets hard and tedious sometimes but i know that This is the true gospel. Why would i give up 2 years of my life to the lord, if i didn't know that what i was doing was true! I love you all soo much and miss you a ton. There were a few nights and days where i just wished i could be with you all playing at sand harbor, or rubbing rock beach, or just laughing and playing video games i dont know haha. But i think about you all and have been praying for you. I said a few prayers for jimmy and his DAT so i hope it went well!!!! and i got ellen's letters which are crazy! It makes me want to stay here a little bit longer ;) I hope everyone is doing well, i'd love to hear from tyler and zach and mom and dad, letter are always soo fun to get !!!!! I'm glad boys world is going well with daniel and emily. i gotta go! i love you guys so much and keep praying for me. And pray especially for those that don't have this gospel!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Trav's Spanish is INSANE (Letter July 6)

Ahh every journal entry i write starts out with "today was a day full of ups and downs" ha! Each day has iits positives and negatives, i've just been trying to sort through them all. Ive gained testimony too that sunday falls on the best day of the week. SLowly i get more discouraged or frustrated as the week goes on and on saturday i just get testy and frustrated so easily hahah and then sunday rolls around. It's like the best day of the week cause there's always something to boost my spirits and rejuvenate me for the next week.

Real quick i just wanna say thanks for the emails mom and dad but please please please, use DEAR ELDER. that way i can read them before i start writing to everyone and it won't cut out of my 30 mins. The thoughts were erally nice though and it's great to hear how everyone is doing. I'm glad the boys got some old friends to come hang out with them in anderw and yuta. I love those guys, tha must've been a ton of fun!

This past week we worked really hard on the first discussion. We've been cranking pretty hard on it and it is so draining! It's not even a physical demand it's just all the studying and focusing and spirituality of it that wears me down. Causer every time we teach it, even if we're practicing on other missionaries, we want to make it REAL and invite that spirit that needs to be there when we are teaching real investigators. The reason we worked so hard on it, was because on friday we went to the TRC which is a place where they take someione off the street and have them sign up to be taught by us. We got a member and they are instructed to be pretty lenient with us. so after struggling during the week to really get comfortable teaching that first discussion, we were thrown into the fire to teach this "investigator". It was kind of funny because it's role play, but our lady that we taught (a college student) kept going in and out of character like, she we would ask her how she was doing since the last time we saw her (which was 5 minutes before, but was in the role play "a week ago") and she would be like oh i just texted my friend in the room next door, she's here at the TRC too. And it would kind of catch us off guard and we'd just say no i mean what did have you been up to since we saw you "last week!" (wink wink!) but she didn't really catch on so it was just awkward ha! But eventually we got into teaching and started off slow. We tend to take a little while to get into our discussion but once we did, we started rolling really well and teaching really effectively. It's really hard with three people to have unity and flow into one another's thoughts and questions, but our practice was starting to pay off...untilll, one of my comps covered like 4 points that were supposed to be divided up between all of us ha and me and my other comp elder walker are looking at each other like, uhhhh is he gonna stop hah! but we laugh about it now and it's a learning experience. none of us are perfect and we all made mistakes so i dont want to be the one that points the finger cause it's really hard for all of us.

after that meeting though, we've continued to practice and it feels so comfortable. We feel like we teach with the spirit and we have much better unity even since friday when at the TRC. It has helped to set a lot of goals (something i've always been terrible at). Our first week goals were like:study spanish everyday, read b.o.m, practice 1st discussion. And all of them seriously did nothing for us. We've learned to really focus our goals and not just fill our time here, but utilize it to our needs and what we need to work on as a companionship and individually. So we set much more specific goals and amounts of time to complete them and it has helped us tremendously. We've also learned a ton about who were teaching. It's so important to LISTEN to people, more so than thinking about what you're going to say to them. As you listen to people share things that are unique to them (struggles, desires, goals etc...) you learn to love them and see how you can help them. Teaching the the gospel is sooo much more than just teaching! It is applying what i know to be true, into someone elses life. It is so much more powerful and you can feel it, when you are teaching someone and you are addressing their concerns with gospel teachings. I know it's kind of vague but it just is soo important to not just teach, but to listen. In Preach my gospel it says: people are like iceberges, you only see the tip sticking out of the water (or how they say they are feeling on the outside), but mozst of the iceberg is actuyally under the water and we have to ask the right questions and get people to trust us in a way that they will reveal more of the ice berg. As they do that, we can help them so much more than if we just cram a lesson down their throat.

On sunday i had a really cool experience. It was fast sunday and we went to sacrament meeting. I was really looking forward to it because i needed a little boost for the next week. A bunch of the missionaries that left yesterday, got up and bore their testimony. It was AMAZING! They all said very similar things since it was in spanish, and i understood it all. But what i took from it is, we don't get our message across by speaking very intellectually or profoundly, but it is the sincerity and the reality of what we are saying that delivers it with such a spiritual punch! WHen these missionaries were bearing their simple testimonies in spanish, i literally got the goosbumps up and down my spine and on my legs and my head and i know it was the holy ghost telling me this. What an awesome experience it was.

Only have a efw moer minutes, but saturaday was sweet cause we got an extended curfew to go watch the fireworks shoot out from the football stadium! it was soo cool just to be kickin it with all these missionaries looking out over utah and seeing these huge firewoeks launch into the sky. I saw elder pulsipher there too which really was something i needed that night. I had been getting homesick a lot more this week and just letting my thoughts get the best of me. I've worked really hard to sing a hymn or recite the first vision in spanish in my head, to get the thoughst out, and it's really helped. But that night specifically it was nice to just talk with someone i knew really well. but yeah the fireworks were aweomse!

we had a cool "large group meeting" is what its called and we learned a lot about finding people. A cool point was that the lord is doing missionary work right now before we even get to where we're going. in alma 13:24 it talks about the angels preparing the hearts of man (and women) ha! But it's our job to go and find these people that are being prepared. never let one go by because they may never have another opportunity.

Just to answer some more questions that katie gave me, my companions are going to carlsbad california and somehwere in argentina (idk how to spell it). No one in our district is going to the same place ha! I love learning here in the mtc and i've learned a lot about how to use the holy ghost in our lives. We don't always get a miracle moment where something mniraculous happens and we feel the holy ghost, but he is with us always unless we offend him in some way. We don't need to do something incredible, to get him back, we just need to stop doing whatever offends that soft spirit.

Yo se que la iglesia de jesu cristo is la unica iglesia verdadera en la tierra. Yo se que nuestros familias son eternas. Testifico que dios nos conoce personalmente y que El nos conoce mejor que nos conocemos y que la iglesia fue restaurado por Jose Smith. Yo se que jesu cristo vive y nos ama, y que la expiacion se realizo.

i dont have mroe time but i love you guys so much! i can feel your prayers and im really starting to feel better here. I get homesick of course but i feel greart