Hola everyone! I have survived an entire week! That might not sound like an accomplishment, but I have definitely had plenty of things that were more than a little difficult. I have been sick to my stomach for the past couple of days. Although I was sick, I still played Futbol though. Playing Futbol is great here, we have a turf field with nets around it, so its nice. The group of Latinos that came in with us isn´t crazy good, although I´ve been told that the one before them was amazing. We can´t play basketball yet because they are repainting the courts or something. My companion, Elder Rasmussen is from Manti and he is a great companion. The CCM (MTC) is way smaller than I thought it would be. There are only 3 main buildings and the Futbol field is literally about a third of the whole place.
We are currently teaching Sonya (Who is actually our teacher, Hermana Riviera) in the little casitas here at the CCM. We taught our third lesson on Monday, but Elder Rasmussen lost his voice, so he gave the opening prayer the best he could and I taught the lesson. The lessons are going well and we are able to do it all in Spanish. I get surprised every time that my Spanish is actually decent when I am teaching the lesson. After our first lesson, I was trying to recount my experience to the district and I found that I couldn´t remember most of the words that I had used without a second thought during the lesson. I just want you to all know that el don de lenguas (the gift of tongues) is real, and we can be blessed with it if we work hard to attain it.
One cool thing that happened this week is that we had an earthquake. I don´t know how long it was, but it was crazy! Everyone in my district just started yelling ¨This is so cool!¨ while all of the Latinos in the building booked it out of there. They had been trained to get out of the house during an earthquake because many of their houses are unstable, while the CCM is made to withstand them.
On last Wednesday night, I was called as District Leader. I have taken the responsibility very seriously and I have been working hard and praying for the lord to bless my district and to qualify me for my calling. In my district, everyone is going to be a good missionary, but we have such a hard time staying on task, and we also have a major maturity problem. Several of the elders just aren´t very mature in their conduct. Yesterday I commented to Elder Rasmussen that I had always looked at missionaries and thought that they were all so mature and professional. One of the Hermanas, Hermana Hardcastle, heard me and gave me the most intense look ever and said “It takes more than being set apart to be a missionary” or at least something along those lines. I immediately looked up the scripture in Second Nephi that says “arise from the dust and be men” and I crossed out “men” and wrote in “missionaries”. It just hit me so hard when she said that, it felt like it reached into my very soul. It was a powerful spiritual moment for me and I will grow from it a lot. Every night I pray for everyone in my district by name and I hope to be the kind of missionary that they can strive to be. I want to be an example of someone that has risen from the dust and become a missionary.
I´m sure that everyone at home is fine, it´s only been a week, but just know that I love all of you and I appreciate all of the notes and words of encouragement that I have found all throughout my luggage. I still don´t think I have found everything. I just want you to know that they are great. By the way Kinslee, everyone saw your little folding note thing and thought it was awesome. When I get home, you are going to teach me how to do that.
I am going to add a few pictures to illustrate how terribly cold the winters here are. Just for future refrence, the internet is slow, so I will send my emails as well as pictures in word documents. I have been told that that is the best way to ensure the email doesn´t crash.