Hola Familia! Primero, voy a engordarme. Yo tuve dos cenas manana! Yo he comido la mejor comida aqui. Los miembros son my sympatico y tenemos mucho comer. Yo necesito no almorazar mas. Yo tuve sopes y carne asada y mucho bueno alimento. tambien, yo he contactado muchas personas esta semana! Yo tuve mucho miedo antes mi primera vez pero no mucho ahora. yo quiero escribir en ingles ahora.
I am now writing to you from the beautiful land of Los Angeles! Oh man. The weather is just as nice as you think it is. It's so perfect. It's a beautiful place, palm trees swaying, the sun is always shining, theres no white people, it's great. There are seriously no people with the same skin color as me. Except Elder Watkins. And that's a little unusual. And I'm very glad I'm on the Lord's errand, or I might be scared to live here.
So, I dont want to talk any more about the MTC. so I'll just suffice and say that I spent the days before I left alternating between being super excited to go and terrified. We spent all day tuesday packing, and we got lucky enough to have a power outage in our building the whole day, which really spiced up our packing experience. And the only thing I really want to say is that tuesday night, Elder Ballard came and spoke to us! It was so awesome. It really got us all pumped to go. I was feeling pretty nervous, but after his talk I mostly just felt excited. It was really cool when he came in, because when there are apostles coming, you can tell. Somehow everybody knows. But another Elder showed me a verse in 1st Nephi that said "behold, the twelve apostles of the Lamb" And about when he showed me that, Elder Ballard walked in. and it was incredible. The atmosphere completely changed. He brought such an incredible Spirit with him, we were singing, and I just got all choked up right when he came in. And I know that he is an apostle. I felt it like I've really never felt it before. And it made me super excited for general conference next month. We are so incredibly lucky to have living apostles and prophets speaking to us today, I've been rereading the Ensign from last conference, and I've been regretting that I didn't pay more attention to some talks. Because I've found some stuff that might have helped me with some things if I'd been looking for it. I'm really excited for this conference, because I know that it will be exactly what Heavenly Father wants us to know to help us in our lives right now.
Anyway, we went to the airport wednesday morning at 5 in the morning. And I woke up at 4. I think now i'm almost recovered from that. On the plus side, I've been sleeping really well. And I got to talk to you all at the airport! That was so good to hear from you all. Except saying goodbye to Mops made me cry in the airport. That was unkind. Our flight was very uneventful, just with 19 super excited but very sleepy missionaries. We met President Baker in the airport, and we went to the mission office! I really like President Baker already. I'm excited to get to learn from him. He's a funny guy, but he takes this work seriously and that's great. Speaking of taking the work seriously, I will only get mail once a week. I get mail every friday, and I open it mondays. So if anybody was planning on sending me food (bread, cookies, brownies....not saying you have to, just if you want to....) mark it as perishable. If it's marked as perishable I can open it friday to get the food so it doesn't go bad. but otherwise, I only open mail on mondays. Also, the majority of the work here for me will be done in short sleeve shirts I think. So i'd love to get a few more short sleeve shirts. I can buy them if that's easier I guess, or if you could send them that'd be great. (neck 15.5, tailored fit). I haven't actually worked too much in my area, but what I have done has been great. We have had tons of meetings and trainings so far, especially cause Elder Watkins is the district leader. So I've spent more time in meetings than I thought possible. Also, they're doing something new for trainings, and it mostly involves another hour of companionship study. So we are usually studying til about 1 every day. It's tough, but we promised President Baker we'd do it faithfully. And we have. And I think the blessings are coming. The time we have had to work as been really successful actually. My first tracting, my first knock on the door, was like perfect. I was expecting to get rejected, but she seemed super interested. And not only that, but she has family in Utah that are mormon, and she's already trying to give up coffee. That was cool. And yesterday, we were walking to an appointment, and we saw a lady watering her lawn. So we decided to go contact her. And me being me, I went up and forgot that people here speak spanish. I'm just jabbering on in english, she's very confused, but luckily Elder Watkins was there to remind me that people speak spanish. But she said she and her daughter need to go to church, and she said she'd like to go to church with us sunday. That was really cool. We were definitely guided there. But the coolest one happened last night. We were just walking out of our second dinner, and we set a goal to contact 10 people a day. So we start talking to people, and we walk down a street and this lady asks us to come over and talk to her. So we do, and she wanted to know what we did. So we told her, and gave her a card, and started talking, and she seems very interested. She invited us to come back later this week, and teach her and her daughters. I have a very good feeling about her. The Holy Ghost is definitely working with her. She said later, we talked to her for a few minutes, she said she didn't know why she talked to us. She just felt like she should. And she opened up a lot, I really think she's ready to hear from us. I'm really excited to start teaching her. That experience, and others, is really helping me get excited about what i'm doing. I'm starting to realize how much the gospel can do for people. Everyone needs it, even if they don't realize it. But it answers the questions we can't answer, it brings hope where we can't have any without it, and without it I can't even imagine how empty I would feel. I have a purpose in my life because I know my Heavenly Father has a plan for me, and that I can return to him through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I don't know what I would do without that knowledge.
Anyway, I'm starting to run out of time. But I sure love you all. And i'm doing great here. Elder Watkins is awesome. I think he's just perfect for me. Except I keep calling him Elder Watson. (elementary, my dear elder watson). Hopefully I'll get better at that. But I'm going to try and and take pictures of my place today, and send my memory card later today. I just realized, I forgot to tell you where I am! My area is Jefferson Park right now. It's a great area, I love it. It's filled with mostly people from El Salvador and guatamela. I can't really understand people that well. But I'm getting there. They all talk so fast! When I can understand what they're saying, I can reply pretty good. Luckily Elder Watson understand much better than me. I've actually been surprised at how well I've been able to understand and speak here, and I've had lots of people tell me my spanish is really good for a greenie (verdecito). So that's nice. My area is pretty cool, I've already taught my first gang members and drug dealers. That's super weird. I actually spent my first night in lennox, which is down in Compton. That was fun. It's not that unusual to hear sirens and stuff at night, and there's helicopters that patrol at night. And we were eating dinner with a family in the ward, and they said about a month ago, they woke up to the SWAT team on their roof, shooting out the lights on the apartment complex across the street for a drug bust. It's an interesting part of the vineyard, that's for sure! But don't worry about me. I'll be fine. I am about the Lord's business, so He will be about mine too. I love you all, it was so great to read your letters this week, and I can't wait to write you again next pday! I love you guys so much, and i'm so grateful that I will get to live forever with all of you! The church is true, and I know that. Good luck with your weeks! don't forget to read your scriptures and pray and go to church and everything, it really is in the small things that we get the greatest blessings. I love you!
Borsh- how are you buddy? I can't believe you're getting straight A's. What the heck. But i'm so proud buddy. That's awesome. I'm glad you're reading Lord of the Flies. I always hated that book. Now we can hate it together! Say to Kola and Lily for me, and keep up the good work with school!
B- Brent, just imagine, all the sophomores you're dating were the girls I hung out with last year. That's super weird. I can't believe you're translating for conference too. That's awesome. You need to tell me all about that.
Amy- that's an awesome story about the POW. I can't even imagine that. 7 years?! thats so crazy. Don't ever let Cary leave the country ok? That's not ok. Tell Wilson I say hi, and I wish him good luck with everything. I hope pilot training gets better, just take it day by day. That's one of my favorite talks ever by Elder Kristofferson, he says, "don't look forward to the pain" Just live day by day, and you'll get through everything.
KT- Mickey Bars for everyone! I'm so jealous of Disneyland. I'm glad you and Lola are doing great, and I can't wait to see more pictures!
I'm all out of time, but I'll write you guys next week!