Monday, September 5, 2011

Siempre dinero en la tienda de bananas

Hola Familia!
Esta Semana fue muy bueno. Elder Holland came! And man, that was exciting. We've been waiting and hoping for an apostle to come the whole time we've been at the MTC. And one finally did! I was singing in the choir, and at first I was a little sad about that, because it meant I was farther away from him. Because the choir can't sit on the floor chairs. But I felt much better about being in the choir after he said that our version of Faith of our Fathers was the best he's ever heard. No big deal. Man. I wish I had a recording of his talk. It was so great. He went half an hour over, and nobody really noticed. We were all totally absorbed, and I know I'm not the only one who was sad when it ended. But man it was good. I wish I could remember everything he said, maybe i'll make a copy of my notes and send it to you. But man you could feel the Spirit so strong. When he walked in, you could really tell a difference. The whole atmosphere of the auditorium changed. It was really interesting. And he looked really grumpy when he walked in, so I was thinking, oh man, we're probably going to get told we're doing something wrong. So I was a little nervous about that. Turns out, the real reason he was sad was because he had gotten a call about 4 hours before, and I don't know what happened but from what we inferred is that a missionary somewhere died right before the talk. But it was a really great talk. He didn't have a teleprompter or anything, just his scriptures and some questions missionaries had asked him. Something that he talked a lot about, and something I am really starting to gain a strong testimony about, is scripture study. I'm really starting to learn how important it is in bringing the spirit into our lives. He read D&C 18:34-36, which says at the end, we can say that we've heard the voice of God because we've felt the power of the spirit of the scriptures. And for some reason, I'd been feeling super stressed that day. I dont know why, I worked really hard and everything but I wasn't feeling very good, and I was having a hard time focusing during his talk. And it was bugging me. A lot. But when he read that scripture, and I turned and read it with him, the Spirit just came. It was amazing. And I've learned so much how important that is. I've had some of my most spiritual moments at the MTC during my own personal scripture study. And I'm starting to learn how to do it right. There really is a difference between studying and reading. And sometimes when I'm studying about a question I have, or a question an investigator has, I can feel the Spirit so strongly, and I can know the Spirit really is teaching me. I see meaning in verses I've read many times but never understand, and sometimes just pages and pages of thoughts and impressions come to me. Elder Holland said that the best way he can think of to invite the Spirit into our lives is scripture study. And I know thats true, because when he started reading from the scriptures, I could truly feel the Spirit. His suggestions for having the Spirit were great, they were scripture study, prayer, and don't lose it. It's so simple, but it truly is what's necessary. I was studying this morning about what it means to give the Lord your heart. Because that's another thing Elder Holland said. The best gift we can give the Savior is our heart. And as far as I found out so far, all the scriptures I read say be obedient, do the small things, and your heart will be turned to the Lord and your heart will be prepared for greater things that he wants to give you. It was so great, I wish I had more time to say all i want to about Elder Holland. He's so inspiring. The last thing he said was in answer to the question, "why does god love us?" And he started talking about his own children. And the Spirit was so strong. I couldn't stop tears from coming when he started talking about that. My favorite thing he said was, when he is looking at our faces, he sees himself as a young missionary. When God is looking at our faces, He sees his children. That was really powerful. We truly are the children of our Heavenly Father, and he gave up everything for us, even his perfect son, Jesus Christ. I wish I could put the Spirit I felt during that into this letter. but it's just not quite possible. But I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say.
Other exciting news from this week. Our teacher said that his bosses say that we're the best district in the MTC. I'm taking it with a grain of salt, but it still feels good. And I know we are pretty dang good. We all speak really good spanish. And actually, we've hardly spoken any english the past 3 days. Monday, I did not speak any english until the last half hour of the day. We all made little signs for under our plaques that say we don't speak english. It's pretty cool. Except I think I killed my spanish brain. But oh well. It'll come back. I also found a new favorite Mormon message. It's from elder wirthlin, and it's called, come what may, and love it. I'd definitely recommend it, it's one of my very favorites. We had a big talk about stress in our fireside on sunday. It was really good. Apparently it's a big problem for missionaries. And the more I learn about it, the more i'm realizing a lot of the problems i've had in life have either been caused by our compounded by stress. And luckily that's something my mission is going to help me with for the rest of my life.
In a less serious vein, this food is killing me. The combination of stress and my stomach and the food is no bueno. Luckily, I'll be in LA in less than two weeks! I couldn't even sleep the other night because I got myself so excited thinking about going to LA. I don't know what they do to the food here. But it's incredible. I've never gone to the bathroom more in my life. And oddly enough, i've never been hairier. The food here is literally putting hair on my chest. Also, Amy is my favorite sibling for the week, because she sent me a candy-gram in a box! Thanks Yam! If any of you happen to want to be my favorite siblings for this next week, I have strange cravings for pizza goldfish, barbecue pringles and beef jerky. Jsut kidding, you guys send me more than enough, and thanks for all the letters and packages, I have a big box full of candy in my room, I just can't eat it all fast enough. You guys are the best. I can't speak spanish or english very well right now. Spanish actually is coming more naturally to me right now. Which is super weird. But I keep messing up in spanish too. I've been having brentisms in spanish. I keep saying Jesusmith and Jose Cristo, instead of Jesucristo and Jose Smith. I can't stop it. I always feel like I have so much more to tell you than I can remember when I'm writing you, and sometimes I have a hard time capturing the Spirit and the feeling I had during some of those experiences. But hopefully you guys will enjoy this letter anyway.
And I will leave it up to you guys as to how much you want to post of this letter. I trust you.
Borsh! I head you joined the frisbee team! that's great. You better practice hard and be better than me when I get back, I can't wait to hear more about that. And I'm super jealous about Lily, I want a puppy right now. I want pictures. Bueno suerte en escuela y en espanol tambien!
oh also, I saw tons of people I know yesterday. I saw Elder Bowerman too, he looks great and it was great to see him.
i love you all! The church is true, have a great week, and I'll let you know all the details about my travel plans next week!

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