Como estan? Espero que ustedes esten bien. Ok typing in Spanish is too hard because I can't make any accent marks and the other keys get thrown off. It sounds like you are all doing good, and I hope that is the case for everybody. Things have been going really good here in the MTC. And of course, it is my last week here so I am really excited, amazed that the time has flown by so fast, and un poco nervioso to start my mission. But I am eager to get there and help people because even though the MTC is great, it is still very sheltered from the world and everyone here is LDS. So it is going to be a change for me to go somewhere where that is not the case.
I do leave this Monday for the airport. I actually got bumped an hour so I will be leaving the MTC at 5pm on Monday, but my flight still doesn't leave until 10pm so I will see if I can call somewhere in between there. I need to go buy a phone card still and figure out how that all works out. But yeah I should be calling home sometime around there for a short amount of time. My Spanish has been progressively improving which is good because I feel like I can communicate, even if in just a basic way, with the people with Guatemala because my teacher is from Guatemala and she said she speaks at the normal pace that she usually does, which isn't too hard to understand. It is only when she is talking to her twin sister here that it gets crazy because they purposefully talk really fast so that we can't understand them. Sometimes they don't understand each otehr haha.
Well I got Mom's letter yesterday, and I would just like to suggest right now that you don't send anymore letters to my MTC mailbox because if it doesn't get there before I leave on Monday, chances are it will just get sent back to whoever sends it, or not. Someone told me that the MTC doesn't forward that kind of stuff to the missionaries if they've left, so yeah. But thanks for the packages and letters. I have written a bunch of letters during my freetime over the past three weeks and I am going to send them out today. So sorry if some of them sound a little outdated haha, it's just that I don't get much time to do that kind of thing and so I used my spare moments to do that. So hopefully they get out to everyone by Monday.
On Tuesday I dropped Elder Vasquez off at the travel office and he is now on his mission in California. I got a new companion for this week, Elder Longoria, because his transfer is next week, so he stayed an extra week here to be there on time for it. So we are companions for this week and it has been very fun and a good learning experience. He is a pretty crazy person, but he knows when he needs to be serious and he is a very outgoing person. Hopefully I will be able to send a picture of him soon. I was going to get one with him today because I got my haircut, but I kind of forgot haha so maybe next week I can if the computers down in Guatemala can handle it. Oh, he is going to the Ventura, California Spanish speaking mission. So both of my companions so far have been going to California which is weird because everyone else in my zone seems to be going foreign, with the exception of a few people. But I know he'll do awesome there.
The devotionals this past week have been really awesome. On Sunday, Richard I. Heaton spoke to us and talked about how the Lord is preparing people out in the world for us to teach. After that, we had our Sunday night film and it was beyond amazing. It was probably the best one I have seen since I have been here and I recommend that you all see it sometime, maybe this week since I am talking about it. It was an MTC devotional given by Elder Bednar some years ago called The Character of Christ, and the principles in this talk given by him are so true and amazing that I believe that anyone that follows the things he teaches in it are going to be changed. I sure am going to do my best to follow the counsel given by him. I know that if the whole world lived those principles, there would be true happiness here and no contention. So just watch it and see what you think (or read it if you can't find a video version). Then on Tuesday, we had a good devotional by Richard Hinckley and his wife on how being exactly obedient and other points of advice for us.
This week for class, we have been working on how to answer questions of the soul using The Book of Mormon. Basically from now on, we aren't going to be teaching the full lesson plans that we have normally been doing. Instead, we have been doing first visit door approaches every time and practicing trying to discern the needs of the investigators/find the questions of their souls and answer them with the scriptures. Honestly, this has gone so much better than trying to find their doubts while teaching. Through asking inspired questions, it opens the door to true conversion and is much more effective. But, it is also difficult for me to do this because I am not very good at asking questions like that. This is something that I have been working on all week, which is to listen very carefully for these questions that get the investigator to meditate and apply the things we teach. But I am sure that with practice and a lot of prayer, I can improve in this area.
This Wednesday was my last week hosting. It is so much fun and it's a little sad that I don't get to introduce the new missionaries to the MTC and show them around. I am glad though that I got the opportunity to do it. The last Elder I hosted actually was originally from Mexico before moving to Utah, so his family spoke in Spanish on the curb when I told the that I am going to Guatemala. I thought that was pretty cool. Yesterday I went to In-field Orientation and I learned so much more from it. I would love to talk about it, but sadly my time is coming to an end. So this week has been really good and full of things to do. I will be packing tomorrow to get my stuff ready and sadly, I am the last one to leave in my district. Everyone else leaves between2-5am while I leave at 5pm. But that is ok. The zone leaders are pretty cool and I will probably just spend the day with them as I get ready to leave. I love you all and can't wait to talk to you again from Guatemala. Adios!