I asked Steven a few questions this morning, and he gave the answers below, followed by a heart-felt letter. Every week it’s like Christmas for me…I love his gifts of words and cherish every communication with my son, and your friend…My questions:1. Is the bed comfortable? Your room looks so tiny 🙂2. When do you do laundry? Iron?3. What GA’s have come to speak?4. Are you gaining weight?5. Do you prefer this means of communication–your email account?? Or dearelder.com?6. What goodies can I surprise you with?7. How’s the language coming?8. Are you warm enough?9. Need anything at all?10. What’s your favorite part of the MTC experience thus far?1-2) Amazingly, I fit in the beds here. My room is tiny, it’s more like a four person dorm than anything, but we’re never in it except for half an hour in the morning and an hour at night so it’s not terrible. Laundry time is scheduled for Tuesdays at 3:30, dry cleaning when you want it, but it’s six bucks and takes three – seven days, and there’s irons and ironing boards in the corners of the halls we live in.3) So far no GA’s. Just some classy mission department fellows and a member of the seventy whose name I can’t remember. I’m in the MTC choir though so whoever the lucky guy it is that speaks to us at devotional tonight will get to hear our lovely angelic voices.4) I’m not gaining any weight. I never gain weight. I’ve lost two pounds and I eat three to five plates of food every meal.5) I don’t care how people communicate with me. I don’t have enough time to respond to everyone personally via email, though, so if I do get the chance to write you directly you will receive a letter.6) I don’t need any goodies.7) The language is coming great. I’m not fluent, I’m still building my vocabulary, but I almost have the grammar down and we’ve set district goals to spend certain hours of the day speaking only in Spanish.8) Today is the first day I’ve been cold. It’s been really warm up here lately, oddly enough.9) I do actually need somethings. I got in trouble for my shoes because they’re not shiny. If you could, and I know they’re expensive, but if you could, I’d like some brown and black Eccos. Size 45. Everyone here (in my district going to South America) has them and I guess they’re the best there are.10) Best part, the people. Great kids everywhere.
The MTC has honestly been a great experience so far. What started off slow has gradually sped up into a day-to-day scheduled routine that we roll with and lean on the Lord to help us through. Saturday we taught our first lesson with a volunteer investigator and flopped it. Our teachers have been pushing the concept of “teach people, not lessons,” but unfortunately my mentality didn’t completely catch that memo until I failed to implement the strategy. Needless to say, the problem has been resolved, my companion and I are on top of our game, and we’ve been teaching our teacher, Hermano Galan (fun, very short little guy from Ecuador), as a continuing investigator. Every teacher has a role they play that is based off someone they baptized on their missions. Last night we taught him and spent a good 15-20 minutes conversing with him in solid Spanish. It’s a confidence builder to say the least.
Sundays here are the best. This Sunday past, we had the opportunity to watch the Joseph Smith movie. Never have I been able to watch that movie and avoid tears. This time was no exception. That man whom I admire so much experienced so much more than I ever will, and his faith never waivered. I wish to stand as strong as him. I love my Savior and will never deny my testimony that he lives and loves us. One line really penetrated me which Joseph spoke as Emma was peeling the tar from his flesh following his tarring and feathering. He said, “Perhaps I am meant to swim in deep water.” It resonated within me as I realized we live in a time where what we believe is mocked by the world. It takes courage and confidence to stand up to the masses and declare what we know to be true. It is human nature to want to be liked and appreciated by others. We must accept the positions of leadership that we hold as members of the church, for we truly are leaders to the world. Leadership can be a lonely position. Sometimes it is necessary that we be disliked by many and respected by few. I cannot deny what I know to be true. I will share this truth with all that will listen. I may be in deep water, but I have the strength to swim. I will endure. I will trust in the Rock on which I have built my faith. My everlasting God, Jesus Christ. Till we meet again.