Hola Todos mis amigos!
Holy cow a lot has happened in the past week!
Our turkey day in the MTC was WAY bomb because elder Holland came and gave basically a 2 hour doctrinal discourse it was sweet! All the missionaries had written down questions the week before, and he did a sort of Q&A session with those, and it was cool, because during it, I got a lot of personal questions answered. After that we ate tons of food and then did a service project where we put together med-kits for... oh shoot I can't remember who! I think it was just as a general service for the church. After that, we said our goodbyes in our district on sunday night, which was kind of sad, knowing i'm not going to be seeing any of them for the next two years, but it's okay, we're all going to be having a blast, right?
We had a really spiritual experience sunday when we had a kind of final testimony meeting where we shared our favorite scripture, then bore testimony. For mine, I chose 1st John 3:1-3 which says this : "1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." The reason I chose this scripture is because it describes exactly what we are, and what we will become after this life: like him. God loves us so much, and we literally are his children. This alone is so beautiful to me, so empowering, so simply wonderful. Ah, I am so excited to be able to share this message here in my mission!
Oh, I need to finish my story here haha sorry about that... After we said our goodbyes, we headed out of the MTC for the first time in nine weeks at like five in the morning. Ah it totally trucked me getting up that early, but such is life right? It almost seemed like we were breaking the rules as we drove away from the MTC just because we've been there for so long... inside those walls... not able to go anywhere haha. Don't get me wrong, in all honesty, the MTC was seriously such a great experience, I loved it, but I am so excited to start legitimately preaching the gospel. Anyways, so we traveled to the airport and got there at around seven. Then I called home and got to talk to the family for the first time in what seems like... oh... I dont know, a week. haha. it really does kind of seem like that though, I dont know why. Time seems to fly while you're on the mish. Well, as far as these last two months are concerned at least. In some ways, I feel like I haven't been home in forever, but in others, I feel like I just left a little while ago.
Anyways, I digress. Back to the story. So it turns out that uncle Randy happened to be on the same flight as I was going up to Portland, so that was funny talking to him in the airport for a while before we got on the plane and such. After a short hour and a half flight, we arrived in PDX, and then I met my mission pres. when we landed. He is such a cool guy! I totally love him already, he seems awesome. Then i met my companion, whose name is Elder Smithee. He is a peruvian who actually went to Lehi high school and played football for them haha. Even though he went to the most pitiful football-playing high school ever, he is a pretty awesome guy. I am seriously so stoked to have him as a trainer because he is so spiritual... it's kind of weird though... He reminds me almost exactly of Kyle Linehan! He talks just like him and even looks a little like him! Hopefully you'll be getting a picture of us soon, but yeah it's pretty funny, he's way cool. Speaking of Kyle, is there any way I could get his address? i've gotta write that punk and get him thrown in the font haha.
Oh something interesting that i just found out, I'm not going to be using my bike as a spanish elder... like ever. So, i might be sending that bike back sometime haha. for now, it's just chilling in the apartment, but yeah. Sad huh? It's kind of a good thing though... our area that elder Smithee and i are assigned to is HUGE! It covers half of Salem and all of Kaezer! So having a car is kind of nice for getting to appointments... I also found out that we have four baptisms lined up in about three or four weeks which is awesome! I am so excited!
So I realize now that i'm out here, that my spanish totally and completely fuhreaking blows haha. I thought I was learning a lot about spanish, but I have come to the conclusion that you don't learn like anything in the MTC about the language, I swear. I can read spanish, but holy crap trying to understand what people are saying/speak to them is like the most impossible thing ever it seems like haha. Oh well, I'm a greenie and i know it, so I'll just keep studying and speaking even if i sound like an idiot haha.
Oh man the first night we were here though, it was ridiculous. I had lunch at one, dinner at four, then another dinner at six and they were all MASSIVE! I seriously thought i was gonna hurl cause they crammed so much food into me haha. Especially the last meal we had, because it was with a mexican family who made this killer carne asada and served it up with rice and beans.... I just couldn't say no when they offered more, so two and a half plates later, I was feeling pretty full... then they told me there was mexican bread and mexican hot chocolate that I just HAD to have, so i ended up eating it. It was soooo good but man it killed me haha. After that, we headed home, did some quick planning, and then I konked out in about 3 seconds flat haha. Then I woke up, and came to find out that tuesday is P-day! hooray! haha.
Aside from that, I can't really think of anything else to write except I love you, I can't wait to hear from you again, and I hope everything is going well on the home front.
con todo mi amor,
P.S. Mom, Dad, Katie, Josh, Michelle, even little Max E. Padd, i love you all and miss you all SO MUCH! i'm glad i got to talk to you all on the phone, it was great to hear your voices. Keep doing well, okay?