I cannot tell you how great it is to be here in the MTC! I hope you're not missing me too much, because I am can assure you that I am being well taken care of. The Lord certainly does take care of his missionaries.
Anyways, it has been great since the second I stepped onto the curb from Haley's moving car just to hug Riley haha. Riley was my host, and what a great host he was! When he dropped me off in my classroom he pulled out my binder and looked at my schedule telling me everything about what I'm going to be doing. The other elder's in my district were surprised, as their hosts just dropped them off at the room. My brother definitely spoiled me. Also, I met my companion for the next 9 weeks as well! His name is Elder Clark and he is a solid guy. I even knew the second he walked into the room, he was going to be my companion, and he said the same thing. We get along so well! Riley set me up with the bottom bunk of our bed when we got into my room, but I ended up giving it to Elder Clark because he has a broken wrist and it would be difficult for him to get up there.
I love my companion so much. He is such an awesome influence when we are together (Which is 24/7 btw) and he's always making me laugh. In fact, just the other day he said the greatest thing to another Elder in our zone. I don't think he knew how much it meant to me. But Elder Clark and I have made rules for ourselves and set standards to follow EVERY rule and guideline in the missionary handbook as well as anything else our Branch President or teachers tell us. Oh, and btw our Branch President said he recognized me when I first met him, but he wasn't sure why. Turns our while I was introducing myself explaining what I did after high school it hit him. I mentioned I worked as a manager at a battery store, and he knew why he recognized me! Turns out he is really good friends with the Schaumanns' and he had come to the store before, but my hair was a lot longer back then when he saw me. haha Thank you for the haircut Haley! Really!
So one of the rules here is to be with your companion essentially 24/7, within sight and sound. But alot of missionaries in the Cafeteria like to get their foods at seperate counters and meet at the table. Elder Clark and I instantly knew we were going to be together no matter what. No exceptions. So whenever one of us would want to go back for seconds or anything, the other would accompany him. So he got up to get a second entree and I went with him, getting strange looks from another elder in our zone. When we returned, the Elder asked, "Did you just go with him to get his food?" To which I replied yes, and he then stated that we really didn't have to do that. What just filled my heart with appreciation was when Elder Clark then kindly 'snapped'(I can't think of any other word, it wasn't that mean though) back at him, "We want to." It was such a warming feeling to know that I had been blessed with such a worthy companion. God really knows us, and he knows our needs.
One thing I have to mention too, since my clock is running down every second, is that everyone must see the Joseph Smith movie. You must! There are so many things we have been learning these last few days and I can't tell you how great it is to know. Elder Clark and I study together every second we can. We're already learning Spanish, and we're expected to teach the first discussion IN SPANISH next week. It's crazy! But I can already feel that our district has been well blessed with the gift of tongues. It is coming to me so easily, everyone always asks me to read. It's crazy how familiar it seems. I had some free time and was reading the Introduction to the Book of Mormon, and almost never had to look at the English version, I was surprising myself at how easily the translations of words came to me. And I'm using this blessing to help Elder Clarkm who seems to be having a harder time with the language, although he is trying very hard! We even went and bought Missionary Handbooks in spanish to read with eachother the other day. We are supposed to read 5 minutes a day, so we thought why not in Spanish? Elder Clark and I have made another goal to start speaking only Spanish next week, and when the rest of my district heard, they wanted in too. Although, it might be a pretty quiet week coming up =D
I have been lucky enough to see Riley almost once a day since I've been here! I'll see him in the hallway and shout "Mi hermano!" and he'll cut through all the Elders to give me a hug! The MTC is such a great place to be, I couldn't imagine a better place before I leave to preach this beautiful gospel to the people of Mexico for two years!
This church is so true. The Book of Mormon is truly another testament of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, who translated the Book of Mormon through the gift of the Holy Ghost. Our president Thomas S. Monson is our prophet, seer, and revelator today. The spirit is something we should all strive to have with us constantly throughout every minute of every day.
I love the MTC so much, I don't ever want to come back home! (Not that I do not love my home) You should all come here to the MTC! Haha
I love you all so much, and hope you are all doing so well. I love all my family, friends and church leaders who have prepared me for these days. You are all the ones who have shaped me into the missionary I am today. And I can't tell you how grateful I am, and how in debt I am to all of you. I love you all SO much, and miss you as well. I pray for you all every night. you can all be missionaries too.
Love you all!