Hola mi familia,
First off, you wouldn't believe how competitive the four square is at this place. It's the nearest thing to tennis at the MTC, but we play like its Wimbledon.
You wouldn't believe the week I've been having. This week reminds me of something Brother Bott said in my mission prep class at BYU. He said, "The mission is equivalent to 50 years of regular life. The highs are higher and the lows are lower." Already, I feel as if I've spent a month in the MTC. It's a little bit of an adjustment because your whole day is entirely planned out for you. Despite the rigid schedule, they encourage you to plan as a zone to plan what you plan as a district to plan what you do as a companionship to plan what you do as a missionary. Needless to say, it leaves little time to do the things you actually plan to do. I joke a little because Elder Louk and I have had no trouble meeting our commitments and goals despite all of the planning.
My Spanish is progressing rapidly, which is very good because I have been placed in an intermediate Spanish district. Our sacrament meeting is entirely in Spanish. Fortunately, Elder Louk and I are working hard and helping each other a lot. Our district has a goal to speak entirely in Spanish by February 1st. I think we can do it. I have already begun to pray in Spanish; I find it to be very difficult, but helpful.
I just got your letters yesterday. It was nice to here from guys. I expected Mom to have a few questions. I'll answer them briefly in the order she asked them. No we aren't full time Spanish yet. I've run into a few people I know, such as Elder Albright and a girl I know from school. My companion is named Elder Louk. He went to BYU-I this fall. He's from Chicago and he's turning 19 in February. We're both working hard to be obedient and grow spiritually. He helps me a lot with my Spanish and I help him to stay on task and focus which is something we both need since we both like to talk a lot. I'm decent at interpreting written texts, but need to relearn how to conjugate. Last night we struggled with por vs. para. No one understood what Hermano Vasques meant.
More about our teachers... We have two teachers, a Hermano Anderson and a Hermano Vasquez. Both served in Guatemala, but Hermano Anderson is from St. Louis and Hermano Vasquez is from Honduras. Learning from a native speaker is very helpful. Both teachers are amazing and can talk a million miles a minute. This helps my interpreting skills a lot. Hermano Vasquez talks the fastest and reminds me of my friend Luis from BYU.
Anyway, I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve in the San Jose Mission. I'm eager to begin teaching a gospel I know to be true and desire all of the help from the Lord he is willing to give me. I'm grateful for the healing power of the atonement and its ability to change lives. I feel blessed to be one of the few people on this Earth teaching the true word of God. I hope that I can serve diligently and be an instrument in God's hands.
P.S. If anyone would like to dearelder me Spanish letter I would appreciate the opportunity to practice writing in Spanish.