I´m doing really well. There are a lot of ups and downs, but the ups are totally worth going through the downs. The weather here is starting to change. It´s getting a little chilly, but I don´t think I need a coat yet.
Spanish is coming along. As they say here: Poco a poco. (Little by little).
I´m getting an idea that I´m going to be assigned to an area around the temple. Two of my teachers think that I´m going to be assigned to their ward. I´ll be able to live in the glory days of the MTC all transfer. ;)
I really look forward to your emails every week! I miss you guys. Luckily, not too much, but just enough to be grateful for what an awesome family I have. I'm happy everything is going well! I did get your letter and I have one to send you, but the only place where I can buy stamps is a tobacco store... So that'll have to wait. Also, I loved Elder Holland's talk as well. Also, send me as many letters as you can, I love getting them!!! Also, I was reminiscing on how much time I had left as well. I realized in 8 days I'll have 17 months left. Sometimes if feels like things are going at a snail's pace, but now I don't feel like I have any time left.
This week was pretty awesome. I was able to go to Plaza Del Sol that day. It felt like for the first time, I was actually in Spain, not some building! It was a fun experience. On Saturday we went to Retiro Park again to proselyte. I had been praying all week, and I even fasted, so that I would be able to find people who were prepared to hear the Gospel. I asked in prayer that the Lord provide at least one person for me to give a Book of Mormon to and share my testimony with, and that I would have the confidence to go about finding these people who were prepared. I was paired up with a sister from Ukraine (last week a ton of native Russian speakers came to the MTC). She was nervous, but she felt comfortable after I said I was praying for her and this experience all week. The first person I talked to on the train to the park allowed me to bear my testimony and give him a Book of Mormon. He seemed pleasantly surprised when I told him it was a gift. There was another man in the park who stopped to talk to us. He had never heard of the church, but for some reason he stopped to talk. I started to realize that the Lord has truly prepared people who genuinely wanted to hear about the Gospel. I told him about the restoration of the Church (I made a promise to memorize the first vision, so I could use it), and he seemed interested in what we had to say. He happily accepted the Book of Mormon and had asked for the number of the Church. I may never see that to fruition, but I knew the Lord has been watching out for me. I'm trying a similar thing this week. This week it's my goal to find one person who is prepared to hear the Gospel, and would agree to meet with the missionaries. (We have little referral cards for people looking for the missionaries). I would appreciate any prayers sent my way. I know when we prepare and ask in prayer for help, thte Lord will provide a way for our plans.
Now for funny stories! As background information, all my teacher are native Spaniards. This makes for some funny language barriers between all of us. One of my teachers was playing an investigator who is a stockbroker, with family problems. The first lesson was INSANE. The teacher (not the "investigator") was waiting for a friend to come and take his car keys, but in the middle of our lesson his friends came to get the keys. My teacher tried his hardest to stay in character, and pretended his friends were the investigator's wife and daughter. My companion and I thought thtat this was weird and we asked him about it when he came down. He said that they were his girl friends as in just the teacher's friends. We thought he said it was the investigator's girlfriend and the investigator was trying to pass them off as his wife and family! I kept thinking: I can't deal with this! I'm teaching an adulterer?! it's only my third week in the MTC. Hermana West and I, and two other sisters, started yelling at poor Hermano about how we can't believe that the investigator is an adulterer! One of the sisters said, "If Jose is an adulterer, so help me, HE WILL FEEL GOD'S LOVE!. Finally, one of our teachers came in and translated for my other teacher. The situation was resolved. That's all!
It´s kind of strange how the Spirit works. We watched a devotional two weeks ago about following the Spirit. Elder Bednar spoke and said that there´s not much use to fretting about whether or not you´re following the Spirit. He said that if you are a "good boy or good girl," keeping the commandments, keeping your covenants, and doing the best you can, the Spirit will guide you. Even though you might not know it.
I actually had an experience like that this week. Hermana West and I were teaching the investigator I talked about last week. We planned on teaching him the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end).
I had come across a scripture in my study a few weeks earlier: The story of when the woman with a blood problem touched the Savior´s coat. I decided to share it with him to drive the point home that through faith on Jesus Christ, we can be cleansed from sin (or anything for that matter). When I shared the part that said, "Daughter, thy faith hath made the whole," I felt the Spirit pound into my chest very suddenly. I have no idea how to describe it other than it felt like someone suddenly gave me a very warm hug. I knew I did something right.
We continued in the lesson, and I noticed that my teacher, who was playing the investigator, wasn’t paying much attention. I asked what the investigator was thinking. He couldn´t stop thinking about the story. We bore our testimony about what the atonement can do for us. The spirit was very strong.
When we got back to our classroom, our teacher gave us feedback. He said that scripture was meant for him. Our teacher was grateful that we shared it. I had originally planned that scripture for another investigator a few weeks ago, but I didn´t know when I was using it, that it would help a real person. He loved the story because even though there were tons of people in the crowd touching the Savior, he stopped for this one woman. He knows all of us. As long as we are willing to show faith and come to him, he will heal us.
One more story from this week:
We went to the temple today. A bunch of new, native Spanish speaking missionaries showed up, and I got caught up in their temple group, so I got to do the session in Spanish. This was my 20th session, and it was different than any other session I´ve been to.
I can´t say much, but I felt the spirit so strongly. I felt a strong impression about how our loving Heavenly Father has a plan for us. I felt so strongly that I have a place in this plan.