Friday, December 25, 2015

Week 5 Email (MTC) Sent: December 19, 2016

Ethan's Week 5 Email:

Well this week was a roller coaster. I got sick on Friday and I feel terrible. We taught our last lesson with our MTC investigator has he won't be here next week.

Elder Zamora and I were made Zone Leaders last Sunday and will be for the rest of our time here at the MTC. We received 2 new Districts this week and had the opportunity to show them around. 

I'm feeling the Spirit and growing a ton, but this week was really hard on me. I love Christmas and not being able to spend it with my family is SO hard. I am trying to stay positive and remember why I am doing this, but it's not easy in the MTC. All of us have heard that the new Star Wars is out, and one Elder got the run down on the whole movie from his parents and it sounds really cool. 

Anyways, sorry for being a little down. I'm doing the best I can to rely on the Lord. My spanish is coming along really well. We are almost done with all the classes and we've learned almost everything we can about the basics. I still have a long way to go, but I know I will be fine.

I got news today that my visa is still being worked on so I will be serving in the California Riverside mission. I'm a little frustrated with it all, but I know that I'm going where I can do the most good. 

Not a lot to write about this week, maybe next week will be better. Send prayers, I could use them. I love you all. Thanks for all the support.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Week 4 Email (MTC) Sent: December 12, 2015

Week 4 Email

This week was definitely the hardest so far. Elder Zamora and I struggled a lot while teaching and its definitely hard to teach to the investigators needs when you are still figuring out the language.
I can practically say anything I want in Spanish, but I still struggle. I'm at the point where I can respond, but I have to translate the words as I go along and conjugate the words right. Our teacher started a game with us called "Los Nativos" and the goal is to the speak as much Spanish as possible. You have to speak more Spanish than "the natives" and the teacher assigns the natives, but we don't know who it is. So it's one big game of who can say the most things in Spanish and I spoke Spanish all day yesterday. 

One thing that I am SO grateful for is music. Not only the Hymns, but the ability I have to sing. It really has been a comforting tool this week. As Christmas comes up, I miss being able to hear the holiday songs, but this week I was able to hum and or sing a few holiday favorites and some disney songs (Tarzan). Music truly can invite the Spirit if you allow it to. I am so grateful for the gift I have to sing, it makes these long days of studying bearable. 

Elder Zamora received some water and Nerf guns in a package from home, so guess what happened every night this week? We all end up having a nerf/water gun war before bed. We have to have some detox time every night otherwise we all go insane. 

I cannot believe that I am a month into my mission already. It's going by so fast, but at the same time I want to leave and get to the DR so I can really start serving. 

Another note, I do eat 3 meals a day, but I haven't gained any weight here. Which is awesome. 

and what?? A BYU vs UTAH  LAS VEGAS BOWL? You all will have to tell me what happens.

I was released as District Leader just because they want to give other Elders an opportunity to serve. It was honestly hard for me, because I am a natural leader and I am the oldest in my District and I like serving them. 

All in all, I am doing well. I have learned so much and I am happy to be serving the Lord. I miss home sometimes, but I know that all of you are being blessed while I'm away and that the harder I work, the more lives I will bless, including my own. I love each of you so much! Thank you all for taking the time to send me emails and Dear Elders, I love reading them! Keep doing so! If any of you were planning on sending stuff for Christmas, do it earlier rather than later. Cause the mail place is already getting swamped. I don't need anything as of now, but I will tell you if I do. 

Yo se que el Evangelio es verdad. Para siempre. Yo se que Jesucristo murio por nosotros. El nos ama mucho. Tengo un testimonio de la Expiacion y la fuerza la me da. Estoy orando por ustedes cada dia! 

(some of my testimony in Spanish, and some words don't have accents cause well, I don't know how to do them) I LOVE ALL OF YOU! HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND I WILL TALK TO YOU NEXT SATURDAY!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Week 3 Email (MTC) sent: December 5, 2015

All is well here! This week had a lot of growth in it. We taught several lessons and I am getting really good at speaking Spanish. I study Spanish a ton throughout the day and it's becoming easier for me to speak it. Our teachers only speak in Spanish and I can understand everything they are saying and I am basically the district's translator... I still have a lot to learn but I am happy with what I know so far! 

This week had it's challenges. Elder Zamora and I taught lessons, but we couldn't figure out what they NEEDED. I try to ask inspired questions to get them talking, but asking inspired question is something that I am struggling with. I prayed so hard to find an answer and to learn to ask the right questions at the right time. It's not easy, but we are slowly figuring it out. 

This week one of our teachers taught us to pray, and not just a normal prayer, but to really COMMUNICATE with our Heavenly Father. Prayer is a 2-WAY conversion. We each had the chance to really open up to our Heavenly Father and to be specific about EVERYTHING. My whole view on prayer changed and my prayers are becoming more powerful and more of a conversation with Heavenly Father and not just a phone call to "order" stuff. 

Our other teacher taught us about what she learned this last week about the Atonement, and it really opened my eyes to what Christ did for us. I have a strong testimony of the Atonement, but this just expanded it. Christ suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, and He literally saw each of our lives and He knows EXACTLY what we are going through. My teacher told us that she learned that Heavenly Father told Christ that He would "prolong his days" and this isn't necessarily Doctrine, but it is cool to think about, but Heavenly Father being omnipotent, Christ could have been in the Garden of Gethsemane for billions of years, living our lives individually in order to know exactly what we are going through and what we struggle with. Once he came out of the Garden, it was only an hour. It just put a little more perspective into what Christ did for us and how He truly knows what we are going through and how much He loves us!

I love this Gospel and the opportunity I have to serve! I pray for all of you every day and I definitely feel your prayers! I love you all so much! 

and just remember, "Life isn't about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can GET HIT, GET UP, and KEEP MOVING FORWARD"

Here is a picture Ethan sent me: