Wednesday, September 22, 2010

23 September 2010

Dear Eric (and all),


How is school? Great job on the high math class and wind ensemble! Study math hard so you can know what is going on! When I was in seventh grade, I didn't study much at all and it was so confusing. If I had studied every day though, it would have been so much better. All classes on the top floor?? That's how you know you are getting old right there!

I was just talking about snowboarding with Elder Stewart! I really wanna go buuut it is going to be two more years until I will be able to! Elder Stewart snowboards as well, but Elder Weaver likes to ski, and expressed his negative opinion of snowboarders. Haha but really I want to go so bad.

So today is the first day of spring here! The end of winter that I got to experience was quite warm, most days were fine to be wearing my short sleeve shirts, tho a couple were to cold to have short sleeves in the morning. I can´t believe I have been here for a whole six weeks! The time is flying past unfortunately quickly. It seems like just four days ago I was eating Coldstone in Provo!

The other day, I was just talking with Elder Silva, and all of a sudden he starting singing Dora the Explorer (explorer just feels like an ER verb). Apparently, in Chile, the same show teaches Chilean children how to speak English!

Elder Silva and I had to teach the other Sunday in our districts again! We taught about the Plan of Salvation and.. wait for it... yes you guessed it! We used the Oscarson Plan of Salvation diagram. Only difference was we added a timescale to show what occured antes y despues [before and after]. Oh and we did it in Spanish.

Part of the crazy time distortions means that starting last night, I am in my THIRD companionship! So for review, Elder Weaver and Elder Cruz were my companions at the MTC and of whom you have heard a lot.

They are great. Then we came here to the CCM after three weeks, and my new companion was Elder Silva of Chile. He taught me so much Spanish and most importantly made it so I can understand at least what the words are when native Spanish speakers talk (their vocabulary towers above mine but I am able to pick out the words I dont know-- which is surprisingly difficult). Now, I am companions with Elder Stewart, one of my district mates from my MTC district, who also was in my first district at the CCM! I am super excited to be his companion. We have already taught several practice lesson together, and we seem to teach well together, he is definitely the strength of the lessons.

Also with this change means we get a new room. Our last room had six people in it, Elder Lowe, Elder Hatch, Elder LambraƱo, Elder Leiva, Elder Silva, and I. Quite cramped with something like 100 square feet between all of us. Now we have a bigger room with four people instead of six! Our new room has my companion, Elder Stewart, Elder Weaver, and this Elder Falk character who we are getting to know, who seems great! We have these gigantic closets with I think 32 cubic feet of
pure storage. Alright not soo big but an improvement for sure. The kicker here is that we have our own bathroom! Only two rooms of all those availiable to Elders (we suspect all Sisters apartments are this way) have the shower deal. It is awesome. This morning when all the other Elders were showering in the main bathroom, all the hot water ran out, yet our bathroom was just as warm as ever! We blame our new Zone Leader, Elder Weaver for our good treatment. And the fact that we
four are probably the best, most humble missionaries who have ever been through the CCM.

So now that we are "avanzados" (spanish for advanced), we are the old fogeys around here. Thirty three of us now have three weeks under our belt, and 152 new missionaries will be arriving over the next two days. They are more or less half and half Norte Americanos and Latinos. Part of the avanzados title means we can do the translating from Spanish to English in the meetings we have for all the new Norte Americanos. I could do a fairly good job at this point.

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit us last night! I didnt even wake up... of course... but most people did with the shaking cabinents and stuff.

Your that-was-easy trick sounds ridiculous haha. Did Paul invent it? He would.

Did anyone find an answer to my questions last week? I have another question for this week. Read Doctrina y Convenios 130 all 8 [Doctrine and Covenants 130:1-8] or so verses. It talks about Joseph Smith´s brother in the Celestial Kingdom, having not at the time of the revelation been baptised. The question is... How? Our district has come up with the possible answers: since time for God is a vastly different thing, maybe it didn't matter that the baptism had not occured yet, but that the fact
that Alvin would accept baptism in the future meant he could enter into the Kingdom of God (see also Juan 3:5 [John]). The other possible answer was that it was a vision of the future, since Joseph Smiths mother (we think) was still alive at the time of the revelation. The problem is we dont have many more documents than the scriptures, preach my gospel, and Jesus the Christ here.

Oh and by the way, James E Talmage is quite a celebrity around here. Haha. We are all reading and loving Jesus the Christ. To those who haven´t read it, READ IT! Ok the first couple chapters are admittedly hard, and one must get used to his rhetoric, but it is suuuch a good book.

Thirdly, I have arrived in 2 Ne 3 in the Spanish Book of Mormon. I have been reading out loud for about 30 minutes everyday (time scrounged from my morning prep time and night prep time by getting ready super super fast). Reading out loud helps so much, tho I will admit, I missed some key story points due to imperfect comprehension.

Oh...I am very sad to say that my left to go home. I miss him, his abilitly to cite most important scriptures when we forgot, and his doctrine pop quizes, and I really really regret not trying harder to be a better friend to him.

Elder Mark Johnson

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