I got your letter and your package! I shared the peppermint bark with everyone. It was gone within five minutes. The hats are cool, although we don´t really have an opportunity to wear them. Just so you are aware, I can receive mail ever day of the week. I can also receive packages. I can only write letters and emails on P days, which means on Fridays. I don't know how you want to work writing letters. Most elders receive emails, but I only have 30 minutes to read and send emails.
The last week has been a full one. We pretty much work all of the time. Like... P-day is the only day that we have any free time at all. It is crazy. We study so much! I know that I have learned a lot of Spanish, but it feels like I am not retaining any of the information. I am trying though. It is still so bizarre to me that Spanish is not the priority here. A ton of what we do is in English. I thought it would be different. All I can say is that I would be ready to go out and teach if I had to do it in English. Teaching in Spanish is by far the most difficult thing that we do here. We are currently teaching three investigators, so sometimes we teach more than one lesson in a day. It is pretty intense preparing for all of the lessons. It is to the point that Elder Taylor and I are teaching the lessons completely in Spanish without using any notes at all. We are still teaching with Hermana Clay, which makes it interesting. She isn't really our companion, so she is never around when we have companionship study. During companionship study is when we plan our lessons and practice them. So... It is hard because she is never really on the same page as Elder Taylor and I.
Our lesson yesterday was a total failure. We went in to teach Leonardo and it just didn't go very well at all. The hard part about teaching Leonardo (hermano Miller) is that he has a costal Colombian accent, which is super hard to understand. So in the lesson we ask him questions, and we don't understand his response. That part is really frustrating because we are supposed to teach by the spirit and meet the needs of the investigator, but we don't understand his needs because we don't understand what in the world he is saying half the time. I guess that is just part of this though. We are doing much better with our other investigators. We are teaching Cesar and Patricio. They both are easy to understand and they are progressing, which is the goal. Elder Taylor and I taught Patricio without Hermana Clay, and the lesson was awesome. We weren't just in there preaching to him; we were able to actually have a natural flowing discussion. That is so awesome because we can more easily help the investigator come unto Christ when we are comfortable and we can have a natural conversation with him.
So here is some interesting news: My district is on the six week program, but we still have to be here for nine weeks. What is the plan for the last three weeks? There isn't one. We asked our teachers and our Zone Leaders about it, and they had no idea. It will be interesting to see what they do with us. It will probably just be a review or something. My goal by the end of the nine weeks is that I will atleast be able to understand most of what is said to me. Right now I probably understand 75% of what is said in Spanish, unless Hermano Miller is teaching us... then I understand less than half.
Christmas is coming right up. We don't have class on Christmas, but we have a bunch of devotionals and firesides. A General Authority is coming to speak to us, but I don't know which one. Also, we get to watch "it's a wonderful life" on Christmas night. Even though it doesn't really feel like Christmas here, we are still enjoying this time of year. All of the Elders in my Zone are pretty much in love with Makayla because she sent a lot of treats and I share with them. She sent a package with the 12 days of Christmas, which was super cool.
I see Nick all the time! I probably see him every other day at least. We are going to get a picture together sometime soon! He seems to be doing really well, which is awesome. I think they started learning Tahitian this week! How crazy is that!? I am having a hard time learning Spanish, and he has to learn two languages. It is pretty remarkable that young 19 year old boys are able to learn languages so quickly. None of us could do it without the help from the Lord. There is no way. It is super cool.
Another thing that is strange is that I am really one of the younger missionaries in the MTC. I thought that this place would be saturated with 19 year olds, but almost everyone I have met is older than me by at least a year. I have even met an Elder that is 26!! He was in my Zone, but he is in Peru now. Also, the flood has begun!! The day I came into the MTC, 250 total came in with me. Last Wednesday? Over 750 missionaries came in! How crazy is that? They are going to run out of room! We already have to wait 15 minutes in line for a shower! There are so many sisters coming in! Like... They are all over the place. They have projected that in the Month of March, over 4,000 sisters alone will enter the MTC. I am glad I will be gone by then! It is already super crowded! They have to stagger meal times, so our zone eats super early! We eat dinner at 4:30!
I am pretty much out of time writing this email. Things are good here. My companion and I get along well. We study all the time. Like today, all the other Elders are sleeping because the temple is closed. But guess what? Elder Taylor and I have been up since 6:30 working hard and studying! That is one good thing about us: We are always working hard and studying like crazy!