Friday, December 9, 2011

Week 3 in the MTC for Elder Powell

Can’t believe that already another week has passed, but here we are with another letter from Elder Powell.  It sounds like he’s still doing great, though he sent me a letter via snail mail and said that he wishes more people would write to him—that he hasn’t heard from any of his friends from the Scripture Study Group. Come on, guys! Let’s hook the guy up with some letters or care packages or both! He misses you guys and we don’t want him to get homesick or begin wondering where everyone has disappeared to. 
Remember, it’s so easy to use  It’s free and simple and fast, so I hope everyone will take the five or ten minutes to send him some holiday cheer.
Take care everyone—until next Thursday!

Hola Familia y Amigos!
How are all of you doing? I hope you all are doing great because I am doing very well still! I am learning so much still and I can't believe how much I am progressing as a teacher and in the Spanish language. I am almost fluent! Just a couple weeks more and I should be pretty dang close to speaking very comfortably in the next 2 weeks if I keep at this rate of progressing and learning! Something interesting that I have noticed this week is that this week is flying so quickly! I can't believe I am already writing to you guys on Thursday and it feels like yesterday I was just starving on fast Sunday... haha.
So right now I have 3 investigators to teach so far and it's pretty interesting because they speak only Spanish and I have to teach lessons in Spanish. Sometimes it's pretty frustrating to forget one word in a sentence and having to stare at the investigators with a blank stare... But I am far better in my lessons than I was a week ago. We don't really baptize the investigators, but we just get them to that point because they just volunteer (I believe they're already members).
My companion just left to the Peru MTC and now I am in a trio with Elder Thompson and Elder Fitzgerald. They're way cool and funny! We have good times and it makes the MTC experience enjoyable. It's nice to be able to act like 19 year old boys with your companions when you have been studying the gospel for 9 hours a day! There is a time to have fun and there is a time to work hard, and sometimes I have to remind elders in the district about that because we can sometimes lose focus on our purpose here. But if you don't have fun here, you'll burn out in a heartbeat. Just an FYI for you future missionaries. :)
I was very privileged to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional and it was a treat to listen to the Presidency talk. I hope many of you had the opportunity to watch and listen because they had great messages. What really got me was how everyone is losing the true spirit of Christmas. It's not about who has the fanciest gifts, or the nicest parties, or the most decorative homes. It's about the celebration of Jesus Christ and his birth. And what does that mean? It means it's the season of giving and serving each other. To be with your loved ones and it's the time where we can be grateful for all of the things we have. For all the blessings we have, and finally for the sacrifice Jesus Christ did for us. So don't worry about needing to make a perfect Christmas. Just simplify and be with loved ones, it's a time of giving and not caring so much for what you will receive. I kind of got homesick after listening to the line: "an opportunity to be with your loved ones." Well I may not be able to be with my family for Christmas, but I have the opportunity to make families happy with the gospel in their lives and to actually serve and be servant of Christ. And you all have the same opportunity to do the same exact work as I will be doing, serving your fellow man. So I challenge all of you to think only about others this Christmas season and be completely selfless, because I promise that you will be happy and blessed.
I also was privileged to listen to Elder Steven Snow (Presidency of the Seventy) on Tuesday night at the MTC weekly Devotional and he also had a great message. He talked about working hard on the mission and sometimes you may feel discouraged at times, but he knows that we will feel so much more satisfied looking back on our missions knowing that we served to our fullest. I know that will be true and I now understand why everyone says that a mission was the best decision they ever made because it is hard work now, but if I could make it through this, I could make it in just about everything. So it was a neat talk and I was very privileged to listen to him.
Well I guess I better be going because I am out of time but I love you all and keep in touch! I would love to hear from all of you to know how all of you are doing. Especially my Scripture Study Group that I haven't heard from them since I've been here! Write me and keep in touch! I love you all! :)


Elder Justin Powell


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