Another week! Wow! It seems like I was just barely doing this for last week. Things are going well here at the MTC, but I am starting to get pretty anxious to get out in the field...even though I know I'm not ready.
I think the main reason for this is because my companion, Elder Palmer leaves this Wednesday for the Peruvian MTC. It really is hard to say goodbye to him since he's been such a good companion and a really good influence in my life. It also gets me a little envious that he is going to get immersed in the language and some of the culture elements long before I do. So he's off to Peru and I'm in Provo for another six weeks....oh well.
But I cannot say enough about Elder Palmer, he has taught me so much by his example and the way he lives his life. He is one of the most funniest and easy going people I've ever met...when he's getting ready to go to bed. But as soon as the suit is on, it's off to work! He focuses so hard on obtaining perfection on the finest details of the work that it really has been a call of repentance on my part. I'm really going to miss him, but I'm happy for him to have the opportunity to finish his training in the Peruvian MTC.
So after wednesday...I will probably be put in a trio with Elder Davis and Elder Jensen, who I share a room with. But I'm more than okay with that, because I've come to love them and everyone in our District so much! It is amazing how good the elders in our district are. In the morning, during personal study, you would think that a group of 10 boys of 19 or 20 years of age would be going crazy and messing around. However, I have felt more solace and peace in our classroom at 7:00 in the morning than I have anywhere else except the temple. It really is a testament, not only to the divine calling we have, but of the character of all these elders who respect and take their calling seriously.
Spanish is still coming. I had a rude awakening on last Saturday. Our district decided to have "un ayuno de inglés" or an "english fast." This meant that we went the entire course of our day without speaking a word of English. Sometimes we slipped some english words, but most of the time we ended up mostly using a combination of meaningful grunts, sign language, silence, and a couple words of spanish to communicate with each other. We literally acted like cavemen all saturday!
So now I'm not as confident in my language abilities as I was before. I really realized that I have so much more to learn before I can even function in Mexico, let alone teach the gospel! It truly was a wake up call, but I'm not eager to do any more ayunos for a few more weeks, but I think we all realized how we need to do better in the SYL (speak your language) program here at the MTC, or as we Español hablantes call it HSI (habla su idioma).
Before I get off I want to share something that happened this week, which is of a lighter note. Elder Bylund, one of the elders in our district, has the most amazing shirts in our district: they are completely water-proof! It is amazing! He can literally carry the contents of a glass of water in the tail of his shirt with out it leaking through! He even actually tested it in the shower and it held up for about 7 seconds before some of the water leaked through! It's incredible!
That being said, I don't know how good his shirt will do if it gets too hot in Mexico, because it is pretty heavy material, but it certainly keeps us entertained and amazed here at the MTC!
Unfortunately for Elder Bylund, not all his shirts are like this, just most of them. However, he was not aware of this until he attempted to demonstrate the water-proof capabilities on one of his shirts only to find out that...well, this one wasn't water proof.
Anyway, I don't know if you will all find as much entertainment in this I did, but maybe it's something you have experience first hand to fully appreciate.
I love you all and wish you all God's blessings in health and all else you stand in need of.
Elder Thomas Blackham