Monday, March 1, 2010

February 23-March 1, 2010

Por todos Ustedes:

Another Week! Wow! I really have hard time getting my mind around that fact! This part of my week, when writing weekly letters is a kind of an ironic mix of emotions. On one side, I love looking back on the week and reporting on what's going on in my mission. On the other...I hate having to rush and fit all I can on this email in these 30 short minutes.
I swear, I get my heart pumping faster when writing my weekly letter whilst the time ticks on in the right top corner of my screen than at any other time...including gym!! Maybe they should have daily email time instead of daily gym time, because this is really giving my a cardio-work-out!
Well, one of the counselors in my branch presidency said something that I feel is so true: "You know change is imminent when you start feeling comfortable in your calling." Well, that was this week. I was just starting to get used to this mtc thing with a great companion when I realized...oh yeah, he's going to the Peruvian MTC wednesday.
So I had to say good-bye to a great companion, friend, man, and (most importantly) missionary last Wednesday morning at 6:00 in the morning. I then was "transferred" into a trio-companionship with the two other elders that Elder Palmer and I had been sharing a room with. My new companions are Elder Jensen and Elder Davis. Both of them are great Elders who I've really enjoyed getting to know even more these past few days especially.
So, with Elder Palmer leaving Wednesday, we all had a District "Hasta Ver" send-off Tuesday night. I have only participated in two of these "Hasta Ver"s, but I can tell you that the spirit in these farewells is stronger than you can imagine. First we sing "Para Siempre Dios esté con Vos" (God be with you till we meet again), and then the departing missionary(ies) then shares his testimony and we close with a group prayer. You could ask for no better send off for a servant of the Lord. I haven't heard from Elder Palmer yet in the Peruvian MTC, but hopefully I will before next week!
The language is coming, I'm finally feeling somewhat confident in understanding, not only the gist of the scriptures, but a significant portion of the grammar principles found in el Libro de Mormón. However, I'm still a long shot from understanding the spoken language and being capable of expressing myself in the Spanish tongue...but it's getting there.
It's funny some of the experiences we have teaching/being taught by people in the MTC in Spanish. Once, we were being taught by missionaries who were having a difficult time with the language. To kind of explain their dilemma, one of them tried to tell us that it had been a bad day or "un malo día," however, she made an honest, but still somewhat amusing mistake in saying that she was having a "malo Dios" (which means "bad God"). The three of us Elders and her companion tried as hard as we could to correct the mistake without laughing, but I imagine that she was probably still a little embarrassed, which probably didn't help her day.
Anyway, there are lots of incidents like that in the MTC, and I've been guilty of some of them. I was trying to teach an "investigator"(a teacher posing as an investigator) about why Christ was baptized. I kind of didn't structure the sentence right and my investigator was trying so hard not to laugh aloud.
I asked the teacher later what I had said and he said that I said something like "Jesus Christ was baptized by God because God commanded God in God's commandments." I can't remember what I was trying to say but it was definitely that. My companions did mention later that I did say "Dios" a lot in the sentence, but were equally clueless about what I said.
Anyway, time is short. So I better close. I really appreciate the letters and prayers from you all!

Elder Blackham

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