Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekly Letter: January 4-10, 2011

para todos uds:

Another week in the mission. So I thought that after Christmas, New
Years, and my birthday, everything would set in that I´m about to
complete a year in the mission......well, not really. However, it did
give me an opportunity to look back at what I´ve acheived. I now feel
really comfortable teaching the lessons...and talking in Spanish. I
feel that I can basically express myself, however, I feel that I have
been slacking a bit in two things: accent, and learning new words.
Until a few weeks ago, I didn´t realize that my pronunciation wasn't the
hottest in Spanish. I can´t tell when I´m talking, but when I record
myself and listen to the playback, I can hear a lot of Gringo accent.
I have asked a few members in the church to help me with it. I think
it´s that I have to pay more attention to the way I´m speaking. I´ve
recorded myself reading some material in Spanish, and my accent has
improved in that, but when I start talking from whatever I´m thinking
about, it´s harder to focus on it and thus, I start talking with a
little more accent. The sounds are really subtle, like "ul" in words
like dificultaba, or Atlacomulco, and "ui" in words like destuirá.
But, I´ve been working on that, and it´s getting easier. I had to give
a talk in Sacrament yesterday (they told us Saturday at night...I love
being a missionary!), and the same brother that has been helping me,
said that it was a lot better. I don´t know if that was because I´m
really making progress or if he´s trying to encourage to keep going.

Also with the words, I had tucked away my notebook of new
words....I think I might need to take it out again. I understand what
everybody is saying, and the words they´re using, but later when I
want to say the same word....I forget! So I have made a lot a progress
in Spanish....and have worsened in my English people say. But yeah, I
feel like this next year I will focus more to hone in on the little
details to be able to communicate with the people here like a true

So yeah, I was able to think a little bit about goals for this next
year, but I didn´t lose sight of the goals for this week. We did okay,
we had three investigators in church yesterday, an eternal that can´t
get married because of paper problems(she has to get divorced with her
ex-husband, but doesn´t have her papers, and she hasn´t been able find
them), and a mother and her grandchild that have come several times to
Church (I think yesterday was the fourth time she has come.) One of
her sons recently got baptized and he will be receiving the Aaronic
Priesthood soon. I hope it works out for this week in the services, so
that he can be able to baptize his mom this Sunday after church!

We were able to improve a lot in our contacting, and one person we
contacted, I had such a strong impression to contact him that, even
though it was my comp´s turn to contact, I was about to contact him
anyway. I was very pleased when my comp decided to contact him. We
were there for about ten minutes talking about the restoration, and he
wanted us to come whenever we were able to. However, then he
remembered that his brother-in-law and other relatives had come from
Guadalajara for this week, and so he said that this week would be more
difficult. We then set an appointment for the following week, and even
though it´s really far away, I feel really really good about this
person, that he´s prepared to receive the gospel.

We also were able to find 11 new investigators this week. Including
two complete families. One is a couple in their forties that has two
daughters in their teens, and a son that is 10 years old. All of them
were really interested, including a friend(boyfriend, I think) of one
of their daughters who also was there. The other family is a younger
couple...I think in their thirties, with a 10 year-old son and a 4
year old daughter. I really feel like, if they go to Church this week,
that we will be able to baptize them the following week. They have
family that is part of the Church, but in another ward. We went with
the Zone Leaders to get to know them(because the Zone Leaders had
previously known them, because their relatives are from their ward),
and then we had possibly the best lesson I´ve had in my mission.

Anyway, things are looking pretty nice here in Toluca. I´ll keep you
all posted, and hope to be able to send photos of the baptism next
week, lately my camera has had troubles connecting with the computers
here, but we´ll see.

Thanks for everything! Please keep praying for me and the other
missionaries. Your prayers literally send Angels here to prepare the
people to recieve this message from us.


Elder Blackham

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