Hola mi familia y mis amigos
Despite the fact that I'll be in the United States (and in Utah at that) for the next two years, spanish is now my primay language. My companion (my entire mission is spent with various other missionaries by my side 24/7/365, which is not an exaggeration except for the bathroom), Elder Buchmiller, and I try to speak spanish as much as possible with each other. At least half of time we already know enough to communicate fairly easily (with a few english words thrown in). Spanish-English dictionaries are a life-saver. I'll give a brief summary of what has happened in the last week. On monday Dad and I flew out to Utah and spent the night in Provo (which is where BYU and the Missionary Training Center are). Monday morning we went to the LDS (a shortended version of our church's name) temple in Provo and then did a little last minute shopping. Then we picked up Mom from the airport and went to BYU so they could meet my BYU friends and I could say bye to them (and I have to add that all of them are amazing and I'm glad I got to see most of them for one last time before my mission). Then we had dinner with the extended family plus a few other "friends" of theirs. Mauri (my cousin) and three of her four kids were able to join us so I was able to play with little kids before my mission, and some of my favorite little kids at that (we aren't allowed to play with kids for various legal reasons, one of the only downsides to being an official representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Then we spent a few hours at my cousin Jane's apartment playing a few games. Wednesday morning I ate a lunch with Mom, Dad, and Jared and then we drove over to the MTC and said goodbye (Jared and Dad didn't even cry-a huge disappointment-obviously I'm not going to be missed much). Within an hour we had our companion and began our first gospel lesson in spanish. Our teacher talks with us in spanish for nearly entire time. My spanish in school gives me a huge advantage over everyone else. One of my roommates, Elder Frost, only knew one word in spanish before he got here: hola. Thursday was spent like pretty much every other day in the MTC: studying the scriptures and spanish. The only difference was we didn't teach an investigators (a term we use to describe anyone interested in the church and meeting with missionaries). But they didn't give us long to wait: yesterday we gave an entire discussion in spanish to Diego, which is an absolute miracle for some of the guys. We aren't sure whether Diego is someone already a member of our church who is acting or whether he is actually interested, but for the purpose of learning how to teach in spanish it doesn't matter. Elder Buchmiller and I both know more spanish than anyone else, but even with our previous experience we still had to rely on the Lord's kindness to help out. We taught again this morning and the lesson lasted for nearly 30 minutes. In both lessons we testified and taught of what we knew to be true and I could feel the Holy Ghost (ask my brother Kevin if you don't know what that means, he'll be glad to tell you). I absolutely love it here and there is no place I would rather be. If you have any questions send me a letter.