Hola mi familia y mis amigos
Greetings from Salt Lake City for the second week. And for those of you wondering what the heck we do each day here in Salt Lake, here is one of our average days.
6:30-7:00-Wake up and exericise time. Normally for me it means jump rope, sit ups, and push ups (hopefully some of my future companions will like to run). Oddly enough, we have about 8 dvds that we sometimes give people as missionaries, so while I exercise I watch church dvds (until I finish them all).
7:00-8:00-Shower, dress, and breakfast. We have four people living together, so we have to stagger our showers and go relatively quickly so we have time. Breakfast normally consists of toast and an egg or two. But today I bought some oatmeal so now I can at least diversify a little bit.
8:00-9:00-Personal study time. Most of the time is spent ready from the Bible or Book of Mormon. I also spend some of the time ready the book "Jesus the Christ," one of the four other books all missionaries can read.
9:00-10:00-Companionship study time. (Mormon Translation-a companion is the other missionary who we spend 24/7 with). We spend most of this time talking about what we learned in personal study time and then planning out lessons for the day. Right now we teach four or five lesson a day but that number is going to start moving up.
10:00-11:00-More companionship study time. As a new missionary, they give me an extra hour to study where I practice teaching to my companion (he normally acts like one of the people we're teaching).
11:00-12:00-Language Study Time. After my first 12 weeks, this time will become normal teaching time and my language study time with move to 10:00, but for now I use this time to read the scriptures in spanish and practice grammar.
After lunch-5:00-Teaching time. We normally have 2 scheduled appointments during this time and spent most of the rest of the time finding people who are interested. And one of the nice things about being a spanish missionary is that we typically find a lot more receptive people than the english ones do.
5:00-6:00-Dinner. Dinner for us is almost always with a member of our church who invites a friend over. Our mission rule is that we can't have dinner with a family unless there is someone who isn't a member of our church there also (so that we don't waste anytime).
6:00-9:30-More teaching time. This is normally when we have the most lessons because it's when everyone is home. Sometimes when we have too many lessons to teach, Elder Torres and I will split up and go with members of the local ward (church). It's more than a little scary to not have another missionary with me when I can hardly speak, but it works.
9:30-10:00-Plan for the next day.
10:00-10:30-Change and head to bed.
So...long days. But fantastic days.
This past weekend was General Conference for our church, which is a world-wide broadcast in which the President Monson (the Prophet and President of our church), his two counselors, the 12 Apostles, and other leaders of the Church share messages in five different two-hour sessiosn. One of the advantages to serving in the Salt Lake Mission, is that the broadcast comes out of Salt Lake (only 10 minutes from me) in the LDS conference center. We were able to bring four of our investigators (our word for people we're teaching) with us to the Saturday Afternoon session. Needless to say, conference is a special time for us. And because this is my companion's last transfer (he leave in May) we had great seats in the conference center. Almost all of the people we're teaching were able to watch some of the the conference. My personal favorite talk was Elder Anderson in the last session.
And one of the highlights of the weekend besides General Conference: seeing people I know. BYU is only an hour away from Salt Lake so during conference I saw about a dozen of my friends who drove down for the sessions. Jared (my brother) and I accidently ran into each other yesterday and I nearly tackled him. We were able to talk for a little bit before I had to leave. And I love everyone else that I saw, but seeing Chloe and having her tell me she is getting baptized this Saturday was one of the highlights of my mission so far (it's the only time so far that I've been frustrated not being allowed to hug any women or girls). Anyone who is at BYU should most definitely being going to her baptism on Saturday because there isn't much on this earth better to do that day.
Love you all,