Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 4 - MTC - No pressure or anything...

Hola Familia!!

Como le va?! Espero que todos esten bien!! How are you?! I hope you're all doing well! This has been a great week at the MTC....and an EXTREMELY fast one. I can't believe we're down to a week and a half left in the MTC. Yikes!!

Anyway, I think I'll just tell you about my week day by day....So, last Thursday my companions and I did initiatories at the temple, but I think we're doing a session today. I'm super excited. I always love going to the temple! When we got back from the temple we had 2 1/2 hours until dinner...with nothing to do...we napped! Yayyy! It felt so good. I only actually slept for about an hour because I spent some time writing letters, but it felt so good to catch up on a bit of sleep. It seems like there's never enough time for sleep here at the MTC.  That night Hermano Frey taught us about the Atonement and the significance of Lehi's dream and a few things about the temple. He studies the scriptures in so much depth...I learned soo much. It was the coolest thing ever. Mostly I learned that my purpose is not just to invite people to come unto Christ, but invite them to become like Christ.

Friday was a really great day. We got to teach an investigator named Olga because Melvin was "out of town." Haha..we missed Hermano Waddoups in class that day, but it was fun to teach a new investigator. This last week we focused on the subjunctive for language study as a class. I'm not gonna lie, I hate the subjunctive. It's a mood of speaking that we don't use in English, so it's hard to recognize when we're supposed to use it. I'm getting better at it but I think I won't fully understand it until I get to Argentina. Oh, and on Friday I got a package from Jenni Boyle. Wanna know what it was? Cinnabons. Booyah. In addition...six dear elders. It was the best!

On Saturday we watched general conference which was the coolest thing ever!! The whole MTC watched it together and it was cool to get a missionary's perspective on general conference. There was so much said that applied directly to us!! I especially loved Elder Bednar's talk on tithing! It was weird because I was definitely not in my usual general conference attire (which means pajamas), but it was neat and the weekend flew by. We finally got to watch the Relief Society broadcast while the Elders watched Priesthood. I loved it! President Monson's talk was amazing! Thanks for the coffee cake!! It was soooo yummy!! On Sunday we watched conference again. Awesome. When they announced that one of the hymns would be "Called to Serve" everyone in the MTC just laughed. I think we've only sung that one like...maybe 50 times? was really cool though. It's always a neat experience to sing that song with a bunch of missionaries. In Spanish though it talks about the "celestial cause" that we're working for..which I've always thought is really cool:) After conference we walked around the temple which is always so great. For devotional Vocal Point came which was really cool!! They sang a bunch of hymns and church songs that they arranged. I loved it. That night we watched the President Monson documentary. What an incredible man! We are so blessed to have him leading and guiding us today. I have no doubt that he is called of God.

On Monday for service we stocked the bathrooms again. No more dropping keys in the toilet so that was improvement...hahaa. I didn't feel super well on Monday, but it ended up being a great day anyway. We taught Angel again and he's progressing slowly but surely. He still doesn't want to pray so we're going to try to focus on that tomorrow and pray with him...again. Hermano Castro, who served in Buenos Aires, came in to class and told us about Argentina for the last fifteen minutes to prepare us for'll never guess. On Monday Brother Christensen who helps run the MTC came and told us that on Tuesday the Immigration Representative for ALL OF ARGENTINA was coming to the MTC and she was going to visit our class. forward to Tuesday. We all got to the classroom and hung an Argentine flag. Then we cleaned our room completely and organized all of our books. Brother Christensen told us that we were representing 80,000 missionaries to this lady. All the Elders had to get haircuts and shine their shoes. Basically, Brother Christensen told us that if we impress this lady, she has the power to make one phone call to the President of Argentina and get every missionary their permanent visa in a heartbeat. On the other hand, if we didn't impress her, missionaries could have an even harder time getting their visas and maybe even stop getting them all together. No pressure, right? Basically, the missionary work in Argentina is resting upon one 20 minute visit with a very important and powerful ambassador from Argentina.

Brother Christensen told us which questions she would most likely ask, what questions we should ask (absolutely no proselyting), and then that we had to be doing a grammar lesson about Jesus Christ when she came in...oh...and did I mention she would have an armed escort? Awesome.'s safe to say that we were FREAKED out. Elder Scruggs and I were joking at lunch that in 20 years we'll be talking to our kids and saying either, "You know, when I was a missionary, visas to Argentina were really hard to get, but my district at the MTC helped to change that!" Or we would be saying, "You know how there are missionaries in every country in the world EXCEPT Argentina? Well that's a funny story. See, while I was in the MTC...." was mostly a joke, but at the same time, we all knew how important the meeting would be. Well, she came, she was so incredibly friendly, we talked about tourist sites in Argentina, soccer, and we all introduced ourselves and told her where we would be serving. She told us some things about each of our areas, and then we went outside and took a picture with her and the Argentine flag. I'll try to send that to you next week. Anyway, Brother Christensen came back later once she had left and told us that the meeting was perfect and that it couldn't have gone any better! That was a relief. It's a good thing God has a plan for his work to move forward!!

On Tuesday morning in class we talked about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion..the Spirit was really strong. Coincidence? I don't think so. Also on Tuesday morning we did TRC via skype. The sister we talked to is living in Mexico and it was the coolest lesson I've been a part of. We talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon, and then we talked about the Holy Ghost and receiving answers. Then she told us that she's been considering a mission but hasn't felt like she had received an answer, but at the end of the lesson she told us that we were her answer and that she was going to start her mission papers that night! It was sooo cool to see how the Lord works through his children!! The Spirit was so strong!! On Tuesday night we had devotional which was amazing. This week in class and during study we focused on the Atonement, and that's what the Elder talked to us about. He said one thing that really stood out to me. He said, "Can you imagine the reunion in Heaven after Christ's death?" Woah. I have never really thought about that. The people on earth mourned Christ's death, but people in Heaven celebrated his homecoming. The great act of love and mercy that would save us all had finally been completed! I know we were there celebrating and rejoicing with everyone else. So cool to think about.

Yesterday we got to host the new missionaries! It was really a lot of fun! Maybe we'll do it again next week...the only weird part is you're not with your for a solid two and a half hours, I had no idea where they were. Weird. Haha...but it was really cool to see the excitement of the new missionaries and remember my first day here at the MTC. We taught our new investigators, Nick and Max (Elder Scruggs and Elder Merenluoto) and it went really well. We're getting so much better at teaching to the needs of the investigators.

I can't believe we've only got 12 days left with everyone in our district/zone. It goes by so fast!! I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that I have to leave this amazing place despite how excited I am for Argentina!! Mom, thanks for all the updates about visas. That gives me hope! We should find out either tomorrow or Monday what our travel plans are...crazy!! It seems like only a few days ago I was still getting lost on my way to the cafeteria. Good times.

Oh, the new district of missionaries. They're awesome, but there's this one Elder with flaming red hair who can be a bit...well immature at times...and he totally looks like buddy the elf. It's absolutely hilarious. Just the way he's kind of a zone joke. Sooo funny. I will take credit for coming up with that connection.

Mom, let me talk to my branch president and make sure that I can use a disposable cell phone before you send one to me. I'm sure that it's fine but I want to double check. I love the idea of not having to use a pay phone!! Also, the whole "profets" thing. I just noticed last night as I looked over some of my journal entries and planned what I was gonna write today that I've been misspelling a lot of English words lately... I'm gonna read my journal in 50 years and wonder why in the world I couldn't spell the word protection ("protecction") right. Hahaha...I guess the Spanish is kinda taking over. That's the first thing I've noticed is that spelling in English is much harder than it ever has been before. I love learning and speaking in Spanish. I'm excited to keep getting better. Hermana Ward's Spanish is good. She took classes at BYU. Hermana Kuhn is still working and has a harder time understanding, but she's come a long way. The Elders in my district are the same way. They've all improved so much, but it's still hard for them to understand Hermano Martinez at times since he tends to talk a lot faster than the other teachers since he's a native. For him, he's talking slow still:) Hahaha...but we're all moving along really well with the language. It's so cool to see!! I definitely have a lot more to learn, but it's coming!!

I miss you all and you're always in my thoughts and prayers!! I hope Craig's game went well last night. Wish I could have been there!! The church is true!! We are so blessed to have the gospel. I'm so excited to go share the simple, yet profound message of the gospel to the people in Argentina!! Yayyyy!!

Love you forever and always!!
Hermana Heath

 Jenni sent me cinnabons!!

  Temple walk - conference weekend

Vocal Point

Following is the letter and picture Amy forwarded to us from Brother Christensen of the MTC.  For a long time now, missionaries have had a difficult time obtaining visas to Argentina.  Many of them have been temporarily reassigned stateside until their visas come through, and some have even been permanently reassigned to other missions.  We were told that over 200 missionaries were sent to Argentina this week.  Especially exciting was the fact that many of these missionaries were "visa waiters" who had been waiting weeks or months for their visas.  We are grateful for Mrs. Guzman's visit to the MTC this week and pray that it marks the beginning of the hastening of the work in Argentina.

Dear Family and Friends:
On October 8, the MTC hosted Ximena Guzman, the National Director of Immigration for Argentina; she is shown in the attached photo in a red jacket.  The gentleman standing next to her on the front row is Lon Nally, MTC President.  The gentleman next to him is Victor Salas, a professor of law in Argentina.

As part of Mrs. Guzman visit, we took her to your missionary’s classroom to show her how missionaries are trained.  She was extremely impressed by the missionaries and commented on them several more times that afternoon.

Mrs. Guzman is responsible for authorizing visas into Argentina.  We pray this visit will help resolve the issues the Argentine government has with extending visas to missionaries in a timely fashion.  We hope you’ll join us in that prayer.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful missionary for this extraordinary Work.


Spencer Christensen
MTC Operations

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