We are doing great! And the Spanish is coming along! I was really happy because I had some really cool moments this week when I was able to understand everything they said and respond to their questions easily. It is a little hard sometimes, but we work at it. We do only Spanish study time from 6-9 every day and it helps me a lot. I love speaking Spanish. It is one of the coolest things in the world. Ahora, mi Español es no perfecto pero cada dia trato para aprender mas. Me encanta Español.
Thank you for praying for us! We really need it. We work hard and some people we think are listening, but aren't for real. We keep trying though and it doesn't bother us too bad.
Yeah I feel pretty bad for Jacob. That would be pretty rough not having Thanksgiving. Here they are giving us a half P-day today and a whole P-day on Thanksgiving. Plus, Thursday is Elder Ek's year mark and they sent him a package with a little Christmas tree. Wow, I was super excited!
I am really excited to be able to talk to you guys! I think Jacob will probably get to. It is in the mission handbook that you get to at least call home. For us we get to call on Mother's Day and Skype on Christmas.
We are allowed 1 hour a week to look at videos on mormon.org and I watched a Mormon message that talked about gratitude. It was the talk that President Eyring gave about writing in a journal after asking the question, "Have I seen the hand of the Lord in our lives today?". I haven't started yet but I am going to do that. We have a lot of incredible experiences here that make me very grateful. A lot of times we don't see these until we sit down and think about them.
My companion Elder Ek is awesome! I am so blessed to be with him. We get along great even though we are different in a lot of ways. I have a lot of fun with him and I learn a lot. I still get to do a lot with Elder Strong. We see him practically every day and we go over to their place which is in the same apartment complex and play some games at night. I've met a ton of other missionaries and I learn a ton from each of them. Our zone covers part of what we call “Spanish Land” (I hope that I never leave). Here more than half of the people here speak Spanish. I get a lot of practice.
I believe that the thing I am most grateful for is my family. You guys are all my best friends. I miss ya'll a ton but I'm doing something very important here. I also notice a huge difference in my life when I go to the temple. We had a couple of opportunities to go to the temple in Mexico City and even though I didn't understand a whole lot I felt the spirit. It was a very neat experience.
About that young man you mentioned who has been struggling with finding a testimony, this is pretty much what we do. A couple of weeks ago someone asked me how I could know if I was raised in the church. I told him that every person needs to gain their own testimony. I can't believe what everyone tells me unless I know for myself. I've prayed many times to know if this church was true. The most powerful was when I was in Pennsylvania. We went to the Hill Cumorah with Grandma and Grandpa and I prayed in my head saying, "Heavenly Father I believe that this is true, but I need to know for sure. I am about to serve a mission and I can't bear witness unless I am absolutely sure." I got my answer in the Sacred Grove the next day. Me and Grandpa walked into that rainy grove and stood there for a couple of minutes as I prayed. I felt a powerful feeling inside me that filled me with the most joy that I have ever felt. Now, I can say for myself that I know that this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that all men will live again. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and God speaks to man today.
We've talked a lot as a mission about giving our whole hearts to God during our mission. I don't know if you have ever read the talk "The Fourth Missionary". It is about this. Right now I am focused on giving my whole heart to him and if I do this my mission will change me forever. I want you to know that I will not come home the same person if I can do this. I will be who I was designed to be.
As you lose yourself you will find out who you were always meant to be.
I love you guys so much and am so happy that I get to be a part of this family! Have a great week!