I have so many things I want to tell you I don't know where to start. Having only 30 minutes a week to respond to your letters is the hardest thing about being a missionary. Cada segundo es como dorado (each second is like gold).
Ok, I'm officially in love. In love with the MTC and my mission, and yes, I realize it's only been 7 days but I just don't see this changing. Sometimes I think maybe I'm not working hard enough because I'm enjoying it so much. Even when we have class for 6 hours in a row I don't get tired of it. Mom and dad, you will LOVE the MTC when you go on your mission. You'll be surrounded by people who love the gospel, you get to study the gospel all day, three great meals, hot showers, more Spirit than you're able to take in. What could be better? Honestly, I don't know.
When we're not in class we have personal study time, district study time, and zone study time. We also have gym every day for an hour which is really nice. We won't have that in the mission field.
Easter Sunday here was SO great. President Boyd K Packer came and his son Allen Packer, of the Seventy. We sang "Called to Serve" as the opening song, and I’ve always loved that song, but this time, singing it as an entire MTC, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I AM his "chosen heir to witness for his name." Elder Packer said so many good things. He commended us for serving a mission and told us to replace our fear with faith. He said we have no reason to feel inadequate. All things I needed to hear. He said the apostles worry, but never fear.
One of the elders in our district, Elder Mena, has come so far. He has only been a member for 5 years. He was raised without a father and was the wildest little punk gangster boy. And now, all we see in him is this determined missionary who loves his mission. I am so glad to know that all the wrongs in life (such as not being raised with a father, or all the children in Africa I saw who didn't have parents and didn't have food) will be made right through the Atonement. We don't know how it works, but it does. It's like turning on a computer. We use computers every day, but do we really know how they work?
I had the most powerful lesson this week with our teacher, Hermano Johnson. He is such a good teacher! He served in Peru. Anyway, he demonstrated to us that we need to make the gospel personal for people. Yes, it is true for everyone, but it is also true just for that investigator and can help them in specific, meaningful ways. If the gospel was just a general thing, we could just make copies of the lessons and hand them out. Hermano Johnson had us pair up and teach each other about the Book of Mormon and focus on tailoring our message to the investigator. He had me teach him. I was so nervous, because he is GOOD and he expects a lot of me. I didn't know what I was going to say and my soul was truly being stretched. He was acting as an investigator Alejandro who has a specific situation. I read parts of the introduction to him and asked if he would read it. I said it would help him in his life, and he asked, "Cómo?" I explained that it would help him to know if he should keep listening to the missionaries, what he should do about his girlfriend who didn't like that he was taking lessons, how he could help his son. The words were not my own. I hadn't had any idea of what I was going to say, but as I opened my mouth the words (in Spanish, thank goodness!) came. That has happened a couple of times and I'm so touched that God can use little me to teach something so profound. It was a very powerful day of class. I know the gospel truly can help us individually, and that the Book of Mormon does answer the questions we have when we read it with a question in mind.
Tuesday we had a devotional and I sang in the choir. They put the choir on camera like on general conference, and I saw them zoom in on me. There I was, a missionary in the MTC choir instead of the person watching the people in the choir. We also taught in the TRC, where they have volunteer investigators. I used to volunteer there all the time and be taught by missionaries, and now I’M the MISSIONARY!! And let me tell you, it's so much better being on the other side of the living room. Teaching is so much more fulfilling than partaking.
You know what? I think I was called to this mission in the pre-existence. Sometimes I don't feel nearly adequate to do what it takes to be a missionary, especially in Spanish (in English I would be so much more effective) but then I realize I've only been doing this a week. Cada dia es mejor is my motto. Every day is better. And really, every day is better! I feel like I'm trying to drink out of a fire hose, but every day I am able to drink a little more.
I absolutely love my companions. We were in a trio, and there was a solo sister who was in intermediate Spanish but still in our district. But now I am only companions with Hermana Cruz and Hna. Johanson and Hna. Herrera are companions. But we're always together anyway so it's kind of like we're a quad. We probably love each other too much. Last night we four kneeled down for companion prayer and we started laughing about something. Then we tried to calm down but started laughing right after Hna. Herrera said, "nuestro Padre Celestial"(our Heavenly Father). Then we tried again and started laughing, so we had to take a break and pray later. Hahahaha. We wouldn't be funny to anyone else, we're just funny to each other. Although, perhaps other people would laugh when Hna. Herrera pulls two halves of a kiwi out of her bag. Oh, I love them.
I love being an Hermana here. We never have to open doors; the elders treat every sister here like gold. There is also an exercise class every morning at 6 for the sisters. It's like the Jillian Michaels workout DVD but with all my friends, and a modestly-dressed Jillian! how could I NOT love the MTC?!
David Archuleta continues to distract us a little bit, but we're mostly over him. He talked to me for a few minutes the other day about Guatemala. We see him all the time. I have been very humbled this week of being here, but I realized I'm not humble enough because I was NOT okay when he passed me on the track.
You asked about the food. It's certainly not Joel Fuhrman-approved, mom, but I think it's great! Anyone who complains about it hasn't had to live off of rice and beans for a summer. I try to eat two salads a day, but the desserts and the ice cream are what get me.
Last Saturday it snowed, which was a big deal for two of my companions who had never seen snow in their lives.
Thank you everyone for the letters! They are the best!
I am beginning to see more of what it takes to be a good missionary. To be someone who doesn't just teach lessons but teaches people. And doesn't just teach but makes them want to learn more and more, and help them catch the vision of how the gospel can help them and how they can help others through it. Someone who knows how to invite the Spirit and know what someone needs to hear by teaching through the Spirit. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Sharing it is a serious thing! My responsibility is so big! It truly breaks my heart that there are honest, sincere-of-heart people out there who want to know what the purpose of life is, and want to draw closer to God, but are kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.
Mom and Dad, I love you both so much! I am SO thankful to have you as parents. Without you there is no way I would be here. Almost all in my district have not had the blessing of active parents. My cup really does run over.
Keep the letters flowing, I love hearing from you. I'm so happy. Wish I could ask more about you. That's what I want to hear about is YOU.
Your Sister missionary,
Hermana Faith Goimarac