Thanks for all the letters and advice. I need it because, if you haven't already noticed, I'm kind of an idiot. Dad, you are doing an awesome job writing to me. I love hearing from you, especially your advice. I'm trying to do my best on staying organized, but you know how hard it is for me as well as the rest of your children. I wonder where we got that from.....¡Un Chiste! And yes, I agree, we need to take God very seriously. I think in our Church it's very easy to remember that "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say" because we focus so much on doing the right thing. However, that being said, we could also probably afford to be reminded that "when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." God loves His children and wants to bless them, but if we sin, or flout the laws of God, the irrevocable law of Justice demands some sort of consequence. It is in fact sad when people don't understand the magnitude of their decisions.
Taggart: I have been doing much better at speaking Spanish all day. It's gotten to the point where I can tell stories in Spanish fairly well and my personality is starting to shine through in both languages. I will have to agree with my roommate Elder Herpel, who wisely noted that by the time we leave the MTC, we'll most likely be unable to speak either Spanish or English. I will be left with the ASL alphabet and broken Spanish. So I need to work even harder. Diligence is not my strongest attribute, but I'm working on it. Along with charity, and humility, and patience, and kindness, and love, and......I think you get it. As it turns out, being perfect is hard. But I'll keep trying.
This week at the MTC has been full of learning experiences. Not so much startling revelations, but rather the real applications of what were before hollow concepts. The idea of study, to me, for example, has never been a fully developed or fully practiced principle. But I worked very hard with Hermano Esteves to lay out a Language Study Plan, one that I actually do on a daily basis. Essentially, what I'm trying to say, is that there are many things in our lives that we think we have learned, but have yet to learn to truly apply. True understanding comes to the heart, not just the mind. Look it up in the scriptures. True Doctrine. Therefore, make principles a part of your nature, not just your psyche. Diligence doesn't come from memorization; it comes from being forced to work 16 hours a day until you enjoy it at least in part. Just ask Dad about the truth of that statement. I should also mention just how much of a boss Hermano Esteves is. That guy is awesome. He should run for president. He's cuatro-lingual, an amazingly loving, caring, and sensitve missionary, and a wonderfully difficult teacher. Hermano Jensen is pretty cool too. Elder Wheeler (who's been sober for two weeks now) and I finally really starting planning our lessons for our investigators. Our current investigator, Claudio Santizo, is a 17 year old Guatemalen whose mother and sister have recently been baptized. He's only investigating to find out why his family got baptized. Elder Wheeler (who loves his skinny jeans) and I spent a good three hours truly discussing and focusing on the needs of Claudio before the lesson. It's amazing how much better your day is when you spend it thinking about other people. That's why the MTC flies by; time goes quickly when you are trying to fulfill the needs of many other people.
Also, I've finally started taking notes so that I can stay awake during firesides/devotionals. They're ballin', but my bad habits always get me. So I'm trying to fix them. Last Tuesday, we talked about the role of God the Father in our ministry. It was nothing that I didn't already know, but it was everything that I didn't think about, which mostly made me reflect on the importance of truly knowing what you are saying. If you preach without understanding, it's just as bad as preaching without believing. Well, that might be an exaggeration, but honestly, think about the tough questions in your lives and then think about the tough answers you've been forced to come to. Make sure you remember those answers and if you don't have any to begin with, then that is what you should focus your scripture study on. When people ask, "Why is it so important that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are seperate and distinct beings?" or "How does the role of Heavenly Father differ from that of Christ?" be sure you can answer. It's so much nicer to know than to be forced into silence.
I love and miss you all!