Thursday, June 30, 2011

i thought transfers were 6 weeks, not days...

Well a whole lot has happened since I last wrote you. I've been transferred into an advanced Spanish district, so that meant I got to move mailboxes, classrooms, bedrooms, and companions. My new companion's name is Elder Belchior. He's from Mozambique, but has lived in Arizona for two years. He speaks English and Portuguese (that's why he's in the advanced district, because of the Portuguese) and is a really funny elder.

This week has been full of special firesides and the like. We heard from Elder Allen, Elder Walker, and two MTC directors, one from Chile and one from Peru. We also watched an old Elder Holland devotional in class that was really good. We had a special sacrament meeting on sunday because the Mission President seminar was this week, and scheduling was really mixed up. Things should start returning to normal fairly soon (as if I really know what normal is around here...). We also got to meet President and Sister Call last Thursday. It was an amazing experience, and I absolutely know that he is called of God to be our mission president. When Sister Call first saw me, she said, "You look like a deacon!" It was kind of funny, but I usually get 15, not 12. They gave us a Mexican flag (pictures forthcoming) and talked to us a little about the mission. They said that we'll probably get to go to the temple once or twice a year, as well as some pretty cool local ruins and things like that. I'm very excited to head out.

Because I got moved into the advanced Spanish class, I get to head out in 3 weeks instead of 9. My departure date is now July 12, and they said we have the choice of calling from the airport if we want to, so let's plan on that. I'll let you know more when I actually have travel plans. It also means that we do almost everything in Spanish, but it's coming along great. I really feel that the Lord is blessing me in that, and I feel very comfortable in my current abilities, and know that they will only get better. One of our roomates is from Guatemala, and barely speaks English, so that's been really good practice to listen and talk with him. His name is Elder Cordova-Reyes, and he used to be a Vacquero (cowboy) in Idaho before he came here. When we heard from the MTC directors, they only spoke Spanish as well, and I understood pretty much everything they said. In Brigham's letter to me, I wonder where he learned his Spanish, because it's very different from what they're teaching us here. I'm sure it's just the difference in Mexican Spanish and Utah MTC Spanish (and maybe a little bit of pre-mission Brigham Spanish... I sure hope not), but I still get most of what he's saying as well. As far as speaking, I haven't had any troubles. All the natives understand me just fine, and always ask where I learned my Spanish, saying it's really good for a little white kid (they don't say that, but I know they're thinking it).

I got packages from Betsy and Alyssa Lebaron, which were both very nice, and letters from a lot of people. I'll try to write back to as many as I can, but don't be offended if I don't write back. Thanks especially to Betsy, Sharon, Alyssa Shirley, and Alyssa Sevilla for your letters. They were just what I needed, and I'm thankful for you taking the time to write me. Mom, I don't know why you haven't written me anything besides forwards of Ryan and Jonathan's letters, but i hope that changes soon. I enjoy hearing from them, but I'd much rather a real letter. Though I can just picture Ryan's reaction to meeting those hillbillies... classic.

As far as other logistical things go, it's been good. I've got a pretty good grip on the campus and the schedule, and I'm going to go do some laundry after this. On that note, mom: is there anything special I need to know/do when washing/drying my shirts/pants/garments? I didn't think there was, but I just wanted to make sure so I don't ruin them before I get out. Because today was P-day, we got to go to the temple for our only time in the MTC, because it will be closed for either cleaning or renovations.

I hope you enjoy getting a letter with proper grammar and conventions. These keyboards are hard to type on, but I made sure I caught all the errors. I'm down to three and a half minutes left, and the clock is starting to blink at me, so I'll finish. I know that this is exactly what the Lord wants me to be doing in my life right now. It was a sacrifice, but that's what we do to show that we have faith. I hope you are all feeling the blessings of the Lord in your lives, because I know he is blessing you for your sacrifices and your obedience. I see the hand of the Lord everywhere here, and I'm so blessed to be His servant. I'm excited to be able to go to Mexico and to be a part of the greatest work on earth (in Elder Holland's words). I know that Jesus Christ lives and loves us, and that He saved us all from our sins. If we live worthy, we can receive the blessings of the Atonement every day in our lives, and be cleansed of sins. May the Lord bless you all, and I'll see you in 103 weeks.

-Elder Joseph Facer


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