Monday, July 11, 2011

Even More Changes

Well this week has been another odd week. I don't think there has been a day in the MTC where our schedule followed everything we were supposed to do. First off, me and Elder Belchior got another companion named Elder Christensen from LA. He helped me to know how Brigham felt with his last companion (Zazueta? I don't remember...). Anyway, I think this is the Lord's way of testing my patience for the remainder of my time here. It's ok, though, I'm pushing through and doing just fine. I forgot to tell you that we got to host last week, and that was a really fun experience. I think the new way of doing it is so much more effective than what they did with Scott, and it's so much more organized, too. I also saw Elder Oaks, Dallin H. just walking by, which was also really cool. I didn't shake his hand or anything, because he was obviously going somewhere and I didn't want to hold him up. Then on Saturday night, we had a big 4th of July fireside/celebration. We heard from a general authority who had been a direct advisor to three different presidents, so that was cool. Then they did a little slide show of every single mission with "Hark All Ye Nations" playing behind it. Then we closed with Praise to the Man, and I understood a little bit why you liked that so much when I played it. The spirit was so strong, and it really testified that Joseph Smith really was and is a prophet of God and that he restored the fullness of the Gospel in these latter days. Then they let us go and watch the stadium of fire firework show, but I couldn't see too much because there are trees all around the MTC, and I'm not tall enough to see over a big group of missionaries all in the same place. Sunday night we had a fireside by Jenny Oaks Baker (Dallin H. Oaks's daughter who is a professional violinist) which was good. She played a lot of music and spoke a little, which I think is a good way to do a fireside. They finished with "This Is The Christ", which has been one of my favorite songs since we sang it in choir a while back. It was nice to be able to just enjoy the spirit that comes with sacred music. Other than that, it's been mostly just class and studying.

I found out that I'll most likely have a temporary assignment before I head down to Mexico, but they'll still send me out probably Wednesday, maybe Thursday at the latest. I think they said that once they know, then I can call you and let you know, so depending on what time it is, I'll either call home or mom's work. I'm really excited to get out, though. I love the MTC, but I'm really ready to go out and do this for real. My Spanish continues to improve, and I feel confident enough speaking and understanding that I could head out anytime and do just fine. We had a substitute teacher from Hidalgo (one of the states where I'll be serving), and he was impressed with my Spanish, and also said that in Hidalgo, the missionaries that were there when he left were baptizing about 1200 people a month. That isn't a typo, it's one thousand two hundred people in one month. I'm really excited to get to go and be a part of that work.

I heard a little bit from Brigham, just a two-liner in which he demonstrated his use of Mexican slang, but I'm glad he still took the time to write me. Thanks to everyone that wrote and sent packages this week including Emily, Heather, and I think there was one more, but I'm having a hard time remembering right now. Know that even though I can't remember, I'm really grateful to you all. I was especially happy with Tara's package/letter, and I think the mint brownies may not last until tonight. I'm glad Tara is doing well and staying busy. It's good that you got to do the cash register and Rio Tinto. It's good to have a varied skill set when you're this age and trying to a job. Dad has certainly taught us how to do hard manual-type labor, so anything else you can get will only help. I had to do all kinds of different things at Bert Murdock, and knowing how to work really helped. Of course, it helps here, too, but this is a lot more mental labor at this point. I know that will change fairly soon. But I hope Tara continues to work and to prepare for the life that lies ahead. You don't want me to come home and totally show you up when we're at BYU together. Oh, and don't destroy my car! Keep working on driving so you can maintain my excellent gas mileage (my last tank that I filled up was 34 mpg). Otherwise, I'm making you pay for gas when I get home.

So how was everyone's 4th? I assume we just had the normal celebrations. Did Manuel get to use his bbq? I wish i could've enjoyed some of dad's hamburgers. The food here is ok, but it's definitely not like home, and it maybe is taking it's toll on me. I'm still about as healthy as I was when I left (not that that's anything to brag about), but I can just feel the food doing things to my insides that I'm quite sure normal food wouldn't do. It's all good, though. I probably have enough food from packages to sustain me until I leave. Anyway, I hope everyone is staying busy and not feeling the void of my absence too much. I'm sorry I haven't sent pictures, these computers aren't very accessible as far as external plug-ins go, so they may have to wait until I get in the field, but I have taken some, so don't worry.

Well I'm about out of time and things to talk about. I know that this church is true, and that it was restored through Joseph Smith. I know he translated the Book of Mormon, and that everything in the introduction to the book is absolutely true, and that Heavenly Father will keep the promises contained therein. I know that Heavenly Father sent His son to suffer for all of our pains, sorrows, hardships, and sins, and that through His Atonement, we can find peace, comfort, and joy in this life. I know that if we live righteously according to the covenants we have made, that Heavenly Father will bless us with all the things we need in this life and Eternal Life after we are ressurected. I know that this is His work, and that He has called me here to do a great and marvelous work. May the Lord bless you all in everything you do if you will do it unto Him (2 Ne. 32:8-9)

Elder Joseph Facer


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