How are you all doing?!? Ahhh....today is the best day of my life. I love being a missionary. I want to tell you all about it!
First of all, I have the best companion in the whole world. Seriously!! His name is Elder Bromley, he's from California, and he's half-Peruvian! On thursday, he became the District Leader and so I am the Senior companion by default. Life is pretty busy, but we are all doing great things! The first few days are long because we were getting used to the rules of the mission and what to do as a missionary, but it's not that hard if you are converted to the Lord. What this means to me is that I don't question any of the rules - I just do them! And work hard, and I am blessed. I love being a missionary now! So, Elder Bromley just turned 20 on March 3, and he went to BYU-I. He is so fun to be around - we have such a close bond as companions. I realized it is important to have fun and laugh, at the right times and places. During our companionship inventories and companionship studies/preparations to teach our investigator, Josue, he always illustrates his feelings or his understanding of the concept on Post-It pads or on the white board in our classroom. It keeps it very interesting and entertaining! He is basically an artist, too. He has a very creative mind, that is all over the place at times, but I love him for it! I will have to show you some of his drawings sometimes, they are funny. We get along really well together. We have taught 4 lessons with our wonderful investigator, and are teaching the final one tonight. We committed him to baptism yesterday, and have had some amazing spiritual lessons! It was very difficult at first, but as we have come to understand and fulfill our PURPOSE as missionaries, we have taught with the Spirit, and feel great love (charity) for him. Our missionary purpose is synonymous with the Doctrine of Christ. Read it on the first red box on Page 1, chapter 1. The gospel is the best. I am CONVERTED, after the devotional on Sunday evening and watching the MTC address "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. That is the most incredible talk I have ever heard. Remember how powerful Elder Holland's talk was this past conference? It was like that, but for 1 hour and 15 minutes straight. I encourage everyone to watch it! From the time I received my call to the time I entered the MTC, my testimony doubled, from much missionary preparation. From Wednesday to Sunday night of the first week, my testimony has doubled again. I know without a doubt this is the work of the Lord! And I am so grateful to be a part of it. Our zone has been so kind and really made us feel accepted and has helped us so much. Zone and District unity is important. Tuesday evening devotional, Elder Scott came and spoke. It was amazing! The topic was prayer. I KNOW that Heavenly Father is mindful of each and every one of us. He said, share your deepest feelings with the Lord. If our prayers aren't answered, make a decision with faith according to your knowledge, and He will guide you in the right path, and you will find little packets of light that will help and encourage you along the way, to know that it is right. I have come to know the truth of this by my decision to go on a mission. Everyone I meet here, looks so familiar to me!! It is very strange...like somehow I know them from before. This is a little packet of light to me, when I look into the bright faces of everyone in our district and zone; I know I am supposed to be here.
The other Elders in our district are Elder Daisson and Elder Calder from Payson and Bountiful Utah. They are such great examples to me and Elder Bromley! Elder Calder reminds me a lot of Steve - he looks like him, is the oldest of a big family, and has the same humility and desire to do right. So, I have another brother here. I almost shed tears just thinking about it now - I think of Steve when I see him.
Also, Mom, I am sorry to say, but today was the first day I took any pictures. After the temple, I took one with Elder Bromley outside and one with the Elders in our district (apartment). There's really not that many cool things to take pictures of here in the MTC...but I will take plenty in Peru. I have been learning even more what is most important here on the mission! They are definitely not things of the world (because I'm still having a GREAT time here in the MTC). It is important to obey all of the mission rules with exactness, but I would say that it is even more important to understand how the gospel can CHANGE people. What it makes us feel. It is amazing - I have learned so many great things!
Love, Elder Dave Clarke