Tuesday, July 10, 2012

 Hello again! These are some bits of the emails/letters that Josh has sent us so far. We are going to get another email from him tomorrow, since Wednesdays are his "P-days" (preparation days..it means that he can read/write letters and emails, do laundry, etc.)

Week 1 Provo, Utah MTC (June 21)
"I'm doing great. My district is awesome, and I'm getting along great with my companion"
"The first day here was absolutely crazy...I was extremely homesick for the first few days, but each day got better and better, and now I have no idea how it is already Thursday. Time really is just flying by here. My companion, Elder Lee, is great. He is hard working, fun, and caring, and we get along very well."
"I've gotten my district into doing Ab Ripper-we do it every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I haven't gained any weight yet, but I can definitely see why Elders gain so much weight here. The food is buy bien."
"My schedule is not that complicated right now. Wake up at 6:30, classroom quick, breakfast at 7:20, study, lunch at 12, study, dinner, study, dinner, study, room at 9:30, bed at 10:30."
"I was so happy to see Sam (Josh's cousin). It made my week-totally unexpected, totally awesome. It was so nice to see a familiar face, especially a family face. I could talk to him so comfortably, and it was just a great thing for me. Sam, if you read this, you're the man. Straight up."
"I have felt the Spirit so strongly here at the MTC, growing day by day. It has really blessed me in my studies. I am praying in Spanish now, and before I study anything I begin with a prayer. I am able to cover so many materials in an amount of time that would be impossible without the Spirit."
"I know that I am in the right place. This is where God wants me to be right now, and I know that is the truth. I know that I have been called of God to preach the gospel of Christ to the world, and that I will be able to help countless people while serving in Ecuador. I love you all so much, and can't wait to hear from you."

Week 1 Provo, Utah MTC (June 21)--a letter he wrote right after he wrote the previous email
"I'm doing so well here. Time is flying by, the days are blending together, and I can't imagine life not being a missionary."
"I was super homesick until Sunday, then something kind of clicked, and now I'm doing dine."
"Basically all my energy is given to studying, and I hardly ever think about the worldly things I though I would miss (except Batman). I know that Heavenly Father is blessing me with the ability to change my lifestyle."
"Thinking  about how much more I need to learn is pretty overwhelming, but I know that the Lord will help me do it."
"It is so important to have the Spirit with us. Pray for it often, and I promise you'll be more productive."
"In one of our (mock) lessons, I challenged him to baptism, he said yes, then I looked at Elder Lee so he would bear his testimony. He leaned over and whispered, "Should we challenge him to baptism?" " I just did, Elder." "Oh..."'
"I am immersed in the work. I am serving with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I miss you all a lot, and am so grateful for your prayers and support."

Week 2 Provo, Utah MTC (June 28)
"I am not dead or hurt, and am not fat. I hope that relieves some of your worries."
"My days have been great and full of studying, and I feel that I am progressing well in both my Spanish and my knowledge of the Gospel. We teach someone for at least 20 minutes a day, all in Spanish, and it has gotten easier and easier to follow along with what they are saying and to keep a conversation going. I was feeling great, until two native speakers came in to help out. They started talking, and my eyes popped out. HOLY COW. How do humans talk that fast? Yowza. I'm working with them to get better at my speed so that when I arrive in Lima I won't be too hopeless, just a little hopeless."
"I'm working as hard as I can to learn what I need to so I can do what the Lord needs me to do as soon as I get to Ecuador."
"I can already see a big difference in myself from just two weeks of training to be a missionary, I can't even imagine what will happen to me after actually being a missionary for two years."

Week 3 Lima, Peru MTC (July 4, 2012)
"I am safely in Peru. It is so so so so so pretty here."
"We got in at about 11:30 last night, and were able to sleep in until 9, which was super nice. I briefly met my companion this morning when he woke up, speaks only Spanish. It´ll be tough, but good for my language skills to have a native speaker with me."
"South America is exactly how I pictured it, full of people, super crowded, and insane drivers. I though for sure we´d kill someone on the bus ride home last night. The guy was absolutely loco. But it was so fun to drive around last night and see what Lima looks like. It looks like it´ll rain any second, but I guess it hardly ever rains. I wish I could describe the MTC here well enough to tell you how beautiful it is. It´s not huge, but there are basketball courts, a nice soccer field, sand volleyball, and the landscaping is breathtaking. We drove past the temple last night, and that was gorgeous as well. I think we are close to the ocean, but I have no idea. You can smell the ocean in the air though, I love it."
"Also, happy Fourth of July. No one here cares except a few people who keep saying "happy day" to the gringos, I´m guessing that they know what today is. No fireworks for us, but maybe we´ll find something to blow up anyways."
"I´m so glad that I´m able to come here before Ecuador. It´s going to help so much with adjust to the actual speed of the language, and helps me adjust to South American culture slowly while still having an American touch of things around here."
"Look up pictures of here on Google, it is honestly just so pretty, plus there´s an awesome fountain."
"It´ll take some adjusting, but this will be a great thing for me. I love you tons, keep praying for me, and I´ll do the same for you.
Con amor,
Elder Thomas"

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