The MTC is truly a wonderful place. The spirit here is amazing. So, I was surprised to learn that my mission is one of four in the whole world that gets to use iPads as proselyting tools. Apparently we are part of a pilot program that will be testing how missionaries can use technology in the field. We will be getting our MTC iPads soon... We think. I am part of a tripanionship. Not a companion ship. My companions are Elder Morrison from Oregon, and Elder Sirrine from Bluffdale Utah, and who was attending BYU-I. We are divided into districts by classrooms, and the classroom next to ours makes up our branch/zone. We have another tripanionship of hermanas- Sisters Mellor, Igleseas, and LeBaron, and a companionship of Elders- Elder Payne (from rural Idaho), and Elder Spencer. We have such a great district! The Elders are funny and smart, and the Hermanas are sweet and intelligent. I actually did run into Sister Katherine Crofts on Saturday, too. It was good to see her again after such a long time.
Spanish has not been easy at all for me. I walked into the classroom the first day and was totally lost when the maestra only spoke Spanish (The norm here at the MTC). We taught our first role playing discussion on Friday en Espanol. I thought I was going to be able to at least say the prayer, but when I went to say it, the words completely escaped me. There have been few times in my life where I have been as discouraged as I was that day walking out of that classroom. I felt so strongly that I could help enrich everyone there... in English. I felt like dead weight; useless. That day I decided to bust my chops and get to work, and, with the help of Padre Celestial, speak Spanish fluently by the time I leave the MTC. I started by writing down a list of the absic parts of language, so that I could translate them, and went from there. Being the Senior Companion, I was in charge of greeting Ricardo at the next lesson, and I made it my goal to master it. I think I've got it down pretty well.
Things have been going well since then. We have such a busy schedule that we don't have time to be homesick! It's a good thing that the bedtime is at 10:30, because after a full day of MTC training, you're more than ready to fall into bed and sleep. That being said, I really miss everyone. I just don't have time to really feel it. The food here is great. We almost had an ice cream sandwich-eating contest, but we ran out of sandwiches. Sundays are the BEST here in the MTC. We get to watch church movies and recordings of talks given here at the MTC. I don't know if it's on the church website, but Elder Bednar's talk 'The Character of Christ' is my all-time favorite talk now, and is a must-see for everyone. I also have the opportunity to sing in the missionary choir for the Christmas Devotional. The song, Where Shepherds Lately Knelt, is so special. It invites el Espiritu Santo (the Holy Ghost) so strongly that at one part I have difficulty finishing a line because I am so overcome with the Spirit.
I hope all you back at home have a very merry Christmas, and keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas, and the greatest gift- the Condescension of God.