The MTC is incredible. I really have no words to describe what I have felt here. The first two days were really weird trying to adjust to all the rules and just being in this type of environment. My advice to anyone entering the MTC is to pray for the Spirit and read the Missionary Handbook and then commit to follow every rule. Once you know all the rules and have a desire to follow all of them the weirdness goes away and the Spirit floods your heart. If you can stay strong until Sunday and remember why you went on a mission the adjustment comes.
I love my district, every one of them. We have a couple Elders from Arizona, one from Las Vegas, one from Idaho, one from Utah, and my companion is from Louisiana. We also have Sisters in our district which is one of the biggest blessings. It´s really good to have more mature and loving people in the room who help us Elders.
The second full day you are in the MTC (Friday) you start teaching an investigator who is actually one of your two teachers and they role play an investigator in the language you are learning. Well the first lesson was pretty much garbage. Really no other word to describe it. I guess we said most of what we wanted to say, but we didn't feel anything and if it was someone that only spoke Spanish they wouldn't have understood anything. The second lesson was better, but I still wasn't feeling very much although our Spanish was much better. It's so cool how quickly you learn in the MTC if you work hard and use your time wisely. I think we're always blessed if we consecrate our time to the Lord though. I wish I would have used my time more wisely before. I loved this summer and I'm not necessarily talking about my sleep schedule, because I wanted to spend time with friends and family, but I wasted a lot of time in transition. In the MTC everything is back-to-back-to-back and you can't waste time. It's such a good preparation and I'm grateful I am here.
Back to Mateo, our investigator, now. Yesterday our other teacher Hermano Herman was teaching us about our relationship to investigators and how it's important to form a close relationship with them, but how it's more important to help them become close with God through reading scriptures and praying. We're both on the same level trying to come closer to God. We as missionaries aren't higher because we have the gospel. We need to talk and discuss with the investigator not teach them. He told us that we need to have conviction if we want our investigators to feel anything. I knew why I was on a mission but I felt I needed to strengthen my faith and my testimony. Last night was our third lesson and I felt the Spirit as we talked about baptism and I was strengthened so much. Mateo said he didn't know why he needed to be baptized and that he didn't have faith. We asked him to continue reading the Book of Mormon and to pray about baptism. It hurt pretty bad though. Kind of like when someone close to you is making a terrible decision but there's nothing you can do about it. It's weird to me how much you can care about someone that is just role playing. I know I will feel some of the same emotions out in the field and I know I can be strengthened by the Atonement because I felt that last night too. I know Heavenly Father loves His children and He will strengthen me as I try my best to help them come unto Him. I am so grateful for His help in my life.
Definitely the biggest blessing about the MTC has been seeing all the familiar faces. I was picked up by two elders that I knew from college and I think I've seen everyone else I know thats here. It's so great to see people I love making such a great decision and it's helped me feel real comfortable here.
Thanks so much for the letters. I think that was a great idea about DearElder. If you want to write me a quick email I don't mind, but it was good to be able to get such a long one in the mail. I hope you didn't write for too long Mom.
In response to some questions:
My companion Elder Rotolo went to LSU and is a huge LSU fan. (He knew about those dorms at the football stadium but said they were all shut down now.) Things are going great with him. Of course there are times that are a little hard to get used to but over all it's been super easy. He's a hard worker and he definitely helps me become better.
I got the packages from Bekkah and Brother Cottle and I'm not sure I'll have time to write them. If you could tell them thank you so much from me and that they were delicious I would really appreciate it.
I saw the Peru flag when I went on my temple walk on Sunday and it made me smile. The first couple of days it was way weird to look up at the mountains and feel so far away but I've adjusted more now and it was so fun to see.
I'm doing well with pretty much everything else. Tell Sister Huish and the Romo's hi for me and thank everyone that talks to you for the great examples they've been in my life.
I love you all so much. Keep working hard and I'll do the same.
Elder Aaron Wheatley