|Elder Taylor - with friends Elder Matthew Thompson and Elder Brian Carter|
My companion is Elder Andrew Merkley, and he's not tall like me. He's kind of a hippie, or at least he was. In his drivers license picture, he has long curly hair. He only eats fruits and salad for every meal, so we nicknamed him conejito. (I think that's how you spell it). I got like 4 or 5 letters in the first couple days, so my district nicknamed me el hefito. haha it's pretty funny. Three of the guys in our district got transferred yesterday to the intermediate spanish class... it was kind of sad, since I got along really well with two of them. They were Elders Murphy, Rincon, and King. Murphy and Rincon were the ones I got along well with.
In class, we focus on teaching the gospel, but we just do it in a different language. It's kinda weird, but it's effective. I've found that praying in Spanish helps a lot. We just finished teaching our first investigator yesterday, whose name was Josue. I found that I could understand him surprisingly well, but I just couldn't speak to him very well. It's harder to think of the right words to say and getting all the grammar right. Whenever I'm bearing my testimony or praying, the words seem to come a lot easier, which is cool and a testimony of how the Lord can bless us with the gift of tongues.
I did get to see Jacob quite a bit actually (Zach's cousin)! I've seen him like 3 or 4 times since last week! I did see Matthew Thompson as well, and we took a picture together. But I guess you already heard about that.
Our district leaders are really cool. They're both really friendly and nice and I've gotten to know them pretty well. Our branch presidency is amazing as well, and our branch president speaks spanish, so that's cool. We have our whole Sacrament meeting in Spanish on Sundays. It's pretty great. We have to write talks every week just in case we get called on to speak. No one knows who'll get called on. We don't have any sisters in our district. There are actually only 4 or 5 in our whole zone. It kinda stinks, but kinda not. haha Everyone in our district is either going to the DR santiago mission or Argentina Buenos Aires south, or my mission. There are two others going to Posadas, so that was cool to finally find someone going to the same place as me. Oh I did receive a pretty much permanent calling to play piano in sacrament meeting, so yes I have had the chance to do that. It's been really great. I haven't had the chance to play just songs I like to play, but maybe I will today.
I found out about Brian Carter when I was walking to my room. I just saw him sitting there. He's in my zone, so we have p-day on the same day. It's awesome. My companion seems to think he's pretty funny too, so that's a plus.
The food here is good, not great. It's better than at school, but not as good as at home. Oh well, what can you do?
Dad, we did have priesthood, but no Sunday School (thank goodness ;) ) Sunday was great! Saturdays are just like any other day, but P-day has been great so far. Time is starting to go by quickly again, so that's good! The first week was really slow, but once Sunday hit, it got better.
I don't know if you guys have ever heard Elder Bednar's talk about the Character of Christ, but it was one of our Sunday night options, and I listened to it, and it was one of the most amazing talks I've ever heard. He talked about how in every instance of trial in Christ's life, he would always turn outward instead of inward. It really made me think about how Dad told me to just love people, and good things will come of it. We talked a lot about it last night after the devotional too. Love for your companion and love for those you teach will help you teach people, not lessons, and be a much more effective missionary. I don't know if you can listen to it outside of the MTC, but if you can you should. It was seriously so amazing, like I don't know if I've heard a better talk about Christ. haha Sunday's are great.
Elder Zach Taylor