my 15 by 15 foot room...with 6 of us and one shower:))))))
It was so good to hear from you!! Soooooo I guess Ill start from the beginning. There were 24 of us on the airplane on the way down to Santiago. There are 30 of us total who are going to the West mission. I met Bretts friend and also ran into a friend of Kevin Coltons named Elder Williams. He went to West Point with him and is a stud. He wants to work hard. Unfortuantely he is not in my District. We think a lot alike. I got about three hours of sleep on the flight, and itmmediately went to classes once we got here at the training center. The Andes Mountains here are incredible!!! So pretty! It is so cool to see the different culture here in Santiago! We were able to go out into the city for some shopping for preparation hours (3) today. It was really cool.
Oh and tell Grandma that Right as I arrived I had a bag of fresh cookies and a sweet note from Sister Candland. She was so nice. I havent been able to see her again, but maybe grandma could let her know how much i appreciated it!
I am sure that Grandma also knows our MTC President. President Doll. He is from Concord, California I think. He said that he knew Grandpa. I met and talked with Francisco Escobar...by far the warmest and nicest person in the entire MTC! He praised Grandpa and Grandma...he said he has been here for 24 years, but has yet to meet someone as good and full of love and Grandpa, and especially grandma. In broken english he said "I love Clo". It was so sweet. He taught us two lessons....by far the most I have felt the Spirit since I have been here in the MTC. He is such a powerful teacher.
My Spanish is coming along pretty well. We have 16 hour days where pretty much all we do is have class and study time. My companion Elder Banks doesn´t speak too much Spanish, so it is hard to practice, but I understand pretty much everything said by the teachers....Chileans, however are a different story, They speak so fast haha. I was made District Leader of the 13 of us (5 sisters, 8 elders) in our district. I have had to learn a lot of patience haha. I am in the mindset of Elder Williams (The Elder I spoke of earlier). All I want to do is work and study, and a lot of my class likes to have a little more fun. It has been good though, because i would probably not relax and have fun if it werent for them. They are hilarious. One of them I swear is Jim Carey. Hahaha he cracks me up. No one spoke a lick of spanish before coming out here though...so things are really basic and slow. However, I am working hard and studying a lot on my own.
I am sure things are crazy with the Wedding coming up!! I am so sad I can´t be there, but I will definitely be thinking of Shanel on her Special day! I am really loving to be here. I am almost completely immersed in Spanish all day. I am working hard, having fun, and putting everything in the Lord´s hands. I wouldn´t want to be anywhere else on the Earth! My first few days were kind of rough. I was tired and a little homesick. I wondered what on Earth I was doing 5,000 miles away from home. But I prayed very hard to find my purpose. I found a lot of peace in a Devotional by Elder Bednar. He said the way to overcome trials and recognize the blessings of the Lord is to turn outward, not inward. I have realized how self-centered I was before the mission. As I have taken his advice, I have felt more joy and happiness then I could imagine. I now understand why Hermano Escobar loved my grandfather and grandmother so much. They loved others. That is what I am trying very hard to do. Elder Bednar also said that sometimes the trial of our faith (Ether 12:6) is whether or not we do the little day to day things correctly. I am focusing a lot on doing the small things. As I have done so, my eyes have been opened to realize that the "big" problems really aren´t of any significance. Heavenly Father will provide a way. I love you guys so much! Thanks for your prayers and love! Have fun at the Wedding!!!!!