Dear Family and Friends,
First off, thank you for the package. I love all the treats and the luggage tags look great. And yes mom I got my hair cut the day after Jake arrived and i would have sooner except I had to wait until P-Day. Also, Elder Kjar and I have moved rooms. 4 missionaries in our district left for Peru on Tuesday but Elder Bunker did not get his Visa. Elder Kjar and I are now in a trio with him so we moved into his room but its right next door to the room we used to have so it wasn't a big deal. Also, thank you to everyone who has been sending me DearElders. I am in the process of writing everyone back but I dont have a lot of time so it might take a while. I can't believe it has been three weeks already because the days go by like weeks but the weeks go by like days. I love it here but I am ready to be in Mexico. Estoy hablando español perfectamente ahora y no puedo esperar a servir el pueblo de Mexico. Thats a joke because obviously I am still a gringo and I cant say and understand much unless I talk with white people.
Yesterday, my companions and I made a goal to only speak spanish which I did for most of the day. At lunch I saw Elder Bramwell and was talking to him in Spanglish about the temple and a Latino missionary approached me because I was speaking spanish and he asked where I was serving and I said Mexico and he is serving in northern Mexico. He is from Columbia. After that short conversation, he started speaking in the spanish that I havent learned meaning way fast and I told him I dont understand anything. He laughed and just said hasta luego but at least I have the basics down already.
Yesterday I had another neat experience. We were teaching Alberto about the Word of Wisdom and I had a thought to talk about something else. I thought that it was just an idea and not the spirit so I didnt change our lesson plan. Right after that I basically forgot all my parts and how to speak Spanish. I talked with Hermano Peck (Alberto) after the lesson about this experience and he told me that those thoughts are the spirit. He shared a similar experience of being in Mexico and not following a prompting which resulted in him forgetting spanish as well. I learned a few things from this. First, don't ignore promptings of the spirit even if you don't know they are from the spirit. Second, the gift of tongues is real but I have to put in my part by working hard and teaching by the spirit. Later, we went to TRC which is where we practice our spanish with member volunteers and we share a short message. Our message was on prayer. As we were talking with our first volunteer, I felt i should share the story of Enos so I did as best I could and as I bore testimony that will faith in Christ God will answer our prayers, the spirit poured into my heart and into the room. Then in our second visit with another volunteer we talked with a man about his mission and then shared a short message. As I shared my testimony of prayer, I felt the same spirit again. My whole chest felt warm and tingly and I know without a doubt that the spirit confirmed to me that I will be blessed when I follow the promptings of the spirit and that Heavenly Father will help us if we just pray to him with faith.
Last week, I worked with one of the teachers during "coaching missionary study." During it, he told me to look ahead two years and see the missionary I want to be at the end of my mission and the man I want to become for the rest of my life. I realized I want to return home where the gospel is by far the most important thing in my life with Jesus Christ at the center of my life. I want my greatest desire to be to serve others always and bring people the happiness of the gospel. I don't want to look back and share stories about how great my mission was but I want to keep doing missionary work when I get home. God loves everyone on this earth equally and I want to bring people back to Him. I picture the smile on Christ's face when someone repents and is baptized into this church. There is no greater feeling than making my Savior happy since I have already caused Him so much pain. Christ sees my potential and I know the mission will help put me on the path to reach that potential because it has already started to.
If you have not watched the Mormon Message titled "A Father Indeed" please do. That is a humble priesthood man. I hope someday I can be like Bill.
The first week or so I never really saw much messing around here, but now I have seen what Elder Remmington was talking about. He is right that I should not judge others but it is sad to see people waste the Lord's time. Furthermore, I am not doing anything for myself here in the MTC. Sure I am learning a lot and my testimony has grown a ton, but I am studying and learning for the people in Mexico. I want to enter the field ready so that I don't miss out on any oppportunity to bring a child of God back into his fold. I don't want any Mexican family to approach me after the resurrection and say, "Elder Lythgoe, why didnt you try harder in the MTC. We were ready to hear your message but you werent ready to share it" That would be awful, so I am working hard every day so I can bless the lives of people in Mexico. I love this gospel and I love this work. I want to share my testimony in spanish. If I make mistakes I'm sorry but hopefully that doesnt matter and you feel the spirit behind its message.
Yo se que Dios nos ama mucho y quiere ayudar nosotros. Dios quiere oir de nosotros y podemose recibir revalacion por medio oriacione y el Espiritu Santo. JesuCrist ha sufrido mucho por nuestros pecados y amo my Salvador. Este evangelio es verdadero y estoy agredecido por la oportunidad a servir la iglesia de JesuCristo. Siento fortaleza caundo pienso sobre mi Redentor.
I love you. Thank you for all the support and love.