I cant believe my first week is already over because the days here are incredibly long but that was a fast week.
There are 11 missionaries in my district and 4 are going to Portland (including Elder Heap y Elder Winitana), 3 to Peru, 1 to Ecuador Guayaquil South, 1 to Mexico City East and then me and Elder Kjar to Tuxtla. Our teacher Hermano Davis is absolutely amazing. I am in the beginning spanish class but the only difference is that we have more teacher interaction rather than personal language study so I am in the right class. My spanish after a week is WAY better than it was after four years. I can hold simple conversations and teach simple lessons and my comprehension is improving rapidly. I love spanish. Nephi taught that everyone would learn the gospel in their own language and I know the gift of tongues is real. The spirit here is amazing.
My district leader is Elder Bunker. He is the most patient and loving missionary in our district. The other day we were talking about families and I mentioned Brooke has Down syndrome and Elder Bunker had a little brother with Downs who passed away. I almost broke down and cried when he told me that. We are so blessed that Brooke has been healthy and she truly is a special spirit.
So my first lesson in Spanish was AWFUL. I didn't understand more than 5 words and it was frustrating but I felt the spirit so i guess that means it was good. The fake investigator "Alberto" told us about his problems but I dont know what he said so I responded with que bueno. However, the second lesson the spirit was so strong as the gift of tongues was manifested to me. I understood probably 90% and I was able to say everything I wanted to. Since then the lessons have been up and down but when I bear my simple testimony in spanish I feel the spirit strongly.
On Sunday we watched a video of an Elder Bednar devotional about Recognizing the Spirit. It was amazing and I learned to not worry about it and to try my hardest, be obedient and go to work. Then today when we were waiting in the chapel at the temple for our session I read in the words of Mormon verse 7 about aligning my will with the will of the Lord. In the temple, I felt the spirit so strongly and had an increased desire to serve my Savior. I would sacrifice ANYTHING for this work. There is no greater work out there and I love my Redeemer Jesus Christ. I can already tell that I won't want to come home in two years. I love sharing the Gospel. I am striving to be like Alma and Amulek who literally sacrificed all they had for missionary work. My faith has increased so much. We watched a video in class about missionaries who converted a hispanic family in San Diego and got to go to their sealing a year later at the end of their mission. I want nothing more than to see families sealed for eternity and partake in the blessings of the gospel.
Gracias por su amor. Yo se que este evangelio es verdadero y la iglesia de JesuCristo les trae bendiciones a nuestra vidas. I love you.