Friday, January 24, 2014

5 Days left in the MTC

1-24-14 Week #5
What a crazy 10 days its been!
So since last Wednesday, I got my new Latin companions and about 50 new Latins came in from a bunch of different countries. My new companion is Elder Teran from Ecuador. He is super cool, and works really hard, which is nice. He has gotten me refocused. All of the new Latins are really great. I sleep in a room with 7 Latins, and its super weird being away from English. In my district, I'm the only North American too. Its really strange. 
So being more immersed in Spanish, I've had to overcome the language barrier. I can say most of what I want to say, I just don't know all the vocab. The problem is that I don't understand a word of what the Latins say. They all speak really fast and slur every word, and they don't pronounce their 's'' a lot. So I've been praying a lot to get help with understanding. I can understand my teachers, but the other missionaries are speaking a different language. Its been tough, but I'm getting better. I can't wait to be fluent, but that is a ways off. 
It was humbling watching my companion get discouraged a bit the first two days. It reminded me of starting out in Provo and how tough it was. Its nice being used to the routine and missionary life. So in my new district, we restarted all the lessons, since all of the other missionaries just got here. So I'm having all the lessons here for the second and third time. Its tough to stay focused, especially when its all in Spanish. I have to look in my dictionary a lot. 
On Sunday we had an General 70 come, Elder Wadell who gave us a great talk. He is from San Diego and spoke in General Conference recently. He spoke about our missionary callings and how we can work hard to focus on conversion, not baptism. That talk really motivated me. Then we watched a BYU devotional called, The Blueprint of Christ's Church. I highly recommend it. The speaker traces the qualities and construction of the church Christ organized in his time, only using the bible. I really liked the idea. 
On Tuesday we went proselyting again, which was so great. We handed out a copy of the Book of Mormon to a girl on the street, and she seemed rather interested. Then the next person we talked to was Edinson, who is a security guard. At first we walked by, he was working and I didn't think to talk to him. Then Elder Teran suggested we talk to him and it was amazing. We just shared a short message, and at the end I bore him my testimony. When I was telling him how the church has changed my life, I was almost crying, it was so strange. As we walked away my companion was tapping his chest, and I knew all 3 of us had felt the Spirit very strongly. After that it was hard to find people, because there were 50 missionaries in a smaller area. 
We were able to go the temple twice this week. It was really nice. I am staring to understand a lot in Spanish in the temple. Time has really flown these past 10 days. People say it will only go faster in the field. I am so excited to start doing missionary work!  I leave Tuesday!!! I'll probably stay in Bogota for my first few transfers, but that's all right. I've heard Southern Bogota is a bit poorer, so we'll see how I'll be living! I'm ready to get on a set schedule, with personal study every day. 
That's about everything that has happened the past 10 days. I really can't wait to et into the feild. I'm gonna miss English, but I know really doing work will be so enjoyable. Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck
So pictures: Me and my companion, me in front of the sign, and my room. Sorry there aren't so many. I had very little time to take pictures, and nothing has really changed here
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