Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Week 5 in the MTC

Something about Aardvarks.  I still don’t know what that means….

This message came while we were on the Church History Tour, so I didn’t get it posted until today.  Along with a couple more.

Hey everyone! This last week flew by, let me tell you. I don't remember hardly any of it since the last time I wrote. But it was good, as always. I loved hearing about all the stuff going on at home. Michael, I'm rather jealous that you know how to fix a car. That's something I've always wanted to learn, but it just never happened. Steven, I know you're now with the Leybas clan, so that's a blast. Julie, it's nice, as always, to hear about your simple life as a famous TV star's wife. Emily, I'm glad everything went well in Oregon, and I hope the packing is going well. Stacey, an awful aardvark ate ants. I don't think it can be any more clear than that. I have my reasons for it, so just take it like it is. But as always, I enjoy hearing about the parasite and Kyle's Xbox Xploits (oh yeah, I thought of that on my own). Lindsay, I have no idea what you're doing, but you're equally as interesting as the rest of the family. I'm assuming. Mom and Dad, I'm so excited to hear about the CHT! Seriously I'm way jealous. However, I feel like I can effectively live vicariously through you, so that coupled with the fact that I am on a campus filled with thousands of worthy priesthood holders all trying to feel the spirit and better their lives as much as possible, I think I'll survive :)

So that's what I think of you all. Fun, huh? I appreciate all of the updates on various people's mission calls, such as Erin and Alisa's. From what Adam told me in a recent letter, he and Kent both have their papers in now. It's an exciting time, for sure! (By the way, make sure you pass on my continual congratulations to those getting married, such as Alli and Erin Maurer). Also, it's nice to hear about things like movies from time to time, such as Inception, for two reasons. One, I get to feel at home a bit again, but two, I go back to work here and realize that I definitely got the better deal. The work here is far too fantastic to be compared to a good movie. Still, it's fun to know. Be sure to keep me up to date on all the goings-on of your missionary efforts, as well. I know a little of what those Elders go through, and they deserve all the referrals they can get.

Now, I've been asked a bit to share my experiences as a Zone Leader. First let me tell you all that I don't do too much. If an Elder or companionship has an issue, they go to the District Leader. If the District Leader has an issue, they come to me. If I have an issue, I first go to my District Leader, then to myself, then to the Branch Council. Crazy. I get to attend a bunch of leadership training and such, but mostly my job is just to make sure everyone knows what the rules and expectations are. Also, as new districts come in every week, it is my job to orient them, which we do on Wednesday (their first day), Thursday (for the general stuff), Saturday (for Sunday meetings), and Monday (for P-Day). And, of course, if ever they have questions, I answer them. Also, every time I've said "I" here, replace it with me and my companion, because we are both ZLs. Also, I'm in charge of ten districts right now, I think, which would be something like seventy or eighty Elders. I'm not really sure, because it changes every week. And to answer your last question (I think), I am the only Elder in my district going to El Salvador. Maybe in the whole zone, I don't know. My comp is going to Nicaragua, and the rest of the Elders in my district are going to Chile. Most of the other districts are going all over the world, as well, many of them state-side. There's really not that much of a pattern to it. I think it's because, since about half the Elders at the MTC are learning Spanish, they're more worried about putting you with people at your same level language-wise. Speaking of which, our zone is one of two zones only in the entire MTC that has an advanced Spanish district (basically natives). It's fun because we get to learn Spanish faster, I think, but at the same time frustrating, because they're only here for 3 weeks at a time. I'm jealous. But my Spanish is always improving. We just started learning about subjunctive, which basically means that I found out that half the things I've been saying are wrong in Spanish. My teacher said that most people who don't use subjunctive or don't know it yet just sound like little children when they speak. THAT's a confidence boost. And then twenty minutes after he told us all this, we went to go teach some of the advanced students lesson 2. Fantastic. But they're always really encouraging, always insisting that we speak much better than we think. Which isn't hard to do, since I don't think I'm that great.

I only have a few minutes left, but hopefully that'll give you all a little bit of an idea of what all that's about. By the way, Elder Rasmussen just walked in, too, so I'm trying to talk to him at the same time as I type. Anyway, all of you: keep writing me! I love getting letters from home more than anything, and that package that you sent (Mommy, I love you) was awesome. Thanks for all of the love and support!

Again, I'll leave you all with my testimony. This week I had the opportunity to read through my patriarchal blessing many times and learned a bunch of stuff that I didn't even know was in there, so that's awesome, but the most important thing that I learned or relearned is who I am. I am a son of God, and one of the choice spirits in the pre-mortal life. I was foreordained to be a missionary at this exact time to the people of El Salvador, and I hope that I can live up to that calling. I know that as I strive to learn here and teach in the field, the Lord will strengthen me and help me understand what it is I need to do. I can't do this work on my own. No man can. That's why the Lord has promised that if we just do our best to follow his council and work hard, He will instruct us and build us up. As I get off my butt and work, He will guide my thoughts and actions to build up His kingdom. I only hope that I can live worthily enough and work hard enough to call upon those blessings. I love you all! And of course, this work is true. I know it.

Elder E. David Arrington

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