Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Last Letter From the MTC:

Thanks everyone for all of the letters that I got yesterday, it really made me smile to be able to read something from all of you! Since I don't have a ton of time on the computer to respond to everyone individually, I am going to write letters back to everyone and just send them in one envelope later today so you should get the responses in a couple of days.
Well today starts what is our last week here at the MTC. We don't have our visas yet for mexico, but I'm convinced that we will get them before we would get our reassignment this thursday if we don't receive them. We fasted for them last week and I've really been praying that they will come in time so I'm sure if they don't, that God has a really good reason for me to go somewhere else for 6 weeks.
I think I'm starting to see a pattern throughout my time here at the MTC. We learn something in class, I reflect and think over it, and come to the realization that my parents had been teaching me that principle all along and I just never realized why/what for. Last friday one of our teachers, Hermana Coleman, was telling us about the importance of needing to work really hard and having the ability to actually work hard. I then realized how grateful I was not only to have been taught how to work by doing yard work at home so that I could "build character", but also was grateful that I have been taught how to work so that I can work hard out here on my mission. The more that we teach lessons or have discussions in class, the more grateful I am to my family for how they have raised me in a home that not simply just attends church, but also really loves the gospel and understands why we would what we do. So thanks. :)
So we have devotionals both sunday and tuesday nights and at first I thought there were going to be just another lesson to sit through but they have easily become one of my favorite parts of the week. On sundays we have a speaker from the missionary department speak and it is always really cool to hear about the process by which missionaries are assigned to their missions. It really is a testament to me that there is a special reason why I am going to Tijuana. Then on tuesdays there is usually a general authority that speaks. Elder Holland spoke the week before we got here to the MTC, so I was super bummed by the fact that if I hadn't been pushed back 2 weeks that I would've seen him. But they say that most missionaries get to see an apostle speak so I'm hoping for tonight. The crowd of missionaries waiting for the doors to the auditorium to open is always huge. A few other elders in our district and I always have a fun time but talking about how we heard it was Pres Monson coming to speak and then seeing the crowd turn and whisper to everyone else about it. Its sure funny but is a good display of why we shouldn't gossip.
Spanish is coming along better and better everyday. The other day I ran into Ben (Elder Ehlert) by the mail room and I started talking to him but I guess his district had made a goal to only speak Tagalog that day so he said I was making him break his goal. So in trying to go along with the spirit of the goal, I just responded to his last comment in spanish without having to think to much and he didn't understand what I had said. I guess I hadn't realized how much progress I have been making and how much I have been learning. Its really quite amazing how much the Lord can help us expand our ability to learn when we are learning with the Spirit and when we are trying to learn something to assist in His work. As we have been learning different grammar concepts and such in our classes, I am amazed at how I just remember it all. Of course, as soon as I think that I'm getting all good at spanish, one of our teachers will say something and I don't understand a single word. Its been almost fun to see the difference in my ability to speak spanish when I am relying on the Lord vs when I am thinking I can do it all myself. We started learning our last concept in spanish yesterday, and its crazy to think that we are able to cover all the material from Spanish 1 through AP spanish in just 5 weeks. It truly is a testament that the Lord blesses and expands our talents and abilities to accomplish the things that He needs us to do.
I'm running out of time but I love you all and hope that you are doing well! One thing that has really helped this week has been focusing on the enabling power of the atonement. Look up the talk "Atonement and Journey of Mortality" by Elder Bednar if you get a chance.
Con amor,
Elder Crockett

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