Date: Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 2:17 PM
Subject: Week 5
Been here 5 weeks and it seems like we have only been here a couple of weeks! I hope everyone is doing good wherever they may be... Thanks for all the letters Lindsey, Shauni, Mom, Dad, Andrea, Kim, Annette, Angela, and the Hawkins and Lancaster kids! They have been fun to read and make my day! Everyone jealous that they don't get as cool as drawings as I do! I get tractors and missionaries and me dunking it! Hard to beat that! But I truely do love all of your letters. I guess thats the only way we will be able to communicate for the next 23 months... Ha Lindsey made a funny but true comment that me leaving on a mission has actually brought us closer together lol! Pretty sad... Mom and dad Thanks for the package! The resistance tubes help out a lot! They give you a pretty good workout actually! I'm proud to say that when I got to the MTC I gained 5 pounds right off the bat, but then me and my district get together and do an ab workout for 10 minutes every night! They call it B-90-X lol! It's helped a lot and now I'm back to 202... Ha sorry if that's not interesting but after being at the MTC for awhile its hard to talk about interesting stuff!
Anyways I've been learning a lot here at the MTC but the language is still coming slow! Our teachers say that we are quite a bit farther then they were because we have a lot of resources. We have a lot of language books and for an hour everyday we get to do TALL. It's a language program and it helps you listen to native Samoan speakers and practice sentences and vocab. It's pretty nice and I know that the Savior is helping learning this language and helping me learn the gospel as well. I know that this is an inspired place and that if I use it for what it is I can be much more prepared out in the field. So this last week we started doing lessons in all Samoan. It's pretty crazy and they have to be pretty simple and they speak slowly, but it helps a lot! You learn a lot, and it's good for you but it challenges you a lot! Saturday at the TRC a girl was volunteering and she was straight from Samoa. She spoke so fast and she spoke in the street talk. I couldn't understand hardly anything and it was scary too. She was like why don't you know the language better... It made me mad and I wanted to yell at her in Samoan did you learn English in one month! ha ha but then I realized I just need to relax... I guess in Samoa they teach all english at school and in college they teach you how to go to America and hopefully you will come back and help Samoa be better. Kinda crazy but I guess that's why there is so many polynesians over here. It's funny that they have so much pride in their country but most of them don't even bother teaching the language to their kids. I just got called as our District Leader. Ha it's alright and all but really it just gives you more meetings to go to. During those meetings you wish you could be studying. But the branch presidency really helps you strive to be better and I know that it is helping me.
All in all it's been pretty fun here but it challenges you a lot! It's hard not to get dissapointed when one of your lessons doesn't turn out very good because of your restrictions with the language. I also know that discouragement weakens faith. I try really hard not to but sometimes it's extremely hard not to! You practice and practice, you study and you study, and you are no where near what they expect you to be! ha ha but I know that if I continue to have faith and continue to work hard the Lord will bless me. I know that learning this language is not going to be easy, and I know that the first few months will probably be pretty rough, but how can I expect it to be easy for me when it was never easy for any other missionary. It was never easy for Joseph Smith. I mean all the things he sacrificed and he had to go through all that! It's crazy to think that someone would go through such an extremely difficult lifestyle like he did and this gospel is a lie. I know Joseph Smith sacrificed almost everything to bring the restored gospel back to this earth. I know that Jesus Christ was perfect but suffered many afflictions. He paid for my sins and it saddens me that I will never be able to repay Him. I guess the least I can do is give two years to spread His gospel. I know that our Father in Heaven loves us all so much and that's why he provided a way for all of us to return to him. I know that Jesus Christ is the way we can return to our Heavenly Father. I know that he atoned for our sins because he loves us. I'm so thankful for all the sacrifices from every prophet that has ever lived. I am so thankful for all the sacrifices of all the saints that have lived before me. I am so thankful for the sacrifices of my ancestors to help me live in the United State of America and be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder-Day Saints. I have been so blessed in so many ways! I know that this gospel brings TRUE HAPPINESS! That's the reason I'm serving a mission. Is because I know how much this message can help them. I know because I was once an investigator and had to figure out if this was the right church for myself. I hope that I can be the missionary that he would have me be. I hope that when these two years are up that He can say 'Well Done.' I know I still have a long ways to go but I'm try my best! I just want to let you all know that I love you and I am proud of you all for the righteous decisions you have made throughout your life. Continue to love this gospel and our Savior Jesus Christ. He has done so much for me and you!