Hola mi familia y mi amigos!
Now my Spanish vocabulary consists of not just buenos dias, but that as well! Unfortunately, that is about it for the moment... But that's ok. It will come (fingers crossed and arms folded!).
My companion is fantastic. Elder Lofgreen (yes mom, he's distantly related to some Lofgrens, I checked) speaks a lot of Spanish, having taken four years of it in High School. His favorite class was his AP Chem class. When he gets a song stuck in his head he whistles it for days (I'm still hearing the Indiana Jones theme from Thursday :) ). He talks in his sleep. And he is the best person who I could have had as a first companion. Driven to learn quickly, strictly obedient to the missionary handbook, and a connection to the Spirit that he's been forging for a long time. I love him to bits already.
It's been a wonderful first week. The days are very very long, but not in a bad way. They are simply crammed from 6:30 in the morning to 10:00 at night. That last half hour is the only time that things slow down. With classes, devotionals, study time, and mealtimes there isn't much time to think about anything else (aside from the fact that I'm still learning how to conjugate "ser", the Spanish verb for "to be"...).
And I love it here. The Spirit is so strong wherever I go. From gym class to the evening zone devotional. The Gospel is true. I've known that my whole life, but I've not felt it so powerfully as I do now. Every thought, action, word, and inspiration is testament to the truthfulness of Christ's Gospel. It's wonderful, almost intoxicating, it's so powerful.
One of the best stories I have so far in the MTC thus far (for, as I look back in shock, I've only been in here for three days) took place last night. The night before, in class, our teacher looked us in the eye and told us "By the way, your first teaching experience is tomorrow. You'll be teaching an investigator. And she doesn't speak any English whatsoever."
I died. It was over. I was going to screw up because I didn't know any Spanish, accidentally say something that was worthy of getting me sent home, and then I would be excommunicated. I'd never make it to college, and I would be forced to live my life as a hobo until I died alone in a cardboard box.
Ok. So I was overreacting at that moment, but even thinking about it now I feel justified in just how terrified I was. :)
We got inside the door ok, Elder Lofgreen speaking the vast majority of the Spanish while I stood there looking "confident." We sat down, got to know Dani, and got the lesson underway. Of course, I didn't know when any of this was happening because the little Spanish I had picked up thus far had ran away. I had no idea what was going on. There was a minute where I zoned out trying to find a scripture for Elder Lofgreen, and naturally it was then that Dani chose to ask me a question. Noticing by blush, Elder Lofgreen told me that she had just asked me what I was looking for. I lost my head completely and responded to her question in French.
And as it turns out she is fluent in French. I have never been more grateful for the years and years of French classes I took. I was able to have a fantastic discussion with her (I was a little better at French than Elder Lofgreen was with Spanish, heh heh :) ), team teach with Elder Lofgreen, and was even able to bear my testimony with Elder Lofgreen in the end.
As far as the lesson goes, it kinda bombed, as first lessons are supposed to go... As in we totally forgot to leave a commitment and set up a next appointment sort of bombed, but I still left it feeling elated. Up to that point I'd really been struggling with feeling a bit useless and way in-over-my-head. But it's ok now. I needed that opportunity. There is no such thing as mere chance. The Lord looks out for us.
I'm running out of time right now, so I will have to wrap up this letter. My next email will include pictures, I promise! Thank you all for your prayers, I've felt them already. You're in my thoughts and prayers as well.
I love you all!!
P.S. Oh. A side note that I forgot to put into the update. My apartment room is basically the coolest ever. The ceiling is covered in glow in the dark stars. And I have the top bunk. So the mission is pretty much worth it for that alone. I'm going to start naming them tonight.