I'm sending this to both your emails to make sure that I have the right one at gmail....
Ok, so I can send you the SD card from my camera if you want, but I won't be able to take any pictures until you send it back. What we should have done is instead of buying flash drives we should have gotten more SD cards. Not that there is really that much cool stuff to take pictures of here at the MTC (CCM), but I've got a few on there right now that I'm sure you'd like. So just let me know in your next dear elder if you want me to do that :) Also, I'd like to have a few addresses and was wondering if you would be able to get them for me. Would you mind finding me an address for all my seminary teachers (Sis Fletcher, Sis Fry, Sis Langford, and Bro Ganyier), Bishop Peltz, and for Chris? And in response to your other question this week, the elder in my district from Phoenix is not who you were asking about (sorry, don't have the letters in front of me right now). And although I have talked to two Elder Drapers going Spanish speaking, I have yet to find the Elder Draper going to Tuxtla. And thank you for your updates on the missionary moms sight! It's good to hear about what's going on down there.
So! Huge highlight of the week was having Elder Oaks here for our Tuesday night devotional!! We were sitting about 5 rows back, so just probably less than 100 feet away from us. He talked about the importance of taking the Sacrament worthily each Sunday so that we can have the Spirit with us at all times. What I've learned recently is that having the Spirit is important not only because without it we cannot teach, but also because when we have the Spirit with us our ability to learn is exponentially increased, and that's definitely something I need right now.
Spanish continues to come right along. Elder Rhodes and I are getting a ton better at teaching. It's really funny how much easier it is to teach a lesson in Spanish than it is to carry on a normal conversation in Spanish. Something that I've started doing is listening to Mormon Messages in Spanish. Since right now I speak Spanish a lot better than I understand what others say (which is weird, I know), that's been a huge help to me. We're just about done with all the grammar principles that we need to learn in class, so now it's just a matter of practice, practice, practice and learning all the vocab I need. It's a pretty daunting task, but it's so rewarding to be able to look back and see how much I've learned already.
Some other news is that 3 elders from my district left for different MTC's (Peru or Colombia). So now, we've got the 4 of us going to Mexico still here, the 2 going to California, and one who should be at the Peru MTC but doesn't have his visa yet (the 2 Cali elders and the Peru elder are now a trio). It's kind of weird, very different dynamics in our district now. But, our tiny classroom doesn't feel like a furnace quite so much anymore, so that's a blessing.
On the visa note, 3 Mexico elders who live on our floor got reassigned yesterday... I haven't talked to anyone since I've been here that got a visa to Mexico without being reassigned. But I'm really not worried about it. The Lord know's what He is doing. The "nothing" in "nothing can stop the work from progressing" includes the Mexican gov't. If I get reassigned to somewhere for a few months (although I doubt it will be that long, because it does really sound like we are needed in Mexico, and the Lord knows that), that would be ok with me.
Other than that, although the MTC is still not my favorite place in the world (Elder Rhodes' brother-in-law put it perfectly in a letter to him: "the best experience of your life that you never want to do again"), the progression that I see in myself and the missionaries around me is amazing. I know as I work hard to prepare myself, the Lord is doing His part to prepare people for me to teach.
I think once I'm done with them, I'm going to send my MTC Spanish books home if anyone wants to read through them and try to learn. Someone else in our family will definitely be speaking Spanish, so they will be good things to have around. On that note, make sure everyone is reading Preach My Gospel!!
That's all I have for today... Maybe I'll remember something earth-shattering and send a letter later. It's tough to remember everything that I want to type in a half an hour.
I love and miss you all!!!!
Elder Andrew Nickerl