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Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012--MTC Week 2

Hey Mom!!!!

Sorry, I know you were expecting an email this morning rather than afternoon, but we mixed up our p-day schedule a little bit last week.  We just got back from the temple (which was amazing, as always) and had lunch.  Our P-day schedule will probably be more like this until I leave the MTC.  I'll start off by answering your questions:

1.  Do you want me to reorder your electronic Spanish/English translator? If not, is there something else you would like from Amazon?

No, my electronic translator works fine (even though I use my little book a lot more often, it's just quicker), and I don't think there's anything I need/want off of Amazon right now... Although maybe a mosquito net would be nice.  Both Elder Rhodes and Elder Turner have one for when they get down to Mexico (apparently it was one of the things their moms were recommended to get from have you gotten a chance to look at that yet?)

2.  When you send a paper letter, do you want me to type it onto your blog?

If you want to post my paper letters, that's totally fine with me.  But I understand that it would be a pain to type it all up and that you're busy, so it really isn't a big deal if you don't.

3.  If I send photos to your lds mail account, can you open them or is it better for me to have the photos printed and mail them to you?

I appreciated you sending the photos this week!  That was awesome.  I'd probably prefer printed photos just because the software here is really dumb and I can only see the thumbnail or a HUGE picture that doesnt fit on the screen--no middle ground.  That way I can see then during the week as well.

4.  What would you specifically like us to be praying for in regard to your visa? I’m assuming that we are praying for you to get your Mexico visa to leave the MTC at your assigned date, but I want to make sure—so we are all praying for the same thing.

It would be great if my visa came on time, but I'm not really expecting it to.  I'm excited to go to Mexico, but being temporarily reassigned wouldn't bother me at all.  I figure that the Lord knows what He is doing with all this, and if He wants me to go straight to Mexico, then I will.  Otherwise, I'll be happy to go to Texas, California, Arizona, Florida, etc... wherever He sees fit to send me :)

5. Did you get to go to the temple last week on your P-day?

We JUST got back from the temple (as I noted earlier).  Very very needed break with no stress about Spanish.  I've really missed being able to work, so I look forward to going on P-days A LOT.

6.  Is there anything that you are wanting or needing me to send in your next package?

Hmmmmmmmmm.... I actually think I forgot my tar-whatever shampoo.  And I kind of need it.  Could you please send it (or another new bottle of it)?

Thanks so much for your packages!!  I just wanted to let you know that your cookies are known around my district as "galletas de los cielos".  If you put that one through a translator it literally means "cookies of the skies" but it definitely means "cookies of heaven".  And getting 4-5 pounds of galletas de los cielos is simply delightful.  There are only a few left now.

I never even know where to start!!!!!!  There's just so much to talk about.  My Spanish is coming along so quickly now.  In FAIRLY proficient Spanish.  I think it's pretty cool that I can now quote the JSH accounting of the first vision in Spanish perfectly now and I can barely stumble through it in English.  The biggest difference I'm noticing is that when I read Spanish or listen to someone speaking Spanish, instead of translating it in my head to English, it just makes sense in Spanish.  It's a lot the same when I'm speaking (especially praying), the words just come in Spanish instead of having to think through what I want to say in English and then translating it.  The Gift of Tongues is no joke (I had to stop and think for a second about how to say "El Don de Lenguas" in English... I love it).  It's so much easier to speak Spanish in class or while we're teaching a lesson than it is when we're goofing off in our room (which we really do try to keep to a minimum haha).  Cool little sidenote:  praying in Spanish is AWESOME.  In the Spanish language, you say "you" in two different ways: tu or usted.  As missionaries, we always use usted, because it the formal form of "you".  In English, when we pray, we use "thee", "thou", "thine", etc. to show respect.  In Spanish, you use "tu" instead of "usted" to show love and closeness to God.  I think it's pretty cool that the only time we use "tu" is when we are praying and speaking with our Father in Heaven.

Other than that, the MTC is still pretty tough, but I'm learning to enjoy it more.  The rules here are pretty strict, and it's easy to feel suffocated at times, but I'm really learning a very simple Gospel concept continually here:  obedience brings blessings, but perfect obedience brings miracles.  On that note, I'm really close to being out of time, so I'm just going to tell you about our "investigators" really quick.  Since Edgar committed to baptism, we've gotten two new 'investigators" (Cesar y Jonathan).  Elder Rhodes and I are getting pretty dang good at teaching the first lesson... actually we have a REALLY long way to go.  But we're working hard and improving quickly, and Heavenly Father blesses us every day.  I've really been shown here repeatedly that "the tender mercies of the Lord are over all who believe on His name, to make them mighty, even unto the power of deliverance."  I know I misquoted that, but it's close. 

The Church is SO true, our Father in Heaven and our Savior love us so much, and are ready to bless us when we follow them.  This work is not an easy one, but there is nothing more rewarding.  Truly, la obra vale la pena ("valer" is kind of a tough verb, so I'm not sure if that's 100% correct Spanish). 

Con mucho amor!!!!!

Elder Andrew Nickerl

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