Thursday, February 23, 2012

Week 3

Hey Everyone!
Another week down and everything has gone well so far!
This week has been great! I ran into a teacher of mine from BYU who taught my Book of Mormon class my freshman year; his name is Brother Merrill.  He is in the branch presidency here and I wanted to say hi to him even though I never talked to him when he was my teacher just to tell him I loved his class and it strengthened my testimony a lot.  I started walking up to him and he somehow recognized me from class even though I had never volunteered to say a prayer or talked to him or anything and from the last name on my tag he remembered my first name and which class I was in and told me he was proud that I was here and could tell that I would be a great missionary. That made my day for sure!
Last week we went to the TRC (Training Resource Center) for the first time and we had to teach 2 members a 20 minute lesson each in Spanish. That went really well. We had no idea what we would be talking about and Elder Perez and I did really well and the comments we got were that they were really impressed with us.  One of the guys was latino and he asked me if I was from Idaho and worked on a farm because I guess it looks like I work a lot outside on a farm.  He also gave me the nickname "Matagas" which in spanish means "kill gas", so it's fitting since my last name is Gaskill and it has stuck with my fellow elders here.
This week we tried speaking only in Spanish for 3 days; a spanish fast.  It was really tough but I felt like my speaking ability got a lot better in just those three days.  I look forward to doing more things like that in the future.
I got kicked out of volleyball this week for diving.  It's my instinct and I couldn't help it.  I always do it and normally they only say don't dive in 4 square but there was a different guy working this week and he gave me a warning and I literally dove within 4 seconds of him saying that so I guess I deserved it.
I'm sending home an SD card today so look forward to the first wave of pictures!
I also keep seeing the kid who poured curdled milk into the vent above my door during my freshman year at BYU. He knows I know he did it and I've never talked to him before so I can't wait to go up to him and be nice to him so he realizes what a big mistake he made. I know he'll feel really guilty which is the best way I could possibly "get back" at him.
I have had a lot of really cool impressions from the spirit that I acted on.  This week one of our teachers was pretending to be an investigator he taught during his mission who's name is Gerver and had problems wanting to pray.  We were on companion splits at the time so Elder Jurado and I taught together.  I felt like we should sing to him so we sang "did you think to pray" in spanish to him and it definitely worked.  I also taught him how to pray and helped him pray and was prompted to ask him afterwards a couple questions about how he felt.  Later when hermano monroe was talking about how it went he focused on me because apparently he could tell I was listening to the spirit because it was exactly what he needed to here and worked.  He knew that certain questions I asked were not coming from my brain and he was dead on.  Another time this week we made a lesson plan to teach Gloria (our other teacher) and while we were teaching I completely went a different way from what I had planned and as i was talking i was thinking "this is so cool, i know the spirit is talking right now and not me". I can't wait to have more of these experiences.
We had a really sad moment this week. Elder Jurado went home yesterday on his own accord.  He told me the first week that he was going to tell them he wanted to go home after the first week but he stayed two more weeks and was really getting a ton better.  His testimony grew so much and his ability to speak spanish was coming along very very well.  I was so proud of him and then yesterday he caught us off guard at lunch and said "I'm leaving in 20 minutes" so we had to say our goodbyes and see him off.  It's really sad without him because he became such good friends with all of us and was a great influence on all of us.  Now there are only 3 in our district and we are all companions which will take some getting used to.
I love getting all your letters and it makes every day better and because I only have 30 minutes of email time I will try to send as many handwritten letters out when I can.  Send me the addresses of the Whites and Nortons because I want to write to Chandler and Sam! Also Nate White teaches Albanian in the same building as my classroom, right above me so I get to see him every once in a while and that's really nice.
I love you all! Hope all is well, everyone is in my prayers!
Elder Gaskill

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