Another week down and only a few days left to go here at the MTC! Here's what's happened this past week.
This past Sunday Elder Perez, Elder Jackson, and I sang in church "Be Still My Soul" but since our meetings are in Spanish, Elder Perez translated it into Spanish so we sang "Amo el Señor´´ which means something different but there really isn't a easy song to translate so it was kind of our own lyrics. Anyway, we sang 3 parts and every verse was different and it sounded really really good! Elders Perez and Jackson have sang all throughout high school and in college and I just am a closet singer that has never been in a choir. Anyway, everyone really really liked it and we felt famous because we couldn't get out of the meeting afterwards because everyone wanted to shake our hands and give us a compliment. It was a really cool experience and I had the part of the melody throughout the whole song so a lot of the pressure to stay in tune was on my back. But it went well and it was a great experience for all of us.
I don't know what I have said already but twice a week we go to the TRC (Training Resource Center) and teach a fake investigator that isn't our teacher. Our investigator's name is Daniel Limon and he is a legend in the MTC amongst Spanish elders because he is extremely difficult. In the past we have struggled to sneak the gospel into our lessons because he doesn't like to talk about religion and so we have just taught him little things like I taught him about the law of tithing and the law of chastity on two different occasions because I could fit them in to normal conversation. Our last and final lesson with him this past Tuesday we taught him the entire lesson and he actually listened! Normally he talks the whole time and interrupts (and this is the same with all Latino people our teachers say) but this time he couldn't say anything and the spirit was so strong. He even said, "what if my church is wrong and you muchachos are right?". We really got through to him and we are confident that if we had one more lesson with him we could commit him to be baptized. We have in field orientation from 9am to 8pm tomorrow and normally we would go teach every Friday and Tuesday and we might go and try to teach Daniel again during one of our 2 hour breaks if no other missionaries are with him at the time. During one of our lessons we got off topic and Daniel was asking about our shoe sizes because he knows we do a lot of walking and elder Perez wears really really old shoes. To this past lesson he brought a pair of brand new dress shoes he had bought for elder Perez and they are so nice! Elder Perez has worn them every day since our lesson. Daniel really likes us and admires our service and lessons with him, which is awesome because most of the elders that teach him don't get through to him. I am going to miss teaching Daniel a lot, I love him so much.
Another district in our branch has started this thing called "spooning" where we sneak spoons and forks from the cafeteria into people's jacket pockets and other pockets without them noticing and people find them later. It is kind of fun to do to other missionaries in our branch and I am proud to say that I have yet to be spooned by anyone.
I woke up this morning and I could barely speak. I have no idea why but I'm losing my voice! I can talk mostly normally now but I can't sing yet. I went to choir practice this morning and just mouthed the words and pretended to sing. I hope I get better by Saturday so I can actually sing with the choir and not just mouth the words. I'll be saying lots of prayers between now and then.
I finally saw Elder Woolley his 3rd day at the MTC. His classroom is in a different building and his residence is right next to mine but we can't get into the other buildings. I don't get to see him too much sadly but I was so happy the first time I saw him in the cafeteria. His meal times are about 20-30 minutes after mine start so sometimes I see him right before I leave since he knows where we always sit but unfortunately not as much as I'd like to. He got called to be the district leader and seems to be doing well. He can't understand a lot of the Spanish I say to him but I'm confident that after 9 weeks he'll be just as confident as I am with the language.
I'm getting ready to go! Only a few days left! Tomorrow is in field orientation all day, Saturday and Sunday are general conference, and then Monday is our last day of classes and everything! So sad! I got my travel plans 6 days ago and I will be leaving Tuesday April 3rd at about 11:20 am. I'm so excited to be going to California soon!
I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well and all that's going on in everyone's lives at home. I hope you guys are getting a few of the blessings from my missionary service. I am definitely seeing the blessings in my own life. I love the work and I'm so thankful for every one of your influences in my life that have shaped me into the missionary I am today.
Les amo muchisimo!
-Elder John Gaskill