I came thinking it was going to be difficult for me to adapt and learn, but through deep faith and mucho oracion, I have been able to overcome any of that stuff very quickly. All I want to do is learn more about Spanish and my mission. My comps are the exact same way which is great! For now, I have two comps, Elder Johnston (DL) and Elder Edwards (Senior Comp). My comp hasn't shown up yet, but supposedly he comes tomorrow? When he does, I'll become the senior comp. In our district, we have 7 Elders y 0 Hermanas. In fact, we have 0 Hermanas in our whole zone, which is pretty unusual I guess. The other Elders in our district are:
Elder Hall from Vernal with his comp, Elder Castleton from Alpine; Elder Ray from Mesa with his comp, Elder Webster, from Idaho somewhere. We have a really strong district and we are all willing to work.
As you may have guessed, Fridays are my P-days. We aren't allowed to use the recreation field or gym on P-days, only when we have scheduled gym/field time. Our first scheduled gym time is tomorrow. I am too excited to play basketball!!
So far, I have learned so much more than I have in the last several years of HS. I can bear testimony and pray fairly well in Spanish, and I continue to learn and grow both in Spanish and the gospel. It has already been a fantastic experience and I can't see any reason why people wouldn't want to be spending their lives serving the Lord. I have already received so many blessings from spending my time here. Every other Elder here keeps saying "give it until Sunday, and it will be ok" My comps and I can't see what they are trying to say haha. The first day after I dropped off my stuff, I was placed directly into complete Spanish immersion. At first I was lost, and thought it was going to be very difficult, but I quickly picked up on almost everything he was saying. I would say I understood about 80% of what Hermano Gerrett (from American Fork) was teaching. I am doing very well at reading and hearing the Spanish we are taught, but I struggle quite a bit with responding and processing what to say. We met with our District President and his counselors last night. President Stewart and his wife, Hermano Watson and his wife, and Hermano Parkes and his wife (the Parkes also live in American Fork). They all told us about the zone and district goals, bore their testimonies and interviewed us all. They also informed us that we will need to prepare a talk in Spanish weekly, because they call on two Elders from the zone to talk in sacrament. That was a little un-nerving, haha. Tomorrow, we begin teaching Valeria, an "investigator", all the lessons in Spanish.
Although, it will be a bit tough for me to continue learning Spanish, I know and have already seen, that the Lord blesses us mysteriously. If we show belief in something and act upon that belief, we call it faith. Faith is the most important part of this gospel next to charity. I know that as we show faith to the Lord and ask Him for help when needed, he will bless us tremendously. I say these things through experience and great faith in our Father and His Son.
I love you very much and am grateful for examples set by family and friends!
Elder Thomas Alan Pilkington