Wowww, what a week this has been. The advanced class is CRAZY. I feel a lot more comfortable with the language now, and I've been trying to just open my mouth and talk instead of worrying about grammar. I LOVE my companion. Hermana Escobar and I completely click and it's great. I forgot my camera card so I can't send pictures, but hopefully they'll upload at the airport. Anyway, EVERYONE tells us that we look like sisters! It's kinda weird, cuz she's from El Salvador. So Rachel, I guess Cindy can be your twin and Hna Escobar can be mine!
We've been teaching three progressing investigators [actors who are helping as train]. One of them, Pablo, has been really trying for us. we've both been having a hard time connecting emotionally and spiritually with him, and it's really made us realize the importance of charity. If you have not charity, you really have nothing, because it's hard to feel the Spirit without charity. So we've been praying really hard for charity (see Moroni 7), and our last lesson did go a lot better. Our other investigator, Araceli, is progressing really well. She accepted a baptismal invitation, and it was so cool to feel pure JOY at seeing someone's willingness to follow the Savior. I know these investigators are not "real," but the feelings of the Spirit and of wanting them to have the gospel are real. Our other investigator's name is Hely. We taught her for the last time last night. it was quite the experience. It was our last lesson with her, and we've been inviting her over and over to be baptized beacuse we know she's ready. At the end of our lesson last night, she said that she would like to be baptized, but she doesn't think her husband will agree, so she'll just keep praying and reading the scriptures. It was so crazy to feel such deep disappointment to hear her basically decline a baptismal invitation, because we earnestly wanted her to enjoy the blessings of the baptismal covenant, and other covenants. It was a difficult thing to feel, but it was good preparation for what might happen (and probably will happen) in the field. Derek, it sounds like you had an experience like that this week. It makes you realize the depth of Heavenly Father's love for His children, as well as the depth of the importance of baptism and of making covenants. It's not just about being a baptized member--it's about eternal progression and the infinite love of our Heavenly Father."
"I won't get to write from the MTC again, so this is my last letter from here! I'll try and hand-write some letters and send them tonight, hopefully with pictures. There's just no time! But it's ok because I'm learning and growing a lot."