First, some news. I got an update in the mail yesterday that said, "We have not received your visa clearance and you will be unable to travel to Peru on your scheduled departure date," which was supposed to be Sept. 14th. "You will remain at the MTC and continue your training until your visa comes. We will let you know when you will travel." Apparently there are some elders here that have been here for 6 weeks waiting for there visas. So you never know what could happen. I am not heartbroken though, because I love everyone in my district. If we learned as much as we laughed I'm sure we'd be fluent by now. So if staying here for a little longer is what God wants that so be it. I would appreciate the prayers though that my visa will make it soon. Although it would be tough to say goodbye, I know the Peru mtc would be an awesome experience and give me an advantage with the language.
We got two more investigators this week (our teachers playing the part of an actual investigator that they had on there missions). The big focus in missionary work today is teaching people, not lessons; which is why they introduced Preach My Gospel - to give the missionary more options and flexibility. That aspect might just be harder than the language, or just as hard. We taught one investigator for 40 minutes, trying to explain the atonement and help him understand that Christ is the way and that he did everything for us. But we did nothing to get to know him as a person. So that's what I'll be working on the most this next week. Developing skills within spanish that let the person know I care for them and want to get to know them - not just shove a 40 minute lesson down there throat and leave. Everyone has a need for the gospel; it's just about finding the best way to show them Gods love and plan for them.
We've now covered imperfect, preterit, and I forget what the third one is called, but the 'ing' form of spanish (brandon and justin will know what i'm talking about). We've learning subjunctive next which is what Justin told me to pay particular attention to and to not become one of the missionaries that never uses it. It's very interesting how spanish lessons are structured. Rather than spend a lot of time explaining simple spanish concepts, they just jump right in to teaching you how to pray, testify, and explain the gospel. Then from that, you learn some of the patterns and concepts and begin to branch out. It's nothing like high school where they spend two weeks teaching you how to describe the weather, and so on.... So learning the language through the gospel is definitely the best way to learn.
We get to go to the temple every P-day, and then go on temple walks every Sunday in between meetings.
One other quick highlight from the week - for some reason the Orange juice here has gotten a repuation for being a laxative. I got it the first day to get over my cold and the other elders advised me to stop unless i wanted to spend my day on the john. So, I decided to start of little competition and test the theory and 5 of us drank two full glasses of the potent OJ. You should have seen peoples faces as we walked by them with OJ on our trays. haha. First to "go" would lose. Turns out, we busted that myth and the OJ is safe to drink. Haha. It's just weird, fun little things like that that keep the day interesting and going.
Thanks for all the letters. There was no mail on Monday because of the holiday, so I was really hoping for some mail to read and it happened. One elder has gotten like 25 letters since being here - more than half being from his girlfriend - so it's nice getting some every once in a while. I even heard from Shivani and David, which was really awesome. Dont hesitate to just send sports updates, politics, other news, short messages, etc... It's weird to think i've been in the same square 1/4 mile for two weeks, but at the same time i don't really have a longing to be back in the real world. it's weird. I'm where i am supposed to me and want to be. There was a talk last night at devo by Elder Jenson of the seventy about the process of missionary work and the revelation and inspiration that has gone into it. it's comforting to know that I'm part of a truly extraordinary and grand work. Life is good.
Love you all,