From a letter written by Elder Lance McDowell (a friend of TJ and Nate's from BYU) that I included in our last letter to Elder Galbraith:
1. An elder came into our classroom the other day and (in English, and without his companion) asked if there was any way he could advance to a higher level class or leave the MTC early. He said he had been here 10 days and his Spanish was already as good as ours. Then he proceeded to tell us how he hated class because it was so boring and he already knew it all and he fell asleep all the time. He said he hated the gringos in his class because their white boy accents made his own superior espanol digress. He said he had to sink to a lower level of thought to understand them.
2. Two Elders approached Elder Call and I and (in terrible Spanish, so bad that I subtely glanced at their nametags to see if they were actually speaking spanish) asked us if they could share a message with us. They proceeded to tell me that Jeses Christ is my Savior, that He died for me, that my family loves me, and that there is a true prophet on the earth. Now, who do you think i would rather have as my companion out in the field? Definately the latter. it does not matter to me that they did not even know what hola meant upon entering the MTC. The Spirit was present and i knew what they said was true even though I could barely make it out. It taught me that there is a lot more to missionary work than just knowing a language. The Spirit is 100 times more important than the language and if you have the spirit the language is gonna come to. It taught me that we need to learn every day in the MTC. I feel ready to go to the field but I still got 2 weeks left and I'm not gonna waste them just cruising. There's a lot to learn in the MTC including humility and, who would have thought, how to be a missionary.
Elder Galbraith's letter was on Tuesday this week as well as last week because of the Labor Day Holiday. Things should be back to normal next week. This, then, is Elder Galbraith's letter from today.
Wow. Elder McDowell's story is very humbling. Or should I say, the first Elder needs to be humbled! But some missionaries, even out in the field do have negative attitudes. I do my best to always put a smile on, even when I am down. Just the simple act of putting on that smile is very therapeutic.
Those pictures of Monte Cristo are so GREAT! Oh, isn't Monte Cristo sooo beautiful Mom?! Mom, that picture of you on the turntable is so precious! Would you send me a hardcopy of that in the next few months? Oh, I laughed because of her face! I am so excited that you both were able to go there! When I read that you both had gone up there I was bouncing in my seat I was so excited you did it! Mom! Dad! Oh, so truly awesome! I wish I could have been there. Isn't beautiful? Just the first rut in the path is more elevation that Winnipeg. (That's actually not true. There are 2 manmade hills next to our church that will be decent sled hills in a few weeks. Learning to love Winnipeg too, have to defend it.) Dad, sorry to hear about your knees. In my mind, you are still a young gazelle. I say gazelle because I have been given a new nickname based on my performance of our P-Day football game. Galbraith Gazelle or Gazelle Galbraith or simply, Gazelle. Thank you Bros. Litchfield and Crandall and co. Oh P-Day football is a blast! I can just run and run as much as I want to. Granted I don't land on my knee like I did 2 weeks ago and have my knee swell up again. Oops, didn't mean to write that. Actually I did, but I tell you things like that after the fact. My knee did swell some, but it was gone in about 3 or 4 days. For those who do not know, I have hurt my knees in the past and have had them fill up with liquid and have that liquid removed by needles. But none of that this time, it was not nearly that bad. Anywho, I love playing P-Day football.
So you have been contacted about the Canadian government trying to make me a Canadian citizen. Ha. Can I be a dual citizen? I think so.
Oh dear, I have to run, so let me spew out as many other details as I can before I really have to leave.
Cars are way different. Lots of Pontiacs and Canada-only models if you look very closely as I do. For Brendin, there are select HONDA Integras. Not Acura. Weird eh? There are corded lawn mowers here! Holiday lights are up all year round, not just for December because it is crazy cold here for over 6 months. Though I kind of like the lights...
Mosquitoes are very bad. Usually 4 or 5 on each door as we are tracting, but after the bed bugs, nothing is bad anymore. I have pictures that I will send down in a few weeks, more about the package I want to send in next week's email. Love you so much,