Dear Familia y Amigos,
This week was really good. Had the opportunity to attend a fireside where Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles spoke on the importance of the Holy Ghost, how to feel it, how it feels, and how to invite it, as well as the differences it can make in our lives. I also watched a pioneer movie, 17 Miracles, which was very touching and caused me to ponder long and hard on the suffering and trials that the early saints had to go through, and how much faith they had and how the Lord was watching over them always. We also watched a talk given by Elder Bednar at an MTC devotional on Christmas a few years ago, talking about the character of Christ and how important it is to focus on others rather than ourselves. That was probably the highlight of the week, because during it he channeled his inner baptist preacher and really didn't mince any words when talking about what we should do and how we needed to improve. Only our district is going to Argentina, the old zone leaders left for Mexico this past Sunday, and our new ones leave in a week and a half. I started reading the Book of Mormon 2 days ago, and am already over halfway done with it. I will be sure to pray for Luke on Wednesday, I know how much he loves the dentist!
For breakfast I eat whatever the cafeteria serves, usually some eggs and sausage, with either waffles or pancakes. Eggs are not very good, they are dehydrated eggs and taste like I am chewing on plastic. I douse them in Tabasco sauce to give them some sort of flavor. I do have to do chores, people come by once a week to check and make sure our apartment is cleaning, and every Saturday we wake up at 6:15 and do "service" which involves cleaning other people's classrooms. Class is held in the same room everyday, and it is actually the living room of an old apartment at the Raintree Complex. I live at the Wyview Complex right across the street. I play basketball or volleyball everyday, although one day I did play soccer. I am in the classroom for 12 hours a day, either role playing teaching an investigator, studying, or working on the language and specific teaching skills. I am quite happy, although I do miss the people at home a lot. The most interesting class is definitely with Hermano Avila, we go over Spanish and then he asks if we have any questions on particular doctrine, and he is a fountain of knowledge, particularly pertaining to Joseph Smith. The hardest thing I have had to do so far would probably be trying to stay awake for 12 hours in a classroom a day! The funniest thing that has happened so far...I accidentally called one of the elders "homeboy" one time, and somebody wondered what that would be in Spanish. There's not a word for it, so we made our own. We say "casanino" which literally translate to home boy. I go up to the Main Campus for devotionals and to print off emails so I can read them before replying, so I don't spend all my email time just reading and thinking of what to say. I have 2 instructors currently, Hermano Avila and Hermano Wilson. Hermano Wilson was our first investigator, before we even knew that he would be our instructor. His name was Giovanni, and it wasn't easy to teach him because we had only been here 2 days when we started our lessons with him! It got better as time progressed, although I feel as though I dominated the conversation because my companion only took a year of Spanish, and that was 4 years ago. We need to work on unity in teaching. Sorry I didn't take any pictures this week, I'll do better this next week. I write back every to every letter I receive, so keep those handwritten notes coming! It always brightens my day, when mail is handed out at 9pm and I have a big ole stack of letters with my name on them.
Love you all,
Elder Michael Mangum