The countdown has begun! Two and a half weeks from now I will be the greenest of greenies in Chile, unable to understand even a fragment of their speed spanish... But I can't wait!!! I thought I got excited each year as a kid when Christmas would roll around, but that doesn't even compare now to the enthusiasm I have to get out in the field now. I'd say the excitement is amplified 10 fold!
This past week was full of its highs and lows. Last email I mentioned how because it was the 4th of July we would get to see fireworks and overhear the Kelly Clarkson concert going on just a couple blocks down the street... Well, we got 1 of the 2! Haha. The fireworks were pretty sick and I saw a few go off that I'd never seen before, but the funny thing is what the MTC did to make sure we didn't hear the sweet, sweet hymns sung by our dear Sister Clarkson. They herded us all into the chapel, locked the doors, and instead played us the movie "17 Miracles". Which admittedly was pretty good, but let's be real... It ain't now Kelly Clarkson concert hahaha
The next night there was the wildest thunderstorm I've seen in a while. It was NUTS! The lightning would flash up near the mountains and you could see the whole branching effect of the lightning, and then be followed by a huge thunderclap. Just as I was settling into bed that night there was one blast of thunder that shook our apartment and was so loud and sudden that it wouldn't surprise me if there are some pee stains in the beds of several elders :P
A highlight of this week was getting my first letter! It was a dearelder letter from the Wedekind family (so when you guys read this, if you could shoot me all of your email addresses so I could respond to that awesome letter, that'd be great!)
Amid all this positive stuff was a serious gut check too. Two lessons in a row my teachers (acting as our investigators) stopped my comp and I mid-lesson because we were not "teaching with power". We were saying plenty of good things but the most vital piece of missionary work was missing -- The Holy Ghost. I learned that it is the Spirit's job to confirm what we're teaching, and that without it our words can only do so much... Definitely a humbling moment that led me personal evaluation and deep scripture study to try and learn and understand how to improve. What did I find? The best help wasn't actually found in my scriptures, but rather the words of an apostle. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland game an amazing talk (of course...) on Missionary Work that I found really applicable to my situtuation called "Missionary Work and the Atonement" <-- A goodread for anyone. And it really helped to get my mind back in place and refocus. But after that little hiccup things have turned around and Elder Harper and I have re-found our groove! Which just makes me think of this: "THE GROOVE, THE GROOVE!!! DON'T THROW OFF THE EMPEROR'S GROOVE!"
This was the week for funny stories! I've got a few, plus one amazing date idea that I was shown. My poor companion is the subject of both stories! hahaha, so here we go... Fresh outta the journal!
This one happened the afternoon of that day we got stopped mid-lesson in our morning investigator lesson:
"On a much lighter note, my companion Elder Harper accomplished another embarrassing feat today! We were teaching a pretty solid lesson to our investigator today about repentance. Everything was going great, I even used the visual demonstration of pepper (sins) on top of water (our lives) and soap to represent how repentance works to make us clean and clear away our previous sins... Trust me, IT WAS LEGIT!!! Then as our lesson progressed I think Elder Harper must have checked out because I had gone off of our pre-planned script. So anyway, we get to the end of our lesson and I ask our investigator if he would say the closing prayer (asked him in Spanish, of course) but Elder Harper wasn't following so as we knelt down to pray our investigator was collecting his thoughts and Elder Harper interpreted the silence as his cue to say a prayer! He started praying, which caught my investigator and I totally by surprise so we both look up, give each other a little smirk and the look of "what is this guy doing?!" But I didn't want to interupt so he said an entire prayer (which admittedly was one of his best yet) but it was just SO FUNNY that he didn't understand the investigator had already agreed to pray, but got his chance stolen by my companion. He's just so full of FEO ;) -- recall back to the first embarassing moment of Elder Harper's haha"
This was yesterday:
"Funny story! I LOST MY COMPANION TODAY! We were headed over to the computer lab to do our Spanish grammer study and I was walking behind Harper when I thought I'd take a shortcut and jump down onto the patio and go in throught the sliding door rather than walk the 10 steps more to the front door of the class. It's a common practice of mine -- laziness -- so my companion knows that I do this from time to time. But apparently after I had jumped into the classroom, he turned around and didn't see me so he ran back to our other classroom thinking I had gone back because I had forgotten something -- another thing which happens just as frequently haha. But I don't see him run back and then proceed to do a wild manhunt to find this guy. Eventually I climb all 3 flights of stairs, checking every classroom, run into the awesome Finninsh sisters, tell them my story, they panic which made me even more nervous that I'd lost Elder Harper forever. 10 minutes go by and then he walks into the classroom that I had jumped into in the first place with my 2 other companions in my district. So if anyone could send me one of those backpack leash things that little kids wear, that'd be sweet!"
And this has to be the slickest date move that I came across... We were in class when we look up at the ceiling and see something kind of written on the ceiling. So we turn off the lights and in glow in the dark paint, written on the ceiling is "KISS ME". Two years from now, do not hold it against me when I use this on one of my dates hahaha
- Elder Mundell
P.S. TIES!!!! Ties are great, since their my only sense of fashion I get to have for the next two years :) So if you want to gather up the rally cry to family and friends to send me care packages while I'm still in the MTC that would make you just THAT MUCH COOLER! :D