Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013

Hola familia,
 
Well my time in the MTC is nearly complete. Sorry I didn't send a letter off on Monday. Our district had the opportunity to host the Senior Couple Missionaries on Monday so we didn't have the usual hour between service and gym time. But yeah 6 weeks have gone by in a flash. I did get my travel itinerary last Friday; we leave SLC at 8:39 am on Tuesday, and I am pretty sure we will leave the MTC around 5:00 am. So I think a call around 7ish-7:30ish will occur. Dad did mention about you  guys sending down a phone card, i don't care. They do have them in the Bookstore and that was what I was planning on doing. My last day I can buy one is Saturday. However I am getting low on cash, dry cleaning suck up most of it cause they didn't take  debit cards. I am down to about 5 buck so if you could get some from my saving account that would be awesome. Also can you transfer over money to my checking account so it is at a even 200? I don't want to take any chances with it getting too low. Thanks so much for your help with that, that is the one bad thing about the MTC, you really can't utilize the internet past LDS.org and Mormon.org.
 
So yeah, last few days in the MTC. I can't lie, for a moment there I was getting a little tired of the MTC and just ready to get to Long Beach. But after yesterday I am really going to miss it here. One of our teachers, Hermano Welch, is leaving for the rest of the week cause his uncle died. So yesterday was our last class period with him. It was a great last class time with him though and I really enjoyed having him as my teacher. We did get some pictures and I will see if I can get them sent off today, I left my camera in the residency so I had to have some one else take it and send it to me. It was a little sad after we took some pictures cause he was leaving and walking down the hallway and they he raised his hand into a fist as he walked down the hall. It was a little sad seeing that, but at the same time really cool. I will have to send a picture. The teachers and zone resource teachers here are so nice and have such strong testimonies about the work and have such great faith in us learning the language and the lessons. I know that my testimony and knowledge of the gospel has grown because of them and has really increased my desire to share it with the people of Long Beach.
 
So to answer Mom's question about running. I have been able to do a little bit of running and the shoes are working great. I gave up on trying to go for the mile record because I felt like it was a distraction to my purpose here at the MTC, plus everyone didn't want to go to the gym so I could run on the track every day. There is an elder in our zone who actually ran for BYU. He was a lot like Jason  and likes the shorter distances, mostly the 800 but he wants to do more of the mile. So I have had the opportunity to run with him a little bit and hear about his running stories. He has a faster 800 time, we have about the same 1500 and mile time, and I have the faster distance times so he is very similar to Jason. I will admit I was missing my running shorts yesterday during our run. I was so hot with all the layers of clothing I had on it was a difficult run. But I think I need to heed the words of Coach Reeder and not focus so much on running and more on the work, and I think it will be a little bit better in the mission field.
 
The Spanish is coming along very nicely. I am able to speak it for a good majority of the day, the little bit that I know. There is still a lot to learn and my vocabulary is still pretty low. But I have definitely seen the hand of the Lord helping me understand the grammar principles and retain vocabulary. I remember during a lesson I had not gone over the vocabulary for the lesson and was super nervous for the lesson. But then suddenly I was spurting out sentence after sentence of Spanish about our lesson and about 78% of it was correct. So that definitely was a strong testimony building experience that the Lord does help us remember the things to say. So right now the biggest barrier I need to overcome is vocabulary and listening. For TRC on Monday we taught a member who was from Chile and spoke Spanish very fast. I probably caught and understood about 25% of what she said so it was pretty hard knowing what her experiences are and how our message can help her. So hopefully with time, practice, and the help of the Lord, that barrier will be destroyed. It is actually pretty amazing to see how much we have learned over the past 6 weeks. I remember taking Spanish in high school and not getting to preterit till my junior year and we covered preterit like 3 weeks into my time at the MTC. Drew and Briton weren't joking when they said that you will learn so much in so little time.
 
Well I think that sums up everything. Tomorrow we will be doing in field orientation which is just safety classes and applying what we have learned. I am actually super excited to attend it. Then Saturday will be a normal Saturday and Sunday will be the same except we will have a departure devotional along with the main devotional. Then on Monday my companion and two elders from our district will leave for their mission, leaving us who are going to Long Beach. It is pretty crazy how fast the past 6 weeks have gone bye, and how much I have learned in that timeframe. Now it is time to apply what I have learned and get to work. This work is amazing and will truly bless the lives of everyone. I am a little nervous of getting to Long Beach and teaching, but am also super excited and am anxious to just get out and work. It is going to be a great experience and I know that with the Lord, all things will be possible if we turn to Him for His guidance and help.
 
Love you all. Next email I will include a picture of nice sunny Long Beach :) The Gospel is true!! I know it, I live it, I love it.
 
Elder Roberts