This past week has been incredible for me! I hope everyone back at home is doing great. The amount of spanish that i've been learning so quickly has been ABSURD. I am learning so much, so fast! I'm starting to now be able to understand most of all the grammar concepts and i'm getting more comfortable giving lessons to our "investigators". We use this system called TALL on the computers in the classroom, It's a pretty good spanish crash course. Because spanish stressed me out so badly the first few days I got here, i've been doing TALL in my personal study time a ton, and it's really helped me out a lot. All of the lessons on there are suppose to last the missionary about 6 weeks, the amount of time we'll be in the MTC, but I loved learning it so much that I did every single lesson in the first two weeks. haha. I've been working really hard here to try to do all I can to understand spanish. My district sometimes wastes time talking and socializing, and I love my district so it's really tempting to just talk with them during study time, but I feel like i've been using my time here wisely. I'm getting more confident in my spanish, even though I know that when I get to Argentina i'm going to have to relearn it all over again. Like literally, Argentina uses a verb conjugation type called "vos" that we don't learn here at the MTC. So i'll have to learn how to speak that once I get out there, but at least i'm getting a good spanish foundation here. So basically all we do here is have class all day, everyday. I really it a lot actually, i'm learning so much. But nothing too excited usually happens for me to report about to you guys. I've had a couple of experiences though this past week that have really impacted me and the way that I think about things a lot.
First, we had a devotional on sunday night, and after the devotional we had the choice to go watch one of four movies, and my district choose to go watch "The Character of Christ" by David A. Bednar. It's a video of a talk he gave here at the MTC a few years ago. It's a truly amazing, inspired talk he gave, and I could never include enough words in my email here to be able to tell you guys how I felt about it, but the basic idea is this. For most of us, when we have afflictions or trials or small, hard, every day things going on in their life, we turn inward, and we think about how hard OUR lives are, and we think that we deserve to get what we want, right now. The Character of Christ, evident in the New Testament, when things were difficult for him, as he did have to go through harder things than any man has ever had to go through, Christ turns OUTWARD when the natural man would turn inward. Meaning, when he had a hard thing happen to him, he went and served someone else. He was ALWAYS thinking about how He could help someone else in need, but when in reality he was the greatest in need of them all. He was able to do this because the amazing amount of love for all of us. His life was service. That's what Christ's character is, and if it weren't for the character of Christ, there could have been no atonement. I want to live my life just like that. I want my mission to be exactly that. I want to serve and love the people of Argentina with my whole heart, I want every minute to be thinking about how I could help someone else's life be better.
Second, yesterday I was in a class that I learned a lot in. It was based of D&C 4, and the teacher talked a lot about what he learned on his mission. What he found is that when he really discovered what a mission was all about, when he discovered who he really was and when he was the most happy in his life, he realized that it's all about serving and loving the people. Having charity and love in your heart for every single person you met. That's what I want my mission to be! Losing myself in the service of other people, caring for other people. And in so doing, I think that's how I learn a lot about myself and how to be Christlike. So this week, i'm going to try to really start this by serving the people in my district and trying my best to love the people I come in contact with.
Well, i've ripped two pairs of pants at the leg seams and i've had my top button on both my suit coats come off already. It's not like because i'm gaining weight or anything, i'm actually monitoring my eating really well here and I wake up early every morning and work out the best I can. I think it just must be that I did too many squats in my old pre mission life, so my thighs are massively huge and too much for these pants to handle.(: haha. It's a real problem though, the struggle is real. Luckily, there's an alterations place on campus that I can get my pants sewed up at.
I'm trying really hard to use all my time productively here. I love my district so much, it is such a blessing from the Lord that I have them as my district. I really don't think i'd be in a happy place right now if I didn't have my exact companion that I have, my district, my teacher, everything. I know for sure that the Lord's hand was in all of it. I don't really have much else to say, i'm just studying all day everyday! Nothing too exciting. I really like it a lot here. I hope everyone is doing great back at home.
Love, Elder Miles