First, Happy Birthday Abu!! I hope you had an amazing day and have an amazing year!! Next time we talk it will be in Spanish!! :)
So, Whoah!! This week has been nuts. It's true, the days are long and short at the same time... I couldn't explain it if my life depended on it. So, let's just move on with the update!
To start, Spanish is going really well. I've been talking with latinos, playing soccer, etc. It's been a lot of fun and a lot of work!
We've been going almost every day with our progressing investigators, and it's been really fun. It presents amazing oppurtunity to learn and grow and figure out how to teach 'people', and not just teach 'lessons'.
So a few things really stuck out to me this week:
First off, an elder, Elder Thaden, posed a question while we were just studying in class... "Why is it harder to do good things?" And immediately I though back to being a kid, when a similar question was asked of me (after a friend commented in frustration 'Nick, it would be so easy to be bad'). After Elder Thaden asked the question, everyone started weighing in their own ideas, but nothing really satisfied him. So I sat and prayed because I really wanted to know as well. After thinking about the life of Christ, I had the impression or came to the conclusion that any good thing worth having or doing requires sacrifice... and so that's what I offered him. He said "Oh, thanks, that makes sense" and went right back to work. I soon realized that the answer came from the Spirit, and it helped him, and helped me, understand why a good choice can, and usually is, the harder one. Even the simplest of good things, like preparing to do well for a test, requires sacrifice of other stuff, like netflix, gaming, hangout time or whatever... literally anything worth doing, requires effort, trade-offs or sacrifice.
Something else that really stuck out, was an experience I had with Elder Templeton. He's honestly one of the best here and his hometown is near Provo, so he said that we gotta hang once we get back. :) Family, you'd love this guy. Real gentle giant kinda guy. Anyway, he had kinda been struggling with the language, and we were practicing as a class how to teach about prayer. Elder Templeton and I were partners and he got the last practice, which was talking for 5 minutes. And let me tell you, that Elder spoke amazing Spanish for all 5 minutes and the Spirit was so strong as he spoke. The teacher noticed we were kinda having a moment and asked how he felt, and Templeton said that he has never spoken Spanish like that before and we were all crying and it was awesome. I love that guy.
It makes me think of the first couple verses of 1 Corinthians Chapter 2... this is totally how we feel.
Chapter 2 The gospel is preached by the power of the Spirit—The Spirit reveals all things to the Saints—The unrepentant natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God.
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
And my speech and my preaching not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Me and Elder Templeton
Another thing, this week we learned much of Joseph Smith's life and the lives of the early saints. It made me appreciate the lives of people before me that allowed me to live this life. I became so grateful that Mom was late to the Nordstrom opening so she could meet Dad. I'm so glad Abu and Tata left Argentina in hopes of a better life. I honestly just sat and felt the Spirit confirm that my life is the way it is because of the lives of so many other people. And for that I'm so very grateful.
This was further confirmed when Elder White and I were called as Zone Leaders for the MTC. Now we're in charge of overseeing three Districts, and this is highly unusual because we weren't District Leaders, and we're still so young here at the MTC. I'm excited to have this oppurtunity to further serve other missionaries.
Me and my comp, Elder White
Also, GUESS WHAT!! I met an Elder named Elder Recca, A big Hawaiin dude that was wearing a Kamehameha shirt! So of course I approached him, started talking, and I just had to ask... 'Do you know Elder Nakayama?' And he lit up! He totally knew him!! What a small world!!! So yeah, we connected on that. That was way cool. And don't worry Mom, I emailed Elder Nakayama about it already! Ha! :)
I'm so glad you all are well. I love you guys so very much. Be good, God loves you and has a plan for all of us. He wants us to be happy, and we can be happy through Christ! :)
Love you guys
Until next week,
The District (well, most of them anyway!)