Thursday, July 16, 2015

Week 3

Dear Family and Friends, 

I just passed the halfway point in the MTC on Monday night and I am doing very well! Thank you for your prayers, support, and emails. I really enjoy reading about what's happening back home. Truthfully, this was a pretty tough week. I am still really happy and enjoying my time in the MTC!!  I am loving speaking Spanish and learning about our Savior Jesus Christ! 

First of all, I was playing soccer during my gym time on Saturday with a bunch of American Elders, and I banged up my right foot pretty bad. About halfway through the game, I attempted to make contact with the ball and shot right in front of the goal, but then another Elder who has never played soccer in his life swung his foot and our feet collided and my foot came out way worse.  I have been limping and pounding Tylenol since Saturday. However, don't worry, nothing is broken or sprained. I will soon be healed and back on the basketball court tearing it up with my companion Elder Stockard. 

This week was also hard because our evening teacher, who is fantastic by the way, but also demands a lot from us, informed my district that we were "Soló Español" missionaries for our last 25 days in the MTC. Soló Español means that I cannot speak English at all outside of my house, on Sundays, or on Thursday. So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, from 7:15 AM to 9:30 PM, I only speak Spanish. And for every word I speak in English, except to clarify things in class, I have to do a push up. I average about 120 pushups every day. It's tough. But honestly I am so grateful for it because I am discovering the words I don't know and need to learn to have an everyday conversation and I'll be only speaking Spanish come August 3rd so I might as well start now! I honestly love speaking Spanish too, I can't wait to go out to the field! 

Yesterday, we welcomed another batch of missionaries to the MTC. Every Wednesday we welcome new kids and it's always refreshing. One of the new sisters even asked me if I was a teacher here! It was one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. I quickly assured her that I wasn't, I guess she heard me talking with another teacher and thought I could speak Spanish. If she saw my lesson with a native of Mexico City last night then she definitely wouldn't have thought that because I probably understood half of what she said so I'll keep on practicing. 

The MTC is such a funny experience to me. It's amazing how uniformed I am of the outside world. For example, on Tuesday, a few Elders had their preparation day and read their emails and I guess one of their friends played a joke on him and said that Lebron James had gone back to the Heat after only one year in Cleveland. These couple of Elders proceeded to convince every Elder in the MTC that Lebron had indeed moved teams and even showed everyone the email to convince us. Basically, for the past 3 days, until now, I have believed that Lebron James moved to the Miami Heat. It's both a blessing because I can solely focus on my missionary training and on the Spanish language and also incredibly funny because false rumors about the outside world spread like wildfire. 

Anyway, all is well! I love the Gospel and love Jesus Christ. He truly did die for our sins and for that I am eternally grateful. Remember that this is a life of joy so find happiness in every moment. 

All the best,
Elder Shipley 

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