FAMILIA Y AMIGOS!!!
Hola! From the MTC! I'm here I finally made it! I love it here in the MTC, honestly I think the MTC is exactly what you make it. It's all about attitude and loving everyone. Honestly though, the MTC is nothing like what I thought it would be. I'd really even seen it up close before, so in my mind I imagined it being this big gigantic building for all of the missionaries, in some sort of mall structure with rooms and classrooms and a cafeteria. Nothing like that, if you've never been here before, essentially it's like a micro college campus, you've got the residence halls where each of the different zones sleep in different buildings. Then you've got your cafeteria building with some other rooms for meetings, and then there's a bunch of separate buildings for all of the different language's and for training the missionaries.Spanish is going amazing!! Honestly the gift of tongue's is SOOO real! I took 2 years of Espanol back in high school, and honestly I had forgotten the majority of it all except for a few words. I've been here for a week exactly now, and I can speak in sentences, slowly, I can bear my testimony, I can pray, It's going so well. I can almost hold a conversation, but it takes me a while to conjugate everything to fit and I only have a small vocabulary, but it's great!!! I love Spanish so much!!! It's so much fun to speak and try and figure out how to say everything, and also to be able to understand everything is so cool. Our teachers are Hermana Bennet and Hermano Roberts, they speak only in Spanish all of the time, except for when we don't understand everything, then they'll explain it so that we know what the words are, but it's 96% Espanol, and 4% English. I love it!My companion, his name is Elder Hall, he's from a little town in Arizona called Vernin, It's about 20 minutes away from Sholo is what he said, if you know where that is. He's awesome, super energetic and excited all of the time. I'll try and send a picture of him, he has a really strong testimony, but he is really struggling with the language, he took 3 years of sign language in High school and speaks that amazingly fluently, and he was really hoping to go on a state side ASL mission, but he and I are going to the same mission. He knows that he just needs to be patient, but he hates not being able to understand everything and not being able to speak his mind, because he likes to talk all of the time. He's a redneck, according to him, and he's proud of it.
This past week was crazy though, the first few days were kind of hard, we got in to class the first day and all of us were confused because our teachers were speaking only Spanish, but then a few of us started catching on to what they were saying and could help the rest of our district. But then, on the first night they were talking to us and they told us to start preparing a lesson, and they showed us a video of this guy talking, his name is Guillermo, he only speaks Spanish, he has been struggling with drugs and some other stuff, and we had to prepare a lesson to teach him. Then, we had about an hour and a half in class the next day and mi companero (companion) and I taught him a lesson Thursday night, all in Espanol. We had to fill 30 minutes, it was the worst lesson that I've ever taught in my life! Haha! But then we got back to class the next day and they told us to prepare a lesson again, so we've taught him about 5 times so far, only in Espanol, but we've been improving a ton every time. Oh yeah, they haven't "officially" told us that he's another teacher yet, but I'm like 99% sure no one would sit there for 3 hours while they get lessons from 6 companionship's. And we can see his garments, but not even worried about it. I still look at him as a real investigator and try and plan our lesson's around what we want to commit him to do.The food here is.... well.... BYU food service food, and that's pretty much it. It's just okay, definitely not the healthiest food in the world, and there is so much of it. It's kind of odd, because you walk in and you just hop in a line and start grabbing whatever food you want and you just walk away with it and eat it. I almost feel like I'm stealing it, but I'm not. I try not to eat to much, I don't want to put on the pounds here at the MTC. But everyday we get to have about 40 - 50 minutes to work out/play games in the gym, the first few days I played some 4 square and some volleyball, but the past 2 days, I've been able to go to the gym and get in a good workout.My Spanish district is awesome!! I love all of them! We've got a decently big district, we have 12 people it it, 10 Elders and 2 Hermanas (Sisters), we had a testimony meeting with our district near the beginning of the week, and everyone has a cool story of how they decided to come on a mission and we all have great testimonies. Surprisingly, there are only 2 other people in my district from Utah, the rest are from the surrounding states. One's from Beaver, and the other is from Sandy and went to Alta, so we knew some of the same people it was pretty awesome. But everyone else is from Idaho, Arizona, or California, and a lot of them are from small towns.Anyways, the first few days were rough, but from Sunday on has been so much better, and my first P-day has been awesome, I never thought I'd miss wearing a T-shirt this much, but it feels great! But that doesn't matter, I enjoy getting to be a missionary everyday, I've seen several people here that I know, including that stud Elder Brown (how's that shout out Carter).The Spirit here is amazing, I really like the personal and language study time. They challenged us at the beginning of the stay to finish the Book of Mormon before we leave. So I decided that it would be really cool if I could read it in English and in Espanol, so I'm going through one verse at a time reading it in English and then in Espanol. It's pretty awesome, also we have 2 devotionals a week here, yesterday we got to hear from Elder Costa of the seventy, it was a great talk, he talked about his own conversion story and about missionary work and it really just motivated me to keep working hard.All of the emails from home were really appreciated, it was so cool to hear from all of you about what's going on. I can't wait to email let you know what I'm up to again next week. I love you all, I hope all is going well in your lives, and if anyone wants to send me a Dear elder, they're free to send to the Provo MTC, my address is down below on my signature. Thanks so much I'll catch you all next week! I'm scheduled to leave, just so you know as well.P.S. I can't send pictures yet, you need a SD card reader to hook up to these computers because they are super dulled down so people can't do much on them, but I'll send pictures next week of me and my district and my companion. Adios!
Argentina Buenos Aires South MissionMailing Address:Elder Stockton Gerald SlackARG-BAS2007 N 900 E Unit 97Provo UT 8462