16 Jun

Hello, family and friends.

Everything is going well here in the MTC. This is the first day of my eighth week; I expect that I’ll be here for about another week and a half, likely leaving on 28 Jun for Mexico.

My companion, Elder Gwynn, leaves a week earlier than I do. Originally, he was delayed due to some paperwork back in January, and when he was reassigned a new date (21 Apr), his bishop and stake president gave him the wrong date for some unknown reason (28 Apr). He will be leaving with the elders that would have been his district this coming Monday, a week before the rest of us. It’s sad to see him go, but I’m glad it’s his time to get out there and work.

In the meantime, I’ll be with another Elder in our district, Elder Forbush. I really respect and love him, although I don’t know if that goes two ways ;) Elder Forbush was supposed to go to Peru with the other Peruvians weeks ago, but the government in Peru has lost his passport or something along those lines. We don’t really know, but he and I often joke that we’ll be the two that get stuck behind while everyone else gets their visas. (We make this joke because it’s happened to two companionships before us– their whole districts leaving without them.)

I don’t know if I told y’all this, but two Sundays ago, Crawford Gates came and spoke. Mr Anderson and Chad would both be jealous to hear this, but I think most of the rest of you probably don’t know that name. Brother Gates is perhaps best known for writing “Our Savior’s Love,” among his other 800-odd compositions. Last night, we had Elder Hallstrom from the Presidency of the Seventy here with us. It’s been quite a privilege to have so many seventies and apostles visit. I’m crossing my fingers for one more in our last devotional.

Next week is “teaching week,” which means that instead of having teachers all week, we do our normal three hours of study, have about an hour with a teacher, and spend the rest of the time teaching. Because Elder Gwynn will be gone by then, Elder Forbush and I have been making all the necessary appointments in the Teaching Evaluation center and preparing to teach together for a week despite never having taught together before. :P

Many people that I know from BYU have been popping up lately. I saw Sister Emma Tan a couple times; I know her because she had a huge crush on one of my roommates last year, and her companion was in Tales of Hoffmann with me last fall. Another sister in my zone was in my conducting class this fall as well. Elder Erik Anderson is about to head out, by the way; he got his travel plans last week and is likely leaving the same day as Elder Gwynn; I can’t really remember.

It’s been interesting, comparing the progression of our district with other Spanish districts. Our teachers decided to pilot a different teaching approach with us which meant we’d spend less time on Spanish and more on other aspects of teaching. I have yet to discover whether we met their expectations with their new teaching plans or not, but it will be interesting to see. Although we, of course, only have seven weeks of Spanish, I can’t deny that the Lord has prepared us in numerous ways to be able to go off to Paraguay, Mexico, and Peru with confidence to teach His word. It’s evident that God has work for us, because I don’t think there’s any other way we could learn a language so quickly, even at this rudimentary level.

All in all, the tender mercies of the Lord have been abundant. His love is abounding, and is upon all of his children. He watches over you and cares for you in ways that seem impossible, but if you will pray with real intent (a desire to act), a sincere heart (true desire to know), and faith in Christ, you really, truly, can know all things by the power of His Spirit.

The last thing I have is a quick apology. Learning another language with many, many cognates is really throwing me off. Hopefully you can read through all my mispellings.

With Love,

Elder Speer.


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