Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Visa! 9-11-12

Hello Family!

Sounds like you guys have had a crazy week! I hope Brooklyn in feeling better; I can't believe she got hit by a horseshoe. That will be quite the story! Is she going to have a scar?

Congratulations mom on your new promotion, that sounds amazing! Speaks to how hard you work and how well you do your job to be promoted so quickly. I hope everyone is over the sickness that was going around at home, I am like 90% better from last week.  I think the antibiotics helped and the nasal spray is awesome, I am trying to figure out how I can get it refilled so I can take it on my mission. (Mom you asked for the name, I am in the computer lab so I don’t know it but I will send it in your personal letter later this week.) Thanks for the letters this week, they don’t print them out on weekends so I got the mail yesterday and had 5 different letters! I was pretty excited.

I actually have a lot to write about this week. Last Wednesday we got a call on the intercom during one of our classes. It was the travel office, everyone get really excited, they then called Elder Cluff’s name, everyone was a little disappointed but I was happy I was getting out of class. Then after a long pause they proceeded to call everyone else’s name in our district. We literally all just got up and ran across the MTC campus to the travel office (our building is literally the furthest one away!) It was probably the most exciting thing that had happened to us at the MTC thus far. So we get there and they told us that Monday we would get to go to the consulate in Salt Lake City to sign our visas! We were all pretty stoked! So yesterday we left at 1:30 and took a bus ride to down town Salt Lake City, it was actually a pretty scary part of town. We got there, they took our pictures and fingerprints, and then we signed all the paperwork they needed. Everything there was in Spanish, and everyone spoke Spanish. I thought I was doing okay at Spanish here at the MTC, but I realized I will literally not know anything they say when I get there. I know the words but they just speak so fast. I was able to read a Spanish newspaper for the most part but I couldn’t understand when they were talking. So that was an exciting day yesterday, nice to finally get a taste of the real world again. Then last night we saw lightning hit the mountain just above BYU and it caught on fire, it was kind of cool we could see it right out our window. It burned out within 20 minutes.

So we should get our travel plans this week! We are expecting them tomorrow or Thursday. I am just relieved to know I got my visa and I won’t be going to Idaho for a few months or something.
Also, because we have been here so long we get to be the hosts for the new missionaries coming in tomorrow, which should be fun. Our schedule also changes a little next week, which is really exciting because it has been the same thing every week for the past 8 weeks. So these last two weeks should go really fast. I am super stoked to get out of here, but it’s getting really close and I am starting to realize, wait I am actually going to Mexico, I don’t speak Spanish and they don’t like white people. So a little nervous too, but mostly just stoked!

So the Lamberts are leaving the same day I am? Are they flying out through the salt lake airport? That would be crazy if I saw them! Also with me leaving I get to call home from the airport, I can get a calling card here that has more than enough time on it. I am still not sure what time we leave but I will let you know when we get our travel plans. Just plan to have your phone on you all day on the 24th!
Dad you were asking about our classes, it’s literally been the same thing for the whole time we have been here. We start by teaching an "investigator" then we learn grammar then we talk about a fundamental of teaching. We have not had any culture classes which is kind of a bummer. But one of our teachers is from Mexico, so sometimes we get her of topic a little and she will tell us all about it and about the culture and people and things like that. We also have in-field orientation next Friday, I’m not quite sure what that is but maybe it will have some culture things too.

So you might have noticed I haven’t mentioned about Elder Cluff or our companionship lately. Elder Cluff and I are probably complete opposites; we have absolutely nothing in common, nothing. So it has been really challenging at times, we don’t think the same way, we approach problems differently, the way we do things is just different. So that has been kind of tuff, but we have really been working on it the last month or so. I have been able to learn so much from elder Cluff, and especially how to work with people. We both want to do well, we both want to become better missionaries, and we both work hard. So we have been able to find our common ground right there. We have really figured out how to teach with each other. Our lessons even over the last week have become so much better its incredible. We are opposites but he has strengths where I have weaknesses and it goes the other way too. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to work with him. We would have never been friends outside of the MTC. But through a mutual love for Christ and a love for serving others we have been able to find love for each other and even become good friends. I know if we are humble and willing to work at it we can come to love anyone, and I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to learn that.

This last week or two I have really been studying and reading a lot more because I am feeling more comfortable with the Spanish. Before I have had to study so much Spanish to prepare for my lessons, that I haven’t had a lot of study time. Now I know enough Spanish to get through a lesson, and I know the lessons really well, I don’t have to prep for so long for them. So I have been able to read a lot of the book of Mormon in Spanish, I am in 2 Nephi chapter 5 I think in Spanish. I am amazing at the story of Nephi and the visions he sees, simply because he is willing to obey the lord and trust in him. I also have been reading the book of Mormon in English; I am in 3rd Nephi right now. I absolutely loved Helaman, if you want a good read, read Helaman chapters 5-12ish. Also in 3rd Nephi I am amazed at the pride of the people. They were going to kill the believers because their signs were not coming. Their signs come and everyone is all of the sudden converted. They are good for about 2 years, and they start doing what is right. then they forget their the Lord, 2 years after these amazing signs and become evil again, they have prophets and people to remind them but they simply don’t care. I know sometimes it can be easy to forget the Lord, but we need to be humble and remember his hand in all things. The last thing I have been reading a lot is Jesus the Christ. I have read nearly 200 pages this week! I can’t put it down. If you have the time I would challenge you to read that. It helps you come to know Christ in a completely different way. The thing I liked most so far is they was it talks about how Christ still had the veil, he was born and had forgotten everything, just like us. He had to gradually gain his knowledge again. He had to learn. He had to come to the realization that he was the Christ and redeemer of the world. Our gospel knowledge comes this way. With studying it we can come to know better who we are and what our purpose is, and gain knowledge and wisdom in the gospel just like Christ.
I love you and miss you all!
Elder Utley

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