Thursday, April 30, 2009

On the picture front, I'll try and get more pictures with me in it, but I don't have any time here. I mean really I almost regret most of those because I wasted so much time taking them! I'll see what I can do.

Pero I got a lot of letters yesterday so it sounds like everyone now knows about the blog I got some from the Leppert's (George and Rhiannon). Oh and I forgot that Ben, Julie Nash and Barb have all emailed me. I'm sure barb hears a lot from all of you so thank them all if you can. That is really great to hear about Bryton. Tell him that if he stays close to the Lord and does his best to do everything that he can to study the gospel, it will help him immensely on his mission and tell him that I admire what he is doing a lot.

Tell all of the priests to make sure that before they come out here that they read the BOM and hopefully the entire standard works and Preach My Gospel. Doing that has helped me a ton. I feel as though I'm not behind in the gospel section, just the language. I'm learning a ton here about the gospel but almost all of it is familiar. I just have to refamiliarize myself with the material then start to apply it.

Oh and I'll probably get a good plaque picture in Argentina. I'm thinking there isn't a whole lot a great places here.

I'm sorry I'm not answering many of the questions from the letters. I'll do that on Tuesday. But many wanted me to talk a bit about what it's like here. But, thank you all so much for your advice and support. I really enjoy getting your letters and feeling of your love.

Life in the MTC. Huh well ok. From wake up to the time I go to bed. It is a little bit different each day but I'll do my best to explain it all. Wake up; I usually wake up around 6:30 but not always as sometimes I have to get up earlier to be able to be ready on time like today. I finally got quick and organized enough to be able to get to class on time most days.

I start class at 7:00 am where we sing (in Spanish) pray (in Spanish) and read a scripture (in Spanish). We do that as a district. After that my companion and myself go off and study usually our personal study stuff. We mostly focus on our investigators and try to have stuff like scriptures and such in our study journals so we have material to draw from during our lessons. At 7:45 am we have breakfast and on Wednesdays we have an English fast were the entire zone (three districts right now) don't speak any English all day (more or less).

Breakfasts here are alright I guess nothing compared to the other food in my opinion. Breakfast is 30 minutes then we usually go to gym. Gym is granted a little annoying for me because I can't bike and I can't swim, which have always been my usual methods of exercising. I would run but me knee has been giving me a lot of problems so now I usually just play volleyball. The field just opened last week but once again those all involve a lot of potential opportunities to mess up my knee more. Gym goes for 50 minutes and afterwards we have a half hour to shower and get ready for more class.

After gym it is usually personal, companionship and language study time. Also due to our teachers we teach a ton during this time. We teach about 15 lessons a day to teachers in what is called the TEC. Usually missionaries might teach a couple a week, so I'm really glad for that because I love teaching and knowing what I can do to improve. In fact we got one fake baptism and two more with dates (imagine that).

After study time and teaching we usually go lunch at 12:30 for 45 minutes. This is some of the best food ever! I love the food here and there are great choices all of the time too. Interestingly, almost all of my district complains about the food here but I think that once we've had our 50th straight serving of beef in Argentina they might think differently. Which interestingly most everyone here gains a lot of weight but actually I'm not gaining everything. In fact I actually lost a couple of pounds which I have since gained back. But at least I don't have to worry about getting fat here (sorry to disappoint you Sebring).

After Lunch we have class time with a teacher or LGM. LGM is large group meeting and they are awesome. They are like mini devotionals. A teacher has a prepared lesson about how to be more successful which I love. My companion usually falls asleep which is too bad because he misses a lot at them. After LGM we go to class with either Hermano (brother in Spanish) Craine or Call.

Ok, times up and I have to go but I'll continue a little bit later today with this. I have to go to breakfast bye!

30 Minutes Later After Breakfast...

I only have 5 minutes left so I'll have to finish the rest of this some other time.

Class time with the teachers is awesome. We actually just got a new teacher. Both of the previous teachers were over the 3 year limit on serving here, which of course means that they were fantastic and we are so blessed to have them. The new one, Hermano Call, is not nearly as experienced. You can tell, however, that he is an amazing teacher none the less. Hermano Crane is my favorite out of them all, and he has really helped me a lot through interviews and such. He went to Argentina on his mission, which is good because he knows all of their terms, which are a lot different from the rest of Latin America.

Also I have the accent down for the most part because he taught us how, so I'm pretty good at the accent. Well I'm out of time. So I'll continue next week and answer all of your questions when I bring the letters to the lab.

Thanks so much for everything

Love Elder Sands

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Acea really good job with the playing but I know I don't have to tell you that you're amazing and I really miss listening to the piano!

Is Hailey already 8? Wow, tell her happy birthday for me and oh yeah when is Devin's birthday? I want to email him before that comes around so get me his email and I'll send him something. I think it was May 29 right? I don't remember.

What is the name of the young man because that is very impressive and inspiring! I hope something like that happens to Britan (sorry about the spelling).

So for my Plaque; Alma 29:10 and maybe 9 too I don't know. I think that was it but I'll check really quickly or maybe not as this computer isn't working right none of them are.

I have 30 minutes to write and think about what I'm going to say. So there's not a ton of time because I usually think a lot about what I'm going to write so I can help others. Who has written me? Well Sister Jones writes me once a week but they come about 10 days after she writes them; I don't know why. President Lee sent me Brother Steenblik's talk from a priesthood session which I really liked and part of the newsletter. I have also received letters from Ben, Devey, Ryne, and Shiloh. Karyl also writes me about once a week. And one Hermana. However, due to the daily routine, I'll explain that on Thursday and I'll devote the whole time to it, how about that.

The camera; well they're all mine. I sent like 94 pictures to Karyl on that CD. I don't know why you've only seen a few but you should tell her how to get them to you easier.

About my knee. You don't need to worry. It's doing a lot better, in fact it hasn't bothered me at all for a couple of weeks. The trainers (in the gym here speaking of which one lives in the Puget Sound area and he had a cool conversation) said go for a run to find out how it's doing. So I ran and after about a mile and a half of no pain all of the sudden it was back. Not bad, but back never the less. So I got it iced today and on p-day, so no more gym. But this is such a pain, let me tell you. Now they want me to do some stretching exercises to see if that is it, because I'm most definitely, not flexible.

This week has had some good times and some not so good times, but that is the way life is.

The Devotionals are always fantastic and the spirit is always so strong there! I really wish all of you could have been here for a lot of them. This Sunday in fact the speaker was the head of the church missionary department. He talked about what we we're sacrificing to be out here and I realized just how much I was sacrificing. I really do miss everyone! However I know that I'm doing what the Lord wants me to and I have seen countless blessings because of it.

One other thing; the Temple is the best place on earth! I love p-days only because of the temple. It brings some much joy into my life. I get really frustrated sometimes down here, with my companion, with the language, but the House of the Lord just makes all of that go away and I enjoy going there so much. Go there as often as you can. Figuratively, keep both hands on the temple and you won't go too far astray!

One funny note that a speaker on Sunday asked was who had already received a Dear John or Jane letter. There were surprisingly a lot out of the 1500 or so that are here right now.

I have no more time but I love you all and keep the spirit with you always!

Love Elder Sands

Thursday, April 23, 2009

So not a whole lot has happened since I last wrote you and I didn't get anything from anyone since then, so just a little bit to tell you.

Did you put up the blog? That I think that is a great idea. However I may cut them shorter once I get out into the field. I don't know how much time I'll have and they'll only be once a week. I'm just lucky here in the MTC that I get to do it twice a week. My P-day is on Tuesday and due to our service and devotional we get to write on Thursdays too. I'm pretty sure my zone is the only one in the MTC that get's to email twice a week. So don't get used to it. Also, if you don't send me any questions I won't really have much to write you about so please ask questions at least while I'm in the MTC.

I don't think I have too many questions for you. How is Spokane? I have to say I miss it although in Utah we have got huge mountains right in your face. It's like Mt. Spokane in your back yard, pretty cool. Once I'm finally able to get you video's (I can't get them to you here) you'll see a lot of them. I have a really funny one talking about how many there are.

I'm sure you all want to hear a little bit about how Spanish is going. Well it's going, although not too quickly. I am most definitely the least knowledgeable when it comes to Spanish. However, due to all of the splits (Team Teaching) I went out on, I have a bit of an edge on teaching and love doing it. So I use some of that time on getting better at Spanish. We just learned subjunctives, which pretty much makes me have to change the way I say everything now. We had a streak for the past few weeks where we played a game that forced us to speak only Spanish. If we drew the "yes" card, and of course I drew it the most getting it 8 days, it meant I really didn't say much because of my limited vocabulary and lack of how to use what vocabulary I do know. I have really improved though I'm usually able to get my point across in a very roundabout way. It does take a while and I still do a little bit of "spanglish", but the Lord has certainly helped me a ton as I have been learning this language. It has really helped me to realize that it is His work. I have done a some Spanish before but due to circumstances, I didn't really do very well. This time around however, even though I don't really have much to draw on from before, I can tell that I have divine help.

We can all receive that help when we need it. We just have to ask and live worthy of it!

Love Elder Sands

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I heard Elder Case got transferred. I hope his new mission is a great blessing for him.

Well anyways um I'm glad you got the CD you know I did send that last Thursday morning. What took it so long; I think Karyl is about 5 minutes away? Whatever (I should learn that word in Spanish because I realized I use it a lot).

So yes I want other people to know what is going on and the blog idea is a really good one. That is a fantastic idea. You can put some pictures and the "general" portion of my letters each week.

What were Elder Perry and President Richardson doing in our ward? I really want to know and I wish I could have been there for it!

Thank you for the shoes I'm wearing them right now actually. I like them so much more than the other ones.

Oh yeah about comp inventory yesterday it was like way bad. We were just about to kill each other! This is exactly the kind of companion Bishop Wilhelm warned me about before I left! Grrr. Oh well I am learning from him that's for sure.

I might bring my notes from Elder Holland's talk later but he essentially said don't ever leave your mission and have no regrets and I never intend to!

I heard about the crazy amount of snow that came in, that's crazy I thought it was bad here. Actually today it's really beautiful. Of course though I can't just enjoy it, it looks like I have something that sets off allergy like symptoms down here. That is annoying but it is really reminding me how much I miss Spokane right now.

The MTC is starting to lose it excitement if you know what I mean. But the devotionals are so amazing! The spirit is always so strong here all of the time. We had Elder Holland come and speak to us not too long ago. It was fantastic and he said some things that I think will really help my mission. Speaking of which, in the middle of sacrament meeting on Sunday, I got a prompting that told me about one of the things that I need to learn from Elder Stout. I have been praying for that ever since I got here really and I finally know one of the things and it wasn't the answer I was looking for. Before he was the District Leader and now he is my senior companion (we automatically switch at the half way mark here) so before, even though I was the senior companion, he overrode a lot of the stuff I was trying to do, and now the same thing. So I really need to learn patience and to do things the way my leaders say even if I don't agree with what they are doing. I have been so blessed with fantastic leaders in Spokane like Bishop Wilhelm, President Lee, President Borders, and teachers Sister Jones and the Simkins just to name a few. I miss that but I know that all of this "will work together for [my] good", if I endure it well. So let the learning begin!

To Ryne: (he sent me a letter) Thanks for the letter. It's great to hear from home!

The MTC is fantastic! The spirit is always so strong here and that is something that has helped me so much, especially with the Spanish because I don't know very much about it. Try to do everything you can to get the spirit in your life. It will be the best thing you ever do. It certainly has been that way for me! I leave the MTC in mid May so that's when I'll fly down to Argentina.

The pioneer trek was one of the best experiences of my life. Learn to love every step of that trek and you will grow, I can promise you that. With your drivers license you have to promise me that you will go to church every Sunday and that you won't have too much fun alright. hahaha just kidding.

I can't wait for the day when I can hear about your mission. I guess I'll get to talk to you once I get back. Thanks again for the letter! Please write me every so often.

Love ya

Elder Sands

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So I think I'm going to change the structure of my emails a bit. I'll write a section that can be sent to everyone who wants it. More for you of course and then stuff at the end if I have time to answer other people's questions and such. So did you ever send anything off to anybody?

Well the MTC is great. Our half way mark was over the weekend I think. We had some great speakers at the devotionals one of which was Brother Heaton (I think that's who it was) He was the Mission President in Spokane in 94 he said I got to talk to him afterwards. Tuesday's devotional was amazing we were fortunate enough to have Elder Holland come and speak to us. What's more my zone, because we set up for all of the devotionals (I set up chairs surprise, surprise). Phil, the one that is in charge of us when we do that, told us that we had to do it perfectly and then he told us why and said we couldn't tell anyone. So our zone was really excited for the couple of hours before the devotional and all of our zone got like 5th row seats. I sang in the Choir which was awesome. We sang Redeemer of Israel, one of my favorites. His talk was so powerful and I took a ton of notes and I feel like I didn't take nearly enough. If we let it, it's one of those talks that can "change your mission" I'm trying to get a transcript of it but they don't do that often here at the MTC. It is so hard to get anything here from the devotionals.

Yesterday we got 3 inches of snow down here! Yeah my companion and most of my district loves it. Most of them have not been around much snow during their lives. I'm was not so thrilled after our snow events this year. I could live without any for a while if you know what I mean. One of the elders threw a snowball at me and missed of course to his surprise I was able to nail him several times after class on our way to our rooms. He must have forgotten that I've been around snowballs my whole life!

I'm sure that everyone has heard that my companion and I don't exactly get along. The only thing we have in common is Washington (he's from Moses Lake). We have really been having a lot of friction in our companionship. We had companionship inventory yesterday which is usually very, very tense. This time however, it was a little bit different. When we got to the part where you let each other know what you don't like about each other he was complaining about something I had gotten frustrated about. After each of those things, and we try not to interrupt each other, and then address it if we feel we need to, but after he complained about this instance, I told him the reason I was frustrated with it. It was really strange but after hearing the reason for me getting frustrated, I found myself bearing my testimony to him. Afterwards he just understood and there was this moment when the spirit was really strong and there was just understanding. Now we both just have to keep that up. With help from the Lord we can overcome any obstacles!

So I have no idea what Karyl was talking about with this "running service" I've never heard of it and I've been in that building once before and didn't see anything. I don't think it's here anymore. So I would prefer that Karyl got them because she knows what they look like and I know she'll get the right ones.

So do you have any questions for me at all? I mean seriously, I don't have a whole ton to talk about because you never send much. Come on, I have to have something to write about.

I have no idea how I'm going to get videos to you unless I send my card to Karyl or something and I don't know how that would work either. So what do you want me to do?

I don't know if I'm going to be able to call for Mother's Day, lo siento. Just because of the timing, I don't think that I can call from the MTC. So I guess maybe Christmas is the next time I'll be able to talk to all of you.

Make sure sister Jones gets a copy she writes me almost as much as you.

Love Elder Sands

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hay Acea, thanks for the letter. It was pretty funny. Oh and if anyone asks if you a Republican or a Democrat, you always answer with "I'm a Conservative!" So the spring trip sounds like it was a lot of fun which is good. I told you it would be.

Thanks Karyl for the stuff! The dictionary was badly needed and I don't know exactly how I'm going to use the tape, but thanks. It'll be nice to have it around.

So I'm wondering who told mom and dad about my knee? Imagine this in a cough "Karyl". It's really not that bad. I went to some other trainers when I have gym in the evening and he said that it was likely the turns on that track are really sharp and I remembered that they didn't change direction those first two days when I ran all of those miles. They said that that and the kneeling probably contributed a lot to it.

Did you send anything out to anyone, especially Sister Jones? She sends me something like every week, but it takes over 10 days to get here for some reason. It was pretty funny when you sent the mail with the talk on it! It was like on the "Best 2 Years" when all of that mail was for Elder Vanpelt. It was really strange for me because I almost never get mail. Speaking of which why haven't I had any mail?

I guess I'll get the new shoes. They are the water proof hush puppies size 9 tie ones. They are really nice and I found myself wearing them almost exclusively.

So to companion problems. I know all of this stuff and every time I have an interview I express my frustrations and they always commend me saying, "Your doing the best you can and in fact you're the kind of missionary the MTC is made for or rather your perfect for the MTC. Your desires are in the right place, but the Lord put you with Elder Stout and there is a reason for that. Through the spirit you have to figure out that reason and learn from the experience." I know what I need to be doing and I'm doing the best I can to do it, my only frustration is with his lack of commitment to the "WORK". The fact that he is the district leader, and he is the one breaking the rules and leading others to break the rules too, is hard to deal with. It just looks like I'm going to have to drag him through the study portion of the MTC and just deal with it. I also know that there are quite a few things that I can learn from him. I'll just have to take those lessons, apply them, then move on and do my best to endure the frustrating times.

Our Branch President got released and that was interesting. The Mission President came to sacrament. I was able to sing in the choir that sang the song that His wife wrote. It's in the primary song book. You can look it up I think everyone knows it. The name is Ryskamp. It was pretty neat to hear the story associated with the song from her after which we sang it.

I'm still really pretty bad at Spanish, like really bad. You know how my companion never studies, well one of the reasons is that I can't push him and it has caused me to fall far behind him in Spanish. Sebring you can probably understand most of the Spanish right now, I know by the end of my Spanish class I could. Now everything has to be translated just for me, grrr, annoying. I'm studying more than just about everyone. There is one elder who, because his skill, talks in only Spanish all of the time. In fact we have this game that we "play" called nativo which means native and I'm it today. I am not allowed to speak in English, which is really hard for me because I'm so bad at Spanish. You know the sad part is that I'm really progressing too. Everyone else will like go through a day of nativo and learn a ton. I don't really remember much just because I don't know much anyway. So that's my Spanish, really frustrating, but getting a lot better. I also can't seem to memorize anything in Spanish. Nothing sticks no matter how much time I spend. The first vision, for example, took me an hour and now I can't remember a single word of it and that was yesterday. I have to work ten times harder to get half the stuff of everyone else.

On a more spiritual note. We got to listen to Brother, I can't remember his name, but he was the Mission President in Spokane in 1994 and knew President Borders. I got to talk to him about that. He talked about charity and how we need to love our investigators and so I noticed when we teach in Spanish we lose all of that love. It seems we just worry about the language. So we must not divert our attention from what is important, just like the light on the plane! Out of time.

Love Elder Sands

Thursday, April 9, 2009

So this week has been interesting just like always. Where to start?

Oh well due to lack of diligence in our district our teachers instituted a game where in we have three out of eight of us that are not allowed to speak English all day and actually this is my second day of it and let me tell you it isn't fun. Due to the fact that I don't know very much Spanish I'm pretty much mute the entire day although I am getting better. It's frustrating not being able to express yourself at all because one does not have the vocabulary or the ability to say much. I know it's helping my Spanish though.

So how are things back home? It finally stopped snowing here so now it's raining. There was one good day and that was about it. I think it was Sunday. I can't really remember. All the days are all the same to me now.

I'll make the CD today and send it to Karyl. Sorry it took so long but I really never have much time to do anything around here. There is always too much to do especially since I'm trying to catch up to everyone else in Spanish and because my companion keeps wasting our study time. I know I'm going to grow a ton from all of this. But I guess change is never easy.

You know your letters are pretty sad thus far. I don't hear anything about anyone! I'm not in the twilight zone. You can tell me a few things a home you know; heaven knows I need a smile every so often. Acea needs to tell me about the spring trip and what classes is Sebring taking this quarter.

So I had an interview with Hermano Crane yesterday and pretty much his theme is don't be so hard on yourself Elder Sands. I'm always trying to rush my companion because he doesn't really move very fast. So it's driving me crazy. He never takes anything seriously. He sleeps in devotionals, never studies during personal study, is always trying to cut corners with rules, he even spent a half hour last night playing basketball in our room because he got one of those little basketball door things. So that's what I'm dealing with. Granted I do need to lighten up, but he is never serious always cracking jokes and stuff. Karyl you got your wish I guess hahaha.

Vaughn J. Featherstone came and spoke. He told a lot of stories. He's good at it. What I got from it was mostly about being bold. His stories were about acting on promptings from the spirit and how we shouldn't be afraid to act on them at all. Actually the next day we taught in the TEC (by the way we teach at least 5 times a week in there) and that was one of the compliments we received in teaching, is that we were very bold. So it's having an effect on me. The spirit was really strong there too. The teacher commented on that as well, which is good, because "if ye receive not the spirit ye shall not teach" D&C 42:14. So in teaching (at least in English) we are on fire.

One more thing I didn't tell you. Right before he left I ran into Elder Tanner and I see Elder Barnett quite often which is interesting. We really didn't know each other before.

Love Elder Sands

Please write back something a little bit longer and more detailed next time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So in response to Sebring's email, we don't use Tú form in Argentina we use vos instead for informal applications. However, we as missionaries don't use it anyways because we use usted all of the time.

My favorite talk from General Conference was Elder Holland's talk. It was fantastic and especially at the end when he asked us to never let our Savior walk alone. I was teaching three hermanas from the new district in our Zone/Branch and we were teaching them as missionaries and adapting the lesson to fit their circumstance as missionaries. While I was teaching about the atonement (it was the second lesson) I was testifying of it and I was really starting to get choked up. You know I never do that, but the spirit was so strong and I was letting them know how the atonement will help them on their mission and I realized just how much the atonement meant to me and how much it was already helping me on my mission and how much I rely on the atonement as I do my best to be an instrument in the Lord's hand, that the spirit through me can "pierce their very hearts." That's what I'm out here to do and I look forward to doing so.

If you could send out like a mass email or post that at church or something. Just a few things. I want sister Jones especially to get something every so often. She writes me once a week. She also writes her questions for me in Spanish which is really hard for me to understand still! But for her questions I think she asked how the food was, I think it is fantastic and I think she said something about gaining weight which actually I'm losing weight, yeah and I didn't think there was much to lose. Gym keeps me in shape, although I can't really run. I haven't been able to for a couple of weeks. I don't know what is wrong but my knee has been bothering me so I'm going to get it checked out.

Sebring, Nice Job with the Grades. You did way better than me in Math. I think I got a 2.7 in that class! However in English I got a 3.7. I think you're English needs improving hahaha.

About letters, I actually did get distracted after my first non family letter. I was going into personal study after I had read it and after a few minutes, I realized that I was thinking about home. So I promised myself that I wouldn't ever think about home except when I'm reading letters. It has worked and I just hum a hymn, pray and forget home and get to the work, so don't worry about me getting distracted. In fact I almost forgot to email you today, my companion had to remind me.

About pictures I'll send you some by the end of the week (if I remember). I'll just send you a CD I think. How much would that cost (in stamps)? I made some videos a couple of days ago and I don't know if they have sound, though if they don't they will be useless. But if they do, I tried to make them fairly funny for you. My camera is really cheap and it looks like it has a mic but no speakers at all. So I don't know if there is any sound.

Conference is interesting in the MTC. I'll try to take some pictures of where we have it and our devotionals tonight (our zone sets up the chairs and stand for it). It is in the gym but we transform it twice a week. Conference in general (hahaha get it) was fantastic although my companion fell asleep for a lot of it which once again is frustrating. Oh well, we're doing a lot better probably because I expressed my frustrations in an interview with my teachers. In fact in that interview something kind of hit me. I was talking to Hermano Herrison and I said that the MTC is like drinking deeply from the well before going out into the desert. The spirit is always so strong here and we need to take advantage of it before we are in the field where we are the only source of the spirit. It's really funny because I was using that phrase before about girls hahaha. Anyways I have to go love you all.

Love Elder Sands

PS: Sorry for all of the mistakes but you'll have to deal with them. I have a time limit so I don't have time to go over it. But if you could compile a few stories and statements about the MTC that I've put in letters and give them out to people that would be great. Thank You (oh and proof read them first please)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Elder Stout and I got here the same day as did all in my district. That's how it works. The whole district comes in at the same time. All of us are going to Bahia Blanca except two which are going to Resistencia, which is the northern most part of Argentina. It's nice to have us all going to Argentina and Hermono Crane served in Buenos Aires so he has been teaching us a whole bunch of uniquely Argentine stuff like they don't say the y's or the ll's the same they say it shas or zhas depending on what part, so that's nice. We'll have the accent somewhat down. Spanish is hard, I won't lie and it doesn't help that I know the least but I'm working harder then everyone except maybe Elder Rasband but then again he doesn't have a companion like I do.

So why haven't I heard from many up there? I've had stuff from Ben, Devey, Julie Nash (wasn't expecting that one), and Sister Jones. That's it. I feel so unloved! j/k

Anything exciting happening up there? We keep on getting snowed on and then it melts as the day goes on, really annoying. I'm pretty much completely sick of snow after the winter we had. Oh and just to let you know, which I'm kind of surprised at, I'm not really home sick at all. I do miss the fact that I didn't have Elder stout around all of the time but other than that it's really great down here.

The devotionals are amazing! Some of them are really funny, but all of them are so uplifting! Unfortunately Elder Stout sleeps through all of them so he gets nothing out of them which is really frustrating and then he blames me for it because I don't let him take naps. Grrr.

O well our teachers are amazing! Hermano Crane and Hermano Herrison are both at their limit teaching here and they are really good. In fact they both give other teachers advice and stuff so we're really blessed to have them. However most in the District doesn't treat them with the respect they deserve and it really bugs me. They (our teachers) were planning yesterday and they decided to give us a lecture about being better and I was really hoping they would guilt trip us. They did something like this before but it didn't have a lasting effect on all of us, only really Elder Rasband (he's great). So I'm hoping this will help out because as soon as we get back to the residency, they all start doing stuff that takes the spirit away. It is really frustrating and then what makes it worse is that they call me a kill joy and such just because I don't want to do things that take the spirit away. O well, I guess the Lord doesn't want to make anything too easy for me here.

So where are the emails from Sebring and Acea! I want to hear about the spring trip and about Sebring's grades and how his new quarter is going! And you don't have to worry about distracting me by writing too many letters; I have plenty of time walking between classes where there is very awkward silence. So if I'm reading I don't have to deal with that, so please send stuff and ask questions too. This is nice because it forces me to think about all I've done over the past couple of weeks and I see the progress I've made with the help of the Lord which is encouraging.

Spiritual though, and this is especially for Sebring and Acea, Don't waste your time here. This is a spiritual mountain filled with everything you need to be a successful missionary. Don't mess around and let everyone know that you are here to learn as much as you can and that you won't settle for those that will take away the spirit. Also learn what you can from you're teachers. They are amazing and only the best of missionaries come back to teach here. Use them and most of all rely on the spirit. It is what you need the most!

Love you all

Elder Sands