Another week here in the CTM. And it was Thanksgiving! Which, let me tell you, is kind of underwhelming here. We had an actual Thanksgiving meal for lunch with potatoes and turkey and stuffing -- it was heavenly. But other than that, just a long day of classes and learning. I guess that about sums up everything, just learning and practicing teaching and reading and studying. And some occasional volleyball. But I digress!
What I want to talk about this week, based on the holiday, is a few of the things I'm grateful for here on my mission:
1) The gospel and the Church. This really is all true, I know it now more than ever. It makes this whole thing a lot easier knowing what I'm doing it for...although it also puts a lot more pressure on me. This is eternal salvation we're talking about.
2) The Atonement. We watched a video this week and it was extremely touching. It was about the Atonement, with talks by President Eyring and Elder Holland in the background as scenes of Christ's life were shown. It was powerful, I felt the Spirit strongly, and felt increased love for my Savior. One quote by Elder Holland stuck out to me as he talked about missionary work. He said, in response to the questioning of missionaries why missions weren't easier, why people didn't accept the gospel, that "Salvation was never easy!" Christ's task was not easy, and neither is ours. We have to remember him.
3) Grasping the language. I know for a fact that the Spirit has to be helping me out with this. Though I'm still a long way from where I could be, I am learning at a ridiculously fast pace. I had a chance to practice teaching a pretend investigator this last Saturday, during which an instructor watches you via video camera and critiques you. Afterwards, he came in exclaiming that we were perfect, had no problems, and were ready to leave the CTM. He asked if I knew Spanish, and was surprised to hear that I'd only known English and some sad French until three weeks ago. He was probably exaggerating, but in any case I felt good and knew that it isn't me--it's a blessing from God.
4) An awesome companion and district. I got crazy lucky in that regard.
5) And I have to finish on this one and can't spend as much time as I would like. Impressions from the Spirit. They come to me frequently and keep me going through exhaustion. Answers to prayers, feelings of happiness and encouragement, and much more. I wish I had time to share a couple but my time is about up and I'd like to write to my family a bit more, haha.
With much love,
Elder Alex Burt
P.S. Write to me. Please and thank you.