WOW what a first week! So many emotions rushing through with the hard goodbyes and then finally beginning my mission. It has been absolutely crazy and hectic but AWESOME here I don't even know where to begin.
We first took care of a bunch of orientation stuff on the first day and then got sorted into our districts, which consists of 8 missionaries total, 4 girls 4 boys (or Elders and Sisters in missionary language). Right from the beginning of our very first meeting together, there was only Spanish, NO English. Definitely what I wanted to happen but I felt swamped because of how rusty my Spanish was. The first day I just smiled and nodded, pretending like I understand everything when really I had no idea what they were saying. But honestly, the within only the next two days everything came back to me and more, and I can now understand everything we say in class (as long as its not too fast).
My first mission companion is Elder Leany, and he is currently sitting right next to me so I can't say anything bad about him..... but he's actually awesome. super killa at the piano, from Colorado and also is a bit of a lax bro. We are both the worst Spanish speakers in the class, but he's still better than I am so he helps me out a ton when we are eating or finished with classes.
I got my mailing address! If you want to send me candy, presents, letters, whatever it is, send it to:
Elder Connor David Bernal
2023 N 900 E Unit 822
Provo UT 84602
I wouldn't send anything important yet because I will most likely be leaving the MTC next week! If my visa is processed, then what will happen is I will probably be sent to a Spanish-speaking mission in the states close to the border (maybe Arizona!!???) until my visa gets processed and then they'll deport me.
This week has been full of just nonstop learning and learning. The spirit here is unbelievable, like I've never felt it in my life, and its amazing how fast we can learn, especially the language. There’s just too much to say in such little time, but here’s what I’ve got:
1. "Forget yourself." Obviously, there is a huge focus on humility and its something that I really want work on. Everything we do on our missions, in the MTC and in the field, is founded around humility. It’s not about how good of a missionary you can be, and it’s not about how much you can grow spiritually, and it never will be. It’s about how well you can serve others, and invite them to feel the spirit and Gods incomprehensible love. If I can do those things, then everything else will come. As soon as I can get a better understanding of this concept, then I can begin to understand what it really means to be a servant of the Lord.
2. One of our speakers here said a quote I really liked (prepare to get a lot of quotes from me over the next two years) "The people in your heart don't know what’s in it." He said this in the context of expressing appreciation to those we love. Don't be afraid to get a little cheesy and tell someone you love him or her, and definitely don't just assume that they know. Telling them not only makes them feel happy and appreciated, but you end up feeling so much better as well. the youtube channel soulpancake did a pretty cool experiment on it I you should check out for me since I can't :((((
3. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 is one of the coolest scriptures I've every read. Welcome adversity with open arms, as it is the gateway to becoming stronger.
4. Lastly, and maybe most important we talked a lot about Love <3 <3 <3. If you develop a real and deep sense love for the mission, for the people you serve, and for the Lord, this will be the best two years of your life. When you love, you serve, and when you serve, you understand what really matters in life.
That’s all I really have time for now. The mission is already so much more than I ever thought it would be and I'm loving every day of it. My knowledge of the gospel is growing. I know it’s only the first week but a lot can happen in a short amount of time. I'm still kind of swamped with all the new things that have been happening so sorry if this letter has been really scrambled. Thanks for all you're letters so far! Much love, and talk to you all in a week!