|Spencer Tuft, three from the left in the back row, arriving at the MTC 25 June 2014|
Hello Family from Guatemala!
Our flight here was filled with about 32 missionaries and we were all from Utah besides two! I knew two people there and we sat sort of next to each other for some of the flight/flights. We talked to a guy on the flight to Guatemala City who was in LA for some reason and I gave him a "Soy Mormon" card. The new pass-a-long cards are the "I'm a Mormon" cards. We didn't know how to talk to him very much so we just said hi and gave him the card which he took and looked at it for a minute before putting it in his bag. Hopefully a missionary that actually speaks Spanish can find him a teach him and he'll remember the flight to Guatemala City with all the missionaries.
I felt like a cow going through customs... They herded us through gates and booths really quickly but the only thing that we had to do was hand them our passports and they stamped them and let us through. So I don't know how that works. We sat outside the airport for an hour while and waited. That probably looked weird because there were almost 60 missionaries by then that were just grouped together. Everyone spoke English who flew into Guatemala that day. We have probably 20ish Hispanos in the CCM here where as 6 weeks ago there were 100 Hispanos and 20 Norte's (That's what they call us).
My companion is Elder W. from Riverton, Utah and we are both very strong headed. Our thought process is like this: We go separate ways not knowingly, turn around, and say, "Elder! Where are you going? Come over here!" and one of us will have to listen to the other for a little while.
I've been assigned district leader for the first little while... I think for two weeks. But because no one knows what we're doing, including myself, we just travel around in a pack and I choose who's praying and such. I know right now I just need to be an example for everyone and check up on all the needs, attitude and health of everyone. The President here at the CCM is really nice and a powerful teacher. I've learned a lot from him and I think everyone has as well. I also have (a) great teacher/s. Hermano Morales teaches at night for our investigator studies and Hermana Garcia teaches all day basically. She's sort of like a babysitter to keep us in line while we're here at the CCM. But I've learned tons from Hna Garcia. She has a really strong testimony and we can relate so much to her experiences.
We wake up at 6:30 and don't stop till 10:30. Even while we are just getting up and getting ready for bed is a big chore because we have to do it quick so we aren't late and so we can get some extra study or journal writing time in. The first week is the worst cause everyone is so lost. I feel like I'm just learning the gospel over again because I have to learn it in Spanish. This is what makes me feel so lost because I don't know much Spanish. We have fun laughing at each other though and joking around and that makes the time go by. We focused so much for the first few days that now our district is struggling to stay serious and/or happily centered on the work of salvation. I hope that I can be a good example to them but sometimes I can't help but laugh. We are in jail here. :) Maybe not jail cause jail's no fun but we're literally locked up with walls all around us so we can't hardly see out into the city and we have strict obedience to obey. Everyone has a sense of boringness around them that only the Gringos don't have. We only get to go outside maybe once or twice a week but we can play on the concrete slabs for PE.
The food is great and different. Look up Liches. They are like really hairy strawberries that taste like grapes and have a huge seed in them.
In four days I've been taught all the Spanish basically that I was taught in school minus the vocabulary. And I've already relearned all the forms of conjugation just with me and my companion so we are way ahead in the process of learning Spanish... at least that's what we think right now but we'll see next week.
The first Sunday was like church all day long besides meals. There wasn't a time that we weren't in class and everyone was getting so tired by the end because we are all not used to this schedule. But I tried my best to not fall asleep and learn all that I could. I have really good notes and advice to use throughout my mission now and I'm sure I'll learn just as much or more next Sunday.
I packed everything I need so far but who knows if I forgot something yet. I won't know completely until I get to Honduras. The weather is great and my skin got worse at first but it's getting way better now. I hope the humidity helps me. It's only about 30 to 50% humidity all the time and I believe it's the same way in Honduras. It doesn't get even close to 90% here. Ha ha ha!
My mouth (wisdom teeth) is good, feels good and I've been cleaning it out well so I don't get my wisdom teeth pockets gross again. They are starting to close again so I'll be really careful until they do. I sometimes miss taking the antibiotics because we're so busy but I'll be done probably by Thursday or Friday. Grandma's temple name she gave me won't be done for two weeks because the temple just closed for cleaning for two weeks.
Tell Lindsay not to use the computer for a few days here and there at at time or so, so she doesn't get attached to it like me with my iPod or computer time. Even though she is a girl that doesn't mean she's invulnerable to computer addictions... not that she's addicted right now but it could easily happen. I'm grateful that you've limited my time on the computer because it never became an overwhelming problem. Passions can limit our sight of what is truly important and I don't want Lindsay to lose sight of what is most important.
Tell all my close friends in the Quorum that will be going on a mission soon that there is nothing they can do to fully prepare for the MTC experience except to for ESP and Journal and daily DEEP personal study. The language will always make people struggle no matter how well they know the gospel. Tell them to study the language for 30 minutes a day and try speaking it as well as much as they possibly can!!!!!!!!! You don't understand how much that will actually prepare them... still they will struggle and that will be alright. Work is hard and work for the Lord is harder but way more rewarding.
Elder Rigby is photo-bombing the pic you sent with Elder Burningham and I, and he's a crack up!
If you and Dad could possibly shorten your letters then I could read both and answer all your questions. I could only skim yours today mom (I think I got most of it) and there's no way to print them off until I get to Honduras (and even then who knows). Love you much and what's with the bunny replacing me??? Okay well sorry I wasn't entertaining enough ;) Hahaha jk
I read your letter and that's what this letter is based off of so I hope you enjoy. I tried to answer all the questions but there isn't time. Just a few hundred words that I want to say more but don't have time so I apologize. Did my Regent's stuff get sent???
Love you, thank you, and goodbye :)
Spencer (the person with fast fingers ;)