Monday, my companion, Elder Johnson, was sick with an upper respiratory infection for the whole day. Sick as a dog, and just as contagious. We went to the waiting room to have him looked at before they said he would have to stay in the residence for at least the rest of the day. I was feeling a little sick too, not enough to leave class but I had to stay with Elder Johnson anyways so I was able to recover. The waiting room in the health office is so fun by the way. They have this toy you can move a spinning disk back and forth with (sounds a lot less interesting than it really is, but it kept me entertained for about 15 minutes), they have puzzles, church magazines, and even this challenge where you have to get a washer and a bolt through a hole in a the hole of the stick inside of a bottle. It was also quite entertaining, even though I couldn't do it. So while we were in the room, we slept for the first couple of hours while the rest of our district was in class and lunch. Then, we were tired of sleeping so we explored a bit of the residence building and found a huge pile of pillows under the stairs and some vending machines for a snack. Every week we have to prepare a talk for Sunday as well, in Spanish of course, so I used the rest of the time we had to write that in English to translate later to Spanish (see Preach My Gospel where it says to prepare in your native language first). I was pretty bummed since we missed a our second lesson with our practice investigator and our first visit with our new investigator.
Tuesday was p-day (preparation day), but I did not do a lot of p-ing. We woke up at 5:20 to go to the temple to do a session. 5:15am! On p-day! It was a great experience since it was the first time I have gone inside of that temple, I wasn't even able to go when I was at BYU unfortunately. Very peaceful in the celestial room as always and I accompanied it with a prayer. After that spiritual high, I went straight to the travel office where some other missionaries and I were supposed to meet to go to the Mexico consulate to finalize some visa work. That trip was amazing and not just because we were let out of the MTC (as great of a place it is, it's nice to get out every once in a while). In our group, we had one sister (Hermana Pina), and four elders including me, I think their names were Elder Silva, Elder Ontiveros and Elder something. Sorry last Elder. We all got along very well, talking to each other, practicing spanish, talking to other people on the train, etc. A big difference I noticed about walking around Salt Lake city with missionary tags and probably anywhere else in the world was that everybody knows who you are. At least the people that I noticed. A few cars honked and the drivers waved at us, a return missionary who served in Indiana who also worked at the church headquarters talked to us for one part of the trip (he said he would say hello to President Monson for us). One worker who I was talking with said a bad word, but then immediately said "oh excuse my language, sorry." I'm not used to that at all. And it's a good difference. The business part of the trip at the consulate took about 10 minutes total, but we were out of the MTC for about 5 hours going back and forth. On our way back, we had two great conversations. The second was with a 15 year old kid who was on his way to BYU to practice with the BYU dance team. He was only 15! Also, he said he was looking at getting a scholarship for the dance program when he applied there. Cool guy, we liked Ryan. The first conversation was when we were waiting for our next train, we had 50 min so the missionaries were just talking in a circle with each other when a guy, about my age 19 or 20 approached us and asked if we were missionaries for the Mormon church, then to tell him what we believed. CRAZY!! I was so excited, but just as nervous so I didn't say much. He asked a lot about biblical evidence of Jesus Christ going to the Americas since he believed in the Bible. One missionary was smart enough to know a scripture in John 10:16ish (I found the reference later) which is a scripture mastery that says Jesus is going to visit his other sheep. He didn't think that was enough, since it could be referencing anything, not just the Americas. He also had a problem with how we changed the Book of Mormon, which I believe he was talking about the formatting changes and the minor, minor changes in a very small amount of words. It does say in the paragraph before the first chapter in Nephi 1, that there have been minor changes, another Elder in my zone (Elder Hales), later told me exactly how minute those changes were. His Mom joined us later who also had some very great questions since they had been wondering a lot about the church. The Mom even said she had researched religions like Hindu, Catholicism, Christianity, she even said she looked places where she probably shouldn't have like the Satanist church. I told her that was great for being so diligent in her search for truth. They were very intelligent with their questions, but we weren't able to answer all of their questions then. Hermana Pina talked for most of the time. I was able to give her my email address and another Elder's email address so that we could talk more. Long story short, we had a street contact while in training. It gave me great insight about what the field would really be like (except I would be speaking Spanish of course, that'll be tough). That was probably my best experience since being in the MTC.
Quick notes about what I have learned.
1. The gift of tongues is real
2. Teach by the spirit, you are only the facilitator
3. Teach the person, not the lesson. Always ask yourself what the investigator needs
4. Use your study time wisely
5. Lots and lots of Spanish
Love you all!