[Comments from dad, Rigil is a goat we took backpacking earlier this year, up by Kings Peak. This letter is mostly unedited, and I think Nathan must be learning Spanish well, because his English skills are falling apart ]
This week’s experiences:
I asked one of my Spanish teachers, how do you say “no pain, no gain” as a joke for lifting weights everyday and being made fun of for it, and then I realized that that applies to more than just physical pain, which wasn’t too deep, but a good thing to keep in mind. I have also further ingrained that every day in life, not just in here, is exactly what you make of it. To the point that you could get hit by a school bus, whether or not that day was a good or a bad day comes down to your attitude. It is a good thing to keep in mind while not achieving perfection, but being asked for it.
Rules of 3: If for any reason at all you see something in the scriptures, here something in a talk, or have a spiritual experience with something, or any combination of those things, if it happens 3 times or more it is because God is trying to teach you something about that. There is several times that this has happened to me this last week, some of the following are included:
The Lord God brings to pass his work by Simple Words ( in Jacob 7, I believe twice)
It may not be doctrine, but God feeds his sheep “one by one” ( 3 Nephi 11 ) I think that if it is at all possible, the Saviors atonement is eternal and infinite, because He suffered for us one by one. As a whole, we are all covered under the atonement, and it would have taken an eternity to have that experience one by one, but is God not all powerful? Is our conception of time not limited on this world? Just my thoughts
Also I have further ingrained my belief that God wants to answer our prayers quickly and perfectly because He is such a loving being. I would invite you all to start every morning and every evening this week with a prayer on your knees and just dump your heart out to God each time. I promise you you will find blessings and answers if you do this.
Okay random stuff this week:
I am up to 68 sneezes since I left home (Yes I have been counting)
I have been getting buff like crazy. I lift for one hour every day and by the time one muscle group is finally not sore any more, I am already using it again. The fatigue helps me to burn off steam and keep my stress down. I am losing weight, looking good and feeling very mentally healthy. I am going to come back with a 6 pack and not be a toothpick.
The “vets” left this week and we are taking their place now. We are halfway through the MTC!! That is crazy right? My first week felt like 6 years, but looking back on it I have also only been gone for 15 minutes. Crazy
I dreamed about Rigil the Goat the other night… Protecting him from like 9 wolves in our front yard, so yeah now that goat has scarred me twice ha ha. I have been having weird dreams here but I can rarely remember what they are about so I figured I should write that one down.
The nights here have been pretty cool, I was expecting hot all the time, but I get a little chilly under just my sheet when we leave the window open all night
I never realized how terrible English was until I was trying to teach my teachers how to use phrase verbs such as “get away, get at, get out” they all use the same verb, but have vastly different meanings
Interesting things about Guatemala:
Everyone just honks their horn for like 25 minutes when they are trying to merge, and people here are kind of low key scary drivers. Motorcycles in between cars like nothing I have seen before
Christmas down here is going to be way different. Everyone is shooting off fireworks like crazy, and it is way loud. They told us we probably won’t get to sleep at all on Christmas eve so that will be fun. They also have a “Devil day” which I think was on the 6 or 7, but they get like a scarecrow of a devil and burn it in their front yards to represent overcoming sin, and they all burn them at exactly 6 pm, so our building filled with smoke about 5 minutes later. On the same day, our Spanish teacher said any fireworks that go off that day are lit by people who are worshiping the devil, not trying to overcome sin. Thought it was interesting and a good change in the “tradition” from home. I’m glad we always changed it up, because everyone here is pretty homesick for their Christmas traditions
I have had my hard moments with leadership and companions, but I am doing well and in good health. Figuring things out and becoming more of an adult every day. I have also increased my testimony by milestones every single day in this MTC. The Lord truly does have a magnificent work out here that He is doing.
I love you all very much and I do miss you, but I am glad to have a strong home base filled with people I know will always love and support me no matter what.
Elder Nathan Searle