Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I know I wrote you on Thanksgiving, but I don't know if I had wished you this greeting. It was a very hectic day, but it was worth it to hear from Elder Russell M. Nelson. Just think? If I had not stayed in the MTC to recuperate, I would not have been able to hear from two great apostles and receive that apostolic blessing.
How is everything at home? Mom, I did receive that letter from Nathan, Megan, Dad, Stephanie, and you. (There is a delay in me receiving DearElder mail because my mailbox has changed. It is now #276). It was one of the best DearElders I have ever received. I can really see a change in them, especially Nathan. He has definitely changed his life around. The Lord is really preparing his heart to come back to the Church. I wrote him a letter last Thursday. Did he receive it? I wrote you a letter, Mom, on Saturday. I am trying to write everyone at least once in the MTC while still sending letters to all the new elders and sisters that I meet here in the MTC. I am really making wonderful and lasting friendships. It makes me remember the promise in my patriarchal blessing which says there will always be people there by my side when I need help. What a promise from God! It definitely came true when I needed the help of my friends to recover from the my ACL and now my meniscus surgery. With each new district, I am gaining loving brothers and sisters in the gospel. We are truly family here.
The knee is doing great. I have been in physical therapy for two weeks, three times a week. The therapist already has me doing resistance training exercises. Hallelujah! I was getting really bored with basic ice and electric stimulation with the occasional hamstring curl. Now I am doing more rigorous exercises like leg presses and resistance bands. I talked with President Wilkins last Sunday and expressed my profound desire to go straight to Ecuador after my four week recuperation period. Originally, the plan was to spend one transfer here in a local Utah mission. I thought, heck no! Get me to Ecuador. So I talked with him and he compromised. He said if I can walk six miles a day for three or four consecutive days, and get the okay from my orthopedic surgeon and my physican here at the MTC, he would let me go straight to Ecuador. Well, the Brethren have to pray about it and approve it too. However, it is looking pretty optimistic. However, I have started walking on the treadmill at physical therapy. Yesterday, I got to two miles and my knee swelled up like a pumpkin. I have tried to take it easy today during P-day. Anyway, if I get the go ahead from everyone, I can leave the MTC by 12/14, exactly one month after I was supposed to originally go to the mission. Who says exact obedience doesn't bring miracles! Please fast and pray for me! This Sunday is fast Sunday and my whole district is doing a group fast, as well as the first counselor in our Branch Presidency, President Hopkin's, wife, Sister Hopkins. I have seen fasting work miracles, and I need a miracle to go. I am so ready to leave the MTC, mentally and spiritually anyway.
What can I tell you about this week? I have truly enjoyed teaching this Intermediate group of elders and sister. I am learning as much as they. Yesterday, as we taught our teacher who was pretending to be a progressive investigator, Kevin, another teacher sat in on the lesson as a "member." Afterwards, he gave my companion, Hermana Read, and I feedback. He suggested to me that I stop trying to speak so fast like a native and work on my pronunciation. I speak very well and can formulate good sentences. The only thing I didn't do well was enunciate my vowels. That is good feedback. I am starting to work more on my own grammar and the tiny details of the langage that I didn't know before. That will help me a lot.
I am sorry that I don't have much time to write this week. Mom, you should receive a letter in the mail this week. Dad, I will try to write this week. The weeks are going by so fast while the days seem to go by slow. Before you know it, I will be home from my mission in the blink of an eye. I don't want this mission to end.
I will close with bearing my testimony because I feel impressed to do so. I know this Gospel is true. I know that it is the same Church that existed during Christ's ministry on Earth. When the apostles were killed by the Jews and various governments that rejected Christianity, the authority to establish Christ's church was lost. However, this authority to establish Christ's Church back on the Earth was restored or brought back to the Earth through Joseph Smith the Prophet. Because he restored the truth once more on the Gospel, we have a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and twelve living apostles who lead and guide this Church in the latter-days. Joseph Smith also translated a set of scriptures written by prophets who lived on the ancient American continent. Today we call it the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I know this book is true. I have read it all the way through, cover to cover, and have prayed about it for myself. Through modern revelation, the Holy Ghost told me this Book is true. I challenge each and every one of you to share this testimony with everyone you know. More specifically, pray about someone that you can share this Gospel with and give that name to the missionaries as a referral. You can trust them that they will help this person find more happiness and joy in their lives than ever before.
I love you all. Please take care of the family for me. And write me this week with updates about the family. When I attended the temple this morning, as I sat in the celestial room, I asked God to give me some news about the family. I got an uncomfortable feeling. Did Stephanie's surgery go okay? She had some complications with her toe and ovaries. I pray they did. How did your trip to Chicago go, Mom and Nate? And the plan with Doc Brown?
P.S. Got any new teaching advice that you learned from a TEAM or LIFE CD that I can apply to my teaching of the lessons?