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Monday, August 6, 2012

Where am I??

Hello everybody!
Thanks for all the support this week!

Mom you keep talking about this special package... was that the one you sent for pioneer day? I thought I thanked you for that already; it was really nice to have more food to share.... JUST KIDDING! The El Trifecto shirts are sweet! Elder Noyes and Harvey loved them so much and I do too! We wore them over our shirts that night and everyone thought they were super cool. That was a very thoughtful gift. Thank you so much. It made all three of us so happy. It was funny because Sister Harvey (Elder Harvey’s mom) sent shirts the same night so we had two T-shirts in one day- interesting the way things like that work out isn’t it.
For those of you who don’t know, sometimes companionships that are three elders instead of two are called "threesomes" and I really don’t like that word. It makes me more than a little uncomfortable when people ask me how I like it... So I renamed our companionship El Trifecto because that sounded super duper awesome and tough right??? My mom sent us shirts that have three ties and three tags with each of our names with an 'o' at the end to make them a little more Spanish. They look pretty cool.
Emily Gordy if you ever read this, they almost look like tally hally shirts! I've never had one so it was an extra cool bonus. That just reminds me I have to somehow show them to Cameron....

As my thoughts are scrambled I will just go ahead and share something Hermano Urquhart shared with us the other day. Be obsessed with things you don’t do well. Be obsessed with the things that you aren’t perfect at. That really struck home to me. I often shy away from things I’m not good at and find ways to work around the problems without ever solving them. But I really like the word obsessed. It has the perfect connotation. I hadn’t realized this before but since I’ve worked on Spanish grammar I have been obsessed with the subjunctive. (For all you Spanish speakers, the future subjunctive is my favorite tense hahaha) I have constantly used it and practiced it so that I can get better at it. And it has worked. I understand the subjective which if you ask my Spanish teachers from high school I think they will both tell you that I wasn’t the biggest fan of subjunctive, but I’ve been  working my butt of on it and I’m not so bad at it anymore. Still not worthy to use it for the Lords work, but I’m getting there.

The next thing is pretty cool for me. I'm a nice guy I think and I try my hardest to be nice to everyone. But I’ve never been popular. People liked me and I have always been so thankful for that but I’ve never had people like wanting to talk to me I don’t think. But here, for some strange reason, the native Spanish speakers like me a lot. I would go as far as to say that I am popular among them. It first started with Elder Ruiz (who always calls me "las vaygahs.") We have gotten really close, he has frequently come to my asking for help with his English grammar and vocab and pronunciation and that has made me feel really good. He likes me a lot and often comes all the way across the cafeteria to find me and give me a hug or a handshake. I was happy but never thought there would be so many others who like me too.
I wear my IYYY 1/2 Zelda shirt sometimes and one day some of the native speakers saw it (Elders Polite and Gonzalez) and started calling me Zelda and then Elder Zelda and now this whole district of 10 elders is always taking pictures with me in front of the temple or inviting me to plank with them and other stuff too. It’s made me feel really special. But there have been so many other people that have found out about me through this one district. Even a bunch that are not in my zone like me a lot and are always coming up to me and talking to me. It makes me feel good. Elder Arana and Fernandez often stop my our classroom to say hi to me during the day and Elder Arana is convinced that we are blood brothers, if not actually related, and Elder Fernandez is always giving me working overs, but the kind that help me to loosen up, not scream in pain. It's really cool. I don’t think I’ve described the situation properly, but the bottom line is that a lot of native Spanish speakers like me for reasons unknown, but hey, I’m not complaining! It’s so nice to have people who look up to me and ask for my advice and people who help me speak a little less gringo.

I hope you everyone has seen that Pokemon King Lamoni thing I wrote. I spent like a whole hour coming up with that. It was fun and I think it’s super funny. A couple of the teachers took pictures of it on their phones and one of them, Hermano Stevenson, even bowed to me. No big deal.

That pilot program I was talking to you about? It is called TRC progressing investigators and it was a really cool experience. We taught a man named Gabriel who is from, Chile. It was a totally different experience. He wasn’t speaking Spanish. He was speaking Chilean. I frequently had to ask him to repeat himself because he slurred so much and he talked so fast. But it was good. He was really excited the first meeting but wanted to talk more to us than to listen. I'm sure that is a common missionary experience but this TRCPI is so different than all the other teaching experiences we have had thus far. We will see where it takes us.

Our classroom is still super clean and getting "perfect!" and "thank you!"s in the comment boxes. I've seen some of the other classrooms and I think we are doing the building maintenance crew a big favor.
I feel like I haven’t written enough and haven’t told you all enough of what is going on. But my time is running out and I can’t remember what else to tell you all.

I feel like I write this in every letter as well but if I get zero baptisms I'll be fine. I just want to make sure that I touch people’s lives, bring families together and make some people happy. That's my goal .I hope that's not blasphemy to say that that is more important to me than baptisms. If those things all happen, maybe another missionary a couple years from now can get the numbers. Idk. That is just something I’ve been thinking about recently.
While I’ve been here at the MTC beyond preparing for my mission I’ve been keeping my eye out for even the littlest opportunities to serve people. Like today I was late because there was a family from Brunei and they were each taking turns being photographer and just me offering to take one of them all together made them so happy. To me it was just a simple little thing, but by their smiles I could tell that it was a big deal and it made my whole day.
I hope to be able to do things like that every day for people in Las Vegas. That’s what I’m really here prepping to do. Bring smiles. I'm not sure how corny that will sound on the other end, or how many times I’ve written it, but it's the most important thing to me right now.

KK! I'm overtime and I’ve really got to run!
Thanks to everyone who is reading these and super big thanks to everyone who has been writing to me! You will never know how helpful your words of encouragement and love are.
Mom and/or dad, if you could send me the lyrics to halleluiah and American Pie that would be awesome. I have been trying to sing them but I forgot the lyrics.
AIright , alright alright!
I love you guys so much!
Thanks for reading
I'll be home soon..ish
That all for now folks,
Stay classy (insert your city here)

Sam (Elder Zelda) Anderson

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