So, my second week at the Provo MTC is coming to the end and I'm not going to say that I can't believe it's already here because I've been very aware of every day. In a good way though. Every day is long, but fulfilling and full of learning. So I could go on for hours in the e-mail, but I still only get 30 minutes.
First, down to business: I have received every letter that has been sent to me through DearElder and it works like a charm. I love hearing from my District leader that I've got DearElder letters waiting to be opened! Keep them coming! I love and cherish every word that I've received from Mom, Dad, Hope, Josh, Sidney, Aunt Metzie, and everyone else that has sent me thier love and support. Mom! Thank you SO much for sending me my "Easter Basket." I loved everything that you sent and a lot of it is going to be very useful in the weeks to come! The silliness lightened my heart and the usefulness calmed my mind. I have found out that there are a few other things that I need/can have. Dad and Mom, when you get the chance, send my Leatherman multi-tool to me as soon as possible! I've needed it a lot in these last two weeks, but I've gotten by. I found out from a Zone Leader that it's okay that I have it, as long as I put it in my checked baggage when I travel. Also, Mom, I've got a challenge for you! My old companion (yes, I'm going to explain in a second) Edler Ivey had a couple of useful items that every missionary on the floor was drooling over. They are from "Eagle Creek Travel Gear" and what they are are basically folders for your clothes. Let me explain...the come with instructions on how to fold your shirts and pants around a flexible board, then stack them neatly and the flaps of this device compress the clothes and velcro shut! When Elder Ivey left the MTC, he was able to fit 11 shirts in one, 6 pairs of pants in another and all of his ties in a third. All of this fit in what would've been HALF of my big bag! How cool is that?! Anyways, Mom, if you can, find a couple of those and send them to me PLEASE! =) So that's it for the business end of things. Now for the News. =P My goal of trying to completely read through Preach My Gospel cover to cover (before i leave Provo) is going well. I'm at Chapter 9 and advancing fast. Yes, I should've read it before entering the MTC, but now that I AM reading, I'm so grateful for it's words of wisdom and love. Everyone, not just missionaries, should read this book. It will bless everyone's lives, I promise. It's teaching me, day by day, to be more like Christ and it gives me comfort by the Savior's words.
A little about a day in the MTC...every day we are up for 15 hours and each hour is filled with meaningful activity. I'm very tired at times, but I find strength in prayer and I keep going day by day. I continue to struggle with speaking Spanish as much as I should, it's a language that depends completely on verbs to express yourself. I feel, in my heart, that things are going to get better with my language skills, but it's just hard to pick up old tricks in just two weeks after not taking any Spanish for 3 years. I've heard that, in the Guatemala MTC, hardly anyone speaks English and that it'll be pretty Do or Die, but I know i'll get better as I'm almost forced to practice. =P The food here in the MTC is wonderful, but at times it can get monotonous. I long every day for Mom's home cooking, but I know that she'll be waiting when i get home to fatten me back up. ;) Josh, you'll probably put on some weight when you get here, but that's just fine because you'll need the energy later. I'm so excited for you to get here in June. I keep thinking about it and the more i think, the more i realize that Josh, you've lived your life in preparation for this service. You're obedient and loving, and you always want to learn. You're patient and friendly and that will help you immensely with your relationships with your companions and your district. You'll love it here, I think, but it's up to you to make the best of your experience here. It's on you, but the Lord will help you always.
Mom, Dad, and Hope, I continue to write in my journal. Not every day anymore, but at least every other day. I want to keep a good record of my mission so that when i get back you all can read it and be able to experience the highlights of my work in the Lord's name.
I miss and love you all every day! I'll write as much as I can and cant wait to hear more from you this week. Vaya con Dios!
-Elder Preston William Tucker