Buenos Dias Hermanas y Hermanos!
Before I begin, I should start by saying that I wrote this Wednesday night during our TALL time which is computer learning for an hour every day. I will revise this tomorrow morning, send it, and reply to you guys individually.
So being in the MTC is such a confusing experience for me. Everyday new wonderful and awful experiences happen! But the key is to make every single experience a good one, or at least take it in a good way. This last Tuesday we had to sadly say good-bye to the awesome Latinos that only stay for two weeks since they already speak Spanish, but we also had to say good-bye to the other North Americans that had already been here for 4 weeks. They were so dang funny, light-hearted, loving, and overall crazy. We have quite a moderate district (By the way I came with 13 other people from North America. 2 were Latinos so they already left so there are 11 of us in my district.) so when the older district and all the crazy Latinos left, it was so extremely quiet. We used to have about 60-80 missionaries and now there is us 12 North Americans and 6 Peruvians that arrived last night. I´ll definitely miss the old Latinos and other North Americans. We had an insane Latino in our room that put toothpaste in one of my companion´s hair, drew on both of our foreheads and stole my vial of oil that says Faith. So once I get into the mission field I would really appreciate if you send me a new one mom. But seriously, the kids are nuts. They always wrestle, pull pranks, pick our ears (Irony huh?) etc. Good thing I brought the extra huge bottle of oil huh dad?
As you saw from my handwritten letter, I also had the awful experience of waking up with my IPod in my cup of water. I don´t know if I did it, or if someone else did, but it sucks so badly. I have exactly ZERO music now. I really don´t know how I will cope without it for the next few weeks. I have a very much needed request from Steffen. Mom, if you could please call him and tell him to fulfill my request that would be great. Please please please have him buy a new IPod Shuffle with a waterproof case and fill it with this music: Explosions in the Sky (All Albums), This Will Destroy You (All albums) Vitamin String Quartet (Third Eye Blind album, Underoath, Senses Fail and one other.), Palchbel, Ludovico Einaudi (In a Time Lapse and essential hits thing. I bought both on Itunes), and whatever else he feels I would enjoy that is appropriate here. I have them bought in my ITunes and I will send him the e-mail and password to get into it. Please tell him to buy the Ipod, case, and fill it with music. Most of it is either on that External Hard Drive that dad stored all my stuff on or bought on Itunes. I promise to pay back every penny with interest. I am desperate.
As you read in my first e-mail it is ALWAYS hot. We just got into a new classroom but some rooms have no AC (Including our tiny bedroom filled with 6 previous Latinos and me and one other American. It gets SO HOT and SMELLY). Blankets and even luke warm showers are a thing of the past.
So as you will read from the pictures of my handwritten letters, I have developed a wonderful case of hives! Over the past few days my body has turned from white with a farmer´s tan to bright pink and bumpy! How exciting right!? Wrong. This sucks. As mother knows I have only had one allergic reaction in my life before and that was a non-itchy red rash to penicillin. So now I have the opportunity to experience my first real hives/rash in the MTC! How great! No but really, this sucks. I think it was my deodorant but I am not sure. I went to the MTC President´s wife today and she gave me Benadryl so I hope that helps. It started on Tuesday afternoon, got crazy Tuesday night, settled down for all of Wednesday till dinner and then it went crazy again. It itches and hurts and it uncomfortable. I never realized how blessed with health I was at home. I never got sick or anything and if I did, it was like a two day cold. I hope this case of hives goes away soon.
So that has been quite enough complaining for now. The spirit here is incredible and everyone is so nice and outgoing and helpful. If it wasn´t for my awesome district and companions, I don´t know if I would have made it this far. No one was ever kidding when they said a mission is the hardest thing they have done. And I haven´t even made it into the mission field yet! My district is incredibly smart, quick etc. 6 of us attend BYU and six of them are from Utah. The rest of us are from Idaho, California, Arizona, Washington, Texas, and Colorado(Me). So the BYU thing says a lot. I am also the second youngest by a half a year. There are 5 of us guys, (I am in a three way companionship) and 7 girls. Most everyone has taken like three years of Spanish so my inferiority complexes kick in every now and then. Especially my companion Elder Pope who took four years of Spanish in high school and kicks butt here. But no one else here can say they speak another language. Although our district leader took 4 years of Latin in high school, but that language is dead so who cares right? Spanish is easy, but extremely hard at the same time if you know what I mean. German is starting to fade from my mind which sucks, but I won´t need it for a while. We all have a blast and distract each other far too much. We have a lot of fun.
I hope you all make some time in your lives for God. Especially Family Scripture Study and Prayer. We take the Gospel far too light-hearted in our everyday lives. Give more time to him! Try to more fully obey the Law of Tithing in regards of time also. 2 hours and 14 minutes a day won´t kill us although no one expects us to read scriptures or pray for that long. Just don´t take it so light-hearted like I did.
On Saturday, even though I am terrified, we go proselyting for about 5 hours in an assigned area where we teach, get contact info, go to stores to stock up on food and other necessities, and then refer people to the missionaries in their area. So for the next four Saturdays, I get to do that. How exciting right!? But also terrifying. I feel like I know nothing. Oh well, it will be great and I have faith that God will help us. Wish me and my companions luck!
I would also just like to say I am thoroughly disappointed with my brothers and sisters (except Brandon). Thank you mom, dad, Kelsi and Brandon for writing me. You have no idea how important it is to me. I love you guys more than I have shown or known before.
I hope you guys enjoyed the pictures, the pictures of my handwritten letter, and home. I didn´t realize how important home is until I went 6000 miles away from it. Just think how important our home with God should be to us! I know for a fact that my call was inspired. Even though I am struggling harder than ever before, I know it is for a higher cause. This humbling experience is to teach me and make me strong, not only to destroy me physically and mentally. This curriculum is truly inspired and truly helps us. We teach IPs(Progressing Investigators) every day to learn how to teach. In only Spanish, the teachers act as investigators and we practice teaching and get a little feedback. We get two weeks with each investigator and we just finished our first and started two new ones. By the way our first IP, Cecelio commited to be baptized. So I can totally say I already have my first baptism. Kidding. I don´t care about that. I just want to teach and make others happy. We also teach CRES where we know very little and find out about them the day of and have to teach a single lesson. I love it here and I struggle almost every day, but I just have to remember it isn´t about me. It´s about God and serving him and his people. What an exciting, stressful, and marvelous time of my life.
I truly love you guys and hope to make you guys, the God head proud. Keep writing and stuff. Love you all.
-Elder Derek Moss