I have had a good week here in the MTC. We are getting ready to leave, so we are doing a lot of Spanish review. We had our last TRC (refer to older posts if you don't know what that is) yesterday. I will be leaving the MTC late next Monday morning, so less than a week! I can't believe that I am pretty much done with the MTC. It seems like going to the field is going to be a much bigger step than entering the MTC. After all, I have still been living in my hometown for the last two months. Only when I am on the other side of the equator will it seem like I am really gone. I am so grateful for all of the letters, notes and packages I have received from all of you. Once I leave, communication will probably be slower, but I hope it doesn't stop. I am fairly certain that through DearElder.com and the Church's Pouch Mail Service, it won't be too hard to send letters. I will request for instructions on that to be posted.
One thing that I don't think I have mentioned in any of these emails is about Sacrament Talks on Sundays. Every week, we are instructed to prepare a 3-5 minute talk in Spanish to give in Sacrament meeting. Then, that morning, our Branch President will randomly choose 2-3 missionaries to give theirs. I was called on last Sunday to give mine, which was on Diligence and following the Prophet. I talked about Helaman, and his son Nephi, and the teachings they gave on diligence. It was a great experience to create the talk and give it all in Spanish. We are not allowed to speak English while we are up there. That same day, I had the opportunity to bless the sacrament in Spanish, which was awesome as well. I am to the point where I can understand most of what I read, and most of what non-native speakers say. I am so excited to get down to Argentina and be stuck in a flood of Spanish that will force me to grow and to speak. I think that that is one of the secrets of learning a language, to actually speak it! We have been told stories of people who study in college for 4 years to learn a language, but they never get it because they only speak it inside that class. Think of how we all learned English when we were little. It wasn't by studying books or listening to tapes. It was by hearing it, and trying to speak it.
I have a couple of items for specific people.
John, I met a trainer here at the gym in the MTC named Geoff Loomis? Does that sound familiar? He told me he lived in Michigan with you until he was about 10. Dave and Marilyn, you might remember him too. He has been living in Orem since then. I can't remember where he served his mission.
Mark, did I see you fly over the MTC in your plane last week? There was a plane that flew by really low, and looked like the kind you fly. Just thought I'd ask.
Shered, I was walking down the hall in my classroom building the other day and as I came around a corner I heard this "And Shared (Shered) wounded Coriantumr in his thigh, insomuch that he could not fight for two years" (or something close to that.) I always love hearing that story in Ether in the Book of Mormon because it reminds me of you. Thanks for being my big brother. I love you!
To members of the Summit Ward, I love you all so much and greatly appreciate all the different kinds of support I have received and continue to receive from you. That includes but is not limited to, the Nelson Family, the Lee Family, the Harris Family, the Andrews Family, the Montes Family, the Selk Family, the Aldous Family, the Peterson Family, and the Prina family. Thank you all so much. If I forgot to mention your name, I'm so sorry. It's probably because I am rushed writing this, and I have received so much support it’s hard to keep track of. But to EVERY person in the Summit ward, I love you and I am grateful for your example. If any of you Young Men read this, I think about you guys all the time, and am so excited for the time when you all will get to serve your missions. Listen to all of your leaders, including the Bishopric. They all know way more than us, and only want the best for us.
Lane and Vay, I hope you read this too. I have been thinking about you lately, and I want you both to know that I love you so much and I am so grateful for you. Trevor, you too. I'm not sure if Derek get's a copy of these but if he does: Derek, It is such a cool experience to be serving at the same time as you. You are getting to the end, just as I'm starting, but I know that we are both doing the work of the Lord. I am so grateful for you example to me.
Tom and Julie, I feel the same cool connection with you as well. To get to serve a mission at the same time as you is a once in a life-time experience. Thank you both for your love, example, and support.
As far as logistics go, I will be leaving Monday morning from the MTC at 11:30. My flight leaves at 2:50 from Salt Lake, and we go first to Dallas/Fortworth. Then from there, we fly about 11 hours and 20 minutes to Buenos Aires. We will get there about 7:45 local time (4:45 Mountain Time). So we should get there just in time to start the day!
Elder Scot Daniel Stobbe Jr
Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission