Buenos Tardes familia,
Well I hope everything is good in Antioch? Did Sam get my package? I don't think I got a letter from you this week, but thats okay. I am doing pretty good. The spanish is coming along just fine, I feel that I have a pretty good grip of it, and Personally I think I can hear it a little better than a lot of other people in my class level. I speak it about as sloppy as anyone else, but everyone I talk to understands me so I'm happy about that. We have a thing at the mtc called the RC or Referral Center, or Centro de Referencias. It is like a lab where you call people to ask them if they got stuff that they requested from the church, and then try and invite them to hear more. Its pretty cool when you get good calls, most of they time I just get answering machines, my record was 60 answering machines in one day, with only 2 people answering the phone. Its pretty lame when that happens. But anyways we have a wierd RC teacher who thinks we're idiots or something because she never let us make calls in spanish, even though some of the other districts were doing it in their 3rd week and stuff, but anyways, Elder mackay and Elder Spencer and I all decided to do some calls in spanish on our own, and we sent out three book of mormons with the missionaries in like 1 hour so we were like, "why am I wasting my time calling english speakers?" lol. Anyways we've been doing spanish calls for about a week, and last Saturday I had a 45 minute conversation with a Latino lady. I didn't think she was interested, but I kept pushing her, and talking to her and trying to convince her to meet with the missionaries. It ended up that she had to go, but I'm probably going to try calling her again before I leave. But the point of the story is that she could understand me, and I could understand her, so I was happy about that. 45 minutes is a long time.
Anyways, I should be getting my travel plans this week, so I should know if I got my visa and flights lined up by this Friday. I went in and talked to the people in the Travel office, and they said that usually they don't have much trouble getting visas for El Salvador, so I was pretty happy about that. I still could get denied or something, but I'm pretty hopeful that I will get everything this week. My scheduled departure date is 4/12/2010. Thats a Monday I think. So it took me 7 weeks in the MTC to meet another missionary that was going to Venezuela, but they don't send white missionaries there, only natives. I think Venezuela would be tight, because its like brazil, but you still get to speak spanish! lol. Anyways yeah el salvador is going to be pretty cool, compared to Chile which is where practically the rest of my zone is going, which is a lot like California, I actually get to go strait into a Jungle, which I've always wanted to do. I'm actually very happy as well that El Salvadoreans have pretty clean accents compared to a lot of other countries. They are like really clear and well pronounced. And they talk at a normal speed. We got a new missionary from the dominical republic/NYC this week, and he can talk sooooo fast if he wants to. DR, PR, Cuba and chile all talk pretty fast.. It turns out that there is a whole district of them going to ES, but they are all beginning spanish, so thats why I never see them. It should be pretty awesome to get down there. One thing I realized while I was here is that looking at all the missions of the world, I actually wouldn't have picked anything over El Salvador! Except maybe
The MTC president actually came out and said he didn't want missionaries drinking caffeine while they are in the MTC. That is kinda wierd, but whatever. When you get out to the field, your rules will be totally different than the MTC. Thats one thing I dont like about the MTC, they have a lot of rules that don't make a lot of sense, and aren't in the white handbook, but you still have to follow them. So whatever I just do it, and hope that my mission president is more relaxed. Everyone I talk to says that they learned to love their mission presidents, And I think I definitely will.
What has been going on in Antioch? Anyone in the priest's quorum getting ready to turn in their papers? I kinda want to write a letter to them to encourage them all to go out on missions and get ready to serve, not that they don't allready want to , or that they don't allready know they should, but I think they might like hearing from someone who is in the MTC, instead of just Adults who got back fromt heir missions like 40 years ago lol. It defionitely is different when you are actually out. I find that I really wish I was allready out in the field. We are getting to the point in class where we are re-tracing our steps in Predicad mi evangelio (PMG) so its getting a little boring. I would much rather just have a crash course in all of the lessons, and a good review of spanish, and then just have a lot of training and stuff. We have class everyday for like 8 hours + 3 hours of missionary directed study time. It gets really boring sometimes, but most of the time I just chugg along. I started theover last week, and I'm just gonna keep reading it till I'm done. The MTC bookstore has all kinds of cool stuff, so I bought a couple cool things. I got a gospel art book, and theres all kinds of other goodies there. and we get them at 40% off which is awesome. I have a couple cool things so far. A bunch of people in my zone started doing this thing in the scriptures which is really cool, we have a page in the front of the bible and the book of mormon, with all these topics, including all four lessons spaced out around the edges of the page. And we put these little sticker tabs everywhere there is a corresponding scripture. It is really useful, I'll probably taka a picture of it someday. Anyways I am almost out of time, they hardly give you anything to type with, but I do what I can. Tell people to write me, I get like no mail lol. Tell everyone to stay out of trouble.
Elder Joseph Lopez DeVictoria