Yesterday was the end of my third week at the MTC and it was another great one. I'm supposed to have written you yesterday but there was some problem with my account so I'm writing this morning.
I am having a little trouble thinking of things to write you as there is a lot of repetitiveness here in the MTC. One of the things that we spend our week preparing for is our TRC (Teaching Resource Center) appointments every Saturday. Every week we are given a different task to prepare for, which requires us to use new Spanish skills for 15 minutes, then teach a lesson for 35 minutes. In the TRC, people from outside of the campus volunteer to act like investigators with different personalities and needs. We are given a background of each of the people every week and we try to plan the lesson according to their needs, which will be very important in the field. This past week we were required to contact a couple for 15 minutes. We had to get to know them, set up an appointment, and offer a prayer in Spanish before the lesson. Our Spanish part didn't go so well because our investigators only gave one-word answers to all of our questions, so we weren't able to have a long conversation or tell them anything about ourselves. However the lesson part of the TRC went really well for me. I felt like I taught all of my principles clearly, answered their questions precisely, and bore strong testimony -- I came out of that lesson feeling pretty good. I could tell my companion wasn't very happy with his performance, however. Anyway, we learned a lot about how to strengthen our companionship every day and how to become a more unified, fluent team. This week we are practicing the second lesson a lot so that we can do well on Saturday. I'm feeling pretty confident at this point.
One thing we are always trying to do is bring others closer to Christ. This means that we take all of our practice contacts, lessons, or spiritual thoughts very seriously because, even though we are just practicing for the field, we can always bring others closer to Christ or help them realize something they didn't know before.
This past week two of the missionaries in our district, Elder Walls and Elder Johnson, left to go to the Guatemalan MTC for the rest of their training. Their mission calls are to Guatemala City. It is really weird to see them go because I feel we had become such good friends and that we have known each other for such a long time, when in reality, its only been 3 weeks. Elder Walls is really good at speaking Spanish, so he doesn't work as hard as the rest of us. His companion is not as good at Spanish but is a really hard worker, so you can kind of see why the Lord paired those two up.
This week me and Elder Duke put together a workout routine for our hour of gym time everyday (except for p-days and Sunday). We go to the gym, run and lift weights and stuff. I really don't want to get fat so I feel pretty motivated to go hard when we work out. Speaking of which, one of my belts has already broken and one pair of my pants have ripped down the seam on the back (not the new ones). I attempted to sew them together and did a pretty good job . . . I don't know if Mom would approve though. Right now both of my other pants are at the dry cleaners, so I only have one pair of dark pants to wear.
Another cool thing about this week is that I joined the MTC choir which sings at firesides and stuff -- it was pretty fun. One of the songs we sang, Jesus is My Shepard by Tammy Simster Robin, was really good and I really liked it. Maybe you can suggest it for the next Young Mens' choir or something. I also applied to be in the Missionary Choir that will be singing at the Preisthood Session of General Conference on October 3, so maybe Dad and Matt will see me if I get selected! I'll let you know when I find out.
There is an Elder in one of the new districts in my branch that has a brother in the New York North Mission -- Elder Otuafi. I think he's from Samoa. Try to keep an eye out for him. I only have about thirty seconds left so I gotta wrap it up and get going.
I love you guys - Elder Kinney