Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Victor's First Letter Home!!

Hello everyone!

If my calculations are correct you should be receiving this letter at the exact moment the deloreon vanished. I have been living comfortably for the past six months in the year 1885.

I'm a missionary now. How wierd is that? I miss you all so much! This has been the craziest week. I've never been so busy in my entire life. I had a lot of fun visiting the Balkman's before checking in here at the MTC. Always so good to see them.

I have a pretty awesome distrcit. My companion is Elder Petersen and he's great. He's the only person I've met so far who's going to the same mission as me. Most everyone else in our district is going to Mexico. Two elders are going to Bolivia though, and they'll be going to the MTC in Lima with us in three weeks, so that's cool. By the way, I'm terrifed of the Lima MTC. I can't handle being immersed in Spanish like that! I've been learning the language so fast though. It's ridiculous. I was the first missionary to get to our classroom on Wednesday, and our teacher Hermana Roerig just starts having a conversation with me in Spanish. That was like... within an hour of getting here. Yesterday Elder Petersen and I taught our first "investigator" completely in Spanish. Three days ago I couldn't even speak spanish! To think I spent an entire year in Spanish II getting worse at Spanish, and here I am after three days basically as good at speaking Spanish as I am at speaking French, which I took for eight terrible, painful years. Actually eight good years, but the French was the terrible part. It's unreal how fast we're all learning though. One elder in our district had absolutely no Spanish experience at all prior to coming here, and he's doing as great as the rest of us. In three days!!

I've seen a ton of people I know here. Let's see if I can remember them all...

Probably within three minutes of arriving I got to see my good ol' friend Elder Porter Long!... from a distance. I didn't get to talk to him then, but I finally ran into him again yesterday and got to chat with him. Like five minutes after that I saw Sister Jenny Doll who was in my ward in Rexburg. I've also seen Elder Braydon Graf, from my mission prep classes and Book or Mormon class in the winter. I ran into Peter Barnes, who's teaching here. When we met the branch presidency I got to see Brother Macdonald, who was the mission president in Eugene not so long ago, and his wife... I know I'm missing people. I've seen more than that. It's great to see some familiar faces around here though.

All the members of the branch presidency we met with and their wives breifly introduced themselves to our district at the meeting. When Sister Macdonald got up, because I was in there she started her introduction by talking about working with Doctor Hemsley back in Eugene and how helpful he was to all of the missionaries and how much they love my dad. Uh, that was cool. I felt more at home with the Macdonalds being there.

I've never been so tired in my life. Seriously I don't think they let missionaries get enough sleep. Every day it's harder to get up, harder to stay awake throughout the day, and way easier to fall asleep at night. At this rate within a few days I won't be able to wake up at all!! Get this though. Yesterday I was struggling so much trying to stay awake during our early morning study. I could not keep my eyes open. After fighting my tiredness for a while, I decided to say a quick prayer asking for some extra energy and that I'd be able to stay awake. Almost instantly I got that extra energy. God is with all of us here every step of the way, helping us in so many ways. Heavenly Father has truly become my very best friend. I've wanted wanted to be able to truthfully say that, and after this past week I finally can.

Today is my first p-day, but I think from here on out they're going to be on Fridays instead.

Ahh, I don't even know what else to say. This week has been so crazy. I've been so blessed this week. My testimony has been strengthed so much since last Saturday. I've become so much closer to our Heavenly Father than ever before. My prayers are so different than they used to be. I feel like I'm having a conversation with my best friend now when I pray. It has been amazing.

I'm not sure what else to say. Thank you so much for all the prayers and support. It's crazy to think that literally millions of people around the world are praying for the missionaries every single day. I know for a fact that those prayers are helping us so much, because there is no way we could possibly be learning as fast as we're learning in any other place. I miss everybody! I can't wait to see you all again, but I'm excited about what I'm doing. Terrified. But excited.

Can't wait to hear from you and I'll send another e-mail your way next week! I have no idea how to attach pictures right now, so I'll have to figure that out next time. There's no SD card slot on this computer. Why? WHY?!?! I've barely taken any yet anyway. With everything that's been happening to me this week, it's really got me thinking... how come in Return of the Jedi Obi-wan has to walk around the bushes to talk to Luke even though he's a ghost?... Food for thought.

I love you all!

Elder Hemsley

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