Brett's apartment mailing address:

3712 Howard Dr. Apt # 18
McAllen, TX

Brett's mission office address:

Texas McAllen Mission
Attn: Elder Brett Mecham
200 West La Vista Ave.
McAllen, TX 78501

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas everybody!
This is how Christmas day went:
We woke up at 6:30 sharp on Christmas morning with Elder Dickson yelling merry christmas, trying to get me to wake up and get out of bed. The only reason I was reluctant to get out was because I'm on top bunk and getting out of it is such a pain. It's usually too early for me to realize what I'm doing and I jump out and basically face plant because there isn't enough energy in my legs. I've actually avoided that bad habit though so there is no need for concern. Anyway, we all got out of bed and woke up Elder Wallace and Elder Seamons in the other room so they could come over and join us. (All of our Christmas presents were under the tree in our room) We then all huddled in a circle and took turns opening presents. It was sooo fun. We all talked about our Christmas traditions and it was fun to compare how we all did things. Most of us liked taking turns, opening one at a time so we could all watch, but Elder Dickson just wanted to open them all up as fast as he could.
By raise of hands, we decided that we were going to take it slow and enjoy it. Sorry Elder Dickson. We actually skipped breakfast because we were enjoying ourselves too much. After opening, and playing, with our presents, we went to the gymnasium for the MTC talent show. Wow, was that amazing or what. There definitely ain't no lack of musical talent when you have over 2000 Mormon missionaries all in one building. There was originally supposed to be only 16-20 acts but because they could not turn down any of those that tried out, there were 44 acts and it lasted almost 3 hours! It was soooo good though! It's too hard to describe. People sang solos, played the guitar, the piano, violin, eukelele (yukelele, eukalale, yoo-kah-LAY-lee...) and there were a lot of districts that peformed altogether and did something funny. It was great.
After that, we had our big Christmas dinner which was great. We were all sure appreciative for all those that worked on Christmas day. After that, we went back to the gymnasium and Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke to us! He was tremendous. It's always awesome when an Apostle is there. After the devotional, we all went back to our residences and ate our sack dinner and had the chance to write letters, write in our journals, or just relax. We played with our christmas toys...obviously. We then had one last devotional at 7 and two actors performed a simplified version of A Christmas Carol and it was absolutely tremendous. There were only 2 actors but they did such a good job. They had awesome costumes and sound effects which made it great. And what was really neat was that Elder Nelson was there too. Even though he was only asked to come and speak at the afternoon devotional, he and his wife decided to stay for the entire day and spend Christmas day with all of us missionaries. What an honor. And actually, they ended up staying until the next morning too because he spoke to all of the Elders in a combined Priesthood meeting. Pretty lucky eh?
Well, I think that about sums about my Christmas day. On Christmas eve we had a devotional too and the MTC presidency took turns speaking. They made it REALLY fun though. One of the funnest things we did was sing the 12 Days of Christmas, MTC style. Check this out, and sing it to the regular tune. It's hilarious when you have a couple thousand missionaries singing it.
On the first day of Christmas the MTC gave me: A rock solid testimony.
On the second day of Christmas the MTC gave me, Two haircuts free, and a rock solid testimony.
On the third day of Christmas the MTC gave me, Three new companions, Two haircuts free and a rock solid testimony.
On the fourth day of Christmas the MTC gave me, Four Chocolate milks, three new companions, two haircuts free, and a rock solid testimony.
On the fifth day of Christmas the MTC gave me, Fiiiiiive Hourrsss ooffff Gyyyymmmmm! Four Chocolate milks, three new companions, two haircuts free, and a rock solid testimony.Four Chocolate milks, three new companions, two haircuts free, and a rock solid testimony.
The rest go as followed:
6:30 wake-up. 7 lukewarm showers. 8 hours of rest. 9 vaccinations. 10 more commandments. 11 loads of laundry. 12 hours of class.
It was an absolute riot. But besides all the fun stuff we did, we really focused on the birth of our Savior. We spent much of the month of December doing that and it was really great. It was the main topic for all of our devotionals and Elder Nelson spoke about it when he was here and did a great job.
Thanks for all your letters and packages! Mallory, I wanted to write you a separate letter because I thought your stories were absolutely hilarious! I told my roommates about the gingerbread house you made and the story about the boss with the beard and how he slowly shaved parts of it off throughout the day. hahahaha that was sooo funny. My roommates cracked up.
And thanks mom and dad for the packages! I have too many toys and candy than I can handle. Now I know why missionaries gain weight. I'll start running during gym now. I'm just too addicted to basketball and volleyball.
Well, It sounds like you all had a great Christmas! Sorry I couldn't call, but I hope you enjoyed the tape of me and my district singing. Oh, and guess what! I just found out about a half hour ago that I am being reassigned. My visa hasn't come in yet. But because there are no general authorities in right now this week, they won't receive the reassignment papers until next wednesday, but I'll find out by next Thursday or Friday where I am going. She said it will probably be in Utah because they think my Visa should come in real soon. Ahh, I have under a minute.
Love you all! Thanks for everything!
Elder Brett A. Mecham

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dec 21 2010

Hello family!
I can't believe it's almost Christmas. I'm about to send out my gift to ya'll, but I'm nervous as to when it will arrive to you. I know it's going to take a loooong time. Every day there are a billions of packages arriving to the MTC and millions going out. Hopefully you get the packages before March or somethin'. I can't wait for you to get them! I'm really excited about it. Maybe you already know, because there is only so much I can do, but nevertheless I'm really excited.
How have the Holidays been so far? It's been amazing here at the MTC. There's over a foot of snow right now and it's absolutely beautiful. It's pretty warm outside and now that the snow stopped coming down, it looks like it's already starting to melt. There better be snow for Christmas! Can you believe that Christmas is in 4 days? I remember December used to go by soooo slow! And now I'm hoping that it slows down because it's going by too fast. Can you believe I've been here 7 weeks? I'm leaving soon!!! That is if I get my Visa. So I wrote a letter to you all this morning and I'm putting it in the package and now I am basically saying everything over again. Oh well. Anyway, I haven't heard anything about my Visa yet so I'm not sure what is going to happen with me. One, I'll stay here at the MTC for a couple extra weeks or so. Two, I'll be reassigned to somewhere else in the United States. Three, I'll get my visa right on time and leave like I'm supposed to. I think number three would be the weirdest. Elder Wallace, Elder Dickson, and I have sort of planned on staying here at the MTC longer and it would be weird to leave on time. Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see! No matter what happens, I'll be happy.
TRC was phenomenal again. I don't really want to get into the details but we had an older man and "he was Jewish" and the lesson went great. It's really fun to look back at our first and second lessons we taught and then compare it to our last couple. It's crazy how fast everyone picks up on the language and the things they can do in such a short period of time. Maybe it's because we have special help.
I have 13:24 left. I can't think of much else to say though. I guess that's better than sweating to send off an email.
Elder Wallace is feeding me KitKats as I write this email. I can't afford to take my fingers off the keyboard. Even though I have much more time than usual.
So tonight we have another Fireside and we're hoping it's an apostle! Although, we have a bunch of devotionals and firesides on Chirstmas and Christmas Eve so maybe we'll have one then. Maybe the prophet? That would be the coolest thing ever. I'm so glad I'm here for the Holidays.
Well, I'm doing great. My companion is doing great. My district is doing great. Things are just pretty awesome here at the MTC. I wish I could describe it better. I can't wait to start sending emails once I'm in Monterrey.
Have a fantastic, Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Thanks for the emails and the love. Ya'll are the best!
Love, Elder Brett

Dec 14 2010

It is Tuesday once again! The fourteenth of December. Christmas is getting closer and closer. Is it just me or is that really hard to believe? Wasn't it just November 3rd and I was walking into the MTC with a bewildered expression on my face? It sure feels like it. Wow.
Well, I had a pretty awesome week. My TRC experience was fantastic. Elder Dickson and I are getting better and better. We taught the first lesson and didn't even really use our lesson plan at all. We're not memorizing it, but just remembering it much better and teaching it with much more fluidity. It's exciting. Along with the lessons, we are practicing talking about the weather, work and school, food, and other various topics that we will have to know when in Mexico.
Got some scary news. Yesterday evening, three elders moved into the room next door and I was confused because missionaries come in on Wednesdays. Turns out, they were in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah for the last 5 months waiting for their visas. AHHHHHH. Well, I guess I'd rather be sent somewhere in the states while I wait, rather than stay longer in the MTC. Although, if they feel like the visas will be arriving soon, they will just keep you in the MTC for a couple weeks or so. So I guess I'd prefer the latter. I am soooo excited for Mexico though. I can't remember if I told ya'll or not but the other week, I met 2 elders that were going to Monterrey East. Turns out, their district has 8 people in it; 4 going to Monterrey East and 4 going to Monterrey West. And here my district has 8 people in it and not ONE person is going to the same area. We are the misfit district, although, we are the best district in the entire MTC!! Have I properly expressed my love and appreciation for my district? I don't think I actually could. I'm glad you all have pictures now so you can put faces to everyone.
Thanks for the dearElders! Sorry I don't have time to respond to everything in them, but just know that I love hearing everything! And I love having a hard copy of it. We always get the letters after we finish planning at night and it's the most exciting thing to read them when we get back to our rooms.
I also have some sad news. I won't be able to call home for Christmas. I guess that makes sense though because there are a bajillion people here at the MTC and there is no way they could have everyone call home. BUT...I came up with a really good idea for a Christmas present, and the rest of my district approved my idea. I can't wait!
Well, I hope everything is going great! I think about you all every night. Not much during the day because I am so busy doing a lot of great things, but I think you understand. I love you all so much and I am so grateful that I am able to write every week! Hope you are all enjoying the holidays! I sure am. I don't think there is a better place to be for Christmas than at the MTC. I'm pretty lucky.
Thanks again for everything!
Con amor,
Elder Brett

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Has it really been an entire week?? It has honestly felt like it's been one long long DAY since last Tuesday. We finish our planning at 9:30 and head back to our dorms, and after I change out of my clothes and sit down at my desk, it's already 10:15. It's crazy. And then by 10:30 I'm in bed with lights out and about a minute or two later, my alarm is going off and it's 6:15 a.m. Ahhhhhh.
But in all honesty, I am getting plenty of sleep and I have tons of energy each day. The days are long, and really short at the same time. There are so many things that I want to do each day but there just doesn't seem like there is enough time. I've been focusing a lot more on doctrinal studies during personal time and that's been a big help to me. I love having the oppurtunity to devote so much time to scripture study. It's so much better and worthwhile than just reading a couple chapters at night. One of my teachers, Hermano Painter, is incredibly knowledgable and everytime we have questions, we ask him and he always seems to have the answer. He just got back from his mission a couple months ago too. My other teacher, Hermano Dangerfield, is totally awesome too. He focuses more on the language study.
The TRC went pretty well this week. This was the situation: We were new missionaries to the area and we were scheduled to meet with some investigators, a husband and wife. They were moving though so we had to go there and offer to help them move. (This was to help us with home/family vocabulary) After helping them move their furniture and appliances (little laminated pieces of paper), we started to teach them about the Plan of Salvation. Although, we ended up asking them questions about their Book of Mormon reading and their daily prayers. After discussing this for a while, we finished our visit with the Palabra de Sabiduria (Word of Wisdom). They were asking a lot of questions and it was great practice for Elder Dickson and I to be able to listen to their questions and answer them. My other experiences at the TRC were much easier because it consisted mostly of just teaching from our lesson plan. This time, we had to answer whatever questions they had, so it really tested our knowledge of the language. I asked them what we could do to help them keep the PdS and they were like, "I don't know. What can we do?" And I didn't know what to say at first but I ended up saying, "Pues, usted puede poner su te en la basura." They both started laughing really hard. Not at me though! With me, because it was funny. I told them, "well, you can put your tea in the garbage." And, I pointed to the garbage can when I said it. The investigators were Alexandria and Cesar, and they were both totally awesome people. After we finished our lesson, they asked where we were going on our missions, and her uncle is a stake president in Tampico and she has some family in Monterrey. She was totally excited that we were both going to Mexico.
I'm trying to think of what else to say. Other than the TRC, it's just been a lot of classroom instruction and personal study time.
Creo que voy a hablar mas en espanol en mis emails. Es dificil en la computadora porque no hay simbolos y las palabras les parecen extrano. Y, necesito mas tiempo para saber como escribirlos.
Tengo menos de un minuto!!
I love you all a ton! Thanks for all your letters, packages, and massive amounts of goodies! My companion, roommates, and I are all very grateful!
Con amor,
Elder Brett

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hello all!
What a wonderful week. Thank you all for the packages/letters/DearElders! It sure makes this email experience much much easier. I was able to read everyone's emails over and over and cherish every single word. Before, I could only skim over the emails because I needed time to respond. DearElder is amazing. Do you know if it works for when I am in Mexico too? I hope so.
So it honestly feels like I was just barely writing a letter to ya'll. I can't believe that it's been a week already. Yet, at the same time, I feel like I've done so much since I last gave you an update. Because I forgot what I've said to everyone in separate letters, I might be repeating a bit, so bear with me.
First off, Thanksgiving was amazing. We had our Thanksgiving dinner at noon and it was awesome. It was a packed house though! The line was going out the door. It was fun because our entire district sat together, as usual, and after eating some delicious turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and green beans, we all went around in a circle and said what we were thankful for. And just for the record, my district is AMAZING. I really can't describe how awesome each person is. Just last night, we were all hanging out in our room and we were all saying how lucky we were that our district is as awesome as it is. Every single person contributes to the group in their own special way. If one person wasn't there, it would feel empty. Last week, Elder Assante and Elder Stoddard left for the Peru MTC and it's been really weird without them. They were such awesome elders. Did I mention the advice that Elder Stoddard gave to me? It's probably the best advice I've ever gotten. I wasn't feeling too good last week (headaches and runny nose) and he asked me how I was doing and I was like, "Uh, my head kinda hurts and I'm sorta dizzy." And he looked at me for a moment and then said distinctively, "Well, just stop it." It was awesome. He was totally right. I just had to stop it. I literally started feeling better after he said that. Don't get me wrong though, Elder Stoddard is such a great and funny guy, and that's totally his humor. He always has the straightest face, so it's sometimes difficult to know when he's joking or being serious. So he told me he was kidding but I told him that it was still the best advice ever. Man, I'm going to miss him. Elder Assante too. He was pretty serious the first week he was here but he totally opened up once he got used to all of our weirdness, and he was such a goofball too. He always told the funniest, and sometime embarrassing, stories. It was great.
I wish I had time to talk about everyone in my district, but as always, there is that red, pestering, blinking timer in the upper right hand corner of the screen telling me how much time I have left. I have 16:21 left. I must continue...
There was no TRC this week because of the Holiday, so instead, we taught a lesson to a different district. We are doing that more and more now and it is totally awesome. It is really making us more comfortable with teaching the lessons. We started off just reading the sentences we had prepared in our lesson plans but now we can just have the title of the different principles in each lesson and just use that to know what to teach. Oh, and Hermano Painter (one of our teachers) had this brilliant idea of teaching progressive investigators. Let me explain.
Each of us thought of one person that we know that we want to act as, and pretend that they are investigators. (I chose Ivan from school) Then, we have the opportunity to teach them. For example, my companion and I both will act as our investigators while two other missionaries will teach us. Then we switch, and we are the missionaries and they are the actors. It is AWESOME, because we are able to see how our investigators are progressing and what kind of things we need to do better. For example, we taught our second lesson yesterday to Jess and Karen (those are the names of the people Elder Miller and Elder Froelich are representing) and we asked how their Book of Mormon reading was going, and it turns out we forgot to give them copies of the Book of Mormon! Ahh. We felt pretty dumb. And in the first lesson, we forgot to ask them their names! We just started talking about their interests/hobbies/work/school and then got straight into the lesson! So even though we made these brainless mistakes, I feel like they are helping us to know what we need to improve on. Also, this last lesson, we were going to teach about the Plan of Salvation but we realized they still had a lot of questions about the last lesson and so we spent the 30 minutes answering their questions and talking more about the Book of Mormon. We didn't even follow our original plan at all. It was cool because it was really all on the spot, just like it's going to be in Mexico. Hermano Painter is really proud of his idea to do this progressive investigator thing and we all love it too. We are always looking forward to doing them.
I'm not feeling sick anymore so that's good. I always feel totally refreshed and ready for the day when I wake up. The food is still good. Gym is awesome. I play volleyball every single day. I'm obsessed. I wish I could play some soccer, but oh well. I bet I'll have a chance in Mexico. Elder Holland spoke on Thanksgiving for the Devotional and he did such a wonderful job. I love hearing from the Apostles. Today will probably be an Elder from the Seventy, but I'll still cross my fingers.
I have barely over a minute left. I must hurry!
Anyway, thanks again for the letters! I love hearing updates. Just know that I am doing tremendous here, and I am praying for all of you.
Thanks a million for everything.
Elder Brett

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tuesday, Nov. 23

So, I was anxiously anticipating a DearElder all week and I received nada. Which means, one of a few things could have happened.
1) For some reason, an MTC worker thought it would be funny to not deliver my letters to me.
2) It was a crazy week for you and you didn't have time to write.
3) You accidentally sent the letter to Mexico instead of the Provo MTC so there is now a letter waiting for me hundreds of miles away.
But, no matter the reason, it's all good! I'll keep waiting.
Anyway, it was another crazy/tough/awesome/long/short/eventful week! One day, Hermano Painter was speaking during class and it was sort of weird but for some reason, everything just made total sense, and I had this overwhelming feeling that the language is going to come to me. Obviously I am still a ways a way from that point, even though my Spanish has improved incredibly (almost to the point where I can say a prayer in either Spanish or English without making too much of a difference), but I just knew that it was all going to come to me eventually. When I am concentrating, I can understand about 80-90% of what my teachers are saying. It was just really neat because it was a little overwhelming the first few weeks. By the way, remember when that person from the MTC called me to evaluate my Spanish abilities? Well, I got assigned to the intermediate level (There is beginner, intermediate, and advanced). And the intermedaite and advanced are all in the same building, which has been pretty helpful being able to listen to them. Also, our branch is only intermediate and advanced so Sacrament meeting and priesthood are all in spanish. It's been great.
TRC was pretty exciting. I described it already but it's once a week, every friday afternoon, and it's where we go teach "investigadors" and then get evaluated to see where we are at. Technically, these last two weeks, we were allowed to give our lesson in English and just do our introductions in Spanish, but our entire district decided to do it all in Spanish. And it was awesome. These last weeks experience was pretty exciting.
So we got started with our lesson and it was all going pretty good and then my companion sort of side tracked (like usual) and then got us in a sort of sticky situation. Anyway, it came down to our investigator asking this question: "So, the pope is the prophet and receives revelation?"
This is where I interjected and said, "Hold the phone...let me handle this!" (That's not exactly what I said but it was pretty close...and in Spanish of course)
Anway, I told her that I would like to start from the beginning. I then talked to her about the pattern of dispensations and how prophets are called of God and have the authority of the Priesthood. But, when the people disobey and do not listen to the teachings of the prophet, the Lord takes the authority of the priesthood from the earth. I talked to her about Jesus' purpose during his minisitry and how when he was rejected and crucified, and the apostles were all killed, the authority was once again taken from the Earth. And then our investigator said, "Oh, so that's why there was a need for a restoration!" And then I finished the lesson.
It was really cool because once we got in the sticky situation, my first thought was, ugh, I really don't want to be here right now. We have 25 more minutes to teach but I just want it to end. BUT, then I thought, alright Brett, don't worry about your Spanish. Just teach her what you know. And then I was able to teach her everything and it all made sense. It was really awesome. And even though my companion sort of got me into the mess, he did a real good job at the end. So overall, it was an awesome TRC experience. We are teaching Lesson 2 this friday. I can't wait.
So, other than that, it's mostly just been the same old stuff. Lots of work. Lots of studying. But I am enjoying it. I am getting a little sick but hopefully it doesn't get too bad. Just a runny nose and a headache. Elder Seamons went to the Doc today and was told he can't talk/sing/hum for 3 days because he has some sort of virus and lost his voice. Elder Wallace has been sick since the day he got here. But we've all maintained good attitudes. We're all excited for tonight, to see who is speaking at the devotional. Thomas S. Monson?? That'd be cool!
Mom, thanks for the care package! Loved everything! The PJ's fit great. Did you get my letter though about the two pairs of shorts and the shirt that I wanted? Don't worry about it if you didn't. Also, I am sending a letter with some pictures of my companion and I, and my district.
Steph, thanks for the letter! Hopefully Bart gets used to you! He flares his gills out of love, I'm sure.
Mal, hopefully you get your skymiles. I definitely entered your number in.
Dad, Thanks for the letter last week! by the way, once the photo machines are working again, I will print off more pictures of my companion and district and send them to you!
Love you all! I can't wait to hear from you! If you can, use DearElder, and send it to MTC Provo. Thanks!
Elder Brett A. Mecham

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hello all,
Preparation day's are always pretty intense. So much to do, so little time, and 2000 other missionaries trying to do it all as well. phew. Anyway, I we all just got back from a joyous time doing laundry, and now we just got here to the classroom to send some emails to out family before dinner. Right after the dinner is the General Authority devotional which I CAN'T wait for. Last week was Elder Bednar and it was such a good talk. Hopefully it's another apostle. That'd be awesome.
This past week was a pretty crazy one. I guess they all will, so I better get used to it. First off, I had some companion issues. He's sitting right next to me as I type this so I better be careful. But before I go into the details, just know that my companion and I are best of friends and love each other to death. Anyway, this past week we were preparing our first lesson to teach at the TRC, which is where volunteers come in and act as investigators. It's about a 30 minute lesson and all in Spanish, which is why I wanted to make sure we were totally prepared. But, my companion tends to lose focus really easily (I can definitely sense some signs of Attention Deficit Disorder) and it was driving me crazy. I'd be planning stuff and he wouldn't really help. He'd just copy down what I had. And, he usually copied it down wrong or forgot something. And then when we would practice teaching, he would always stray from our plan and get talking about other stuff. And note that this is in Spanish so once we get off topic, it's sort of hard to get back on because we're talking in Spanish. But, I had a really good interview with my teacher and he said that while we all have the same goal is missionaries, we all have different ways of getting there and we all have different roles as companions. He encouraged me to have patience with him so that's what I am trying to do.
And now that I told you how he drove me crazy for about 2 days, I gotta tell you about how awesome he has been the other 13. He's the nicest guy, and also the funniest guy. He loves youtube videos so he is always reciting funny lines. From movies as well. He also knows every single disney song so on Thursday, during our service project, we were cleaning the showers while singing disney songs. It was pretty awesome. And he always has a story to tell. You could just ask him to tell you a story and he'll have something right away. He's such a genuine guy. He always refills my drink at dinner, holds the door open for anybody, and waves to the couple missionaries, and says hi to every teacher, whether it's a spanish teacher or tiawanese. I'm so glad he's my companion, even though he drives me bonkers when he gets lazy or loses focus. I think we both have strengths where the other has a weakness.
Ahhhh I only have 3 minutes left to send this email.
The MTC has been awesome. Classes are now 100% in Spanish, and I have been improving soooo much! The meals are good. It hasn't been hard getting up at 6:15 every morning nor has it been hard going to bed at 10:30. I am loving every minute of it. My companion and roommates are awesome. I just ordered some pictures that I took on my camera and I should be able to send them next week. Then you'll be able to see my district and my companion. I can't wait for you "to meet them".
Anyway, I gotta run. Sorry I wasn't able to respond to any of the things in my email.
Love you all!!
Elder Brett Mecham

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week One in the MTC

Ahhh I can finally write! I don't have very long though but I'll try and be as detailed as I can!

I love it here! It has been the hardest but best week ever. My companion is named Elder Dickson and he is an absolute riot. Wow we are having so much fun as companions. I can't wait to tell you some stories about him. We share a room with Elder Wallace and Elder Seamons and they are both really cool as well. We have all been getting along real well and been having an absolulte blast! We took some pictures today but I'll try to send them next week.

We went to the temple today and that was really neat to go as a district, as well as a couple other districts. The temple was great, but so was the walk there. It's nice to be sort of outside the main MTC area and get some "fresh air".

Classes have been pretty intense. They basically started within minutes of arriving. Last week it was about 50% in Spanish and the other half in english but starting yesterday, it is now 100% Spanish! ahhh. But, it was really cool to see how much I actually understood! Even though there were many words or even short phrases I didn't understand right away, I essentially understood nearly everything. It was really neat. Also, one of my teachers said something really cool. He said that the main focus for us is to learn about the Gospel, understand the lessons, and work on the skills necessary to teach, rather than focusing on learning Spanish, and if we do that, the language will come. And I've totally noticed that. I can already pray, bear my testimony, and say so many other things in Spanish. And, our entire district has been really good at SPL, where we try to speak our language first and if we can't get our point across, then we use English. It's crazy how after just one week, I have seen a considerable improvement. I'm excited to see what it will be like in a few more.

Some scary news though. Both Brazil and Mexico are being really difficult about visas. Most people going there are staying here at the MTC for an extra two or three weeks, and if they don't come by then, they are being reassigned to someone in the states. Just the other day, Elder Dickson and I were studying outside at a table and we started talking to four elders at the adjacent table and they were all supposed to go to Brazil, but instead they were going to Montana, Arkansas, and Georgia (I think those were the states). So, by the looks of it, I'll at least be staying in the MTC for 12 weeks. But I'll make sure and update you if I find anything else out. I still have 8 more weeks here regardless.

The missionaries back home were right when they said "just make it to Sunday". Because the first few days were absolutely insane; a combination of being overwhelmed and excited/nervous I guess. We were in the classroom for soooo long each day and the nights seemed to go by in seconds, it actually like on Saturday, that we had never actually gone to sleep but that it had been one really long day. phew. But Sunday was really uplifiting and I was able to catch up today since it's P-day. And dinner is in 5 minutes and then we are going straight to a fireside where we are going to get to hear from a general authority. I can't wait.

Sorry if my email is sort of a mess. I've been typing without really thinking because I've been sort of rushed.
anyway, love ya tons! and it was so great to get that long email from you. Crazy Buddy. And I hope everything goes well with Laura. Tell her I wish her the best!
Tell Stephanie I say hi and that I miss her already!

Con amor,
Elder Brett