Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dear Family,
I am having another great week, like always. We had an amazing General Authority devotional last Tuesday (we never know who is speaking until right before the devotional starts) Last Tuesday, my companion had to go to the administration building before dinner, and while he was doing paperwork, one of the MTC high-ranking administrators came over to me and whispered, "Make sure you get to the devotional tonight early. You're going to want good seats." And I said, "Is this inside information?" And he responded, "It most certainly is, Elder." So my companion and I ate dinner quickly and went to get good seats at the devotional. About five minutes before the devotional was to start, one of the MTC administrators went to the podium and said, "Now, I would just like to remind you that the only time in our Church when we stand is when a member of the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency comes in. So, if a member of the Twelve happened to come in, you would all need to stand." And sure enough, right before the meeting started, D. Todd Christofferson walked in. He gave an amazing talk about teaching by the Spirit. After the fireside, many elders went out to the parking lot to shake his hand before he left. Two days later, in the hallway, I heard a missionary telling other missionaries that his companion had shaken Elder Christofferson's hand, and when he did, Elder Christofferson asked him, "Elder Christensen...Nebraska Omaha, Spanish-speaking, right?" And the missionary said yes, and Elder Christofferson said, "I assigned you to your mission." Can you believe that?!!! Now I really want to know which member of the Twelve assigned me.
The Spanish is going great. I am able to read and understand scriptures in Spanish now, and I have been learning so much. The other day, we were teaching a practice lesson and I asked the new missionary who was pretending to be an investigator, "Sabe usted a Adán y Eva?" (Do you know about Adam and Eve?). In Spanish, however, the verb to know is actually two different verbs: saber, which means to know something like a fact or a skill (for example, "I know the sacrament prayers"), and conocer, which means to know someone (for example, "I know her"). The new missionary mistakenly answered, "Sí, conozco a Adán y Eva" (Yes, I know Adam and Eve). The poor missionary didn't know why we were laughing until after the lesson was over.
It feels like I just got here (because the weeks have gone by so fast), but at the same time it feels like I have been here forever (because I have gotten so used to MTC life). We don't ever get to take naps, so I am always perpetually tired, but I remember once Dad told me that you know you have been a good missionary if, when you get home from your mission, you sleep for a day or two to recover from two-years' worth of exhaustion. So, I guess I will just have to look forward to a day-long nap in two years.
Everything is going great. My branch president will call you if I do something dumb and break my legs (unlikely, but possible). I will talk to you all next week!
Love, Elder Gibbons

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