Date

August 19, 2015

Area

Provo MTC

Companion

Elder Merrell

Week 1 (MTC)

Hola Everyone!!

This week has been truly incredible! I can't believe I am really a missionary! The first few days in the MTC are a little tough, especially for Elders and Sisters learning a language, but I am now adapted and I am super comfortable and loving every second of it!

Spanish is so incredible! I love speaking it with everyone! I took Spanish in High School but I truly didn't think I remembered that much....and to be honest I shouldn't. I can see the hand of the Lord blessing me every time I need him the most. We have already taught 4 lessons in full Spanish and we have another one tonight! It really is incredible how we can go into these lessons and we can converse with a Native speaker after just 2 days of being in the MTC. The miracles of the Lord truly are incredible and I am ever grateful every single day for that as I am sure I will be when I land in Argentina and need it most.

My companion is so awesome! His name is Elder Merrell and he is from just down the road in Orem Utah. I will be honest and say that I was a bit worried when we first met. We are complete opposites, he is into drama and he has an incredible voice and I am an athlete (well at least I try) who wants to spend every moment in the gym! But is really is awesome how well we work together and how much we compromise our own wants in order to let each other have a good time! I know that this has been able to happen because Elder Merrell and I each realize that both of us are here for the same reason. We are here because we want to share this great gospel full time for 2 years, we both aren't here because we have to. We are here because we have come to know the Lord in our own lives and we want to share that with everyone we can and help them have the happiness and purpose in life that so many are searching for. We really have become close and tight knit and that really helps us have the Spirit when we are studying, teaching, speaking the language, or having any other number of things!

On top of that my whole room is so fun! There are 6 of us crammed in there into 3 bunk beds! We all came in the same day and we are all headed to Posadas on the same day (If our visas come....pray for us). If I would've wrote this email yesterday, my opinion of these young men wouldn't have been as strong as it is today. We have been close and spiritually strong all week but last night was truly an amazing experience. Every night when the lights go out we usually spend 20-30 minutes all talking or telling jokes or such. But last night was different. It turned into a testimony sharing night. Please understand that these 6 young men may be the biggest blessing God has given me in the MTC so far. The spirit they carry is unlike anything I have ever seen! The stories and experiences we all shared last night were incredible, and as much as I would like to share what was told with all you, I feel that I should not so I can preserve the reverence and Spirit which were in our room last night! (I'm sorry to sound all weird and churchy, but last night was amazing and I am still on a Spiritual High). I love these Elders like my brothers, not only have they been there for me spiritually, but our friendships have helped us all stay strong when we feel any bit of homesickness!

Sorry those were so long, but its the first week so Introductions are deserved!

Sundays are incredible in the MTC, we had our first sacrament meeting in Spanish. Once again, I am amazed how much I can understand! Me and my comp taught the lesson in priesthood (in English this time) and it was so cool to open up discussion with all the Elders in our zone! Every missionary has been called of God and I know that to be true! On Sunday night it was so awesome! Every Sunday and Tuesday there is a devotional in the big gymnasium where we bring all 2500 Elders and Sisters together! The Sunday night fireside wasn't a talk this time, it was a band. A band called the Nashville Tribute Band. I was uneasy at first thinking why does the LDS church have a country band playing for all their future missionaries but the Spirit was so strong. They had a song about Joseph Smith that they played first, I was almost in tears. I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. And also there was one about missionary work where the whole group joined in on the chorus and it was so fantastic! It truly was an incredible "concert" for lack of better words.

After the Concert, we watched MTC approved films. The one all the veteran Elders tell the new Elders to watch is a talk named Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. It truly was humbling, it made me feel inadequate, but at the same time gave me so much hope and desire on how I want to be more like Christ and turn myself more outward than inward and help others more than myself! I dont know if it is available to the public but I highly recommend searching lds.org for it! It was an awesome talk and I wish I would've been here however many years ago when he gave it in the MTC on Christmas!

Tuesday was awesome as well. Last night we had Elder Larry J EchoHawk of the Seventy speak. The things he shared on missionary work were truly incredible and only strengthened my already strong desire to serve!

Well today we did laundry and wrote emails and it is nice to get a day of Preparation from the Stressful work and learning we do everyday! Learning a language in 6 weeks isn't easy but I know the Lord can work mysterious wonders among all of us as his Children. I am most looking forward to the temple this afternoon! I am sure gonna miss that amazing place when we get to Argentina, but the Spirit we will carry will be somewhat similar I am hoping!

Well I love all of you and I hope all of you are doing well!

Which reminds me, when we first got here they all told us to tell our family and friends about DearElder.com. It is a website where you can type a letter to me and they will deliver it same day! It is so awesome! When we arrived last week we got to write an email to our parents and I told them and it was so fun to get letters from them throughout the week! I think it is either free or like 50 cents or something! So I would love to hear from all of you as well!

Or even better, if you would rather. You can send me an old fashioned letter! My mailing address at the MTC is

Elder Jacob Cory Willardson
SEP21 ARG-POS
2007 N 900 E Unit 28
Provo UT, 84602

I hate to beg for mail, but trust me. Mail as a missionary is the most awesome thing! We can read all about our family and our friends and it is so fun to see how everyone is doing! So if you get the chance, send one my way and I promise I will do everything I can to write you back either an email or a letter! (So if you write a dearelder then put your address in it) because they limit our time on the computers because of how many missionaries that need to write!

Well I love you all and hope you are all doing well! The Church is True, God loves each of us, and the Savior atoned for our sins. I hope the Lord blesses you all the way he has blessed me! The Gospel is so amazing.

Until next week

Love,

Elder Willardson




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Argentina Posadas Mission
Local
Argentina

Length of Service

100 %

Days in Mission Field

1
Years
11
Months
14
Days