i cant believe how fast this week went by! i honestly feel like i just was here writing you guys just a moment ago! Well this week has been a busy one. we have been studying hard and learning so much! the teachers here are fantastic and will help you with anything! haha so much for taking spanish in school...i already have learned more than i did in those 2 years of spanish classes. hahaha oh well. well to start....thank you to all those who wrote me dear elder letters! i think i was the most envied elder here in the ccm! hahaha they were so awesome! so keep them coming because i can actually have those on hard paper instead of just looking for an hour on the internet! well lets see...everything has been going great here in peru! it is so good to hear that everything back home is going so great! Well the violin opp...(i guess that is what it is being called now)...went awesome! haha hermana cardon and i practiced like only 2 times prior and she didnt give me the music to practice....not like i have any time to practice anyways....so i was a little nervous to begin with. we started out playing prelude music and idk i was kinda nervous...you know the branch presidency and the area presidency and 150 missionaries looking at you. idk i was nervous but prelude went well. after the opening hymn and prayer we did our special muscial number. i said a prayer asking heavenly father to please calm my heart and allow my fingers to play so that i could bear my testimony through my music. we stood up and all my nervousness went away and we played. it was so beautiful and it truely brought the spirit. our accompianist cried while playing and it just was a fantastic moment on the violin. Mom and dad, i want to thank you with everything that my heart posses that i am grateful to the both of you for making me play the violin. i am so sorry for all the hard times i gave you to practice and all the grief that i gave you saying that i hated it and wanted to quit. i know that the lord has blessed me with the ability to play so that i can touch the hearts of the people here through my music. dad you were absoutely right...the violin truely does bring the spirit. i am so grateful and honored that i can play the violin. Faith and jacob....You dont ever quit playing. in highschool i sometimes thought it to be a burden and that it got in the way of my sports. it never did though. i loved playing in the symphony and i love playing it now. i wish i had time to practice here! so thank you mom and dad. you guys are awesome! well anyways i did get to meet Elder and hermana johnson for the first time! they brought me some contraband chocolate chip cookies! haah they are so good! idk i instantley recognized them when i saw them and we hit it off so great! i know it was the first time that i have ever meet them but i love them! they work in the next building over from the ccm and we arent allow out of the walls so idk if i will get to see them again. but they are so awesome! idk it was just nice to talk to someone about my family and they obviously knew grandma and grandpa birtcher and it was really comforting just to be with family here. i loved it so much! umm...what else happened this week? oh our district did an all day spanish marathon! no inglés! haha it was so good! i was able to express everything that i wanted to say to people and i learned so much! the spanish is getting really good actually...however...when i think i am getting good, i talk to the latino elders here and then feel bad again. haaha so much work still to come but i am excited to get out into the field and share this gospel. on tuesday elder grow of the 70 came and spoke to us. it was an amazing talk and i truely felt the spirit in what he was saying was true! he talked a lot about investigator and reactivating converts. i dont have time to give all the details but it was an amazing talk! and guess who is going to be here on Sunday??? Elder cook of the quorum of the 12! haha we are so excited around here because it is just going to be us small group of missionaries and him! so excited to hear what he has to say to us! Well i love being a missionary! I just eat up personal study time and have learned so much in this short time. i am learning about so many new things in the book of mormon that i cant believe i didnt see in reading it before the mission. i love reading about the missionary work among the lamanites becasue that is what my duty and role is now. to go and preach and bring the restoration of the gospel of jesus christ back to the lamanites! i am so honored to be a representative of jesus christ. i testify that the book of mormon is true. it is the most correct of any book on the face of this earth and if you sincerely read it you will come closer to your savior jesus christ faster than any other way! i know it is true with everything that my heart possess. i have truely been learning a lot on how to adhere to the spirits promptings. idk. i get these thoughts or impressions to bear my testimony or share experiences that i have had either with missionaries or investigators and it is exactly what they needed to hear! open your mouths and the lord with fill it! may we all open our mouths and preach the precious truths of this gospel to everyone we see and meet! this place is truely a spiritual place. i have felt it so strongly and just yearn for more and more every day! haha i just love being a missionary....if you couldnt already tell.
and that is pretty much it for this week! classes going good, soccer skills improving, feeling the spirit so strongly....couldnt ask for anything more! We are about to leave here for the temple and then get to go mess around in the city for a couple of hours! hahaah it is so fun!
I love you all so much! i miss you and can wait to hear from you!
Till next week!