Mom thank you so much for your package I got it today and was so excited!! To answer your questions the MTC is…hard. It’s going to take a lot of faith and hard work to be able to do this. The days go by very slowly because we pack so much into each and every day. My companion is an elder from California. His name is Elder Petersen and we literally have nothing in common! But we get along well and he’s a super smart kid so he is helping me with the spanish. it’s a little tough to always have people shoving spanish down my throat and it’s been almost overwhelming at times. One Elder told us that it’s like having a firehose shoved down your throat and they expect you to drink each and every single drop of water. My friends are everywhere. I’m on the same floor as a kid from alta who has been here for ten weeks and it’s been nice to talk to him and be able to lean on his knowledge. I saw Brett as i walked in and it was soooooooo good to see a familiar face right away! I’ve seen Tally, Colby, Dakota, Carson, and Luke. It’s fun to see how they’re doing and everything that they are dealing with as well. So far it’s been hard. It’s just such a dramatic change of lifestyle in such a short amount of time but even by now the adjustment is beginning to happen and things are getting better. The Elders in my room are Elders Clarke, Paskett, Petersen, Irwin, and Fahina. Paskett, Clarke, and Petersen are all going to Panama so it’s been fun to get to know them. In case you didn’t get my second letter there was a small problem with my immunizations records and i will need those. Also the Guatemala MTC is full so we will be here for the full 9 weeks. I’m a little bummed about it but it will be nice to be close so you can all send me lots of packages, and mommy please send me my BYU blanket:)
Thank you so much for taking care of Kenzie I’ve been worried about how she’s holding up and she will love to be included in anything with you guys I’m sure. I was happy to hear she sent you flowers mom and i hope you enjoyed them. She sent me a few memory cards for the voice recorder that she got me so don’t worry about those one bit. She’s so great and I miss her but I know that where I am is the right place and I will work hard to be the best I can be as a missionary.
Well we met with our branch president on thursday night and he had some good things to tell us. Also one of his counselors is President Monson’s nephew and he speaks just the same and has the same humor. He interviewed me and gave me some good advice and told me that his MTC experience was very hard. His words were that missing home and friends and moms and those things is natural and that it is part of what makes us human. I loved it because it came on the second night when I was exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed. He told me that he struggled in the MTC for the first while because of these exact reasons and that he thought he may not even know if he could do it but he assured me that things steadily get better and to stay positive and work hard so that’s what I’ll do.
The food is it’s own animal in here. Although I don’t consider myself a picky eater I appreciate some home cooking now maybe more than ever!! My district is awesome and there are kids from American Fork, West Jordan, California, Georgia, and an Elder from Hawaii. It’s cool to know that everyone here is in the same boat and has the same goals. I have already been humbled and was quick to figure out that many many many sincere prayers are needed to be successfull here. I don’t say this to be preachy it’s simply a fact. Everything that’s gone on here has been a little bit of a blur and it’s funny when I get back I look back on the same morning and it feels like it was a month ago just because of how much is crammed into every second of our time here. I am doing well though and apart from a few pangs of homesickness I’m doing really well and I’m looking forward to the challenges and the successes to come. I love you all and am thankful for all of the prayers and support!
Lots of Love,
Elder Andrew Hawks
P.S. Sorry to keep asking for so many things but my gray jeans didn’t make it into my bag so please send those as well!!