I am emailing from temperate Laguna beach! Yes, just like the reality show. I have a fantastic companion named Elder Barton and he is from Provo Utah and played lacrosse with Elder Omori, who was one of my MTC companions! There have already been so many little things like that that have outlined the Lord's omniscient hand in my journey.
We found 3(!) new investigators this week, and I am so excited to continue to teach them, but we are just getting started. There is a lot of wonderful, busy and wholesome work to do here in the Marina Hills ward! I am very happy here. We work hard all the day long every day.
I have learned about 250 names so far of the members in the ward, but the tricky part is matching up those names that I have stored away with the faces attached to the hand I am shaking. Usually I get the names wrong, but that is the best way to learn, especially while I have the "only-been-here-for-3-days" excuse. My biggest challenge is geographically understanding the ward boundaries and the various landmarks and people we visit therein.
I am glad you got my package already! It was heavy, but sent for pretty cheap. I was sad to send those materials and clothes home. If you wear the clothes then you have to study the Mongolian books too! Then you will understand my testimony when I get home and share it in Mongolian!
To answer your questions; I am just regular English speaking, but I have used quite a bit of Spanish so far, but I have a handicap: when I want to say something in Spanish, I think it in English, then translate to Mongolian before I can reverse the sentence structure back again to normal and then try to get it into Spanish. It is so frustrating! For example I tried to ask if John was home:
English: Is John home?
English to Mongolian structure: John, at home is yes/no?
Mongolian words: Eon gert bain oo?
Spanish words: John casa en la aqui esta?
Spanish structure: John esta aqui en la casa?
I usually don't make it all the way to that last step, so I am stuck fumbling for some incoherent mix of Mongolian grammar, Spanish words and awkward eye contact. My companion loves to watch!
Even though at times I struggle with my many flaws and natural temptations I know that I have a message of great value and importance that has, is and will change the lives of those that accept it. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I pray every day for the strength to continue to follow His example and serve Him with faith unto works, charitable consecration, uncompromised honesty and willing happiness! I am a happy Carlsbad missionary! Thank you for the letters from people in the ward this week, they have really brightened my spirit and helped me focus on my purpose and remember the One who knows and directs all things.