ANYWAY, we taught Samuel for about two weeks, and then my teacher told us that we wouldn't be able to teach him anymore. I was so sad because I felt like we were really getting somewhere with Samuel (even in our broken Spanish.) My teacher also had told us the very first day that we actually have two teachers, but we wouldn't meet our other teacher until about two weeks into our time here. . We stopped teaching Samuel, and the next day were anxiously waiting in our classroom to meet our second teacher, Hermano Howard, when who walked in? SAMUEL!! It was the craziest thing to see him in Sunday clothes and see him as a regular MTC teacher because to me he is and will always be Samuel. I almost cried when he walked in, and my class laughed at me the entire first week that Hermano Howard taught us because I COULD NOT stop calling him Samuel. It was like I had given all my heart to this little investigator and now he came to class every day as my teacher! It was freaky and weirded me out for a while, but now I'm getting used to seeing him as Hermano Howard and not as Samuel.
In other news, I love Spanish . . . so very much. I never realized what a beautiful language it is, especially Castillano (pronounced kas-tee-shawn-o). It is the "accent" that the Argentines have, and all the returned missionaries who served in any Spanish speaking country other than Argentina make fun of the accent mercilessly, but it is literally the most beautiful thing ever. I love it so much and I love speaking it. My Branch President who served in Argentina calls is the Spanish of the gods. Haha! We get made fun of but we speak Castillano all the time because that's how the Argentines speak and we're going to be Argentine very soon. Makes sense right? My favorite thing is praying in Spanish. It has such a reverent, respectful feeling to it, and I get chills every time I say a prayer in Spanish, which is VERY often. So Spanish is great.
Another thing I love about being here is the music. No one here is too cool to sing, especially when there's 2,000 other strapping missionaries around you during devotionals singing with all their hearts. Singing "Called to Serve" in that setting is one of my favorite things ever, and then you always hear people singing hymns in their mission language all across campus. It's wonderful. My very first day at the MTC, we went to an orientation and the opening song was "We'll Bring the World His Truth." But I was completely taken off guard when were singing and instead of the singing the line, "and we will be the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth!" the entire huge group of missionaries sang at the top of their powerful voices, "We are as the Army of Helaman, We have been taught in our youth. And WE ARE NOW the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth!!!" I got chills all over and was never more proud to be a representative of Jesus Christ as we are all moving out across this big earth to bring the simple, beautiful truths of His gospel to our brothers and sisters. It truly is a magnificent work, and it's hard not to be happy when you are engaged in such a way every waking hour of your existence.
I also get to play the piano a lot, which makes me so happy. One of my roommates, my dear Hermana Cahoon has the voice of an angel (like she will literally be famous one day) and wanted to try out for a musical number. They have musical numbers at every big devotional and fireside, but it's very competitive. Anyways, she asked me to accompany her, and we just tried out a few days ago and we are going to be performing at a devotional in April! I'm really excited because all of the missionaries in the whole MTC will get to hear her sing. After we performed, the lady that judged us (who is the MTC President's wife and a concert pianist) asked me to be one of the four MTC accompanists! So I am now an official MTC accompanist! I'm very excited about it and the Lord has definitely been blessing me with an ability to sight-read and play that is not my own. It's crazy how He qualifies us for the work we are called to do.
Anyways, that's all I have time for today. I love you all so very much and I am so happy to be doing the Lord's work. Jesus Christ lives, He loves us more than we can ever understand, and this is His true church upon the earth today. I know this with all my heart and I love being a missionary!!