Mom (and everyone else),
I only have a week left at the MTC! A week from today, I will be flying down to Santa Cruz, Bolivia to stay there for the next twenty two and a half months. Its such a cool feeling. I thought I would be fluent by the time I left the MTC, but that's just my over confident side kicking in (it does that a lot). I still know SO much more than I did when I arrived, so I'm not worried at all. Honestly, I couldn't be less worried about not knowing Spanish haha, I know enough to understand what people are saying, and I can teach a little, and most importantly, I can bear my testimony. And that's all I need. The language thing here is all a mindset: if you let it freak you out, it will. But if you have the "I'm over it" attitude, and understand that you will get the language down eventually, your worries go away. And mine have.
I get to go to the temple today, perhaps for the last time in two years. Hopefully not, but I'm really gonna soak it in. Going to the temple is so awesome, there's not place on Earth that compares to the temple. I never understood that. You know whats crazy? I miss Boston just as much as I miss home! Laying in bed last night, I was just thinking about how lucky and blessed I am to have been able to go there, to have lived on my own, and made the friends that I had. I'm so lucky that I was in the ward that I was in, and that I had the experiences that I had. Some Elders here aren't ready to be on their own because they just graduated high school and have never been away from home this long, but its so easy for me! Don't misunderstand, I miss home, and my family, and friends, and California, but its minimal, it doesn't stop me from working hard, and I don't dwell on it. Aside from the limitless Spiritual blessings that one receives from going on a mission, there are many physical and emotional blessings. Many, almost all, the people I know in the US wouldn't be willing to put their iPhone and MacBook away for two years, and wake up at six thirty EVERY morning, and when I say every morning, I mean not a single morning in the entire two years do you sleep longer than that. Almost no one would be willing to give up those comforts, but the only night that was tough for me to give up those things, was when those things were available to me, but I couldn't use them because I had to follow mission rules, the night I was set apart. It feels good to not have all those things, and it will probably feel pretty good getting them back haha, I will be so much more grateful for all those things that we all take for granted.
So we get along really well with the Latino Elders here, and we become really good friends with every two week transfer that comes in. Last transfer, we taught them how to say "Get that corn outta my face!" from Nacho Libre, which was obviously hilarious. We taught our teacher how to say "Obvi" which is also hilarious haha. Hey Kaddy, you know how you always say "Rico Suavé"? Well "suave" actually means soft and smooth, and so when people are speaking Spanish, describing how the Spirit feels in your heart, they say that it is suavé, and it makes me think of you every time haha.
I have a teacher here, named Hermano Bejar, (Hermano is Brother), and he went on his mission to Guatemala, and I think he and I figured out that he left the MTC there one month before President Stimle arrived. So close! And he served around Lake Atitlan, like in Santiago and stuff. I'm sure mom remembers all those places. No one has a memory like Diane Wilkinson. It's really gonna be tough saying goodbye to my friends here, and the comfort of living a semi-American lifestyle haha. A week from today, its shacks and cots for me for quite awhile haha. But I couldn't be more excited. I'm not afraid of anything out here, because there is nothing to be afraid of. It's so exciting! There is a phrase we use in my district, which goes "Let the humbling begin!" and we usually say it before we go proselyting, because those are the moments we realize how little we know, and those are the times when we get discouraged, and so we came up with a catch phrase for it haha, Let the humbling begin! That isn't a bad thing though, the Lord teaches us some of the most important lessons in life shortly after He has humbled the heck out of us.
So I don't know why anyone hasn't said anything about it, but am I an uncle yet? Is my sister a mother? Are my parents grandparents? I bought my little nephew a tie with the Lima temple on it, and a tiny little missionary name tag that says "Future Missionary", and I want pictures of him in them when I get them to you guys.
Young Coconut. I'm not asking anyone for them, but if you sent me some, I would probably cry tears of joy.
The weather has been so nice the past few days, probably like 73 degrees, completely sunny, and slightly breezy. Some days it is quite cold though. Not what I expected Peru to be like. Today, I'm shopping for the last time in Peru, for awhile, at least. Until we come back as a family a couple months after I go home.
Hey Kaddy, quick question, and email me when you get the answer to this question, but is DearElder free? [YES, IT IS FREE] And can you send DearElders to missions too? [YES, YOU CAN SEND LETTERS TO THE MISSION] Thanks! I ran out of clean T shirts, so today I'm walking around in my shower sandals, some grey shorts, and a long sleeved collared white shirt with my name tag on it haha, business casual for the win. I got your package from Sister Goodfellow, thank you so much for sending that. That made my day. I opened it at the lunch table, and my whole district was swarmed around wanting to see what was in it and what everything was. It was as if you had sent my district a package, and we all got to enjoy it. And we are all gonna try to bacon toothpaste that you sent me, maybe tonight. For everyone reading this, if you are interested in writing me, I love pictures. Like of us. Pictures are the bomb. Just sayin. Every night when they read out names over the intercom of people who have gotten letters, we all listen anxiously to see if we got one haha, its so funny. I had no idea how much missionaries love letters.
Ok, I gotta go now, but thanks to all of you who have been praying for me, and thinking about me. Quick story, whenever a missionaries name tag is starting to slide up out of his pocket, its said that someone is thinking about him. And either I'm a messy missionary, or some of y'all's been thinkin' bout me. Probably the first one, but that's okay! Haha anyway, I love you all, thank you, Mom and Dad, Tess and Kathryn, for all you do. ¡Buenos dias!
Just a quick reminder to all of Elder Wilkinson's friends and family, send him letters through DearElder so he has time to read them during the week! There's a tutorial here that shows you how to do it. It is totally free to send letters to him this way.