I received my first hand written letter this past Tuesday, July 10, 2012. It was great to receive a letter. Chase is doing well and adjusting to MTC life. It sounds like he has a great companion - Elder Ferris from Spokane Washington. I am grateful that he is being watched over and the Lord is aware of who is he and the things that he needs to learn and grow. So proud of him!
Chase's P-day in the MTC must be Wednesday, because we received an email from him!
Here is a copy of his letter:
On Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 9:25 AM, Chase Noel <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
So this week has been amazing!! I don't know if you have gotten my hand written letter yet, but we have like almost an hour everyday called personal time to be able to write letters and what not, so if anyone wants to send me a personal letter that would be great, Dearelder.com is amazing, but remember I would also love a handwritten letter everyonce in a while :)
Anywho, I'll answer your questions (at least the ones that I can remember). So my campanion, Elder Ferris, is from Spokan Washington. He has 3 siblings just like me, and he is like a perfect mix between Steve and Hopkins, it is really weird. He is the senior companion, and he is really good at spanish. Whenever I have a question reguarding the language I can usually count on him being able to answer it, so that in itself is very comforting to me, because the first couple days I was really struggling with my Espanol.
The first day I got here they put me straight into a spanish class where the teacher was allowed to only speak spanish, it really freaked me out, but as I talked to other Elders I wasn't as discouraged because everyone else was just as lost as I was! haha but the language has gotten MUCH better, I can pray and bear my testimony (well, part of it) in Spanish and I am starting to be able to put complete sentences together, which I will need because later tonight we teach our first investigator for the 3rd time in Spanish, but this time without any notes whatsoever. Ya I'm not all that excited about it but I know that if I have faith in the Lord and study my brains out (which by the way we do personal study for at least 4 hours a day, on top of 6 hours of class time every other day), but I can already feel the gift of tounges coming! I have to say though the most frustrating thing about not knowing a lot of spanish is not being able to really share how I feel about this wonderful Gospel.... It feels like there is this wall that I'm trying to break down with a toy hammer haha but I know that I'm making a good dent in it!
So Sunday and tuesdays are by far my favorite days! On sunday we got to hear from Richard I. Heaton (I think he is second in command kind of thing here at the CCM), and he talked about the Doctrine of Christ and how we can't use baptism as a measure of our succes, but as a measure of our investigators success. Then on tuesday (yesterday) we got to hear from an emeritus (thank you Grandma ruth for teaching me what that means) of the second quarum of the 70 Robert R. Stauer. He talked mostly about how we need to pay closer attention to the real meaning of words and how we can understand more deaply what they mean, such as atonement, but Paul in the Bible used the word reconciliation instead, which when you translate it to a romantic language (aka spanish or latin) and break it down, it means to be seated with God, which was only one of the many really cool exapmles he gave. At the end of his talk he gave a really cool quote/saying: "A fly can bite a horse and make it flinch for only a short while. But a fly is still a fly, and a horse is still a horse." I really took this to hear. We are as the horse, and satan is the fly. He can tempt us and make us 'flinch' or be miserable for only a short little while, but if we remember that we are God's children, and that Satan really has no power over us, just as a fly has no power over us, our tribulations will last only a short little while.
I love you all, thank you so much for your letters on sunday and throughout the week, they really have been an inspiration to me to keep my chin up and be focused on the Lord and his work. I absolutly love it here! The spirit is so strong, its like thursday at efy on steroids every day! My district is the best ever! We are growing so close together as a brotherhood and a family, and we have such a great time in lessons with our teacher Bro. Zivik, he is outstanding! Keep up the letters everyone, I really love them.
Elder Chase Noel
p.s. If you could send me some dryer sheets (the ones that make your cloths smell good) that would be awesome. Also, thank you for the jacket and belt, and Grandma for the cinnamon rolls, my companion and I loved them and he says Much gracias!!
The picture above is Elder Chase Noel with Elder Frank Noel. Frank and Karen entered the MTC on Monday, July 9th and will be serving in Russia. Frank is Brian's uncle. I feel so blessed that they were able to see each other and the Frank and Karen sent this picture of my boy! I think he looks great and happy!