It's all about "agency" – or the ability to choose. If you want to have a good day regardless of what happens, choose to!
Hope everything is going great back home down south. Utah and the MTC are still Utah and the MTC. Elder Burdette, my companion, is still Elder Burdette. And Slovene, is still Slovene. Not too much changes around here other than the speed of time, the meals and the people who talk. It seems like every day goes by a little faster than the one before. Before too long, I'm going to just wakeup and suddenly be back in my bed wondering what I did that day. Six hours of language class a day Monday - Saturday really goes by fast when you're picking up more and more of it. It's ok, when I actually get to Slovenia and the people speak a million miles an hour, it will be like a totally different language!
The language has been moving along really well on that note. I still know practically nothing, but we have A LOT of the grammar finished. Just need to start using it and getting it down. My learning words has really picked up, too. I'm up to learning ~25 words a day and have the goal of being up to ~50 words a day in a week or two. The more I learn and use the language, the more naturally it comes. Progress! Always progress!
Want to know a crazy thought? This week is our half way mark at the MTC. We're half way to being in Slovenia!! It feels like both eons ago that I was in the real world, and just yesterday since I was thrown into the fire of not speaking any English for three days from the teacher at all. But now, as of today, we've set the goal of never speaking any English in the classroom at all, well, without asking in Slovene first. It's good though; we need to start speaking more now. If you don't start speaking, when will you use it?
It's been really cool this week getting to know the new district in our ward who got here a week and a half ago. They're going to Mesa Arizona, and all really cool elders and sisters. One of them is from Alaska. We've spent a lot of time getting to know them as the group who came in with us left to go to Fresno, CA. We're the old people in our branch now, and before long we'll be the old ones on the dorm floor. A bunch of Elders are leaving next week to go to Poland and Bulgaria. We can basically understand each other's languages even though they're not the same. That's going to be strange when they leave...
We had an awesome devotional yesterday by an MTC administrative director. Faith is the first principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ from which everything else stems off of. How can you tell if someone is growing in faith? Watch what they do. Faith in this case is a VERB, not a noun. What we do in all aspects of our life is based on what we believe; such is faith - acting on faith. If we exercise but a tiny particle of faith in something good and let it grow without casting it out with doubt, it will blossom and bear fruit making us better people we were before, and we will know beyond a doubt that what we tested, or had a little faith on, is true. It doesn't take much to find truth. As such no one ever can find all truth in this life. It is a life long journey of seeking more, testing, and seeing if any good comes of it.
I know that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true because it has blessed my life beyond imagining. The person I would have been if I hadn't been introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is but a mere shadow of who I am now. I have performed the experiment, and gown to be a significantly happier and better person from the fruits of the gospel's goodness. I can and now do live a life guiltless of anything I have done wrong in my life. And so, how is what you believe effecting what you do? And what are the fruits of your labors?
I love you all and hope to hear how your life is going before too long!
-Starešina Cameron Benson
PS: I love, love, love the packages everyone has sent me, but please, please, please no more candy, chocolate, cookies, or treats of the sort. I'm pretty sure I have more now in my room than I ate all of last year. But be creative, entertainment is not in excess here. :-)