I am doing great here, I couldn't stop smiling when I first got here because I was so excited. I had been waiting my whole life for this and seeing myself with a missionary name tag on made it all real for me. My district is awesome and we get along really well - there are 8 of us. 5 of us are going to Mendoza, one is going to the Dominican Republic, one to Puerto Rico, and one to New Mexico. The two Elders going to Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic will be gone in 3 weeks to go to the MTC in the Dominican; I will be staying here with the other elders for another 8 weeks. My two year mark started yesterday because, technically, the mission is two years and five days, so that was exciting.. The Spirit of the Lord is strong here, and I have felt it very differently than I ever have before. Most of us are on the same level of Spanish (which is pretty good compared to the other Spanish districts around us, even the ones that have been here longer than us).
My first day in the MTC was not what I expected at all, I always thought everyone was saying the "empty sea." .. but whatever. They started us in right away with teaching investigators, but we taught as a group and not as companionships. One of the investigators (who was actually a set-up and not really an investigator) was a Japanese man. He ended up asking me the hardest question of the night. Without a Christian backing you have to start from scratch and some Elder mentioned he had to pray. He said he prayed, but it was to the Shinto God - He asked me if he had to pray to another God of the Christian religion and if he had been praying to the wrong God his whole life. I stumbled over an answer and a bunch of missionaries came up to me afterwards saying how well I did and that they were glad they weren't asked that question... so I got away with that one I guess. I'm glad I had the Spirit with me to prompt my answer.
Thursday, we began learning how to phrase prayers in Spanish and prepared to teach our first "investigator" in Spanish on Friday. We met our Branch President, he has worked for the Church all over the world and is completely fluent in Spanish - he is great and shared an awesome testimony with us on Sunday.
Friday we had our first meeting with our investigator, we stumbled poorly through it with the little Spanish we know. However, I know the Lord was with me because I was able to say things I didn't even know I could say.
Saturday we did a service project in one of the dorm buildings here on the MTC campus. It wasn't anything too exciting, we just cleaned the bathrooms.. It was the dorm that Elder Archuleta stays in though, so that's kind of cool I guess. Yes, I have seen him around quite a few times. We also met with our investigator again and it went very smoothly; we taught about prayer and allowing the Holy Spirit to answer our prayers. I shared my testimony and that went well also. My Spanish has improved tenfold since being here. It's amazing what you can do when the Lord is on your side. On Saturday night our instructor, brother Salisbury, gave an improptu motivational speech. Some of the guys in our group were struggling and he said "I wasn't going to do this, but I feel like I need to." He shared the story of Simon Peter, from beginning to end. It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life, I'm getting chills just thinking about it. I would consider it a major turning point in this whole mission process. This mission is not about me, it's about our Savior and the people I need to touch by sharing His word with them. I am Elder Rainock, I no longer have a first name, I am one of many here at the MTC with the same purpose. That purpose is to bring others unto Christ, so they can have happiness in their lives.
Easter Sunday was fantastic. Elder Boyd K. Packer and his son were here. They had a great message to share. Elder Packer mentioned "fear is the opposite of faith".. so we don't need to fear as missionaries; we just need to put our trust in the Lord. I also bore my testimony during our Spanish testimony meeting, it was simple, but that's what the Gospel is. You don't have to use big fancy words and deep doctrine to feel the spirit. Christ's way is simple, and a simple testimony is enough to turn the faith of a mustard seed into a tree. After testimony meeting we went on a walk around the Provo temple. It was nice to get off campus for a bit. We took pictures which I don't have time to send because I left my cable in my room and don't have time to go get it. I will be sending them next week. The BYU Men's Chorus came on Friday night and it was nice to hear some fun, uplifting music that aren't hymns.
This morning we met with the Argentina Consul, our visas should be ready before we live here in 8 weeks so we probably won't be extended.
Basically, things are great here. The Lord has blessed me - I am getting sleep and do not feel tired like many of the other Elders in my district. We don't have any free time, but I'm really loving my mission so far. I think some Elders thought we would have time to hangout and relax and are having trouble adjusting, but we are all having a great time. Hope everyone is doing well, I'm out of time now (we only get 30 minutes in the MTC). I'll be writing letters later today.