I should be getting my travel plans this coming Friday, and then we'll leave in just less than two weeks (early that Monday morning, the 28th)! I can't wait. The MTC has been good, but I am so ready to leave. The upside is I saw both Alex and Kenny last Wednesday on their first day here! I took pictures with them, which I'll send in a separate email. Also, one of the elders (Elder Gilstrap) in our district left on Monday for Arizona for about a month. He was already fluent in French, and his Visa wasn't coming through, so they shipped him off until his Visa comes through. His companion was left companion-less, so now Elder Stewart and I have a new companion, Elder Lewis! He's from Southern California, and he and I get along really well. With 3 people in a companionship, it's even more fun. The downside is it's harder to focus all the time. But with Elder Gilstrap gone, we now have more room in the classroom and in our residence. We took his desk out of the classroom and rearranged everything so it is a little bit less cramped.
My shoulder is feeling better slowly but surely. I can now do the pullup workout without pain. That's good. I got through 3 sets this week, so I was happy about that. Also I have been trying to eat more fruit during meals and eat less junky food. I've struck a pretty good balance where I don't get too hungry but I still eat somewhat healthy.
From our classroom I can see the top half of Y mountain. Every day it has been turning a little bit more red than the day before, it's crazy to watch over time. And thanks for sending Kadens' letters! It's fun to read them. I wish I could be in the field already! Oh, I also ran into Maddi Lybbert when she got here last week. So I have seen familiar faces pretty often! Josh Boyer left this week for Russia. It's crazy to think I won't see all these people again for two whole years.
At gym time last Saturday we were up on the field above the MTC playing soccer (our gym time is from 8:15-9:15pm) and I could hear the BYU stadium going crazy and see all the lights. One of our teachers, Frere Pistorius, was at the game. He didn't have much of a voice left in class on Monday. Haha. The weather here has been nice, it has cooled down a lot. Today it is kind of rainy, and right now I hear a lot of wind blowing in. Woah, we're looking outside, and it is really dark and stormy looking! Cool! Allison Hyer said Elder Ballard spoke to all the stakes down here. We didn't get to hear it, but it sounds cool. Did you hear she got her mission call to WA D.C. south, English speaking?
One thing that seemed to come up a lot this week in my studies and in church on Sunday was the Spirit. Did I mention that Elder Stewart and I taught Priesthood meeting and District meeting in church on Sunday? We taught about the Spirit. I've learned that really any good thought comes from the Spirit. If you feel like you should do something, don't waste time worrying about if it is your own thought or if it is from the Spirit. As long as you're being "a good boy" or "a good girl," as Elder Bednar says, then "don't worry about it." Just go forth doing what you know is right and things will work out.
French is coming along well. I like reading from Le Livre de Mormon, I understand most of it now. Also, Elder Stewart and I taught our first lesson in French without notes of any kind. It went really well! Probably one of our better lessons as yet. So I am pretty confident that I can be fluent within 3 or 4 months once I am immersed in Tahiti. I also learned how to pray in Tahitian this week. I need to study it more, because I don't remember a lot of it. But that's okay! It will come!
Avec beaucoup d'amour,
Elder Barlow (Jonathan :))
P.S. Avec beaucoup d'amour means "with lots of love."