Thank you so much for all the letters that you've sent! I appreciate it so much, but please try to tell me who is writing what to me... Dear Elder does this thing where they just put everything you get into as little paper as possible so I don't really know who is sending what (from the family).
I'm glad to hear your Christmas was good! The MTC Christmas was pretty nice, but I don't see what all the fuss was about it. My favorite part was just that they gave us a feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing... It was absolutely awesome, but the rest of the day was still pretty good. Being out here (especially during the holidays) is extremely tough on me. I miss everybody at home so much.
I really love my district, and they've been a huge comfort for me while I've been here. They're all really funny and they know how to have a good time which is good. Elder Watts, a fellow in my district, has this incredible voice that sounds like the people they get to narrate movie trailers- and I LOVE it! He'll narrate me eating at lunch, tells lots of terrible "cornball" jokes, things like that. It's awesome, and his companion Elder Smith reminds me of Josh so much. They have very similar mannerisms, but Elder Smith is from a small farm town, Thatcher, Idaho. I don't think I've seen him without a toothpick in his mouth which is hilarious. The sisters are amazing too, they're all really fun and easy to get along with. Plus, they're really spiritual, so I've learned a lot from them.
All I've done is teaching freaking discussions while I've been here, and to be honest, a few of them have gone pretty bad. I'm getting better and better everyday, but man when you have a bad discussion it's demoralizing. I've been learning to view everything as a learning experience- which has helped. Luckily they're just teachers/actors, so I'm not totally screwing the pooch when our little discussions go south. I've marked the heck outta' my Preach My Gospel and even my scriptures. It's crazy how well I'm remembering scriptures, I can actually whip a few of em' out on command. My memory has improved a lot since I got here, I think all this learning and stuff has been like a mental P90X. Not to say I haven't been working out my smoking body while I've been here. I've been lifting weights and running at least a mile daily. That and my facial hair has been growing increasingly fast here- I think God is telling me I need to be more like Jesus and grow a bodacious beard.
It's weird that we only have like a week left here at the MTC. I'm going to miss all of the people in my district going to Ventura, California (Elder Hosteen, Elder Alverez, Elder Smith, Elder Watts, and my companion Elder Sebaske). I've already got my departure information as well. I leave on January 7th, at 8:30ish in the morning. I don't know if you all will be in school on the 7th, so if you could write me a letter as to whether you will be home that would be great. I don't want to call the house and nobody be there, I have to actually pay for my phone calls now so... yeah.
I'm glad to hear Silas is getting more excited about going on a mission, you really do learn a lot being out here. Tell Kayleigh that I know what it feels like when your prayers might seem like they're unanswered. All I do is pray and teach here, so I've kind of learned a lot about praying. God does miraculously answer your prayers though, like say you pray for hot showers every morning after days of liquid ice and you haven't had a cold shower since. That usually helps build one's testimony in prayer.
As much as I love constantly working every day of the week, I love my prep days. This place is always filled with gospel teaching and spirit feeling, and I get spiritually exhausted by like dinner. Not that it's necessarily bad, but it's just good to take some time off. God rested on the seventh day so why can't Sam have a little relaxing time, you know? Sundays are really nice too, because we don't have to do as much discussion teaching and we have time just to study and plan/prepare lessons. Plus we get to watch movies on Sunday nights, and even though they're all about Jesus and stuff I love em'. I miss watching movies, playing xbox, listening to music. Everybody in my district can really tickle the ivories! Sister Benson, Sister Walsh (this British sister in our zone going to the Temple Square mission), and Elder Watts played around on the pianos after a fireside last night and wow it was good! Made me wish I'd toughed out piano lessons as a kid!
Well, I love you all but I got to get running. I have missionary things to be doing, like lunch. I love eating.
I love you all, and hope you have a fun New Years!
-Elder Sam Burge