Dear family, friends and anyone else who reads this letter,
So we are finally one week into the new year. It´s crazy that it is finally 2011! Well next week I will have been a year here in Costa Rica. It's crazy to think that I have lived in a foriegn country for a year and it doesn't even feel foriegn. I feel like I have lived here forever and the culture is just my normal way of life now. I'm going to be a weirdo when I get back home, cause I´ll probably just want to eat rice and beans for every meal of the day.
So this week I started working on my personal goals which are: I wake up at 6:00 and exercise for an hour (could really use those p90x vids). Then I shower and try to start my personal study by 7:30 or 7:45 a.m. First I read/listen to a talk from the last general conference, then I read/listen/mark my scriptures in Spanish. I am at the end of the war chapters in Alma. Then I read a couple chapters of my scriptures in English. Then I read in PMG. I am reading in chapter 3 and reviewing all the lessons and writing down all the scriptures and doing all the activities. This is what my personal studies have consisted of and it's probably what I´ll do for the rest of the mission. I also want to read both, Jesus the Christ and A Marvolus Work and A Wonderagain.
I would encourage all of you to start if you haven't already to read the scriptures for at least five minutes a day. Especially Nick and Spencer since they are the closest to going on missions. A few months ago Elder Falavela, a member of the 70 came for a visit to our mission and spoke to the members in the my stake. He gave a couple examples--first, he said that in one day there are about 1,400 minutes and that we have enough time in one day to take away 5 minutes to read from the scriptures. Also he gave another example referring to a big pot of gallo pinto (typical food from here, basically its just rice and beans mixed together with some spices, its good and I´ll have to make if for you when I get home). So we have this big pot of gallo pinto and we are going to eat the whole thing on Saturday. Then for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we are not going to eat, because on Satruday we ate enough that should last us for the whole week. Well, we know that our bodies do not work that way and we need to eat a little bit every day in order to function. Well its the same with our spirits. The scriptures are our spiritural food and we cant just read for 3 hours one Saturday and then go the rest of the week without anything. We need to read just a little bit everyday for at least 5 minutes. If we make the goal to read for 5 minutes everyday and we stick to that goal we will start to have a bigger desire to read more and more and pretty soon we will be reading for longer than 5 minutes. I really liked his message and it's something that I try to get our investigators and recent converts to understand.
So I hope you all have an awesome week and I love you all! Just think in less than 52 weeks I´ll be home! YAY!!! Now you are all trunky!
Love Elder Anthony Smith