I got this message from one of Dallin's teachers in the MTC... he happens to be dating the daughter on one of my roommates from the BYU days! °Ü°
January 9 at 9:37am
Sister bergquist! So good to finally hear from you! Sister Taylor did tell me to expect a message from you sometime soon! What a great son you have! One of my favorite students! Well to answer your questions:
I have no idea why his district is so small. I guess it just has to do with when he came into the MTC and how many kids were delayed with his week. Most districts are at about 12-15 missionaries. It's actually kinda nice though because this way we have more time to focus on individuals.
As far as what I do; your son has two teachers. Myself and another returned missionary and we each spend about 3 hours a day over 5 days a week with the missionaries. We teach everything from language to preach my gospel. It's strange to think but there's actually no set curriculum at the MTC. My companion teacher and I both sit down once a week and plan what we're gonna teach the missionaries for that week. And that's it. No List of things to check off or anything. Just the spirit really. Pretty cool how that works I think.
3rd, about the language. Yes he's only been there for about 4 1/2 weeks but if you'll believe it we've already taught your son all of the portuguese language! It's amazing how the gift of tongues truly aides these young missionaries. He's not fluid quite yet but you can give him pretty much any sentence on paper and he can translate it pretty accurately every time. Not bad eh? He and his district have been a very fast group of learners and have picked up the language exceptionally fast. All they need to do now is speak the language as much as possible. There's a large gap between knowing the language on paper and speaking and understanding. I'm sure your son will do just fine though he's been doing really well at picking up the language!
Lastly, you have much reason to be proud. Your son is an excellent missionary and I'm sure will continue to be so on the field. As an MTC teacher I really appreciate missionaries who come from good homes that teach the gospel and who come in with a testimony. It's much easier teaching those types of missionaries. Elder Bergquist definitely falls into this category. He has a very strong testimony. Is obedient and very eager and willing to learn. He participates well in class and always has good comments to add to the discussion. One of the most rewarding parts of this job is that I get the unique opportunity to see what the missionaries are like on day 1 and what they're like on the last day. We're only at the half way mark but I've already seen considerable growth in you son. You can tell he's become more confident. A better teacher and has developed more love for those around him. It's a blessing in my life to be able to see how the lord watches over and guides the missionaries. I'm sure you've been able to notice some changes in him through letters already. You'll be even more surprised in a couple years when he comes home! Elder Bergquist is doing great and I'm sure he will be a great strength to his mission and a blessing to the people of Brazil.
I'm sure you're already quite aware of this but your son is engaged in the greatest work in the world. He is now latterly the lords hands in the work of the salvation of man. Please continue to encourage him and push him to do his best. Again, as his mother I'm sure you know of the many talents and capacities of your son, but your son is capable of doing much good for God's children as long as he continues being the committed obedient missionary that he is right now, so please continue to push him.If you have anymore questions, just go ahead and send them my way!