Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First Week in the MTC

Okay i've got only a little time left but hola! It's so fun to finally be writing you. I was so excited for p-day but now I'm realizing it is going to be the most stressful day of all! so much to do and so little time. Mom wanted to hear about my first day and my daily schedule so that's what this email is about.

Okay first day: So you saw me walk off with the elders, who took me to a buch of sisters who cheered as I walked through (zoobie? . . . maybe a little. but it was nice. I was excited too) Then I don't really remember what happened. haah I do but it was just confusing- they had a host sister (who is a missionary who has been here a few weeks) take me to my room to drop off my bags and then they sent me to pick up my tag and get tested for language skills. The guy that tested me started out really easy. It was kinda funny. he was talking so slow and clear and simple. But then it got harder, but I understood and was able to respond to everything. After he tested me, he said you only got one question wrong... Do you cheer for BYU or UT? haha because I said UTES por supuesto. (of course) and he was a Y fan.

I"ll only be here in the MTC until the tenth of Nov! Kinda sad, but kinda nice too. After that, they took me to my classroom to meet my district and my teacher, who immediately said that he knew sarah. Okay so then they took me to get my companions. I'm in a threesome with two latinas. They speak kinda fast but it has been awesome for helping me improve my listening and understanding skills. Hermana Mogollon kept saying how glad she was to be there and how she couldn't believe we were actually here! I felt the same. We went as a district to an "orientation" meeting, which didn't orient me to anything, just gave some encouragement about being a good missionary. Everything has been so confusing just trying to get the system figured out but it's coming. I sat by an elder in my district named Basset, who is also white (one of the three!) and we get a long really well. He's a musician with a beautiful voice. He's really nice.

After that, I got to go unpack my stuff. My companions and I get a long really well. I told sarah I feel like i live in Nacho Libre land because some of the missionaries in my district ahve really strong accents. I start laughing whenever we speak english and then they say "why are jew laffin?" and it makes me laugh harder. But they make fun of my spanish too so we're even. Acutally theyr'e all really patient with me. THey always compliment me too. When they introduce me to anyone thye always say how good my sspanish is. haha. The elders are such gentlemen! They always carry our trays for us and stand up when we get to the table. The other day I kept standing up and sitting down over and over so they had to keep doing that too and it took a while but they finally caught on and all laughed pretty hard. We laugh a lot. I thinkw e need to be more serious sometimes but it is a really good thing to laugh too. That first night, after unpacking, we had a large group meeting with other missionaries where we were able to "listen in" on a meeting between an investigator and two "missionaries" and they would pause the discussion and allow us to ask questions and talk to us about teaching. It was really interesting, but also very intimidating becuase the style of teaching is so ...freestyle. They don't have set words to say or anthing, they just want us to get to know the person adn help them feel the spirit. SO HARD. I dont' know if I"ll ever get it but I want to so bad.

I have teachers that were really good missionaries and they are a good resource for me, but there just aren't direct answers to my questions sometimes. and put the spanish factor in there and i'm pretty much floundering, but I can tell that it willg et easier. I think it is one of those things that you have to learn through experience, so the first couple times you teach are just miserable and then it gets better. I can already tell i'm improving. Just a little. haha.

As far as scheduling goes, each day is a little different. We have an hour of personal study, one of companionship study, and one of language study (For me at least...for the others, they just do preach my gospel study) Then we have at least five or six hours of class time each day where a teacher is actually int he room teaching us. Brother Adams is our teacher but then we also have Hermana Ampuno and she is from Ecuador and doesn't speak english very well but speaks spanish REALLY well with an ecuadorian accent! So she's hard to follow but she's amazing as a teacher. She's what the elders call "anal" becuase she's really strict, but brother adams makes up for that. Then, we have devotionals, large group meetings, and other things where we meet with missionaries from other districts each day as well. I feel like I am always in the cafeteria because the day goes by so fast! I don't have time to breath until I sit down to eat and then I"m eating again. And then I'm falling asleep. And I'm having trouble falling asleep because it's so early and I have so many things on my mind but I'm so tired, I think that wil change soon. Today we went to the temple because it was p-day. It was so funt o be in the temple with my district. Missionary work is really. . . intimate. I know we've only been together a few days but I love these missionaries like they are my blood family. You get to know eachother on a personal level really fast. I've seen lots of people I know!

There is an elder in my district going to houston east with me named Elder Bench and he is great. He's really shy but he stood up to bear his testimony when we met witht he branch presidency and he started shaking and crying and I thought he was going to say he was homesick but he finally said "this gospel means EVERYTHING to me". I've never heard someone bear such strong testimony. I'll never forget the way "everything" sounded. Many of the missionaries in my district are converts so they have such a strong conviction of the truth of the restoration. I'm so lucky to be around that. I'll send you pictures so you can get to know them. okay i'm out of time and I don't want it to erase what I wrote so i'm going to send it but I love you all and I miss you!

love Becca