Saturday, June 16, 2012

First Letter From the MTC June 16th, 2012

Hola everybody!  This is it!  My first email.  How crazy.  I don't even know what to say.  It's been a long couple of days.  There's a really weird time warp here.  Each day feels like two days, but then I look back and can't believe it's already Saturday.  Crazy.
Thanks for all the letters.  Unfortunately, I've only had time to read one of them--the first dear elder one from mom.  They keep us pretty busy around here.  So thanks to Steph and whoever sent the other two DearElder letters I got yesterday.  I won't be able to respond to them until next Friday, because that is our first P-Day.  Today we just had some time to do laundry, so they told us to email our parents real fast to let them know we're still alive.
So I'm one of the lucky elders who gets to have two companions.  It's pretty great.  Their names are Elder Duncan and Elder Bonner.  They are both cross-country runners, so I kind of feel like a third wheel sometimes, but it's all good.  Elder Duncan is from Cedar City; he is half-mexican and most of his mom's family actually still lives in--guess where--Guadalajara.  Also, they are all Catholic, so we've already got some work to do there.  He's cool, kind of quiet but super nice.  He's also going to Guadalajara with me.  Also, he was a wrestler in high school.  Elder Bonner is from St. Louis.  He's going to Lima Peru East and he leaves in three weeks for the Peru MTC.  He's super outgoing but pretty awesome and he works really hard.  The rest of our district is pretty awesome.  We're bonding pretty well.  In case you are wondering, Scott and Dylan are both in my zone; we all live in the same hallway--and these are not big hallways.  So that's fun.  Cade Larsen and Jordan Turner also live on this floor.  Crazy.
Some funny things:  I've heard a lot of funny spanish mistakes.  Elder Bonner has twice accidently said that Christ atoned for our "pescados" (fish) instead of our "pecados" (sins)."  Another elder in our district said that Adam was the "primo profeta" (cousin prophet) instead of the "primero profeta" (first prophet).
The food here is really weird.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's gross, and almost every time it makes you feel like you just ate a bunch of rocks.  The breakfasts are almost always nasty, so I think I'll pretty much just stick to the cereal from now on.  Last night we had Papa John's pizza for dinner, so that was awesome.
The Spanish is coming.  I already half think in Spanish and it's really hard to not write half this letter in Spanish.  I already don't speak English anymore, but I definitely don't speak Spanish yet either, so communicating is kind of hard.  I'm definitely the best Spanish speaker in our companionship, but there are a few guys in my district who really know it pretty well.  It's amazing to me that after three days I can already competently pray in Spanish. 
Gym time has been fun.  I scored three goals in my MTC soccer debut, and after playing with some different guys yesterday who really didn't know what they were doing, my average is up to about 4 per game.  The rest of our district seems to like to play basketball, so maybe we'll make it in there to play with them sometime. 
We started teaching our first investigator yesterday.  His name is Leonardo; he's from Columbia and he works construction here in the US to earn money for his family back in Columbia.  Yesterday we taught him the restoration.  He talks really, really fast so that was kind of hard.  This is when it is nice to have 2 companions, though, so if you are talking and your mind goes blank there are two people there to save your bum instead of just one.  It was amazing to me that even though this was a simulation and even though our Spanish was utterly pathetic, the Spirit was so strong.  Apparently, one of Leonardo's hijos died a while back, and after he told us this we taught him that he would see his son again some day, and the feeling in the room was incredible.  Leonardo was almost in tears.  I don't know if he was just a really good actor or if it really was the Spirit, but it was still pretty awesome.  We're teaching him again today, so hopefully that goes well. 
Hmmm, Que mas?  I haven't been sleeping that great at all.  I am so tired all the time, but once I get into bed, my mind starts racing and then trying to translate everything I am thinking into Spanish, and by the time I finally fall asleep, I've already been lying there for an hour.  Also, my pillow did not seem to make it down here, so if you could send that to me, that would be great; because the pillows here are not much better than sleeping on an empty pillow case. 
Well, I'm about out of time.  HopefullyI'll get around to reading those letters soon so I can answer any questions you all might have or anything.  I hope Izak and Timo had fun at scout camp and made it back without any broken arms or legs.  I love you all!  I miss you!  Talk to you soon.