Sunday, May 26, 2013

Week One - Oh My Heck!

David's first e-mail home!  Normally, with Tom's e-mails, I clean up the spelling and capitalization a little bit.  But with this first e-mail from David..... I am not even going to try!  I think the craziness of this e-mail pretty clearly illustrates how he is feeling - super excited, super overwhelmed, stressed, but loving it!  He sounds happy, which is nice to hear.  We actually got a package from David the Tuesday after he left and it was his broken camera.  We also got a short letter from him letting us know he was settled in, who his companion was, his companion's parent's e-mail address and that was about it.  I am excited to start hearing from him each week and hopefully, now that he has a camera that is working, he will start sending some pictures home!

Hola familia! 
I can't believe I'm in the MTC, it's finally here!   I have so much to tell you, and i'm really panicing cuz i only have a certain amount of time!!!  so i will do my best.
      My companion is Elder Powell, from Gilbert, Arizona.  He is my age, got a year done at byu, and we are a lot alike.  he likes sports and neither of us are real talkers.  neither of us are apposed to talking, but we just aren't the types that always have something to say. although he does like to tell stories.  I've heard about a time when he got arrested by the entire Gilbert police force for throwing water balloons, the time he had surgery on his bum, and all about his semi gf from byu.  we still  have a lot of quiet time, but we get along just fine and he is easy to love.  we have a room to ourselfves too, which is pretty rare here i guess.  we are on mtc grounds, not byu housing.   My district is very small.  Only five of us, all elders!   Elder Leavitt, who is a bfg, is from Idaho, went to byu, and is just a big sweetheart!  Elder Biggs, also from Idaho, went byui, and he is little and in the same boat as me, we understand 0 spanish!  Elder Adams, from St. George, went to byu, is our District Leader and he is awesome.  He looks exactly like LL.  doesn't act like him or talk like him, but they look very similar, it's freaky weird crazy!  He is someone i probably would have been friends with if we went to hs together, he is really funny.  Our district is small so we are all super close already and will form great friendships in the next 5 weeks! 
Our teacher is Hermano Zuzunaga, and the only word i have ever heard him say in english is "okay".  it is ALL spanish from him and it gets super frustrating.  but he is a great teacher, takes the time to know how we are feeling, and i think his teaching will get me a long way.  We taught our first "investigator" on friday.  it isn't a real investigater, but it is as real as it can get without it being real.  oh, ;and it was in SPANISH!  it was an absolute trainwreck!!!!!!!!  i couln't say anything, my companion blanked, we couldn't understand her, and it could not have gone any worse.  i was sooo mad afterward.  "WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT TO ME???!!!???" is all i could think.  We have taught her two more times since then, and they have gotten slightly better.  I feel bad though cuz i pretty much rely on elder powell the whole time.  i still can't understand her, i have no idea what's goinig on, and the only thing i can do is ask her to read a scripture or something out of the pamphlet.  i stress about our lessons all day long, and it is such a relief to just get it out of the way. 
Spanish is so frustrating.  we are either studying or learning spanish.  all day long.  sometimes i feel like breaking something cuz i just can't understand!  and i feel like everyone else in my district is ahead of me..  but looking back on this last week, i have learned quite about.  not as much as i would like, but there is improvement.  i just try to remind myself to have patience and know that it is a long process.   that is hard to do though when they expect us to be able to teach lessons already! 
       the Elders in our zone that have been here for only a few weeks more than me are extremely helpful.  they are my age yet they seem soo much older than me!   they gave us a lot of advice the first few days, and just told us to make it to sunday.  Sunday is when we get to rest our minds for a bit.  still a super busy day, but we just don't have to think so hard, just listen.  and they were right, sunday was exactly what i needed!
the branch presidency is great to.  they are so knowledgable, they have been where we are, and provide a lot of love to us.  the president is President Swenson.  First impression he comes off as intimidating, but he is the nicest guy and i feel like i've known him for years already.  last night we had a meeting and he shook my hand, slapped me on the neck, and called me a "handsome little bugger".  all the people here are positive and supportive and loving.
the food is pretty bad, but the good thing is that they have so much variety that i can ususally find something that will hold me over to the next meal.   the Elders in our zone that have been here a while told us that "it's not a matter of IF you poop your pants here in the mtc, but WHEN."  that sums up the food here.  the cafeteria is a lot of fun though!  i see so many people i know:  Elder Orgill pretty much every day, and i've seen elder durrant, elder metcalf, sister henshaw, sister swindler, elder player, sister bloomfield, and so many other people from hs and uvu.  i actually saw elder ostler, elder pinegar, and elder hanks one after another as i was on my way to come email.  they just got here today and i am so excited for them! 
      life in the mtc is tough.  long, busy, overwhelming, frustrating days.  there have been multiple times when i wonder if i can really do this, but the day always ends on a good note and that keeps me going.  plus, there have been too many people to count that have been here in my exact situation, and they made it.  so i am hanging in there, and for the most part, i really am enjoying it!  we study constantly.  Eat.  Sleep. Study.  with a little bit of super intense four square every couple days.  but it is a lot different than school.  School is often boring, i'm not interested in the subject, just there for the grade, and i alwyas did the bare minimum to get that grade..  here in the mtc, i have never thunk so hard and for so long in my life!  while it does get hard to focus after a while, usually after lunch about an hour into class, i don't get bored.  I am sincerely interested in what is being taught, and i need what is being taught.   so by the end of the day my brain is absolutely fried!  constantly translating and writing and trying to remember scriptures!  it's too much!  sometimes i think that, but i know that god doesn't give commandments that cannot be fulfilled.  he only expects me to do my best, and that is what i am doing. 
    Thank you so much for the bday stuff!   i didn't have much of a bday, my district sang to me and got me some candy, but that is it.  i opened my stuff at the end of the day and i loved it all!  haven't use my cantine corbata yet but i can't wait to try it out!  the post its and tabs and little notebooks will be very handy.  that pen and pencil is dolceeee!(sweet)  they are so nice i don't even want to use them, i just want to look at them haha.  Em, thanks for the card.  i very much enjoyed it and i loved the quote in there.  i love quotes period!  keep 'em coming por favour, i write them in my journal.  Thanks you so much for all of that, i had a great bday! 
I'm about out of time.  this has been the most stressful time i've ever had on a computer.  i typed as fast as i could, sorry about the poor grammar and typos haha but i had so much to tell you!  i hope i got it all, and next time i'll mix in more spanish. 
    idk if you have looked into dear elder yet, but you should.  they are emails but they hand deliver them to missionaries every day.  my companion gets like six a day.  but this way i can read your emails before i get into the computer lab, and then use all my time to send emails!  i've gotten two already, so it shouldn't be hard.  just a suggeestion.  hope all is well!  I love you and i miss you and i need someone to tell toby hi for me.  I'm doing fantastico and i know you are too!  until next week.  Adios!!!!!

           Elder Williams 

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