Saturday, August 23, 2014

I HOPE your email is Hotmail, I can't remember...

Okay so I can't remember Mom's email, I think it is _____ so I'm going to send one there too but for now this is all I know so I'm sending you the first email so I don't waste my time.

These first few days have been crazy haha. The second I left you guys, I got escorted and shuffled around grabbing books and getting my name tag, confirming my name on certain things and then eventually carrying a huge bag of books I got onto the bus that would take me to the west campus, which is the Spanish campus where I stay.  Once we finally arrived (I met one of my companions on the bus - I'm in a trio), ZF was there haha helping people grab their stuff but he had already been helping someone so he didn't help me.  I got someone else who took my companion and I to our apartment where we just put our suitcases and then went straight out to other meetings or something, I can't remember.  Finally, we ended up getting to our apartment at like 10:12 and it's supposed to be quiet time from 10:14 and lights out at 10:30 but we were supposed to get to our apartment at 9:00 to start unpacking, but since we didn't we ended up staying up till 11:00 just unpacking what we needed and getting settled down for bed.  My companions alarm went of early, 6:00 instead of 6:30 and I ended up getting the top bunk so I hit my head on the roof because I forgot how low it was when I sat up.

The second day was hard because we had like no sleep and we were falling asleep during class and our meetings. We had a sort of shock impression of investigators on day 1 before we went to our last meeting where all the new elders kind of got to ask the investigators questions or try and teach them (it went terribly, too many thoughts). I didn't say anything though.

To answer your curiosity, it was Spanish right off the bat on day 1; we had a sub that day because our actual teacher wasn't there.  I got your DearElder the second day, and I have't received one for today. I'm not sure if it's a daily thing or what?  I'm not sure if I need a carry on or not, my books weigh a ton. I can't fit them all in my satchel bag, which has been useful but we don't use it all that much; mostly just when we initially moved all our books into the classroom.  I'm not sure what to do if my suitcases are overweight and I have nowhere to put my books and stuff. It's kind of a bummer that I brought my own Preach My Gospel because they would've given me a brand new one with a plastic cover. I also got Spanish scriptures that are actually pretty nice, so I don't know what to do with my hardcover one; it's just kind of extra weight.  Saturday is my P-day in the MTC by the way; I don't think it changes.

Yesterday (Friday), we taught our actual first investigator in Spanish, my two companions and I.  His name is E. He is from Puerto Rico (he's an actor but he's really from Puerto Rico); we taught him most of what is in the first pamphlet: The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He seemed to kind of be pondering what we were saying.  Our Spanish wasn't amazing but we made it through. Our lesson was 45 minutes; I didn't get to say as much as my other companions because I didn't want to just interrupt the flow but it's whatever.
Elder Stoker, Elder Lohberg, Elder Lindstrom
So I'm in a small district; there's 5 elders only, Elder Lindstrom, Elder Gomez, Elder Coombs, and Elder Stoker.  Stoker is from Boise Idaho; he's cool.  Lindstrom is from Washington as well: Everett; he's our district leader now and he's cool as well.  Gomez is super funny and does Nacho Libre impressions well (which reminds me of a story with the investigator).   And Elder Coombs is really nice and just kind of easy to get along with.

So the story: We knew we were supposed to teach E Friday and that he would arrive between 7:30 and 8:00 so we came to our classroom. The door had been closed and the lights were off so we just assumed that he wasn't there yet, so we just sat down and started studying from our lesson and then every time someone came near our classroom we kept kind of mini-panicking because we thought that would be him.  After like 20-30 minutes of studying we started kind of making jokes and Elder Gomez was quoting lines form Nacho Libre when we heard a cough after someone walked by our door; we thought that might be him but it wasn't.  After like 45 minutes or an hour we heard another REALLY loud cough, and instantly we all panicked and Elder Gomez is like "OH MY GOSH DID WE CHECK THE BACK ROOM" and we had almost all gone down the hall way in our classroom to use the restroom and so Elder Stoker walks down the hallway and goes to the room where the door was closed, (it has couches in it) and so he opens the door and is like "uhh, hello" and we just freak out and then kind of barely apologize in Spanish and my companions and I walk in and started our lesson with him.  So yeah, he was there waiting for an hour and didn't say anything; we thought it was so funny that he was trying to give us hints.

Anyways, today we woke up even earlier at 5:30 and we got ready quickly for our service assignment. It was pouring rain because there was a storm that had moved in during the night with super loud thunder and tons of rain (the Columbia jacket rocks by the way) and then we ended up not having to do service, and just listened to the orientation because the schedule was messed up and everyone in our zone came so the people who weren't new had to do it while we went home.  Then we kind of lollygagged too long and had to rush to get our sack lunch breakfast and race back to our apartment to get our suits and such for the temple because our zone changed their minds and we were going to catch the 8:07 bus instead of the 8:30 one; half of them missed it anyways (the ones that made the decision) and most of us had to run to get on it.  We did sealings at the temple which ended up being like 2-3 hours because they didn't have any proxies so we sat talking to a temple worker for an hour and a half. We were all falling asleep; we're almost always tired.  We thought the food here was decent but then we went to lunch at the main campus after the temple and the food there was like amazing and there were way more options.  My companions are ahead of me in Spanish; I'm having a really hard time remembering stuff that I learned a long time ago and it's really frustrating me.  We don't learn Spanish really so much as we learn the gospel in Spanish.  I'm not sure if I have anything more to say, which means I probably just can't remember; in any case I will bear my testimony in Spanish, bear in mind it will be weak because I only know parts of the restoration, and when I say know it's a weak know.  Also, last thought, we're the only intermediate Spanish class so we kind of are set apart from everyone else and everyone seems to know that we're intermediate; it's weird. Oh also I got my leg caught in a revolving door leaving the volleyball court; It didn't hurt that much initially but it swelled up a bit and it's pretty bruised now...but it's whatever.

Testigo: No puedo usar los accentos, lo siento.) Yo se que nuestro Padre Celestial nos ama y que envio un plan para nosotros que podemos aprender y progresar.  Tenemos tentacion y disibilidades porque los necesitamos para aprender y progresar.  Yo se que Jesucristo es el Salvador de esta tierra y que La Expiacion puede ayudarnos a regresar con Dios y Su hijo, Jesucristo.  Soy un misionero para La Inglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias y mi proposito es a invitar los otros a venir a Jesuscristo por medio de les ayudando a recibir el Evangelio restorado...I didn't memorize the missionary purpose in Spanish yet...I was trying to just think it through and translate it but I think it's off, purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  (I memorized it in English.) It's pretty hard here.  Not much sleep.  But I can pray in Spanish now, and kind of teach people. We have another lesson with E tonight.  We have one like every night except Sunday.  I just want to get my 6 weeks in the MTC over with; learn as much Spanish as I can and go to Costa Rica.

I will translate what I put up there, or what I intended to say up there: "I can't use accents (on the letters), sorry.  I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and that He made a plan for us so that we can learn and grow.  We have temptations and weaknesses because we need them in order to learn and grow.  I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of this earth and that the Atonement can help us to return to God and His Son, Jesus Christ.  I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my purpose is to invite others to come to Jesus Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel.."

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