July 13th 2010
So I'm alive and well at the MTC and just so you know, Tuesday is my P-day. I love it here. Its sometimes feels like a really long version of EFY if EFY was on steroids. I spend essentially all day in a class having Spanish thrown at me, but I love it. Because I am in the Intermediate Spanish zone from Day One, we speak almost Spanish exclusively which is pretty funny because its still pretty clear that we don't really know how to say anything yet. I am actually a part of a Trio which is working out really well. My companions are Elder Jack and Elder Pericle (pronounced "Pear-E-Clay"). Elder Jack is from Colorado Springs and we are pretty sure that he used to live in Grandma and Grandpa's ward before it split a few years ago. Elder Pericle is from Virginia and he is a few inches taller than Mike. Last Friday, we ended up combining two districts so we are actually a district of 13 Elders (no Hermanas) which is gigantic, especially because we have to all fit into one classroom (and these classrooms aren't very big). My spanish is coming along pretty well but I'm obviously not being confused for a native. My biggest problem tends to be remembering vocab. The grammar seems pretty easy for me but actually remembering the words which is making things the most difficult. We are praying and bearing out testimonies in Spanish already though which is really fun. My companions and my district loved the package. Yeah, things are going well Well, I love you guys and am excited to actually have y'all email me next week, although I like the feeling of getting mail (and packages :) ).
July 20th 2010
Things are going really well here in the MTC (or CCM en español). Thanks for all the packages, it is really fun getting packages because everyone in the district surrounds you to see if its food, and if it is, its like watching a wolf-pack fight over leftover meat, but in a funny way, not a Twilight-y kind of way. Because you asked, the language is easily my largest stumbling block right now, which is expected, especially in an Intermediate Spanish district. Because we already understand a lot of Spanish they just kind of start throwing it at us, which is actually nice because before we leave, we are really going to the language well. Granted we are all used to be tested in written test and essays so the speaking is really giving us some grief but we are just gonna have to get used to that because, frankly, we are going to speaking a lot. The MTC is really fun, and, although I understand why people compare it to being in jail, I LOVE IT. Its like EFY on steroids times 10. We are excited to wake up everyday and experience the awesome atmosphere here. Every Sunday and Tuesday we have firesides and devotionals, which are always great, and my high school Spanish is coming back, although I am starting to believe that high schools really should step up their language programs because Spanish is way harder than it ever felt in HS. One of my companions, Elder Jack is actually quite good but that is because he has been listening to almost entirely Spanish music for the past few months since he got his call. Elder Pericle and I are always amazed when he mentions EVEN ANOTHER Latin song. Well my time is just about up so I'm gonna let yall go but I love yall and will keep you in my prayers and hopefully you'll keep me in yours.
July 27th 2010
So I still love the MTC but we are reaching maximum capacity, I have no idea how we can fit the Elders who are coming tomorrow onto the campus. I think we are the only intermediate Spanish zone which means every week we just get a flood of people but people who are going to Spain and Mexico haven't been getting visas so they have ended stuck here for undetermined periods of time. I think we are supposed to get 33 new Elders in our zone but we will only be losing about 13. The Provo Temple is open again so we went this morning and it was packed! They had to pull out extra chairs to fit everyone into the session! I'm glad Kerri thinks my language skills are pretty good. I've been working pretty hard but I know they need to be much better before I can teach the way I like to, but I know that that will just come with time. So the computers here yell at you if you don't write fast enough so i gotta go.
August 3 2010
Ya so this week was very much the same as the other weeks in the MTC. Things don't change here very quickly, just a lot of moving from class to class. The language is coming really well now and we try to speak it most of the time but its hard to keep speaking Spanish in those free minutes we have every once in a while. Our zone just keeps getting bigger, and the MTC is bursting at the seams but it looks like enough visas are coming through for places like Spain and Mexico (where everyone and their brother is sent to) that the turn over rate is at least improving. We are still hoping that Elder Pericle, one of my companions, gets his visa so we can head to the Madrid MTC as soon as he gets it. Tonight we have a devotional and we are hoping for an Apostle. The month of July was a strange month here at the MTC because the temple was closed and it is the month that the apostles have off, but now that it is August, they generally try to make up for it with a few big general authorities in a row. Yeah, things here are moving along as they should. Now that I've been in the MTC for a month I feel like I'm a pro at this Missionary thing, but I am eagerly waiting to be humbled. Anyway I gotta go love y'all.