Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bronson's Letter #3 - February 11, 2010

Hey,

It seems like an eternity ago that I last wrote, although I can´t really think of anything new that's happened.

I´ve seen a noticable improvement in my Spanish, although that isn´t saying a lot. I can pray without my paper now, and my ability to put my own sentances together is slowly but surely increasing. I can basically teach some basic information, pray, conjugate in a couple tenses if I really think about it and know some random words. I really am not able to communicate as everyone talks ridiculously fast (or so it seems) as I only pick up random words.

It doesn´t really feel like I´ve learned that much new information out of Preach my Gospel this past week, but practising teaching it sure is helping me be more fluent and saying 'um', etc. less.

I guess I could tell you about the experience my companion and I had when we went out teaching. Our area was practically a 5 minute walk from the MTC and temple so I didn't have much hope since everyone there would be sick of the missionaries. We didn´t have much luck knocking doors or clapping infront of the massive fences that a lot of the houses have but a couple of our street contacts went well. Like the second person we talked to seemed interested and we ended up giving her a Book of Mormon. We also managed to get two other appointments for this Saturday although who knows how many will follow through.

The area that we taught in had a lot of decent but smallish houses, narrow roads (with potholes in them), dogs either in the houses when we knocked or inside the gates of those who had them, people on the street (lots of opportunities), vegetation everywhere, no/lacking streetsigns (they were always under house numbers which seems far less efficient). The people were also really friendly and patient with our severe lack of Spanish speaking skills, even though my companion talked about 95% of the time since he knew a lot more Spanish than me. I think I know quite a bit more for this Saturday though, so hopefully I'll be able to give input more.

Last night there's this thing that everyone does called 'Corbata Fea (Feh - ah)' (Ugly Tie). It's practically become this really fun ritual type thing. Basically everyone gets their most ugly tie and puts it into a backpack. There is one that is just skinny and gross looking as well as a couple other really ugly ones. Anyways, everyone gets in a line and takes turns pulling a tie out. Everyone makes a ´Shhhhhhh´sound and whips their hand so that it makes a snapping sound (I still can´t quite do it yet) and yells 'Fea!'. (ugly) Everyone always laughs and it's a lot of fun. I didn't participate last week since I liked all my ties, although I kind of wished I had. This week I worked up the courage to put in the black tie of mine that is really old that I almost never brought but I burned it with the iron in our room which looks like a slight stain now so I wouldn't feel so upset departing with one of my ties. The thing is that whatever tie you pick out of the backpack you have to wear for Prep Day, so thankfully it's only a couple of hours as I'm wearing street clothes right now and for a decent chunk of the day.

My companion is 19 and is from Phoenix, Arizona. He's 19 along with all the other people in my district, other than the one sister (who I'm having a ridiculously hard time not flirting with). A couple of the missionaries who have been here 5 and 8 weeks (3 and 6 longer) than me are older (21ish) but my district is all 19. I can talk with some of the Latinos, but they know a little more day-to-day English than I do Spanish so our communication is mostly in English from what little they learned in school or Spanish from me trying to tell them something short and basic.

Also, good news. My companion is going back to BYU when he comes back from his mission and most people who come back from their mission don't go into res like freshmen since that's full of 18 year olds so they just rent apartments. He thinks it'd be sweet if we lived together if we ever went there, which is seeming like a better idea the more I think about it. So I may be working things out for my post secondary education as I'm down here.

Well, I suppose that's basically it. I hope that I didn't forget to include anything that I wanted to mention. I hope all is going well with everyone.

Bronson (Elder Fikus)

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