Friday, February 5, 2010

Letter #2 from Bronson - February 4, 2010


It´s good to hear from you. It´s weird, it feel like I´ve been here a lot longer than I have. A couple days ago I was like "Wow, so much has happened in my life I wonder what´s been going on at home." Then I thought about it and realized I´d only been here for 5 days or so.

MTC life is pretty fun, but also really busy and stressful. We get up, have breakfast, do personal study (which can´t be language study), companion study, 'districto' (class) lunch, more classes, individual language study, a time to play sports, class, supper, more classes, planning and prep for tomorrow. Or at least it´s something along those lines. It's so incredibly busy that I always feel... well, busy and stressed out. I try not to worry so much since I've decided it won't benefit me in the long run and it just gives me headaches.

As far as learning Spanish goes, we´ve been praying, singing hymns, and practising in class. I still use a paper to help me for saying a prayer but if I ever worked up the courage to not rely on it, I'd probably do fine. I also know quite a few words, basic grammar and can string a few phrases together. My companion knows a lot more than I do since he took some in school. I had originally thought that they all had but I then discovered that there were a few with no prior Spanish learning.

I am in the District 'Nefi', so I sleep on the second floor with all the other guys in my district (the 10 I came with minus one of the sisters who knew a lot of Spanish) as well as a group of Latinos who came to the MTC the same time as us. They're only here for three weeks though, since they all know the native language. Me and my companion share a room that fits like six to ourselves, so I can thankfully use one of the other closets to help me keep my stuff organized. He´s also neat enough that it doesn't drive me insane, tolerates me being pokey at everything for some reason, knows more Spanish than I since he learned it in school, is very helpful and funny and fun.

There's also missionaries who have been here for three and six weeeks, and the batch who was in here for nine weeks left when we arrived. There´s Latinos (South Americans) and Gringos (Americans) in every three week incrament. All the classes are on the third floor as well as a few rooms. The cafeteria and meeting rooms (for Sacrament meeting and such) are on the main floor. Also the girls have a staircase and the Elders have a staircase, as well as their 'half' of the hallway seperated by a huge door which seemed pretty extreme at first, although is probably a good thing as I can see it preventing problems.

The food here is decently good. It's all prepared by some chef and everyone gets their one plate. There's also buns, juice, fruit, and an array of saladas and vegetables that are at every meal. Suppers and lunches have consisted of basically normal stuff- I can identify it all although it´s not all that common of Canadian food. We´ve had hamburgers (off the bun), chicken, pasta, spinach souflee, roast, deep fried steak, fries, potatos, some cornbread dish with cheese melted through it, fish, spinach bites (like motza sticks), chicken rolls, and that's all I can think of. For breakfast there's always four kinds of cold cereal with milk that is for some reason always warm by the time we get to it, along with milks blended with strawberries or bananas; butter, whipped sour cream stuff my campanion loves that he originally thought was whipped butter, some sort of sugary corn syrup thing and penut butter for the buns that are always out. I generally have a bowl of cereal, a fruit, a glass of awesome juice that they always have here and I take a bun although I hardly ever am hungry enough to eat it.

In class we´ve been going though Preach my Gospel very slowly and detaildly, learning how to teach lessons and the key points in each. I basically know everything in there and actually feel like I'm doing better than most of the other missionaries in my district that I'm in class with as far as retention goes in that area. As I can most humbly say it I think I'm smarter and more prepared than most of them, and hopefully the language gap between me and them will shrink as I try to learn the language.

A couple of times my companion and I have gotten up at 5am to spend an extra hour and a half doing extra language study. It's physically exhausting enough to go from 6:30 - 10:30 so I can't do the 5am wakeup all the time. I do think it's helped though.

Thursdays and Sundays are the only day that are any different, due to church meetings and Preparation day. Both are a huge relief as I actually get a chance where I have nothing to do. It's so strange, my days are so productive here.

Today was somewhat different than another Thursday though since I had to get up at 6:00 with my companion to vacuum part of the MTc, and then I got my haircut. The guy who does the haircuts and is notoriously named "Edward sissor-hands" I was nervous but I decided I didn't care much. Instead of coming a chunk of hair and cutting it then pulling another strand he basically runs a comb through your hair and cuts as fast as he can. It certainly wasn't what I was used to but thankfully the only people who see me know of this man´s ways. After it was done I decided it was awful and uneven but I didn't care. All I did was mess up my hair and you can't even tell it's uneven all over the place.

This Saturday we get to go out and do some proselyting, which I am so looking forward to. I'm in Argentina and haven't even got to leave the MTC courtyard yet. I can't believe I'm as far away as I actually am. My Spanish is not so good but it's good my companion knows more. I'm so excited to go out and leave for a bit.

If there´s anything you want to know, please ask. It's hard to think of everything I've done this past week and even equally as hard to know what to say, although I think I pretty much covered everything. I also heard of somethign called dearelder(.com?) where I believe you can type a letter out and they print it out here or in Salt Lake and send it here or something, maybe by the pouch. It'd be a lot faster and easier for those with computers, although the choice is up to them. I also discovered that people can write to either of the addresses that you have, and some missionaries who have been here longer than me have told me they've told people both and that they got them both ways.

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