Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and other readers,
Hi! I'm finally on! Sorry, I couldn't email you last Thursday. They decided since we showed up so late on Wednesday night, our classes would start on Thursday.
To answer your questions in order: I'm doing very well! The missionary life is busy but I'm learning so much! The language is coming to me so fast, it's nuts! Within the first two days, I was able to bear my testimony and pray in Spanish! They challenged us to make sure that all our prayers are only in Spanish, and I'm following that! It's great practice and it's helping me learn so fast! The next two days, I met a missionary going to the Mexico City MTC named Elder Santos, a native from Santiago. I was able to carry a conversation with him! And not just "Hi, how are you?" or those simple phrases; I was speaking to him! It's so crazy how much I'm learning right now. And only 7 days of classes! I'm not getting prideful or anything, I'm just so happy that I’m learning so much! Being immersed in the language helps so much. The teachers only speak English when they want us to understand something important. Every day I understand more and more what they are saying and I can speak more and more to them!
I'm eating and sleeping very well here. It was a little harder for me to fall asleep because I'm getting used to the bed and room and stuff, but I don't fall asleep in class anymore! At least, after two days and it was only one time in the mornings and it was study time. I'm fine now. The food here is great, AND THE FRUITS ARE SO AMAZING, OH MY GOODNESS!!! All the fruits here are so sweet and juicy and, urrgghh, so good! Breakfast and dinner are different every day but lunch is always a variation of the same; two kinds of rice, two kinds of meat, and a bowl of beans. You guys were spot on! XD
My companion is so great. His name is Elder Merrell and he's a super righteous missionary! We work together very well and we both strive to be awesome missionaries! I'm making lots of friends too! My roommates, Elder Hill and Elder Barnett, are awesome as well! They're so funny and we always joke around every night and laugh with each other!
|Me and my companion, Elder Merrell|
We went into the temple today before P-day started; the temple here is so beautiful, Mom! It's surrounded by all these tropical flowers and palm trees and it's so close to the ocean!
|MTC President Freestone and his wife|
|Elder Ryan Froude at the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Temple grounds|
This week has been non-stop learning and practice that I can't even think about writing about all of it without sweating! So, I'll take it by day so I can make some sense:
Lots and lots and lots of flying @_@ It turned out that at least 30 missionaries were heading with me to the DR! When we landed there the humidity hit us like a baseball to the face; it got so hot so fast! Lol! We arrived at the MTC at about 11:30pm, so they fed us, let us email, and sent us to bed because our lessons started the next day.
We met our teachers, Hermana Laureano for the morning and Hermano Ramirez for the afternoon and evening. Of all the language study we had that day, and there was a LOT, one thing that stuck out to me was that as a missionary we teach people, not lessons. People's Eternal Happiness is on the line here, how can we bring that to them when all we're focusing on is how perfect our lesson is? They told us that we need to learn what the needs of our investigators are to guide teaching them. We were also organized into districts that day; I'm in the Shiblon District. And who is the District Leader? My companion, Elder Merrell! He's so awesome!
During our morning lesson, our MTC president, President Freestone, walks in and tells me that I'm called to be the MTC Music Director. Um... WHAT?? 3 days in and already a calling? What an honor! I have the responsibility on picking out the hymns for meetings (songs all in Spanish) and organizing special musical numbers whenever there's a guest speaker.
Oh no! I'm all out of time :( They only give me 45 minutes here, and I spent most of it emailing my family. No regrets about it though ;) I promise the next email will finish this week and the next. Until next Thursday! Love you mommy! You'll hear much more from me next Thursday! :D Miss you guys lots. :)
|My side of the room. Isn't it neat?|