Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, Elder Froude1, and other fans of delicious fruit,
It is now my second week at the MTC and boy does time fly! I've gotten into the swing of things now, thank goodness!
Lots of things to write about but I got cut off last week so here's the remainder of my previous week! Let's see, I left off at being called as the Musical Director. After that it's been nonstop learning and practicing. There's so much information and lessons being stuffed into my tiny little brain! @_@ But thank goodness my brain is just soaking everything in like a sponge...and I'm loving it! I think I might have already mentioned this in my last email but I'm picking up Spanish faster than I ever thought I could. I literally learned more Spanish in 2 days than I did in two semesters of Spanish class at school; it's incredible! By my second day, I learned how to bear my testimony and say a prayer in Spanish. By the 5th day, they had us practice teaching our first investigator! Well, a teacher playing an investigator but it's so amazing how much I'm able to say! Don't get excited just yet, because Spanish is still a huge barrier for us. There's so much to say about the Gospel and not knowing how to say something even when you know you should say it is the most frustrating thing ever. I try my hardest, I really do! I'm studying harder than I have ever studied before. If I had studied like I do now when I was in school, I would have been a straight A student! XD It made me realize, "Oh, THIS is how I should study!” I've learned so much and I still have a lot to learn!
All of that was essentially my first week, time for the second week! The first awesome thing about the second week is that we all got to go the store down the street from the MTC for a bit! It was really nice to leave the MTC and see the city; we were starting to feel cooped up in there. XP Anyway, we walked out of the MTC and it was a pretty nice day. It wasn't too hot and it was early in the morning so I thought it would be a pleasant stroll. Not 3 minutes later, I find myself soaked in sweat. It was the most bizarre thing ever! I have never sweated so much in my life from walking for 5 minutes! I thought if that's just 5 minutes, how am I going to be when I have to walk around ALL day?? @_@ Anyway, walking through the city was nice! The trees were beautiful and so was the sky. ^_^ And then, I smelled it. What did I smell, you may ask? I smelled the Dominican Republic. A family friend who served here a while ago warned me that everywhere you go is going to stink. In the DR, the plumbing is very bad so no one flushes used toilet paper down the toilet or else it would clog the sewage. So, they just throw away the used tissue in a trash bin. BLEH! I also had to remind myself, "This is the nicest part of Santo Domingo, enjoy it while it lasts!" XD Anyway, we got to the store eventually and it was like a Dominican Target. It was so cool! And everything here is super cheap, too! At least, the non-American products. It's about 42 or so pesos to the American dollar here. I spent about 1000 pesos on various snacks for myself and my roommates... the important stuff ;) JK! It was a fun little trip!
Tomorrow, the teachers are sending us to a local university campus to start making first contacts with natives. OH BOY, I'M NERVOUS!!! Contrary to popular belief, people don't speak Spanish here. They speak Dominican; a completely different language. I tried speaking to someone in the main lobby in the MTC for practice, and this is how it went:
Me: "Hola! Como esta Usted?" Translation: Hello! How are you?
Me: "O_O Mas descansado por favor, mi Español is muy mal" Tr: Um, slower please, my Spanish is bad.
Guy: "Soy asdfhjkdla, cual es su nombre?" Tr: I'm so and so, what's your name?
Me: "Oh! Soy Elder Froude! Otra vez, cual es su nombre?" Tr: Oh! I'm Elder Froude? What's your name again?
Me: "Oh... Chevre...? Tr: " Oh... Cool..?
I just need to learn to get an ear for them. I'm sure I will! :D All nervousness aside, I’m really excited to meet Dominicans tomorrow! It's great practice and we’ll be building up the Kingdom of God...slowly but surely!
Before I left, a lot of my friends were telling me that I would miss home so much and I thought they would be right. The fact is that there is so much going on here I don't even have the time to think about anything else! XD Between studying and practicing Spanish and studying the gospel and much more learning, there simply isn't any room to think about home! As busy as that sounds, it helps with coping with being away from home. This is the first time I really thought about home since last Thursday. The kind of work that I'm doing really does need all of my attention. Some of you that are reading this may not understand but I can promise you that how busy I am and how much I am learning is the pathway to becoming a great missionary, and a great missionary is what I want to be :)
That's so awesome that Ian is an AP (Assistant to the (mission) President) now! I kinda figured though; he's the kind of missionary that would become the bestest AP! I'm really glad to hear that everyone is doing alright over there.
I'm out of time :( I'll write again next Thursday with more stories and experiences! Hasta proximo Jueves! See you next Thursday!