Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude1,
I have lots to tell y'all about! First, my trip to the campo, the country side.
After lunch last Friday, the East Mission missionaries and I got onto a bus to see what it was like to proselyte in our mission for the day. We were out from about 1:00 to 9:00. It was a very sobering experience. All the MTC staff tells us that the temple and the surrounding area is the nicest part of Santo Domingo. Not 5 minutes away from the MTC, we saw hillsides covered in favelas of shanty homes. We didn't proselyte there; we went to a place that was close to it. Funny enough, I was assigned a Spanish-speaking companion! Two other Elders got a Spanish-only companion too while everyone else got one that could speak English. I didn't mind though, I was excited to see if my Spanish lessons paid off. And they have! We were able to communicate very well! His name was Elder Cruz, he liked to Beat-box (I love to beat box), liked to sing, and loved anime (Japanese cartoons)! We got along very well! We spent the day going to teaching appointments and making contacts with people. My companion understood that I could barely understand what our investigators were saying so he did a lot of the teaching. But he had me talk about a few things and bear my testimony so I was able to practice! The people are so nice here. Even when they don't want to hear about the church they are the nicest people about it! They also all thought I was Spanish; it was funny! But all in all, on the way home I realized that what I did that day, it was something I wanted to do for the next two years. Despite the heat and the sweat and knowing only a handful of Spanish, I was happy. I can't wait to go out and do this 24/7!
That's the biggest thing that happened since I last emailed but I have a few little things to share that just made me super happy! First, the other day we were in class. My teacher handed us a sheet for self-improvement on our teaching and one of the elders in the room said "Oh, it's in Spanish." And I said jokingly, "Claro! Gustaríale in Alemán?" (Of course! Would you like it in German instead?) After I said that, my teacher started laughing heartily. I asked what was up and my teacher said "You are almost Dominican!" and he laughed some more. Apparently, I made a joke that a Dominican would make. I think I'm gonna fit in just fine here!
On Sunday, I sang in a quartet for a musical number for church. I sang with my companion, Elder Merrell, my roommate, Elder Barnet, and Elder Curtis. We sang How Great thou Art in harmonies. I sang the tenor part! It took a lot of work because tenor was the hardest part, but we sounded great! The mission president's counselor and his wife thanked us for the song and it felt really nice that people felt the Spirit.
There is a brother that works in the temple where I go every Thursday named Hermano Kanyanga. He is hilarious! He knows a little bit of English and he is always there to welcome us to the temple. He also makes it a personal goal to joke about my name every time he sees me. This is not a bad thing, I love it! Anyway, he welcomed me this morning and he said "Elder Frood (how most people here pronounce my name)... not Fruit!" I love the guy!
Crazy thing! Last Tuesday, we had our Area Seventy talk to us. It turns out he was Richard's mission president!! Richard served in Bilbao Spain, right? Yeah! His name was Elder Zivic and I told him that Richard served there and he asked what his name was. He said he knew Richard!
I'm doing great! These are my last few days in the MTC so I'm getting excited! The next time I write, I will be in the mission field doing the Lord's work. I'm super excited to go and I can't wait to tell you all about it!
I'm all out of time :( I'll write you on my next P-day which is probably the next Monday since I'll be getting there Tuesday. I love you!
May the Spirit be With You,
-Elder Froude 2