Dear family, friends, and random people,
I´m not sure if you were aware of the recent turn of events, but it seems
that the MTC has been moved like the city of Enoch. But, instead of being
brought up to heaven, it´s just been displaced to Seattle. Seriously, it
has not stopped raining/snowing here since I arrived. Which has been sort
of cool, because I love rain and snow, but mostly not cool, because I am
getting a cold. Thankfully, the work cannot be slowed by petty colds. :)
As it turns out, all of West Campus (Wyview and Raintree apartments a few
blocks west of main MTC campus) is Spanish speaking, so that's where I
live! It's pretty much its own Spanish MTC, which is really nice because
we're (supposedly) totally immersed in Spanish, as if we were at the Mexico
MTC. We only go up to main campus on Sunday and Tuesday nights for
devotional, and Wednesdays (Pday) to go to the temple and take care of Main
Campus things like medical and alterations. Wyview is nice because we have
super nice apartments with lots of space and our own bathroom, but not so
nice because we miles every day to get every where, hence the cold. But
it's all good. Oh, and our food is way more disgusting, but that actually
turns out to be a blessing in disguise because we won't eat so much :P We
have gym in these giant blow up white bubbles that are really quite a
fascinating engineering puzzle, but I won't go into it. They are really,
really gigantic, and are full of every possible way to exercise imaginable.
:P Oddly, we also have church in the bubbles. That was weird.
But yeah, MTC life is good! I first day I got here I was super overwhelmed,
but it's all good now. My companion is Hermana Concidine from Glendale,
California. She's 20 and went to BYU-I for 3 semesters, and is pretty much
the most amazing person ever. She's also Sister Training Leader, and is
going to Hermosillo with me and one other Sister in our district, which is
super exciting. Most of West Campus is made up of North Americans going to
Mexico, although I have met some people going to Argentina, Spain, Costa
Rica, and 1 girl going to Idaho. :P Main campus is super cool, though,
because it is filled with people from all over the world. Yesterday at
Tuesday devotional I met this British girl that looked EXACTLY like Adele,
I kid you not. Lots of Islanders from all over the Pacific, as well as New
Zealand and Australia, and I even met a guy from Croatia going to Albania,
so that was super, super cool.
Anyways. My Spanish is improving by leaps and bounds. Every day I try to
memorize around 20 words or so, and all the grammar training I've had for
the last 5 years is coming in very handy. My companion and I have taught 4
lessons to an investigator so far, all about 45 minutes long and in
complete Spanish. We've gotten pretty good at expressing what we want to
say, but now we have to get better at actually understanding the thick
accents of our investigators and our teachers, as well as trying to think
fast enough to keep up with how fast they talk... it's been fun. Most of
our class time is in Spanish, unless we're going over a really important
gospel topic, and then they'll switch to Spanglish or some English for
awhile. It's frustrating, but rewarding.
I've never worked so hard in my life. Seriously, my MTC time makes IB look
like a breeze haha :P I get up at 6:30 every day, on the dot, without fail,
and am out the door by 7:15. We eat and are in class by 8. We have
class/study/teach until 11:30, then we go to gym. We eat lunch at 1, go
back to clase/study/teach, and then go eat dinner at 5:20. At 6, what are
we doing again?! Class/study/teach. Until 9:30, at which point we hurry
back to our apartments, do the billion things we have to finished to get
ready for bed, and fall deeply asleep promptly at 10:30. Yup. That pretty
much sums up my entire experience.
I love my district, I love my zone. The Elders are the nicest, and our
teachers are ridiculously amazing. According to several sources, our zone
has some of the best MTC Spanish teachers. I don't know if this is true,
but it sure feel like it. OHHHHH. So I saw Elder Spencer Jolly on Sunday, 2
days before he shipped out, and I also see Elder Andrew Smith multiple
times a day, since he's going to Spain. I've also run into a Sister
Davenport (I think?) who went to prom with Juno and knows Panda and Aliya
really well. She's in West as well, and is awesome. I also saw Ryker Hill
on Main Campus, and ran into Mitchell Moody from Alta before he left for
Argentina on Tuesday. Small world. SPEAKING OF WHICH I also saw the
unmistakable jacket and head of a certain Mr. Kennan Bacon across the
street at Wyview, so that was pretty cool. :P
Spiritually, the MTC is literally like... the most amazing place on earth.
I didn't know this was even possible, but I feel the Spirit almost
continuously here. It is so strong that it permeates everything here, and I
have awkwardly cried every day since I've been here. I have never so
strongly felt the love that God has for me so deeply, and felt him lift me
and strengthen me to heights it would have been impossible to reach on my
own. I wish I could share every spiritual experience I have with all of
you, but not only is there not enough time, it also wouldn't mean the same.
To me, spiritual experiences are "spiritual" because they speak to your
spirit, which, of course, is quite hard to do when typing over an email. :P
But I do encourage all of you to seek out spiritual experiences, and live a
life where those experiences can become common place. There is no greater
feeling in the entire world.
If you know nothing else in this world, know the love of God.
PS. Thanks for all the letters and emails! To my family, step it up! I only
received contact from Dad, Opa Jim, and Oma Sue. I'm pretty disappointed.
(Not really- its really not a big deal.) I love hearing from all of you
though! (I especially loved hearing about how Russia is handling the
Olympics. It seems that though the Iron Curtain has fallen, not much else
has changed in the way of ideas and plans vs. actual implementation. Haha!