Thursday, July 12, 2012

12 July 2012 First MTC Letter!

Dear Family and Friends,

First week here, crazy... This shift button works half the time so there may be some problems. The time is at 28:01 minutes.

We've done so much this week. Between two devotionals/meetings/4 hours+ of class per day/2 hours+ of personal study per day, this week has been an insane rush. But it has been an amazing rush.

I was the first one in our room on the first day, I walked to our room with my escort. I chose the bed closest to the AC and furthest from the door. Smart choice. The rooms are scalding since the AC doesn't work and body heat generated by the four of us in the room really builds up.
My companion, Elder Myler, is from Eagle, ID. He is going to Tempe, AZ spanish speaking too. We share the room with Elder Shreeve (Kuna, ID, going to Canada spanish speaking) and Elder Jacobson (SLC going to Tempe Spanish speaking). We have four other elders in our district and four sisters. Elder Thorsen (Dallas, TX to lima central), Elder diaz galarza (Cali to lima), Elder adams (dallas to lima) and elder peterson (NJ to Lima). hermana white is going tempe, hermana maier is going tempe, hermana crawford is going tempe, and hermana diCarolo (from italy, going california). she knows about Formula 1! She is a ferrari fan and scolded me when i said i liked McLaren. speaking of, dad, who won at Silverstone?? WDC and WCC Standings? We all get along great and everyone is excited to work hard. We all have at least two years of spanish history and no more than three.

We were rushed through meetings, classes that are only in spanish, more meetings, a short meal, and more meetings on the first day. i dont remember any of it.

We pray everynight as a room companionship in spanish and we try to only pray in spanish so that we can practice more and more. it's starting to come back.

The zone leader when we got here was named Elder brown and Elder Tonga. Elder Brown is going to DC North. He's a great guy and will be speaking spanish. keep your eyes open for a tall, blond haired elder from California speaking spanish. i told him that if he ever goes to DC South to check out the Arlington 2 Ward. i've been telling him about the area and why it's the second best mission (tempe being first). He taught me this awesome knot that i have a picture of but since i can't upload pictures from the MTC you will only see it if i mail a card home. I'll need another one to use while It's gone.

I've seen a lot of people I know. 10+ from BYU, The Goodsell's (going croatian speaking, also happen to be in the MTC at the same time as their son who they see everyday). I ran into Jared the other day and also Cassie, among others. Cassie leaves next week so we got a picture together. (I just found out two hermanas sitting behind me live in the DC north mission. small world)

So in our class, taught by Hermana Olsen (served in Spokane, WA spanish speaking, got back 9 months ago and has been working at the MTC for 4 months), we speak spanish only in the classroom. if we really need help she'll break into English to explain. I have a tendency to make up words and I kid you not, 50% of the time I am right. It is absurd and she laughs because somehow I am right. gift of tongues, yo. Or my genius leaking out. She's a great teacher.

We taught our first three lessons last week, all in spanish and over 15 mins each. We are teaching Julio (MTC teacher but he doesnt know that we know that). We have taught him about the Word of Wisdom, the Spirit, the restoration, and yesterday, committed him to baptism. I went off script beause i felt i should explain why we get baptized at 8. Since fictional Julio is catholic, I explained why we were baptized at age 8; since it is the age of accountability. I didnt know any of the words so i said, "a el ano de ocho, nosotros bautizadomos porque es el ano de....accountabilidad." I thought I made that word up but it means accountability. Good times.

On our first Sunday, we all had to rush to church. I grabbed the wrong suit jacket for the suit pants I was wearing and didn't notice till 12. Blue doesn't go with grey striped.

We found out yesterday while we were practicaring espanol that our class is three weeks ahead of schedule. Hermana Olsen's MTC companion actually works at the MTC and came to analyze Hermana Olsen yesterday. She let us know how far ahead we were and how surprised she was. Guess that means we got her good marks.

Due to the chaos of the first week and how we are always busy, I was having a hard time feeling the holy ghost. Apparently the other elders were too. We prayed that we would be able to better recognize it despite our schedule. My prayer was answered two days ago, it was almost overwhelming. I felt prompted to write in the front of my Book of mormon/bible, "how could you not believe." It wasn't even a question. It has been significally easier since then.

The best quote of the week was either, "tengo gas-o" or "I was dating her for three years, she just didn't know it." Needless to say, our spangilsh is exceptional.

Here's an example of my schedule, we only have 4 mins left.
7:20         - Breakfast
7:50-8:40 - Study history of prophets
8:50-9:40 - Gym (Elder Diaz Galarza and i run about 3 miles a day then head back a bit early to catch the showers before they explode with people)
10:10-11:00 - TALL (computer language learning)
11;00-12:00 - personal language study
12:00-12:30 - Lunch
12:45-1:55   - Personal language study
2:00 - 5:00   - language class with hermana olsen. this is the fastest three hours of the day, shes a great teacher
5:00 - 5:30   - Dinner
7:00-8:00     - Devotional
8-9 Devotional review
9-9:30 planning for next day
10-10:30 journal entry

It's crazy but it's so fun. our district is great.
Thursday is my Pday but they let us write letters for 50 minutes on tuesday mornings. We can check the mail everyday but reply only twice per week. it's nice picking up mail. Dear Elder works great.
it's a good thing i can write 130 words per min (this keyboard izsnt working well though so it's lower) so i can say more. I outlined what I wanted to type this week so the 30 mins was all typing and no thinking.

Random questions and comments below:
Dad, you served Portland Oregon, right? did you know an Elder Shreeve? My Elder Shreeve said his Dad is 43-46 and served in Portland, OR. he met his wife there too. that would be crazy if you were with an Elder Shreeve and I was with his son,.

What year did Orson Hyde dedicate Palestine for the returning of the jews? I read about that yesterday. It must have been mid 1800's, a cool prophecy to what happened when the UN signed it over to the jews.

Thanks you aunt Carmen for the package and Taffy, that was actually the best taffy i've ever had.

Also, thanks for the letter Grandpa. it's nice to keep up with your journal entries and life while i'm gone.

Yo se que el libro de mormon es las palabras de los profetas, yo se que jesucristo es unes salvador.

Love you all,
Elder Johnson

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