Saturday, November 8, 2014

Aloha from the MTC!

Aloha mi familia y amigos-

I am officially at the MTC. I am really excited to be here. I am speaking so much Spanish, it's amazing! I still don't have a very wide vocabulary, but I use the words I do know very often.

One of my favorite things is that everyone is learning such different languages. Me and my Compeñera, Hermana Risser, decided that we are just gonna greet everyone in Spanish, regardless of what language they're learning, and most of them respond in their language. I really enjoy hearing so many languages and being able to still communicate.

It's really funny to me to hear people call me Hermana Long, because Hermana Long is my Mom. But Mom, you should know, I am very proud to wear your name around. And Dad, I'm proud to wear your last name. I hope I do it proud.

My first day here at the MTC was a little crazy. There was a lot of information dropped on me in a short amount of time. When I showed up at the MTC, I had a host show me around, and help me with my luggage and get my name tag and books and room number and key and such, and then took me to my room. Our building is close to where I take Español, which is where I went next for a 3 HOUR CLASS! And we were almost to the building when my host says to me "Did I already tell you that your teachers will only talk to you in the language you're learning?" I did not know this (thanks for the heads up, Mom and Dad. In all the conversations about the MTC, you failed to mention this.) SO I walk into the class, and it's all Spanish. Thank you Mom, Dad, Granddad and anyone else who ever spoke to me in Spanish- EVERY BIT HELPS!!!!! Gracias muchas muchas!!!!!

Our teacher is named Hermano Pitcher (I think that's how he spells it, now that I'm trying to write it, I'm not sure. If the spelling changes next week, don't be surprised)  He served his mission in Chile and he is from Utah. He is a very good teacher. He speaks slowly and elaborates when we look confused. I appreciate that a lot. The first day, class felt like playing charades with a caveman. He was making sounds that mostly didn't make sense, and making big hand motions. My proudest moment of the day was during an "extreme round" of "caveman charades." He was trying to tell us a little bit about himself, and I recognized some key words like "mi esposa" (my wife), "embarazada" (pregnant) and "esperanza" (hope and possibly wait), "nombre" (name), "lista" (list) and an obvious baby motion, and a fair bit of español-gibberish. I finally realized that he was telling us that he and his wife are expecting, but they haven't named the baby yet. They have a list but they don't want to name the baby until it is born. I was so excited when I figured it out. 

My class, or my District, is 8, now 7, Missionaries. One of our Elder's visas went thru, so he's on a plane to the Colombia MTC. We have 6 Hermanas, Hermanas Burr and Allen, Hermanas Shiffler and Binley, and Compeñera, Hermana Risser. Hermana Risser is from Southern California. She's really short, and really sweet and funny. I imagine we look a little funny walking around, because I'm 8 inches taller than her. Our Elder is named Elder Weddle, and he's from Ohio. He's the oldest in our district- 24.

Funny story about class- I was teaching Hermana Risser a pretend lesson, and the object was to get to know her, and Hermano Pitcher thought I was going too fast, so he came over to show me how I should do it. So she's made up this character with a whole backstory, and she's talking about her little daughter, and Hermano Pitcher is all "We don't have any kids yet, but someday we'd like to" and I thought, whatcha talkin about, White Man?!?! He stays for a second, and just rolls away. Later we thought that he was pretending to be an Hermana, and meant more like "neither of us has kids yet", but it came out really funny.

We went to the Temple today, which was really nice. It is a beautiful building. Afterward, we took some pictures with Hermanas Allen and Burr, and a non-missionary Hermano was walking by, and we asked him to take pictures of us. He was very nice, and it turns out that he served in Argentina, too, which was cool because we're all going to Argentina.

It's nice seeing Lauren around. I guess she's Sister Bangerter now, which sounds funny to me, because, again, Sister Bangerter is her mom. The first time I was so happy to see her. I felt like Alma when he was reunited with the sons of Mosiah, and was so happy that they were still faithful. Not that I had any worries about her being faithful, but it was still nice.

I can now pray in Spanish. This has been a dream of mine forever! It is not nearly as hard as I thought it was. And I now really have to think about what I want to pray for. Mom, Dad, I challenge you to teach the rest of the family to pray in Spanish and pray in Spanish a couple of nights a week. Let me know next week if you do it, and if and how it helps your prayers. Some of the things we pray for here at the MTC are "por diligencia" (diligence), "por salud" (health), "que bendiga mi familia" (bless my family) and "por don de lenguas" (the gift of tongues, so that we can speak the language). Some of the things we are grateful for are "por mi Compañera" (companion, if you haven't picked that up), "por mi familia" (my family) and "por Jesucristo" (Jesus Christ). I think that shows where my priorities lie.

Pictures will come next week, as I am apparently at a computer that can't download them. Oops. That's all for this week.

Feel free to write to me! I would love to get e-mails!!

Choose the Right! Know you are loved! Adios! Ciao! 
Con Amor,
Hermana Long

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