Saturday, July 13, 2013

1st Letter from the MTC

July 11, 2013

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,

Hello!  How's life without your favorite syster?  I'm doing great except I still can't talk and I'm starving.  We had dinner at 4:15 yesterday and haven't eaten since.  (It's 6:45 a.m. right now.)  The food was good.  Chicken fried chicken with gravy and cheesy mashed potatoes.  Cody, I didn't try the chocolate milk yet because it was all out.  Yesterday wasn't quite like I expected.  They didn't waste any time on orientations.  They dropped my stuff off, gave me a nametag (magnetic-Do not use with a Pacemaker!), and stuck me in Swedish class where my teacher, Broder Bush, talked at us in Swedish.  I was the last one to show up except for one elder, so I was at a disadvantage.  Some people were dropped off at 12:45, so they had a whole hour before me.  Nobody really knew anything about the language though.  Some of the elders think they do, but they don't.  The great thing about learning Swedish is all of my Chinese came rushing back!  Everytime I answered a question I wanted to follow with "Delaney wrote chinese characters here" (ni ne?), or "y tu?" (they both mean the same thing but I don't know how to say it in Swedish.)  There are 20 Swedish missionaries, so we're split into 2 districts.  The two girls I know from Facebook are both in the other district.  We have 6 elders and 4 sisters.  All from Utah.  My companion is Syster Dawson.  She's from Cedar City, she's a dancer, and she's really nice.  She also has a little brother named Cody, but he'll go on a mission next summer so she won't see him for 3 years.  The two of us share a room with the three Norwegian sisters, and the other Swedish girls are next door.  I'm in the original MTC, not the West campus.

It was weird to not call you last night and tell you everything that happened.  Luckily we have a bunch of random un-planned time this morning.  It's normally when we would be getting up and ready for the day, but we got up early to go to a yoga class.  (I'm trying to be agreeable.  And it's kind of a compromise since I think Syster Dawson really wants to go running during our gym time, but I really don't want to.)  I didn't sleep very much last night.  I was worried we wouldn't wake up in time for yoga - isn't that lame?  The beds are also really creaky.  It's a good thing I'm used to jumping on and off my bed, because the ladder to my bunk is so sketchy I hate to use it.

Last night we did a teaching experience as a large group where we practiced listening effectively and following the Spirit.  I didn't participate much on account of having no voice, but I did ask one of the investigators a good open-ended question, and another time when my companion shared something I had said the teacher said "Someone's been reading Preach My Gospel!"  So I felt pretty good about it. It's amazing how many things you can pick up on when you listen effectively instead of planning your response.  It's something that I'll have to work on.

I've seen a lot of people I know.  One from Chinese, one from Folk Dance, some people from high school, Elder Gerrard (he's in my zone) and another girl from BYU who's also in my zone.  From what I can tell, my zone is the Scandinavian (minus Finland) and Dutch missionaries.  We're the Swedes, and there's also the Norwegians, Icelandics, Danes, and "Dutchies".  Mostly Dutchies.

P-day isn't until Tuesday, so you won't hear from me until then probably.  Hopefully I can figure out how to send mail soon so you'll get this before then.  Don't worry about me, I'm happy and having a great time!  I love you!