Sunday, February 10, 2013

From the MTC

February 9, 2013
Hey guys! 
It's P-day today and so I'm allowed to shoot you guys an email. I'm currently in the laundry room trying to get all 2 of my long sleeve white shirts clean haha.  We are required to wear suits pretty much everywhere we go so I'm gonna have to do laundry about every other week or so, just so I can make sure I have long sleeve white shirt to go underneath my suit.

Anyway lets have a quick recap of my time here so far. The first day was all about NEW. New people, new rules, new languages, new shirts with new collars that left new rashes on my neck, new girls who were very recently made unavailable to me as we were both set apart as full time missionaries, new worries, new friends, and yes, even some new knowledge. It was hard getting settled in on that first day but I think It's getting easier! I have a new companion whose name is Elder New____. It's weird to have to be around someone 24/7 but we make it work pretty well.

Day 2 consisted of a ton of spanish class with sister K. followed by language study, followed by personal study, ect. So basically it was a pretty awesome day, however at the end of it I felt like I have been in the MTC for like 3 weeks. It's crazy how time moves in here, people weren't kidding. The days all blur and by the 3rd day I can't believe that its only the third day, and surprisingly it's not in a bad way! On day 2 we met with the people of our branch and the branch presidents. They interviewed everyone and then assigned me to be District Leader. It's basically like a nice name for the guy who gets the mail and conducts classes haha not really but it's pretty close. I love my district though so it works out pretty well. They are all great guys and we have two sister missionaries who are kicking our butts with the language. It's like they were born to speak spanish! Oh and this Sunday they are gonna call on someone randomly to give a talk about how to recognize the spirit. It only has to be 3 minutes so no big deal....except for the fact that it has to be in spanish. SMH at these people and their expectations haha we are already praying in spanish and singing spanish hymns and moree! sooo I guess you could say that day 2 was all about spanish.

Day three consisted of some spanish class, this time with brother P. Both of my spanish teachers have been awesome which is a hard thing to do as most everyone knows that spanish classes frequently get me very frustrated. But they keep things pretty lively and brother pacheco will even speak in English sometimes. It's funny though because even when he speaks in English, he speaks with a thick fake Hispanic accent. He says it makes him feel better about speaking in English...I tried it...He's right haha but the most spectacular part of the third day was definitly when we had to teach an "investigator". I can't believe it's the third day and they already have us teaching someone in all spanish! But what was even more surprising was how well I think I did. The spanish just seemed to flow as I kept reminding myself that the real important thing was to try and teach by the spirit. Even though I had to speak around some words, it went incredibly well and I know that the spirit was there with us. We pretty much just got to know him because we are going to go back and teach him a few more times this week. But theres a popular saying around here: "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." It's pretty powerful stuff.

I've been learning fast though that the quicker you learn to love people, the easier everything gets. If you don't love your companion, think about how God sees them and what kind of struggles they must be going through. If you don't love your district, think about the different backgrounds they all come from and remember the feelings of anxiety and struggle that you have experienced here. It's all about loving people. I shared my mom's favorite quote with my district about how missionaries are those who leave their families for a little while, so that others can be with their families forever. That's my reason.

In the MTC, seeing someone you know from home or kinda like finding water in the dessert. Except for here you aren't really allowed to touch anyone so it's like finding water...but it's really too dirty to drink. However, it's something that gives you hope. A little familiarity can go a long way in here, especially when everything is so regimented.

Anyway I've got stuff to do, ya know cool Elder stuff you probs wouldn't understand ;) soo I gotta go but I'll look forward to your emails. Thanks for the letters, its hard to not respond immediately but I guess I can wait till P-Day every week.....well i guess. Anyway I love you guys and I'll talk to ya soon.

Love Ya!
Josh....or Elder Hamm

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