Thursday, September 6, 2012

Aug 9

Dear Family,
Well, today is my first P-Day, and we just got done going through the temple this morning, which was good.
I am in a district with 10 other guys, we are in a group of Elders going to either Honduras or Spain. (BTW mom, Elder Cousins is not in my group, but I have seen him a few times here, sat next to him at devotionals, dinner, etc.) I know 4 other Elders who are serving in my same mission now, and a few others going to other missions in Honduras. My district is a good group, and we have fun learning spanish and teaching and stuff. My companion is from St. George, and is a cool guy, and we get along, which is good. He is going to another mission in Honduras (I think it's like San Pedro Sula mission).
Learning Spanish is hard, that is the majority of our focus here at the MTC. We are encouraged to only speak spanish as much as possible throughout the day. The first day we came in and our teacher wouldn't talk in English at all. He has spoken in English occasionally now, but not very much. I have learned a ton of Spanish in the last week, and I can pray in Spanish, and bear my testimony in Spanish, and we have had all of our lessons that my companion and I have taught investigators have all been in Spanish, and it has taken almost all of our study time to prepare for our one lesson a day that we teach because we have to choose what to teach, plan out exactly what we will say, and then learn all of the words that we need to be able to speak in the lessons, so we have to translate the whole lessons into Spanish. We plan for about 5 hours a day for our half an hour lessons. These lessons we teach are difficult, because we need to be able to answer questions in Spanish, and teach our whole lessons. Yesterday, I taught the whole lesson, without a written out script in Spanish, and talked with our investigator, without having to use notes, which has been a big improvement from reading a scripted lesson. I am actually very surprised at my Spanish speaking skills, they have improved a ton, and I have had some fluent (slow, but still fluent-ish) conversations with people, and it's very cool. The language is hard, to have to be expected to be able to teach in a different language, without much formal instruction from teachers. A lot of our studies are either personal or companion studies, which surprised me that we don't have as much classroom study as I expected. We've had some good firesides and devotionals, and some good testimony meetings.
Here at the MTC, they make sure to feed us missionaries. Every meal is a buffet of assorted foods, and I always eat a ton at every meal, so I think that I will get fat. It probably doesn't help that I don't workout very much here. We get about an hour a day to workout, that we stretch, and run, and play soccer, or volleyball, or basketball. I feel out of shape already because I eat too much. It's no bueno -- (See, I know Spanish, impressed yet?)
Umm, I get to do my laundry today and am getting a haircut, and that's about as exciting as my P-Day gets... It's good though. It will be nice to relax.
Anyways, I think that this will be about the time that I will be emailing every week, at least at the MTC, so that's probably when you can expect to hear from me.
   Elder Ward.

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