Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It's the final countdown!

Ah! Only 5 more full days left in the MTC!

Once again this will be a randomly organized e-mail b/c there is never time for organization.

TRAVEL PLANS!!!! We got them Friday and life hasn't been the same since! I leave the 25th (so this tuesday). I report to the travel office to board the bus around 3:50 AM (fiesta) and I have a direct flight from Salt Lake to Ontario, CA. So when I read that at first I thought they did something wrong and my flight was to Canada! But we looked it up (on, not like google, b/c I'm a good missionary) and Ontario, California is a place! It's between Riverside and LA. My flight leaves at 8:52am utah time and I arrive at 9:47 cali time. Delta air lines flight 3525.

So for exercise time, most of my district and our bff district play volleyball. And if the weather is nice we'll go outside and play beach volleyball. We decided one day that the next morning we'd go outside for beach volleyball. Well it was decently cold out and the sand was like freezing! Haha but we persevered w/ cold feet.
It's fall! And on our temple walk, we (and lots of other districts) were covering people in leaves... as seen in the next picture of Elder Dunkley

So this week after we moved I met a couple people going to Riverside (all english speaking). Apparently there is one more Hermana coming with us on Tuesday, but Spanish is her native language so of course we aren't in the same district. 

here's what the construction looks like! right outside our new residence

One day there were some elders playing volleyball at the court next to us and some of them were wearing husker shirts. I was going to go talk to them and see if they were from nebraska (not likely) but they seemed really weird and obnoxious and decided otherwise. But the same day We took a picture of a district who was leaving and at least 2 elders were going to Omaha. Haha poor guys (not really, but kind of). 

I remembered on Friday that the parents were here in Provo, so that was kind of weird but most of the time I forgot. The elders were asking me if you were going to try and find me at the sunday temple walk and I just laughed. Haha, we aren't a family of rule breakers!

We are kind of trying to speak only Spanish this last week, but today has kind of been rough since it's p-day. We'll see how good this goes. But starting like Wednesday my life will probably be 100% spanish from here on out. Fiesta.
Last Friday I think it was, was our last time teaching our TRC investigator Julio. We took some pics together. It's hard to tell in this pic, but we are all on our tippy toes b/c he started to be on his when we were taking pictures and I was like hey I can do that too.

Mom, the MTC is really quick at delivering dear elders. Idk their exact hours, but usually our district leader picks them up right after lunch and dinner. 

More answers to question: Idk what I like best about the MTC. I guess just learning spanish with our district. We make it fun most of the time. Also one of my favorite things in general but especially at the MTC/as a missionary: LAUNDRY! At the mtc, there are like 2 entrances to the laundry room and one is a ramp and the door is always open so I love walking by that door and smelling the good laundry smells and feeling the warm air from it. Also having clean clothes is pretty great. And now I will stop weirding out over my love for laundry.

What was most unexpected for me at the MTC was how little we focus on learning spanish. I thought everyday would be like 100% studying and learning spanish, but a very selective amount of our study/class time is spent only on spanish- the rest is on doctrine or the gift of tongues or how to be better teachers, etc. Even when we learn things like grammar, we are leaning it in the context of like a gospel topic.
cool quote one of our teachers wrote on the board

I'll have to think about my favorite mtc memory. There are a lot and they all kind of blur together haha. 

Advice for future missionaries: jump all the way in right away! Use your time wisely, focus, do everything you can (including things like choir even if you don't enjoy singing like me). meet as many people you can and get to know your teachers and investigators!

All of my roommates and I were highly disappointed when I read to them that graham canyon ice cream is not your favorite. The idea of disowning was mentioned.... haha
of course I had to take a pic of the Y lit up on the mountain for homecoming

I loved reading that rebecca lyman is going cali spanish speaking! My old roommate Melina (from guatemala) I heard also just got her call to bakersfield, ca spanish speaking. Yay cali spanish missions! 

Our musical number sunday went very well. I will say though that I very much prefer my own flute. But this one worked so that was good.

The rest of my MTC stay will be pretty weird. Tomorrow we have "in field training" all day. so that'll be a lot of classes about various topics and practicing different skills I think but all in english. Then friday and saturday and sunday should be pretty normal. On monday I think like all our elders fly out to their missions so Hna Monk and I will have a lot of studying time, packing time, and two on one time with our teachers. I'm not sure when I'll be able to email next so don't freak out. Oh! But I can buy a calling card here for the airport. I think nebraska time is an hour ahead of utah, so I'll be sure to call either mom's cell and/or try to call after she'd be home from seminary. You can dear elder specifics if you want, but be prepped for a weird number calling tuesday morning. 

So I've been kind of looking back at my mtc experience and like man, the gift of tongues is a real thing that I never understood until I got here. I remember feeling like the worst spanish speaker in my district when I got here. Now I'm no way one of the best, but the transformation is unreal. What is amazing to me, as I kind of mentioned earlier, is that it's not like we spent every waking moment learning spanish. You have 1 hour of language study a day, and usually 2 hours of a teacher teaching a spanish language concept a day. So roughly 3 hours a day of solid spanish learning (yes the other hours your teachers are speaking only spanish, but still). So if you do the math, 3 hours of spanish a day x 6 days a week (no class on sundays) x 6 weeks is 108 hours of spanish learning. At high school, your class is 5 days a week for one hour, so like 108 days of school, which is roughly a semester. So by Tuesday I would've spend the equivalent of a semester learning spanish. But our progress is way more than what any high school student learns in 1 semester of spanish. I'm learning things I don't even think I learned in german 4. Not that we are even close to mastering any or all of these concepts, but we know them and can work on mastering them in the field. This past week we learned subjunctive, a grammar concept that does not exist in english. It is kind of rough to say the least and very common in spanish. I don't have it mastered, but in the 3 hours we spent on it one day (that was a odd day to spend all the time with one teacher on grammar) I understand it (I think). 

There's an awesome video I can't find on but I think it's on youtube. So look up "missionary work and the atonement" on youtube. It gives portions of talks by holland and eyring I think. It is seriously so awesome and applies to everyone since everyone is a missionary! (Click this link to see the video: "Missionary Work and the Atonement")

Sorry this email is so random and a decent amount of it will have to be taken out for the blog.

That's all for today! My next email will probably be from CALIFORNIA!!! 

Hermana Schooff 

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