Week 1 – MTC

Hey everyone!
Its been a LONG week. We wake up at 6:30, have about 45 minutes to shower and get ready, and 30 minutes to eat. From there, we have 15 hours of things to do until 10:30pm when we get to bed and sleep. 9.5 hours a day of pure personal study. ITS TOUGH BEING ON SUCH A RIGID SCHEDULE… Compare that to starting class at BYU at 10 or 11am, and even more, going to bed at 6:30am in Korea over the summer… its a big change.
But the time has been going by super quickly. Except the first day. That was torture. We had a million 1-hour sessions for seminars or orientation, and it just took us all out!
The work isn’t too hard, though. They trust us with our time (I mean, they trust us with the salvation of… eternity, so I dont think time is much of a worry for them). I’m so glad i took 7 years of Spanish, its kind of one less worry for me. I was automatically placed in the intermediate 6-week group, so my district already knows some Spanish, but they always say Im the best, which I’m often unsure of.
 
We’ve had our first practice investigator, Jorge, for four meetings now. Its been a great experience teaching someone in Spanish. Sometimes, Ill say things I don’t even know I wanted to say, and its even more amazing that its in Spanish. You know the gift of Tongues is truly working through the Holy Ghost. We’ve committed Jorge to Baptism on our third lesson, and we’ve seen blessings in his life and our lives already.
 
We’ve had so many seminars, everything we hear from and all the quotes we read are from Elder Holland, he’s pretty much the MTC quote machine. Every one of those however, Ive been on the verge of tears just because I’ve been feeling the Spirit so strongly.
 
Our house is super nice! Theres 50 of them, and each house has 5 rooms of two companionships, so four people. We have our own bathroom and shower amongst the four, and we have our own laundry machines in the house. The weather has been pretty perfect. Air is perfect, the sun is slightly strong in the peak of the day, but its fine. It rains about every night, and sometimes in the evening past 5pm, That kind of sucks.
 
We have Gym day for about an hour every day, so the district and I go work out every other day (MWF) and play basketball, soccer, volleyball, or Jokgu (soccertennis) every other day. One of the other asians in the whole CCM, Elder Yamada who is half Japanese and half American taught us his 15 minute P90X workout, so we’re planning to do that three times a week. We’ve played basketball a few times already, and its good to get some exercise, but some of the people here aren’t great, so it’s tough from playing with people who were on the team to people who haven’t had much basketball experience. It’s still fun, they get surprised each time that a 5’6 Asian kid can ball.
 
I’ve felt like I’ve been here for a really long time, but it’s only been a week. I suppose that’s a good thing; I’m getting used to the ambiance and the rigidity of the schedule. Speaking Spanish is rough, but again, it’s nothing new. Soon, our district is gonna do an English Fast, where we don’t speak a word of English for a whole day, and each word we do speak is 10 pushups. THAT’S gonna be fun.
 
The first few days, doubts and questions plagued my mind. I thought about the possibility of coming home just because I wasn’t sure I was able to do this, but I’m still here, 1 week down, 99 to go. It’s getting easier every day, but I’m sure it’ll kind of reset once I hit the field. Apparently Chilean Spanish is the fastest in the world, so that’s going to take another few weeks of getting used to. I’m glad I stuck it through; I looked through the emails that I got, and I’ve already read so many inspirational words from some of you guys. Thank you all.
 
Anyway, the pictures I sent to my sister this time around was kind of sloppy, as its the first time and I wasn’t really sure how to do it. I figured that I’ll just upload to a dropbox, and my sister will be downloading the pictures and uploading them here and to my Facebook and Instagram, but if you guys ever want to see them here it is: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/em5imil54ojqtx7/AACvT6cjXKoDJI8kkz-IPbyBa
 
In the first part, I was sloppy and I just uploaded zipfiles, but you can download and open the zip files if you want. I’ll be uploading the pictures themselves so you can just view them! You can check out my house, our temple trip, and others. I met a whole bunch of missionaries that were in my 51st ward back at BYU, and I took a picture with them on someone else’s camera, so you’ll be seeing those as well.
 
That’s about all the time I have today! I love you all, and miss you all. Those preparing to serve a mission, I don’t want to scare you, but you won’t be fully prepared for the MTC/Mission. It hits you like a truck. BUT read the scriptures before you leave, and be strong! I hope you guys are doing well all around the world. Until next week!
 
Love,
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