SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 (email to family)
No more speaking in Spanish for me. Its getting really confusing when i try to throw in Spanish words like pero or tambien to fill the awkward silence...But my Russian is getting better! I can officially make sentences when writing but not speaking. You have to conjugate the verbs and the nouns and the prepositions, etc meaning when i got a colored case chart it was pretty much like Christmas. Now to laminate it and stick it on my key chain so everyone can tell who the crazy Russian speaking missionaries are! I love it. This week we had a lesson on setting goals, planning etc so I decided to be really ambitious and have the First Vision memorized by Sept 29th, a month in the MTC. Then that afternoon our second teacher came in and challenged us to have it memorized by this Saturday! For those who don't know, its like a whole paragraph so that on top of all of the other stuff we are supposed to learn and do, we are seriously trying to learn it while waiting in line for lunch or while working out at the gym...Its kind of intense but I can do it!
Oh and a quick run down of my schedule if that helps anyone picture my day. I’m up at 6:30 to get ready, breakfast at 7:10, and then usually class at 7:40. Sometimes that changes if we have gym first or service, which means mopping staircases! Honestly, I've never enjoyed mopping so much as a break from class. Our classes are 3 hours long and we also have one hour of "personal study" from the scriptures. Lunch is at 11:45 and then depending on the day, we have language study for an hour, TALL lab for an hour, which is kind of like Rosetta Stone but with really fast Russian speakers where i have to listen to sentences probably 20 times before i can do it. In the afternoon or at night we have another 3 hour class. And in class its either Russian or teaching us how to be good missionaries, i enjoy those lessons, like goal setting because they are in English! Sundays are nice breaks because its church and we have breaks in the day to go sit outside the temple...and do Russian grammar. I make it sound hard but it really is awesome. To think two weeks ago i just knew a few words! Although my charades and pictionary really are getting better, I challenge anyone when i get home!
Sister Christensen and i are teaching two new investigators this week, one is a super well-read religious man who before we said anything started asking questions about the Book of Mormon, and the other is a Muslim who wants to know more about Christ but doesn't believe he is the Savior. Both of these "investigators" are our teachers which is embarrassing knowing they know how bad we really are in real conversations but I know its the only way to grow and I really do learn a lot each time!
Last night, being Sept 11, Elder and Sister Carlson spoke to us. He was a general in the Pentagon on Sept 11 so it was awesome to hear their perspective of faith. During times of crisis, praying and reading scriptures makes all the difference. Another lady also talked about how tribulations lead to patience, which leads to hope and faith in Christ. Good point I thought. I also got to watch a replay of "Missions are Forever" by Elder Holland which was soooo good. It makes me want to work hard, all day every day! I know my mission will change my life for the better and am so glad I'm here!
I love you all!!