Oh my gosh, it feels like it has been FOREVER since I've seen you or talked to you guys. I know it's only been a week, but let me tell you, some days it feels like i haven't seen my family in ages. I miss you guys more than I thought was even possible. I love you all so much! Well, im getting over my sickness, so that's really good. The MTC or CCM as they say in Spanish is about a 10-15 minute drive from where me and my district are staying. The place i'm staying is an old Sweden embassy now owned by the church on Al Cantara avenue. We drive back and forth every day to the MTC so we can go to classes. A typical days is
Wake up at 7.
Study for and hour.
exercise for a half hour.
Then go and get ready, then we leave for the MTC at about 9:50 and arrive around 10.
Then its classes until 9:30 at night, and let me tell you, I AM SO SICK OF MY CLASSROOM. Hahaha we stay in the same classroom every single day and this one has zero windows so its a little dull and repetitive. We break for lunch and dinner, okay so let me explain the food really quick. At Al Cantara, we just call the place we sleep at Al Cantara but that's the actual street name its on, we only eat breakfast there and its really good. We eat fresh bread, cereal with yogurt instead of milk, usually some apples, juice, and then cheese and like sandwich meat. OH and on the bread we spread this manjar, pronounced mahn-har, which is basically a less solid form of caramel and its pretty dang good. So breakfast, es muy bien. But then, there's lunch and dinner. There's a little cafeteria in the MTC and every meal is served with rice, beans, sometimes mashed potatoes, and then some sort of meat. It was really good at first, but then day after day...and rice, beans, etc...well, it all starts to taste the same! But overall, the food is decent and my teachers say "the cafeteria food is blehh" so I'm assuming real Chilean food will be better. Oh, by the way they have bread with every single meal, bread this their life down here, no jokes. A lot of kids at the MTC are starting to feel sick the doctor says its because so much starch and no fruits/veggies is make them lethargic, we have fruits and veggies here, they just choose not to eat them. So I've been trying to get fruits and that kind of food whenever i can!
Anyway, my companion is Elder Asay who is from Highland Utah and knows even less Spanish than me, so we're to gringos learning the language together. He's really great, he is very spiritual and also funny. He is pretty tall, like 6'4. We have some pretty good laughs! Good news: He gets my humor!! Kind of like Nichole does, but he's not as funny as Nichole..so, ill try to teach him hahah. My entire district is amazing. There are 9 of us all together, one companionship is a threesome. But we all get along super well and have a great time. Everyone in my district is going the the Santiago East mission except me, and Elder Tinney, who is from Riverton Utah. He is one of the happiest kids I've met, he also got called to be our district leader. He's a good guy and is a little different, it makes me laugh. He asked me to teach him how to punch, disarm a knife, etc..because he's never been in a fight and was worried hahah, so that was entertaining. (sorry if my thoughts are scatter brained, I have an hour to write everyone and I keep remembering different things, i promise my e mails will get better!) Also these keyboards are super weird! So its taking some getting used too.
Well i'm so so happy to hear from you mom. It helps me so much, with moral, and just to know you all are thinking about me. It has been a very difficult, rewarding, and challenging week. A mission is HARD. No one was joking when they said that. My Spanish is coming along okay...they don't actually teach us much Spanish here. We spend maybe an hour a day on it? And the rest is learning gospel stuff and studying for our fake investigators we have at the MTC. I've learned enough Spanish to know what people are saying or talking about usually, although, today was P day and real Chileans talk WAY faster! (my P day is every Wednesday and actually only for 3 hours out of the day). This is just for the MTC, it will change once i'm in Vina. Oh, i'm here for 5 and 1/2 weeks from when i started. so 4 1/2 now. I love learning and being taught at the MTC but ill be honest, sitting for 12 hours a day is driving me insanneee. The first 4 days or so I would have these really downner moments, where for an hour or two i would feel so depressed and so alone, to the point where I thought I couldn't do it. But I've been praying and I feel so much better. Hearing from you all also makes me feel 100x better as well. I know that you all are praying for me and I pray for you all DAILY. OH, really quickly, so the mission home president Elder Gilbert had to get open heart surgery 2 nights ago. A valve in his heart wasn't working and so they had to replace it, so by the time he's recovered ill be gone. But it was a really interesting experience, because I felt really close to him even though I had only been there several days. I'd had my interview with him and everything but it was just so neat to see how everyone in in the MTC and especially at Al Cantara came together and prayed for him. I love the missionaries here, the Latinos are probably some of the happiest and funniest people I know. One Latino Elder Roubles, thinks he's really funny and about a million times a day will says you es fefe! (which in English is like, you're a sissy) and its hilarious because hes this like 5 foot little guy who just says that to about everyone and speaks really fast. So, me and few other told him Boss meant fefe in English so now to all the gringos he says "you are boss" Haha. That actually doesn't sound that funny when I tell the story right now...but it is.Maybe i'm just going a little crazy. Hopefully I survive the next few weeks ;)
I love you all so much! I wish I could express adequately express how happy and grateful I am that you are my family. Especially being almost 5 thousand miles away I appreciate it all the more. I know its early on in my mission, but I can't wait to see you all again. I hope that everything is going well there, hope that Trevor does amazing with his Officer training, that's so awesome that he got sworn in. I love you all, miss you so much, and hope that you're doing well! If I don't have time to e-mail everyone please let them know I love them.Ill write again next week and I will send some pictures of Al Cantara, the temple, and my p day. Oh by the way, I get to go to the temple tomorrow, I'm so excited for that.
P.s. Im going to MISS watching general conference with the family! Especially the delicious crepes that we make. I'll be thinking of you all. Have an amazing week!! I love you.