Wednesday, August 7, 2013

2nd Week at the MTC

Dear Family and Pepper,

Now that I've adjusted to the MTC lifestlye, everything seems really normal. I don't think of it as a having-to-be-super-punctual-something-scheduled-at-each-hour-I-don't-have-an-actual-life life. Although it's a different lifestyle, I've adjusted well and it's routine by now.

Speaking of Pepper, how is he doing? Is he still crazy? Is he sleeping in Adam's room? I miss my baby (puppy), so give him a lot of love for me. While waiting for our laundry last week, Elder Brundage and I were (arguing) discussing whose dog was cuter, so I showed him the picture of our three dogs and apparently Brundage's dog looks exactly like Pepper, so we tied.

I suppose I spoke a little too soon about being written to, because this week I've been receiving things from people in the ward. The Catherine Clark family sent me this really sweet package with little presents inside to open one at a time each time I'm taking a break from studying, it was really thoughtful. Sister Pipkin also wrote me a sweet letter.

I was only sick on that second day, and I've felt great this past week. Even getting up at 6:30 every day isn't a problem, although yesterday I was really exhausted.. The food is, you know... food. Oh, and yes I do have a microwave, which is funny because apparently the Elders don't.

The Romanian learning has slowed down a little because we've been working on little grammar things, but it's still coming and I've been able to connect a lot more things in my head than before. My companion and I started doing lessons with our 'investigators' off script and saying as much as we can from our heads, which works really well, except in the case of Marian but I'll get there in a minute. I can bear my testimony, pray, and hold an okay conversation as long as it's about the gospel, because we really haven't learned any secular sort of conversational things yet ha, ha.

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but our lessons are in complete Romanian. Since day one, our teachers only speak in Romanian even when teaching about how to be a missionary. Our teachers only say maybe 10 words of English a day, the rest we have to figure out. It helps, but it gets really frustrating sometimes. It also helps to secretly smile at the English speaking missionaries when they start complaining about how hard their classes are.

Also, you know how looking at a foreign language is just nonsense? Well now that I can read Romanian, English is looking like nonsense to me. So, sorry if I spell things wrong. For some reason there's no spell checker on this calculator.
I'm a little jealous that Daniel can actually leave the MTC to go shopping, we have to always stay on campus and can only buy from the little over-priced MTC shop here. Also, I'm excited to actually get into Romania, so him already being in his country is different.

 As for my district, one more Elder joined us. His name is Elder Lybbert and apparently he was called to the Moldova Russian speaking mission, but since he isn't American his Visa didn't approve. So, last week he arrived to the MTC thinking he was going to Moldova Russian speaking, and then he's told he's stuck with us who are going to Romania/Moldova, Romanian speaking instead. He caught up surprisingly fast though, and was already praying on his own by day two.
Roomies at the MTC

Speaking of visas, apparently I don't need one to stay in Romania. It was a little unclear because I only heard this from a little piece of paper that was ambiguously worded, so it would probably be safe to have a Visa... but I don't know. Nu stiu.
Our district leader is Elder Sookhoo and he is from Canada, either Toronto or Calgary. He looks and acts just like that character from Community played by the actor Asaz something... I don't know, I've never seen Community.  Elder Lybbert is also from Canada, and whichever province Elder Sookhoo is from, Elder Lybbert is from the other one (Toronto or Calgary). I wouldn't say Elder Lybbert looks like our cousin Jon, but he certainly reminds me of him a lot. He was placed in a tri-panionship with Sookhoo and Elder Brundage.  Sookhoo and Lybbert are the oldest of the Elders, I think they said they were both 19. Elder Brundage is from Arizona and he sings and did a lot of theater in high school. Him and the other two Elders are youngin's though, just having graduated this year. Elder Brown is from California and actually knows Sora Newell from school. He is just like Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. His mannerisms and humor are just so Sheldon. He is usually pretty reserved, but poor Elder Brown has been sick the past two days, and when he is sick he opens up and he is just so funny.

Then there is Elder Cooper from Riverton in Utah, and there is no other way to describe him other than he is Harvey Kinkle. Like, from the Melissa Joan Hart - Sabrina. Everything he does, me and Sora Newell just look at each other and "Harvey Kinkle," which is funny because none of the elders have ever seen Sabrina.

My companion, again, is Sora Newell, she is from Ohio but has been living in San Diego for the past four years for school, which is where she met Elder Brown. She was born in Germany and her family is German, so she always is referencing Germany and it gets a little funny sometimes. She is 22, so she says how weird it is feeling so old when she's not even that old.

My district is the coolest, and everyone keeps saying how jealous they are of how small it is. Everyone is so different, but we all get along great and we do a lot of the activities together as a group.
So our lessons with our first 'investigator' Dana ended with her agreeing to baptism. Sora Newell and I are scheduled to get haircuts at 2 today, so we keep joking about being invited to Dana's "baptism" at 2 and none of the Elders who also taught Dana get to go. Even our teacher Fratello Frandsen is going along with this joke, he's the one "baptizing" her. So, since lessons with Dana ended, we've had two new 'investigators'. The Sora who was being Dana is now one of our teachers, her name is Sora Whiting, so we have three teachers now (for four students ha, ha). Our new investigators are Ion and Marian (who really are just our other two teachers, (Frandsen and Vizante). Ion's first lesson went
great, and I think we really accomplished our purpose to bring him closer to Christ. Marian, however, is Fratello Vizante, and Vizante is native to Romania, so he was REALLY hard on us. We introduced the Cartea lui Mormon, and moments later he tosses it and starts heated questions like, "What makes your church different? Why should I believe in this book? Why should I join any religion?" and, mind you, this is all in Romanian. Sora Newell and I were just like, WHAT? We don't even know how to answer those questions in Romanian! So that first lesson was a flop... and we're really confused about what to do next. So, we'll see what happens.

Anyway, I'm out of time so you know, Adam's written to me but you could encourage everyone else too! Ha, ha. And Tyler and Jessica... you know... not to bother them... but...

Deci, eu sunt fericita si eu sunt excited sa merg sa Romania!

La Revedere!
Sora Smith

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