Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 1 in the MTC: The Sequel

Last week’s letter’s from Michael seemed to be missing the very first letter.  After some coaxing, he finally sent it!  Here it is—the very first letter from Michael.  He seems to be following in his brother’s footsteps using movie quotes for his subject lines:

Subject:  "You are destined for-" "I didn't quite hear that last part, but it sounded important."

The first email home. Basically, the time here has been awesome. We started off with a bunch of conferences and meetings to welcome the new elders (and I mean a BUNCH. Like our last one might have been yesterday, if we're lucky). I also think it should be clear that you will never sleep as little or as badly as when you're at the MTC. The first night I was sleeping like a baby in a cradle with "rock-a-bye-baby" playing somewhere in the background, but I think ever since that night my bed has had it out for me. It's actually pretty comfortable, but I don't think I've gotten more than four hours of sleep each night for the last few nights. Ironically though, I still feel reasonably well rested, so I guess that's a blessing somewhere.

Hopefully on a lighter note, the language. For those of you who have taken language classes in school (i.e. everyone) you may recall having fun or even enjoying it from time to time. We do that a lot. No, but seriously, we have two teachers who try to make us talk as much Malagasy as possible, which means THEY talk as much Malagasy as possible, so we understand roughly nothing. We are getting better though, probably because they have us teaching an "investigator" five days a week, although we found a picture of him in our room from when he (who calls himself Miandry) was on his mission, baptizing some people. So that makes me suspicious. Anyway, each day we have to plan a lesson out, work it with our companions, and then translate everything to Malagasy. Sounds easy right? WRONG. You try learning a new language and trying to give someone a spiritual experience when you can't even pronounce the words. And you can't make sentences. And you have to keep reading off of your notes because you have no idea what you're saying. And then Miandry has the AUDACITY to start asking questions! So we're sitting there like... *bluh...* with our brains kind of oozing out. But I guess that's why they have us learn the language and practice here, instead of in the field.
It's also probably worth mentioning that we started teaching him on Friday, which was a day and a half after we started learning the dang language. And this Friday we have to give the lesson without any notes, so we'll see how that goes.

Also, I must say I'm fairly disappointed in a good many of you, considering how I've only gotten mail from Dad, Mom, and Kathryn and Danielle Frogley. And David. Good man. The rest of you that are older than 7 should work harder. But don't actually worry about it. It's just a great feeling to get more mail than the other elders. And to be able to read all of that.

I guess I should mention that when I say "we" I usually mean my district, which consists of myself and the three other elders that will be going to Madagascar. There's Elders Hamm (my comp), Horne, and Evans. Elder Evans is our district leader. And all three of the other guys are from Utah. So I'm kind of the odd one. But Oregon is better.

I kind of need to be going now... but I just remembered a story. Elder Horne was giving a lesson to Miandry, and was trying to ask "what is faith". But he pronounced the word for faith wrong and it came out as "what is breast-feeding"? We all got a good chuckle over that.

Anyway, keep writing everyone, and remember that DearElder works better (Dad, yours have been coming through) since I can read them throughout the week and be able to spend more time responding than reading since I only get a half hour on the computer.
Mom, you also might like to know that my comp and I went to get some laundry soap, and he grabbed fabric softener instead, so now our clothes will be downy soft, but still smell like sweaty mission juice. Fun.

Finally, ta-ta for now, and I'll talk to you all next week!

    Elder Arrington

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