Tuesday, February 17, 2015

It's Been Two Weeks Going on Three Weeks...

The hills are alive with the sound of music. Actually most music is not allowed here in the MTC, but the hills are alive with the sounds of yawns and Portuguese.
Week two was great! It went much smoother than week one, we understand the swing of things now and have a little more of a routine established - which makes the days go by really fast. Most missionaries say that the days go by slow but the weeks go by fast. I feel the exact opposite, for me the days zoom by but last Tuesday feels like a lifetime ago.

To start off this email I think I should share my favorite MTC things thus far...
So, these are a few of my favorite things…

- P Day! Haha. But not because I get to wear pants. :) P Day is email day (hooray!), laundry day (I think that needs a hooray! too), and Temple day! Attending a Temple session is why P Day is one of my favorite things.
- "Golden Hour". This is the hour from 9:30 to 10:30, and this is the hour we have to get ready for bed, plan our next day with our companion, and write in our journals. This hour also ends up being Portuguese cram hour where we try to use and learn as much Portuguese as we can.  By this point everyone is so tired that everything is hilarious, and I love it! 

- Mail! Brown paper packages tied up with string… Mail is most definitely one of my favorite things! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who sent me mail this past week. I loved every doodle, every poem, every design, every goal shared, and every thought expressed. You are all WONDERFUL and never fail to make my day.  I just have the most genuine and creative grandparents, parents, aunts, cousins, and friends - I love you all!! 

Mail Time!
Our first week here we heard rumors that a surprise awaited us during week two, and so all week we speculated as to what it could be! Well..... it turns out that the "investigator" we  attempted to teach in Portuguese every day our first week became our second teacher! SUPRISE! So our investigator "Tiago" is now our night teacher "Professor Lefevre", and he's awesome! He served his mission in Brazil and we love hearing his stories about being chased by grandmas with umbrellas and finding investigators simply because he was willing to tract for those ten extra minutes.
From here on out, we will now have two teachers instead of one (Sister Smith teaches us from 8:15 to 11:15 and then Professor Lefevre teaches us from 6:30 to 9:30). This also means that we will be teaching two investigators instead of one (by the way, our "investigators" at this point are just our teachers role playing). So our daily requirements have doubled! But it's good, it helps us to focus and really pushes us to learn Portuguese and teach all kinds of people. It's definitely challenging, but I know with God's help and gentle promptings from the spirit I can 🎶climb every mountain🎶  that gets put in my way.

So, how do you solve a problem like... no sleep?  Sleep at the MTC is a foreign concept, but we're all adjusting and, tired missionaries are very entertaining. Occasionally, if we're really tired, we use some of our gym time to take a cat nap. But running usually wakes me up just as much as sleeping so gym time is usually just better spent in the gym! 

To wrap up, I'll just leave you with these few "notes":
DO - At the MTC we "DO" a lot of service. My district's service time is on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 6:30 to 8:45 a.m. Because most of the buildings we clean are empty at this time, my companion and I have taken to singing musicals while we clean. My companion is so awesome, she's seen all the classics (White Christmas, Phantom, Les Mis, Disney) and so we usually have a great variety going on. The BYU students in charge of overseeing our service love when we come (not joking), they wish everyone made service as fun as we do. Dancing and listening to music aren't allowed at the MTC, but thank goodness singing is.

RAY - My companion and district have become a "RAY" of golden sunshine in my day. We've all grown so close and I love them all. My district sisters are so cute and down to earth, I never want to leave them. And all the elders in my district are my favorite, it's like we're all one big family. I guess everyone just needed some time to adjust to the MTC, but now that we've been here for two weeks and spent every second since we got here together, we love each other and never want to leave for our separate missions.  Our Branch President commented on our district, saying how happy he was we all got along so well because a lot of districts struggle with unity. Our district rocks! Also, my companion is SO AWESOME! I have never laughed so hard - she's hilarious. It's apparent we were friends before this life. I have to just share one story, Elder Katipunan, our Elder from the Philippines, is awesome. This week he went to the dentist's office up in Highland and had some dental work done, when he got back his face was still numb and when we asked how it went, he exclaimed, "I got a fruity!", which was apparently a Wendy's frosty, but with a numb cheek, "s" sounds were a no-go. We love having him around to remind us how lucky we are in America, and also to remind us how cool snowflakes are!

With Companion, Sister Jones

ME - The MTC is better without "ME". This week I tried really hard to forget about myself, and the MTC is a wonderful place when you do that.
FA - The "FA"rthest we get to go is to the Temple on Sunday for Temple Walks.  This is one of the best parts of Sunday. Thank you February for the beautiful weather.

SO - "SO" in Portuguese is "entao" (pronounced in-taow). It's one of our most used words because a lot of our sentences to each other start with "so.....".  Our Portuguese studies so far are just language, we haven't done a culture study yet, and I actually don't think we will. I think a mission has become more of a "learn by experience" deal, and your trainer in the field is in charge of making sure you don't do anything rude or wrong on your mission.

LA - One of the best parts of the MTC is choir. My district has decided to be part of the MTC choir which sings every Tuesday for devotional. We love it! The director is a seminary teacher and shares the best stories during practices. Choir is one of the most spiritual times in the MTC.
TEA - Nope, no "TEA" here. But with fish and chips, fresh sandwiches and wraps, guacamole hamburgers, pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe, salads, jello, and many, many other things, we're not sad about that at all.  (Also, we don't drink tea anyway).

DO - "DO" continue to send mail, emails, Dear Elders, whatever! I'm sorry if my responses are slow or short, but I love and cherish every single one of them. 

Until next time, 🎶 so long, farewell🎶, I bid you all good bye.
Sister Hanzel

I love my District
Valentines Day

Peaceful Study - with a View

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