Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Holy pizza rolls and rootbeer. It's been one month. I can't even believe it has gone by so fast, this week especially has gone by crazy fast. Not a whole lot is new, although a ton of people left from our zone, so now our district is the second oldest district. It's really weird. This week has almost felt like my first week just because practically everyone has changed. Like at gym and stuff almost everyone is a new face, but I guess that's just how it goes. We got another district of 6 Elders and 4 sisters last week and I think we get another district of 8 elders today so our zone will be back to normal size-ish. Our zone makes up a branch so we go to church with them (the prayers, songs, sacrament, and talks from missionaries are all in Spanish) but our classes are only with our district since everyone is at different levels.
My general schedule is as follows:
6:30 -- Wake up
7:00 -- Breakfast
7:30 - 10:05 -- Class with one of my teachers
10:15 - 11:05 -- Gym
11:30 -- Lunch
12:15 - 4:30 -- Study time
4:30 -- Dinner
5:15 - 9:00 -- Class with other teacher
9:00 - 9:30 -- Plan
10:30 -- Bed
But everyday is different, usually we don't have as much study time. Mondays we have service in the morning, tuesdays devotionals at night, wednesdays are P-days, and thursday we have this thing called a large group meeting. But that's the general schedule. Oh and yeah, I only have two teachers. I have one teacher who tends to teach more doctrine and one teachers who tends to teach more Spanish, but they teach a bit of Spanish and Doctrine or teaching skills or stuff like that.
Next week (so this monday) our teachers are moving to 100 percent spanish in class so it's gonna be crazyyyyy. They keep telling our district how amazing we are and that we're getting spanish way better than most of their districts but we all still feel inadequate and like we have so much further to go. But we're woking on it. On Fridays we go to this thing called the TEC which is where volunteers will come in and practice with us. The first week we contacted them in Spanish and then taught the first lesson in English, last week we picked them up from their house and talked to them on the bus in Spanish and then taught the second lesson in English, but after next week everything is going to be in Spanish so it's going to be really hard. It's not as hard teaching and getting your point across, I feel like we do an okay job of that, but understanding what they're saying is like so hard. They speak so fast and we can only pick up a few words so we just kind of guess what they said and try to answer it. Elder Summers and Elder Sargent were talking to this guy and he asked why he needed to be baptized again because he was already baptized in the Catholic church when he was a baby. Then Elder Sargent went on to explain how Jesus Christ visited the Americas. haha. Also, this week instead of saying I was the oldest in the family, I said that I was the best in the family. haha. There's just stuff like that but we laugh it off.
They do change the schedule for christmas and christmas eve. We're not totally sure what the changes are going to be but they have a talent show scheduled for christmas day and probably a devotional too. Our christmas eve I think I've convinced our district to act out the navitity story which is going to awesome, I can't wait. I'm gonna be Herod so I gotta come up with some kind of crazy hat to keep the tradition going. I'm excited because I think it'll feel more like christmas here.
I loved hearing from all of you this week. I got your packages on Friday and Saturday and they were muchly appreciated. I absolutely LOVE the picture of our family, even though it is a bit old. That's awesome that Caleb made ODP. What a capo (stud). I hope everyone has gotten over being sick, that doesn't sound fun at all, especially for poor Enoch. I love you all and think about you ever day. Also, you should send me more Noah quotes, like those totally make my day.
Well, Much love
Love, Elder Lounsbury
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Hola! How have you all been!?
I'm glad to hear the Nativity went so well! Holy sweet and sour chicken, 5,000 people is a ton. That's is so awesome, but I bet you're glad it's over with haha. Also, you will for sure have to tell me how Caleb's ODP tryout went. What a stud.
It's been another fantastic week for me. It's hard to keep track of all that has happened this week because time is so weird here but we've done a lot. We've almost learned all of the major Spanish concepts, there's just one more thing Subjunctive but besides that there's only a few little things left. Now we just have to practice it and get it all down. As a district we tried twice this week, I think, to speak in 100% Spanish. The first day was super frustrating because it was so hard to get your point across. It was great practice though because whenever you couldn't say anything we wrote it down and then went back and figured it out later. That only lasted until about Dinner though before most people gave up haha. We tried to do it again yesterday but didn't keep it up for as long as I would have hoped. The good news is that Me and Elder Sheen taught the first lesson in Spanish twice this week. It was crazy cool and made us feel like we're actually getting stuff done instead of just focusing on all that we don't know.
The four Elders in my district that are leaving tomorrow are leaving for the Dominican Republic MTC. I'm going to be super sad to see them go, I seriously have come to love them like brothers, but I know it'll be exciting for them to take a step closer to the mission field. We've had some amazing testimony meetings with them and our whole district brings the Spirit so well, it's incredible. I really am going to miss those guys so much. That leaves four Elders and four Hermanas staying; all of the Elders are going to Argentina, and everyone but Elder Sheen (who is going to Rosario) are going to Mendoza with me, and I'm pretty sure we have the same departure date. Elder Sargent and I even have the same date for coming home so that'll be cool if it doesn't change. As for the Hermanas, one of them was suppossed to go the the DR MTC with the other Elders who are leaving tomorrow but they dont' have a companion for her down there (the MTC only has about 30-40 people I think) so she has to stay here for the rest of her training. The other Hermanas are going to Rosario with Elder Sheen.
There hasn't been too much news on our visas, although we were called down to the travel office this week to sign something so I guess that means it's coming along, but they said they won't have them until usually a week or two before we leave, so I'm not gonna worry about it too much. Yeah, we've had a few Elders in our Zone get delayed because of those visa problems with Mexico but I think there's some leaving next week who are leaving on time for Mexico City so that's good news. haha, that's funny you asked the pillows because the ones here are horrible. They are like cardboard glued together or something. For reals. But I still sleep fine so whatever.
That's super strange you've been writing on DearElder and I haven't gotten much. I got one from you on Monday the 6th but besides that I haven't gotten any from the family since a while ago, if I had time to look up the exact dates I would, but I don't. Haha and the only friends I've heard from are Sarah and Carlee. But maybe this is all my fault because I'm been praying for patience...haha. Maybe you can click the box that says like notify me when this is sent and they'll email you a copy of your letter and you can check that way? I'm not really sure, all I know that it's way better than email because I can read it before hand and not waste my time. I haven't gotten your package yet either but hopefully that'll be coming soon. Can you also maybe start forwarding Austin's letters through DearElder? I would love to get updates from him. Speaking of Austin, I've decided Elder Sargent reminds me of Austin a lot. His name is Austin too, which is super weird.
I haven't actually been that tired at all, it's been a blessing which I think comes from going to bed on time. Sometimes I get tired just because Friday and Saturday we have huge blocks of study time which seem to go on for forever but besides that it's not too bad. During class we cover a combination of Doctorine and like how to teach with the spirit or things like that and then the rest of it is Spanish. It's hard to say what the proportions are because it changes every day. We haven't really learned very much about the culture though, probably because it's different than Chile (where one of my teachers is from) and Mexico (where the other teacher served). Oh and yeah, we get to excersize every day for like 50 mintues which is really nice. I wish the soccer field was open though, but volleyball and basketball are fine. It's a nice break.
Well I hope you all are doing fantastic!
Love, Elder Lounsbury
P.S. I'm suppossed to tell you that the last day I can receive packages before Christmas is December 22nd, and that I can't call you on Christmas, which I think you knew already but there you go.