Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Early Mornings and French Name Session

Bonjour Tout le Monde! 

I am officially considered to be 3 weeks through the MTC now. They count the first Wed-Sat as a full week. So I only have 6 more weeks in jail! he he he. This past week has gone by super fast, so i'm guessing that the next 6 weeks are going to fly! Thanks everyone for the letters this week! Its always the highlight of my day when I get letters before I go to bed! Its nice to hear how the outsid world is going and how everyone is doing.  

This week, we are pretty much doing the same things as last week.  We are still teaching our "investigators" which are our teachers.  Its getting easier to teach in French now, but everything has to be pretty much written down (ie questions, some reponses).  We are trying to move away from scripted lessons though. Our last lesson only had keywords written down, so we pretty much had to come up with sentences on the fly.  The hardest part is finding the correct verb or adjective to describe how we do something or what we believe in, but the more we practice, the easier it becomes.  We all still have thick American accents when we speak French, but a resource teacher stopped by for about an hour to help us with our pronunciation and what not, which was really helpful.  Our teacher is still the coolest though, he is teaching us the hard stuff before we are supposed to learn it so that we are already familiar with it and dont struggle with it the last 3 weeks before we leave.  I'm probably not going to include some French on this email, but maybe on the next one. (still not that good haha).   

During breakfast last week, I got pancakes and when I was sitting down to eat, I forgot to pull my tie back and it landed in the syrup! I was so mad! It was the blue/green/silver one that Shanna gave to me and I was pissed. I was freaking out and I quickly ran it to the ER (dry cleaner).  They got everything out and I picked it up today (no stain!). It was so nice to be re-united with my favorite tie haha.

Elder Ellis is on a singing spree this week, and he is constantly singing like Michael Buble (however you spell his name). He turns whatever he is going to say into a song and its funny, really annoying sometimes, but mostly funny.   

We went on our Temple walk on Sunday and were able to take a bunch of photos. I got one of everything you requested, Mom. I'll be sending everyone a copy once the Wi-Fi camera arrives!  I'm also going to be taking a bunch of photos on the San Fran trip in 2 days (how amazing it will be to get out of here).  Brad Bennett was in my zone (he left yesterday for Lyon, France) and he told me everything about the San Fran trip.  We are scheduled to depart at 3:30 AM! which is crazy, but we aren't supposed to come back home til 9 PM?? so I guess we will have a lot of free time, or thats the only flight to San Fran on Thursday?  He said that he left at 8 AM from the MTC and he had about 3 hours of free time downdown San Fran where they got to eat lunch and walk around.  I'm guessing that we are going to have a little bit more time than that since we are leaving so early.  Thus, I will be taking a lot of photos to share.  He said that is seriously takes about a half hour to get through the Consolate. He said you walk in with your packet, hand it to them, get your picture and fingerprints taken, and then walk out the door (which is why you have so much free time).  We only have 3 from our district going since the other 2 going to Paris already have their visa's.  But there are ( I think) about 10 more going at the same time, including the Jason Oliverson (not sure how to spell it).  He's in my zone and I see him a lot.  Talk about craziness here, I have been here for 3 weeks and didn't even realize that a girl in our zone is actually one of LHS's Seminary Teacher's daughter, Sister Stapely.  She came in to our classroom yesterday before her departure to Paris and asked about someone I didn't know. She asked where I was from and I said Logan. She was like, did you go to LHS? I said yeah, and she told me her dad was the seminary teacher. I never had him but I know that Shanna did and Shanna told me about her at the end of last school year and I had completely forgot. So Shanna, you will have to go talk to Bro. Stapely and tell him that I talked to his daughter and was in her zone.  She also gave us the coveted Zone Cushions for the classroom chairs. Its a tradition to pass down the Zone Cushions to the next "Generation" in the same mission. So my companion and I have to hide them whenever we leave the classroom, otherwise they get stolen.  Our zone just got cut in half this past week. We had about 100 people in our zone (one of the largest) and 45 of them left yesterday and today.  Crazy! Sacrament meeting and what not is going to be so quiet and boring now.  But we are scheduled to get another supply of 50 missionaries on the 3rd of October.  so my chances of getting selected to speak in church (IN FRENCH) just got a whole lot bigger.  They just tell you what the topic is for sunday and then you prepare a talk, then they simply annouce over the pulpit, after the sacrament, who is going to be speaking (talk about nerve racking).   

I've pretty much seen all of my friends here now. I sat with Gil throughout the entire sunday night movie and talked to him.  He is doing a lot better now that his companion has gone (not sure how he got paired with someone leaving so early).  He didn't like his companion at all (strict rule follower) so he is super happy he's gone, haha.  I'm just glad that my comp is so chill, I wouldn't have survived if I had a super rule follower.  I see Scotty G almost everyday, our lunches are the same and I usually sit close to him during devotionals and firesides.  Brady has officially left the MTC and is off to Mexico, as of last week.  We did get a photo with everyone standing in front of the map pointing to their missions that I will send with the wifi camera, but Gil already sent one home, so ask Tanlee for it, his comp did a better job at getting a good shot and with a nicer camera.  Mckay Tuttle has the exact same Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner time as me, so we usually sit together. Its crazy though, he leaves in a week since he is going to Oregon (so not fair).  Kade Lundberg got here this past week and I saw him being escorted through the MTC on his first day and went up and gave him a hug and talked to him.  I told him that if he's freaking out right now, its normal. He said he was, so I said, just hold out til monday or tuesday and it gets way better.   Thats what everyone told me and I didn't believe them at all, but I could not believe how true it really is.  Just takes a couple days getting used to the scheduling.  I am fully adapted to the 6:30 am waking up time, I cant believe how much less tired you are during the day if you wake up early and go to bed early (yeah shocking to come from me).  I usually try to crawl in bed before 10 PM, if possible, and I read your letters from 9:30 to 10 ( thats when we get mail).  But yeah, i'll probably stick on this schedule once I get home, but it just depends.  I found a good way to make things seem like they are going faster.  There is only 52 weeks in a year, so there are 104 weeks in 2 years.  Thats 104 p-days (if you stay for exactly 2 years).  So i've already had 3, so only about a 100 left (give 1 or take 3-5).  So thats how i'm surviving the 2 year concept. Counting in weeks :)   

Its crazy to think that Jake has already been out for about 10 months! It helps me to realize how fast time can really go when you dont get caught up in the time concept.  It sounds like he is doing good in Denmark and he gets to train the new guys from the MTC.  Our teacher said that he got paired up with French natives as his first two companions, which would be really hard.  He said it sucked at first cause he couldn't communicate with them, but it helped him learn French so much faster and better.  I'm hoping that I get a non-native as my fist companion and then native for my 2nd and 3rd, but we'll see.  The language is coming along fairly well, just getting used to speaking in French more often, and its creeping its way into my english (which makes you sound retarded sometimes).  You start substituting Je for I, and, et for and.  

Oh I almost forgot... We went to the Temple today for our P-day and our whole district always goes.  We started getting our names for endowments and we all looked at each other after we got our names and were like, no way... All the people we were doing it for were from France and they were all French names.  We got all kinds of people from France that lived there during 1725-1760 ish.  It was pretty cool cause we could all pronounce them correctly, but the Temple workers couldn't. haha so that was pretty cool, the French district got French people in the temple (coincidence? I think not...).  But yeah, it was pretty awesome. We've figured out the MTC system so we go to 1 session earlier before the rest of the zone so when we get done with the Temple we are 30 min ahead of the rest of the zone for laundry.  It was awful for the first 2 p-days with 100 people trying to do all their laundry in under an hour with only 50 washers.  So we go earlier and there are open washers everywhere! No waiting! :)  And we've also figured out that if you get up at 6:19  and run for the showers, you get the best showers on the floor before everyone waking up at 6:20. Its funny when they walk in and are like "Ahhh man, I even got up at 6:20!!!"  hahahaha I just laugh and turn the water temp up some more :)  

I have to say though that the MTC is pretty nasty.  Its not clean at all and I advise everyone to wear flip flops at all times that they are in the bathroom or in the residence halls.  I never step barefoot anywhere cause its flat out nasty.  We are in charge of cleaning most of the building on Saturday mornings (split responsibilties with another district) and there isn't much cleaning going on.  I cant wait til I can get to Paris and really do a deep clean on my apartment (Hazmat suit and all) so that I dont have to worry about no clean surfaces.  I had a little faith restored in the cleanliness this week as some official cleaners came in today to do a deep clean on empty rooms.  They really try to get everything cleaned (I watched and made sure). So i'm glad that they actually have some care in how clean the rooms are when you come in.   

Loralee, I think it would be awesome too if I could virtually project my life back home to you guys.  I often think about strapping a Go-Pro to my chest and just recording the day and speeding it so that it is like a collage of my day.  I may have to try it sometime (I would probably look like an idiot).  But no worries, I will be taking billions of pictures once i'm in Paris/France.  I'm really hoping that I get to start out on the suburbs of paris so that I can go see all the major attractions on P-Day. I will definitely go see the Eiffel Tower and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and I will be taking a ton of photos.  No matter where I go, I'll always have my wifi camera on me so I can shoot pictures all the time (even while proselyting (even though you're not supposed to! hehe)) and send them instantly once I find some wifi :) That way you guys get a day by day roundup of Life in France! Food, people, fashion, my sweet suits & ties, and lets not forget about Snails! Haha.  

Trev asked me about something to do with a typing test for Needle?? I never had to do anything like that, but I remember seeing in the setting page of the profile. I can help him out if he needs more specific instructions, but he needs to email me himself with anything he needs help on.  He just got a macbook, he should be using it all day, everyday, for every second. Haha I would be if I just inhereted it.  

Anyways, i'm not sure what else to say, my time is running out here as well.  You can reply to me either by DearElder and I will get it tomorrow night, or you can shoot me back an email anytime you want.  I get to use the computer everday this week til Sunday, so i'll definitely be checking. 

Je vous aime! Je ne peux pas attendre vous voir!

Au Revoir,


PS - If there are any typo's, its because this keyboard sucks. I could've typed much more if I wasn't on this crappy computer.  And dont forget to send me a reply! It makes my life 10 times better everyday!

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