Got another letter! Here is week 2!
So this week in the MTC - so many things happened! I can't remember them all! But I'll try my best. Tuesday night we had a devotional that was really great. It was by Paul E. Koelliker which taught us a lot about the doctrine of Christ and how to be effective missionaries. The Spirit was really strong and the district meeting we had afterward with our branch president and his wife was also really fantastic. We had some substitute teachers in class this week. Brother Osurno taught us about how the Doctrine of Christ and the Missionary Purpose (Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) are one and the same. Then we had Brother Jarman for a couple days, and he gave a very helpful but entertaining basic overview of Spanish grammar. There was one part of the lesson where he was trying to teach us how to us direct and indirect object pronouns in Spanish by offering us a pen "Se lo doy! Se lo doy!" (I give it to you!) and wanting us to accept it by using the correct Spanish indirect and direct object pronouns and the correct conjugation of the verb to say, "You give it to me." (Me lo da.) I won't get into the details of Spanish grammar right now, since I am already ten minutes into my email time, but his teaching style is fantastic. Our progressive investigator, Nellie, "moved" back to Mexico, and so after only three (not-so-great for me and Hermana Frandsen) lessons, we are moving on to two new investigators, Luis and Bonni. We met Hermana Call (who had been acting as Nellie and will now be acting as Bonni) as our teacher for the first time. She is very nice and sometimes can remind me of an elementary school teacher with her teaching style. But I think sometimes we need that kind of gentle reminder of focus - especially when we're trying to get through our particularly long stretches of class time (which go from 2:30 - 5:30 and then 6:30 - 9:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) after dinner. Hermano Piperato is our other full-time teacher and this week he started also acting the role of our second progressive investigator, Luis. Luis is very funny but speaks rapid Spanish - most of which we don't understand - and gets distracted easily in the lessons. He asked Hermana Frandsen and I for our "real names," and when we wouldn't tell him and told him to just call us "Hermana," he said (in Spanish, of course), "Well, then you can't call me Luis. You call me 'El Capitan Mercado.'" Two of our district members, Hermana Brewster and Elder Biddle, will be leaving us next week for international MTCs. Hermana Brewster to Nicauragua by way of the Guatemala MTC, and Elder Biddle to Spain. We have three other elders headed for Spain as well, but they haven't received visas yet so they are stuck here for a while. (Elder Biddle is from Australia so he already had to have a visa before he could even come here.) I was going to tell you about how Hermana Frandsen and I were comparing going on a mission to the Plan of Salvation - well, I may not have time for a lenghty explanation here, but basically we were thinking that coming here is really a lot like having to leave Heavenly Father's side to come to earth. We were so loved and cared for in the pre-existence and down here there's just so much that is scary and unexpected and difficult. Hermana Frandsen says she thinks this is why babies cry so much when they are born - they are homesick for Heavenly Father. And we cry a lot in the MTC as well. Because it's SO HARD. EVERY DAY. And we miss home and we feel inadequate (because we are, and that's why we need Christ) and yet we know that if we work hard and pray and do our best we will be so glad when we return home again. Something else cool that happened is this morning we went to the temple, and as I was waiting for my turn to go into the celestial room, I just felt such a rush of joy and excitement and gratitude from the woman for whom I was acting as proxy (her name was Abigael). It was very special. Anyway, we really dislike the MTC cafeteria. Some of the cookies and salads are good, but it just gets old so fast. And we feel like all we do is eat and sit, and yet we are starving all the time and we're always stealing bags of chips and apples and cookies from the cafeteria to get us through class. Hermana Frandsen is convinced that no one can like the MTC except for in retrospect. I am inclined to agree with her. The MTC does weird things to you. Like, it shouldn't be the best part of your WEEK when you have enough time to take a shower where you can shave your legs.... And you also shouldn't be so desperate for entertainment that turning the drinking fountain spout outward so you can set your water bottle on the floor to fill it more completely is the best part of your day (this is not my experience, but some elders in our zone say we will get there). Also, we are so desperate for really good food that we are considering hoarding up butter and paper bowls from the cafeteria and writing home for Rice Krispies and marshmallows so that we can make Rice Krispies treats in the dormitory hallway microwave. (Seriously, if you want to do send them, Hermana Frandsen and I would love you forever!!!!) Anyway, that's really all I have time for for now. I will try to stop being so disconnected in my letters but it's hard when there's no time. PLEASE KEEP WRITING! WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Another thing about the MTC is that getting mail is really the best thing that happens to you all day and so if I could get mail EVERY DAY, just imagine how happy I could be! (And thanks to everyone who wrote and sent packages this week - I am so grateful and love you all so much!) Hermana Frandsen gets all kinds of packages from and letters from friends and family all the time (hint, hint) and it's amazing how much it helps the morale. Love you all. My time is gone, gone, gone.
Until next week!