Monday, August 11, 2014

A Great Week!!

Hey everyone! This third week at the MTC has been much better than the previous two. It went by so quickly because I was actually enjoying myself and studying a lot. The initial craziness of the MTC has died down and I'd say I'm pretty much adjusted to it and the busy schedule. I actually enjoy studying the Chinese now and every free moment I have I pull out some flash cards to help cement the vocab I've just learned. We teach lessons almost every day here and for the past three I haven't used any notes to help me with the language! They were pretty simple lessons and I couldn't say too much but it's a start. I've also been able to stay focused all day during our study and class times. I think that being sick made it a lot harder to stay focused and I'm completely fine now so I don't have any problems.
Honestly the days here are pretty routine so there isn't a whole lot of interesting things to write about. I also can never remember what I did throughout the week when I sit down to write the email lol. The week went really well, and I've been learning a lot. I've been playing a lot of soccer here and have weight lifted a lot too. I like our weight set back home a lot better than the equipment here but it still feels great to exercise. So apparently we aren't allowed to listen to any music at all at the MTC! I'm pretty sure that most of the people can but our branch president is pretty strict and doesn't feel like it's appropriate to listen to music at all. It's a shame cuz listening to music really calms me down and helps me to learn better. There must be a reason that our president doesn't want us to so I won't complain too much lol. The branch president is actually really nice and does a good job. I think he is actually from Taiwan but I'm not sure.
When I first came to the mtc there was a ton of people in my branch but since then, two districts have already moved into the field and tomorrow another two will leave. When they leave, that'll make our district one of the oldest ones in the branch! There's a lot of really cool elders leaving tomorrow so it'll be sad to see them go. Only a few of them will actually be going to the Taiwan Taichung mission. A lot of them will go to Taipei or England.
On Saturday, our district went to our first TRC. A TRC is basically when we meet up with some random people that speak Mandarin and get to know them and teach them a lesson. A lot of them were actually recently returned missionaries from Taiwan. It was a little awkward cuz sometimes neither my companion or I could understand what they were saying, but for the most part we could carry on  a conversation. I can pick out a lot of the words from what the people are saying and some of the times I'm able to piece them together or just guess their general meaning. Even though I can't understand a whole lot of what is being said, all of the exposure to the language is definitely helping. I'm actually almost better at Chinese now than I am at Spanish after taking three years of it lol. Oh another thing. I saw Dallin again after a devotional and we were able to take a picture by the big map. I don't have my camera with me at the moment but I'll send the pictures later today. I can't believe that Dallin only has two more weeks here before he leaves! I hope he has a great time!
That's cool that Dad got another computer. You're probably going to get all sorts of cool things now that I'm gone haha. I'm happy to hear that Alexa and Ian are getting involved with some sports. I never really got into running but that's good that you both are. Make sure you weightlift too haha. Good luck with all of your races though. Both of you are good runners so cross country will be good for you.
Also, could you go ahead and send the Mandarin hymn book along with the cookbook? They aren't going to get any in stock for a long time. Make sure it's the small sized one. Try to get one with the pinyin next to the notes as opposed to on a page next to them. If you could get it with characters next to the notes too that would be great. If you think vitamin c would be good for me you can send that too. Oh another thing for the shopping list...earplugs... I didn't think I'd need them but suddenly after the first week everyone has decided to start snoring lol. I don't know why I didn't bring them in the first place. While you are at it, if you could send some granola bars or fiber bars, or something like that to eat that'd be great too. The food here isn't actually that good, so I'm always hungry between meals lol. I know that's quite a shopping list, but those things would be great. Thanks so much. Well, I'm going to wrap up now, some of the other elders want to go play some basketball. Love you lots.

Andrew to Taiwan, Dallin to Argentina. 
Have a Great Mission Dallin!

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