Before Elder Dorff's letter, I want to explain a few abbreviations used in his letter for friends who may not know what they mean. P-day is the day they get once a week that is their preparation day---time to do laundry, write letters, grocery shop, serve people in need, etc. It is the only day they get to wear casual clothes but never without the name badge! The MTC stands for Missionary Training Center where he will learn Portuguese and more about teaching people the gospel. Once he leaves the MTC, he will be in Cape Verde for the rest of his mission. FHE stands for Family Home Evening group which consists of an apartment of guys and an apartment of girls. At BYU, (Brigham Young University) Monday nights are reserved for FHE groups to get together for a short spiritual message and a game or activity and refreshments.
The Missionary Mom
Ola Familia e Amigos! (Don't you just love the totally unoriginal greeting)
So first of all, I am alive but as you know my P-day is Friday and so today was my first chance to check my emails and respond.
Okay so the MTC thus far has been pretty good. Yes I am 1 of 10 people in my district. No we don't have a name (yet) but we are pretty tight. There are 6 Elders and 4 Sisters namely Elder Welch (my comp), Elder Bazzaroni (who is the guy that lived in Andrew's Helaman Hall), Elder Ernst (who actually lived in building 25 on the first floor [surprised I didn't get to know him at BYU]), Elder Seeley and Elder Curfew (the only 2 of the district not going to Cabo Verde), Sister Bradford, Sister Valenzula, Sister Sharp and Sister Webb. Half of us went to BYU Provo at the same time. Who knew? Let me tell you about my companion, Elder Welch. Elder Welch is from Orem. It's funny because my FHE sister told me to look out for an Elder Welch going to Cape Verde and low and behold, we were each others first companions. She had told him about me to so we were like, "Whoa we are going to be companions! You know Taylor? Yeah she told me about you!" Needless to say it was fun and he has really been a great first companion. We get along well and we haven't had any problems.
First companionship---Elder Welch and Elder Dorff
So as you know, they like to make life as hard as possible in the MTC and so first day after my Host took me away from you Mom, he took me to my classroom and my teacher Irmã Ricks just started going off in Portuguese. I was like, "What did I get myself into..." After the first few days though I am understanding Portuguese much better. I know how to say some words and have my purpose already memorized in Portuguese. We have already had to teach 5 lessons to our "investigator" Amadeu in Portuguese. Yes they were rough but the Spirit was there for most of them so that is all that is important. Next week we are going to be teaching 2 investigators at a time. Should be fun right?
Okay so daily routine. It kind of changes everyday depending on the day. Most days it is wake up and get ready, personal study, class instruction (for like 6 hours [sometimes on the language and/or the teaching]), companionship study, teaching "investigators" (usually in the evening [I say "investigators" because they our teachers pretending to be someone else]), and language study (where me and my comp talk to each other practicing the Portuguese). After that we have Golden Hour (when we get ready for bed) and then lights out. Start at 6:30 and ends at 10:30. On Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays schedules are a little different but mostly the same.
Thanks a lot you and Aunt Sandi for the cookies and the letters. The cookies needless to say made everyone quite happy after such a long day. Thanks for all the awesome letters Dad. I'm surprised that you are already getting so many things out of your garden.
Okay so about flight information. I don't have anything set in stone but I know we either are leaving on June 24th or 25th and that it consists of 2 flights. Salt lake to boston and then boston to cabo verde. After that we will probably be in the mission house for a couple of days then shipped off to our areas by ferries or cars. Lots of traveling in my future.
Oh I forgot to mention that I got to Marina! Or I guess Sister Dorff. So on her last day here, which was Sunday, she knocked on our classroom door during our district meeting and asked for me. I'm not going to say that I had to beg to be let out but I was prepared to if my District Leader said no. So me and Elder Welch went out of our room and I got to talk to her for a good 10-15 minutes. She doing well and I am sure she is going to have much fun in California.
Okay birthday shoutouts. Happy birthday Cami, sister of mine! Love you a bunch! Also happy birthday to Maggie over there on the East Coast!
I've gotten... well I wouldn't call it a ton... but a good number of letters from people. Evaly, thanks for your letter about the kiddos. It made me laugh and smile. I miss all 7 of my nieces and nephews! Make sure you, and Mark, tell them that I say hi! Also, Lance you are so on top of things. I will try to respond to all the handwritten/Dear Letters I get but just so you know, we are only supposed to write personal letters on P-day so if you send me something like on Saturday, expect a response later. Either way, write me because I love hearing how everyone (both friends and family) is doing!
So we we as a district decided to do something that I but you would have never expected. We joined the MTC Choir. Yep we all did. I am singing the bass line and we have already sang at one of the devotionals. It went well and was a fun experience. Also because we are in the choir we are guarenteed seats inside for devotional which is an awesome bonus. I have been here for 2 devotionals already, both really good. Some things that I learned from these were that we must be of good cheer and have no fear. If we are fearful of the things that we must do, we will be uneffective as missionaries and in life.
I am loving this whole experience here and I am grateful for my opportunity to be here! Love you all and I will talk to you all later!
(Here is a little bit of my Portuguese)
Eu sei que Jesus Cristo é amoroso e podoroso. Eu sei que o Livro de Mórmon é verdedeiro. Eu sou representate de Jesus Cristo e eu estou "grateful" aqui.