Yo! My fellow friends and family!!!
Man, the MTC is incredible!!!! Seriously one of the greatest places on earth, I'm sure! I have had such an amazing time these past ... what.. three days? Haha man.. it seems like I've been here for weeks! Each day is so packed with learning and activities. I'm sure my mind is going to take an oriental turn sometime very soon. ..
Okay, I'm sure you're all wondering what even really happened to me, and what I've been up to, so let me tell you how it's been! ..On Wednesday, when I was dropped off, my "Host" (a temporary companion) Elder Horn took me to get my books, drop off my luggage, and find my room and companion. It was pretty much like journeying through small little dungeons where your old sensei would drop you off in the beginning and say, "I shall see you at the end, young one." haha. He'd send me through building after building to get my nametag, my books, my magnetic nametag, grab my luggage again, and all sorts of things, while in the meantime he would somehow be waiting for me as I came out of each building. Right after I got my books, I came out looking for Elder Horn and ran into Kristen Erickson!! ..Er... Sister Erickson.. hahaha. (I hope her last name is spelled right.. I should know by now.. haha) Anyway, it was so nuts! I was in total shock and pretty much couldn't get any words out of my mouth while she jumped up and down frantically trying not to hug me! It was so good to see a friendly face so early in my day! We parted ways, I met with my host, and he took me to my room in the highest room in the tallest tower.
Haha! Seriously though, my room is on the fourth floor in 14M. (the M, I assume stands for Manor because we are all royalty, obvi) We call our home the "Residence Hall" which is where we sleep and do companion study. After that, I was taken to my class (which would become my homeroom), and all heck broke loose. Haha, it was so crazy! FULL Korean from there on out. Too crazy. I had to watch a couple orientations on the computer which told us all the rules for the gym and cafeteria and such, and then it was off to class! I sat right next to my brand new companion, Elder Shaver, or, Shaver jeongnoh-nim! I would use more Korean but... it's hard to romanize. Anyway, he's totally Canadian, from the Vancouver area, and does not have a really sweet accent (sadly). But! He is 6'3" and is super rad. He sings, and plays guitar like a madman. ..Or so he says :P Haha. I believe him. We're typing together right now in the laundry room, running our first load! ..I feel so old and responsible.. hahaha.
Back to the story, I went to class, and it was straight up Korean. I had never heard so much Korean in my life, and everyone had learned the alphabet in under an hour. ..It took me like a week! However, I progressed really well, and am still ahead of the game in my district. I have Dale Choi to thank for that! After class, we went to a meeting or two, which were pretty uneventful (except for the fact that we learned we had 721 missionaries come into the MTC that day) and then went to dinner. At dinner I ran into none other than the one and only Elder Mickey Rudolph! It was SO good to see a brother of mine. I still haven't run into my buddy Ryley Hansen, but maybe I'll get to catch him before he leaves in a week or two. After dinner (some delicious breaded chicken thing), we had personal time and got to pretty much just relax, unpack, study, and go to bed.
Our room consists of myself, Elder Shaver, Elder Fowler, and Elder Meeks. Elder Fowler is from Rexburg Idaho, and Elder Meeks is from American Fork, so we're all pretty familiar with the cold and the area. However, there are a bunch of New Zealand (saying that with an accent) Elders who are serving in the Seoul and Taejon mission, and they are hilarious. They think our shoes are so weird as they only wore socks and sandals, and they get so upset with artificial ingredients (of all things) because everything in New Zealand is natural. Hahaha. We live in a room made for six with three bunkbeds, but only have four elders, so it's pretty roomy. I have a bunkbed to myself (I'm sure I talk too much in my sleep anyway) and I love it. ...Although... I keep sitting up into the bar under the bed above me. Haha it kills. The showers are lovely, warm, and never rushed, and the Elders on the floor with us are already like family. They are way funny, and a lot of them really like me and are thoroughly impressed with my Korean. I've taught them a few words, and they've taught me silly things like "Repent!" and "You wanna die?" hahah We have a really good time.
On Thursday I was able to play basketball for our Gym time (allowed 1 hour every other day) and it was maybe the greatest thing in the world. I hardly lost any of my skill, and it felt so great to be able to run around and DO things! I played with an "Elder Eager" which is Tessa Giolas' boyfriend (someone tell Paige Anthony I found him and he's cool), and we rallied kids. It was awesome. You're only allowed to play 1 on 1, 2 on 2, or 3 on 3, and play to seven, then have to call out "Game!" and shoot for teams. The first 2-6 to make the shots will play, and the remaining Elders have to find a new court to 'ball so hard' on. After Gym, we had language class. After language class, study time, planning time, and interviews with our District Presidents.
My good friend (whom I just met here and who is from Lone Peak and plays Ultimate disc) Elder Watts, is our new District leader, in charge of 11 of us. We have 3 sisters (a tri-companionship) and 8 elders. Myself and Elder Shaver, Elder Fowler and Meeks, Elder G (Grossgebauer) and Elder Watts, Elder Munk and Ethington, and Sisters Hoffman, Bagley, and Glauser. Sister Glauser is really, really nice, and is Heidi Glauser's cousin! We hit it off right away, Sister Hoffman knows just about as much Korean as I do so we're cool, and Sister Bagley taught me how to ask people not to fart in the room and say "kiss me", which we learned from an older New Zealander (Elder Tira) is not okay to say here, haha.
Life is good, really good. It feels so nice to have people to have fun with here, and my boy Elder D Ross takes really good care of me. He's an older Elder who is 3 weeks more experienced, and brings me treats and stuff all the time. He gives me good tips, and hangs out in our room all the time. He played basketball for Murray High School. ..Anyway.. I am doing so great. It's hard to sleep at night, and Elder Watts and I both still have the urge to snapchat our friends when we see cool things, but other than that, life is good!
I wasn't sure I would email this first week, but I am absolutely loving it. We have all day today (P-day) to study because we have the opportunity to teach a Korean-speaking investigator tonight. ..Which means we have to speak Korean. ..Scary! Elder Shaver and I have really been practicing and studying hard though, so I think we can truly do it and do it well! I'm excited. I just need more practice, haha. I love you all so much, and hope that everything is well! Seriously, write me or something! I've written a few letters that will be sent out today (hopefully) so I hope you write me back and we can have a real good time talkin' about nonsense to keep me from losing my mind. All this studying and stuff makes me so tired, but I miss hearing from you guys. Let me know what's going on! I can't wait to hear from you, and I love you all so much. ..I've learned that going on a mission is for us, but not about us. I can't wait to touch so many lives in Korea. Take it easy! Keep the faith, and be true to yourself!
Pictures will be on their way! (Yamagata jeongno-nim has my card-reader at the moment..)
Saranghaeyo! (I love you)
P.s- (I crack up every time in class when someone says something like, "that's so true!" ... but no one here knows my first name. ......It's always pretty awkward.