Saturday, June 21, 2014

First Letter From the MTC

June 21, 2014

Hola mama y papa! Where are you guys, I don't have any emails from anyone :( I figured I might not get any emails yet because you probably figured it'd just be Monday or at least I hope that's the reason haha. So Saturdays are my P day! If you don't mind mom if you could log on to my facebook and post that my P Day for the CCM (MTC) will be on Saturdays so people know that.
So the past three days have been pretty crazy. It's been tough but also very fun and rewarding. Oh so I got to my room Wednesday and learned that my companion is Elder Bradham! He's the one that was in my hall at BYU! He's been super awesome and I love him. We get along really well and I'm glad we're companions.

The past couple days have been suuuper looong! Wednesday felt like forever. So all the Spanish missionaries live in MTC West Campus which includes Wyview and Raintree. So our housing is at Wyview and then we cross the street to Raintree for class. West campus is it's own mini MTC so it has everything: cafeteria, bookstore, gym, barbershop, classes residence halls. So I literally never go to the main campus.
So when I first got here Wednesday I dropped my bags off in my room and then went to find my class. I walked in the door and the teachers were immediately talking to me in all Spanish and I felt so lost and confused, it was very overwhelming. So classrooms are at Raintree so my classroom is in an apartment. My class just consists of my district, which is four elders and four sisters so eight of us (Elder Sandberg and Elder Johnstun, me and Elder Bradham, Hermana Whitney and Hermana Flake, Hermana Rundolfsen and Hermana Alldrege). My teacher is Hermano Vargas and I've come to really love him the past three days, he's an awesome teacher.
So my alarm clock was still in Pacific time and Elder Bradham's was in PM so we woke up late Thursday morning and had to skip breakfast haha. We had class a lot of the day and we were told that the next morning we'd be giving our first lesson, all in Spanish! So me and Elder Bradham had time to prepare a lesson. We felt good about our lesson plan but we were worried about our Spanish. In the afternoon we went to go meet our Branch Presidency. We were told before by others in our zone that we have an awesome Branch Presidency and we definitely do, I'm excited. I was named junior companion and Elder Bradham senior companion and then Elder Sandberg is our district leader. Our Branch President told us, however, that we'd take turns so in three weeks I'll be senior companion and then we'll get a new district leader. That night we also met our Zone leaders, Elder Giliam and Elder Evans. They're studs and fun guys. They will be leaving in 9 days.
Yesterday, Friday, was a long day as well. Our morning started out by teaching our lesson. We were told our investigator, Luz, was actually a member but the character she was playing was a real person and actually her friend, so Hermano Vargas encouraged us to take it seriously and pray to know what to teach. Our lesson ended up being 40 minutes! Although most of that time we weren't actually talking haha. It was very hard because our vocab isn't very good and we couldn't say some of the things we wanted to. In the end it went better than I thought it would and good for a first lesson in Spanish, but there was definitely room for improvement. We then had time for some personal study, had lunch, and then came back to class for three hours. I'm amazed at how fast my Spanish is progressing. It's only been three days but I feel that I've learned a lot.
This morning we woke up and went to the temple with our zone. Afterwards we went to brighams landing. Brighams landing is what they call that little shopping plaza with Jamba Juice and Sub Zero and we're allowed to go there on P day. So we got lunch at a burger place there and the Argentina game was actually on so we got to watch the end of that which was fun because Messi scored the only goal at the very end. After that we put our laundry in and now I'm here. Anyways it's been a crazy couple days. To be honest its been a little tough, the days are going by so slow. But I heard I just need to get through Sunday and then it gets a lot better. It's been amazing though as I already feel my testimony being strengthened and my spanish improving. I know this is where I need to be and this is the greatest work on Earth. I know that the next two years aren't about me at all and that if I humble myself before the Lord and become an instrument in his hand I will be a blessing to the people of Argentina. I'm not going to lie it was kind of a bummer that I didn't get any emails my first P day but I kinda figured I might not because its on a Saturday and you guys didn't know that. I hope all is going well back at home, don't worry about me I'm doing great it's getting better and better each day. These two years won't be easy and they won't be the best two years of my life but I know that they will be the best two years FOR my life. I'm excited to lose myself in the work especially once I get down to Argentina, although that's still six weeks away!.
Tell everyone I say hello and I love them. Also to write me! haha. I'm thankful for everyone especially you and dad for being an example to me and helping me become the man I am.  I love you and I'll talk to you guys next week. (I only remembered your email so if you could forward this to dad and everyone else) Also did you make my blog yet?? haha. Hasta Luego!

Elder McFarland

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