Friday, September 17, 2010

First Letter from MTC

Hi Family!!!
P-day was yesterday and they gave all of us new missionaries time to write letters home, but I got e-mail time, since a snail mail letter would probably get to you in a month instead of in the next week. So, consider yourselves blessed.
The MTC is quite the experience already. We're way busy, but actually I find it way less busy and stressful than being a music major. They actually give you time for meals here! Aaand, you actually can sleep 8 hours without feeling guilty. It's pretty awesome. Although I wouldn't know what 8 hours felt like here yet, since I'm still a little jet lagged. Today I work up at about 4:50 and couldn't fall back to sleep. Lame-o. So finally around 5:50 I got up and started studying Spanish again.
Okay, now the part you've all been waiting for. My companion is Hermana Roskelly. I knew she would be awesome when she actually recognized the astroboy on my suitcases and was a little jealous of that suitcase. This suspicion of awesomeness was quickly confirmed as we discovered that we are both pretty quirky and both judge the value of a skirt in how well it spins. *grin*. She is from Hariman Utah and is the oldest of four. She has 2 brothers and a sister. I guess this is the bossy oldest child companionship. It's worked thus far and I've really enjoyed getting to know her and spend time with her. That's been so nice, I was so nervous about having a companion. She spent the last year out in Massachusetts working and seeing the area. She's moved about 18 times in her life, so we have that in common too. Anyhow, things are going really well.
The first day here they gave me the option of moving up to the 6 week program instead of the 9 week one. I was surprised. I guess all those years with Sra. Blanchard paid off. I decided, though, to stay for the 9 weeks. I wanted the time to really get comfortable with the language and with teaching, so I thought 3 more weeks would be good. I'm pretty bored with the Spanish thus far, and so I'm working hard to really push myself and find lots of new words and phrases to learn. I figure the more I can learn now the better. With any luck I'll have tons of vocab before I even leave this place, that can only help. It's also been really cool because Hermana Roskeller took German for years, and so I've been working with her on Spanish and it makes me make sure that I really know what I am doing. There is nothing better for learning something than having to practice teaching it.
Ooh, so being from China also made my first day interesting. When you get your name tag when you get here it's in one of three conditions. It looks absolutely normal, it has an orange dot, or it has a green dot. I lucked out and got the orange and the green one. Orange is just so they can test your language skills, which wasn't too bad. The green dot means you are really special. It means you're a foreigner and they think you could have all sorts of contagious diseases. So I got whisked away pretty fast and then asked a barrage of questions concerning where I've been, what I've eaten and the like. After assuring them there was no way on this earth that I would ever eat from a street vendor in China they let me off easy and are only making me take parasite pills (it could be worse, they were talking x-rays, and shots and who knows what else).
Well, they didn't give me a whole lot of time to write, it was just supposed to be a short note to tell you I made it here fine.
I hope all is well at home. I hope things are going well for you, Dad, at the plant and that Mom has managed to work her magic and find those tickets you were looking for. Also I hope those kids had fun at camp.
Love you lots and lots.
Hermana Okeson
Ps. Trent, you were completely right about the food here. I think I may loose a whole lot of weight. *gag*

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