Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spanish Blitz!

Dear Family and Friends,
First, I want to start by thanking you all for sending me letters. This week has been a little crazy, and each letter really brightens my day. Not to mention you all are making the Elder's crazy jealous, which I think is good for them.
When I wrote you last week I was feeling a little under the weather but didn't think much of it. By the time I woke up wednesday morning I had the worst head cold of my life, and wanted to curl in a ball and never move again. The MTC really is the last place you ever want to get sick. You don't really have time to get better, you share your cold with everyone, and you can't get the medicine you want or anything else you might believe you need. So, I got to take a trip to the clinic and then got sent down to the BYU health center to get drugs. That was weird. It really feels odd to walk down 9th, I felt like I was between worlds. It was so bizarre. I'm mostly feeling better now, although still not 100%. Hopefully by next week I'll be feeling completely better. That would be really great. Because it just doesn't work to be sick here.
Classes are going well. Friday we taught our first observed lesson, in english for now, and I thought it went pretty well. We've taught quite a few others, and yesterday we taught in Spanish for the first time. That was quite the experience. Hna Cannon was pretty sick (the sketchy food got her *blech*) and so I was pretty much teaching by myself. We worked with a teacher from Mexico, so he was a native speaker, and did that crazy hispanic thing where they speak in speed burst. It'll start out slow and completely understandable, and then all the sudden out of nowhere, he's speaking at 100 miles an hour and you can barely keep up. We did mostly okay, but I was pretty stressed by the end. Hopefully it gets better with more practice. We start speaking only spanish next monday. That will really get things better fast.
This past week I met quite a few people who know Trent. That was cool. I met some of the missionaries he used to play volleyball with. It was fun to say hi to them. I think they are going to Washington? Maybe... Aaand, I met a Senior Couple who are leaving for Manchester in the next few days, I told them to look for my little brother. She wrote down his name, so Trent, maybe you'll have some senior couple say hello to you who ran into you here.
Okay, question time again. Then I'll add some extras if I have time. It really is quite an experience typing a letter with a flashing red timer up at the top. Nothing like pressure to help you focus... or not.
First, no, the food never gets better. I've tried all sorts of different things, and they all range from iffy to terrifying. Mostly I eat salad, or when Hna Cannon and I are feeling brave, stupid, or suicidal, we branch out an eat something else. It was a very scary taco salad sort of thing that left her sick the other day. I blame the salsa. No salsa should ever look like that salsa did.
Mom, yes I am still here for 9 weeks, and after yesterdays teaching appointment, I think 9 weeks will be good. Also, I was so excited to hear that little girl is back with her family, and it's great to hear that Budda Boy is doing well. Also, I was dying as you wrote about the opera house. I'm not homesick, but I am completely flute-sick. I had a dream the other night that I was in a practice room playing, waking up from that dream was completely depressing. You know when amputees have that phantom-limb-syndrome, where they still feel where the arm or leg should be? I think I have phantom flute syndrome. Pretty much any time I hear music I cry. Especially in the devotionals or watching music and the spoken word. I also tend to cry a little when our Elders sing, but that it because they... well... lets say family home evening with our family sounds way better. It's pretty pathetic, but they sing with enthusiasm, so that counts for something, right? My headaches have been okay, I've actually had way more problems with sleeping, this past week I've really struggled with staying asleep, but I got a blessing from the Elders and things are getting better. And, Dani's dad isn't in my branch, alas.
All, I hope you absolutely love Japan. You'll have to take tons of pictures for me, and I know Morgan won't want to, but you should all eat lots of yummy sushi for me. Oh, and some really good Ramen. I could go for any good food at this point.
Morgan, I'm glad swim is going well for you. I hope those practices help you get really really good. I bet they will. Also, I was way bummed to hear about that rug in the living room. I have so many fun memories of running and jumping between the flowers on that rug with Trent when we lived in Wales. Oh well. I get to go to the Temple every week. It's really nice to get to go, and I always really enjoy being there.
Todd, I know why you lost your game. If you'd have served over the net then you probably would have won. Just kidding. *grin*. As far as you being in 10th grade, that is just to weird. That's all I have to say. In my mind you should be in 7th grade. Seriously. Oh, and I agree with you, Grandma and Grandpa, when is your mission call coming? I'm dying of curiosity here.
Tanner, do you think you could come cook for me. I think then I would know I'd died and gone to heaven, cause while this place is very heavenly in a lot of aspects, the food helps you remember why you need to behave in this life. *grin* Also, I was so proud of you to hear you were doing your biography on President Hinckley. I've always really loved him. He 's really one of my heroes, I'd be so curious to see how the project goes for you. If you have to write anything up you should send it to me. I'd love to get to read it. Maybe if I have time I'll write you a separate letter (hand written) and tell you about what I remember from when President Hinckley dedicated the Preston temple. Or just ask dad about it. I thought it was way cool. Yep, I get to go on temple walk. No, I don't see friends, there, I'd get in way big trouble for that. So don't anybody get any ideas.
Okay, I have 8 minutes left. So I thought I'd share some funny observations. First, gym is always amusing, I love how all the Elder's are all over the place doing push ups, it's some sort of odd testosterone fest, I just snicker at them. Silly boys. Next, our Elders are slowly getting better. Although we still have to yell pretty often that there are Hna's present. Although the real problem Elder is getting transferred out. Which is good, because he's caused some problems for Hna Cannon and I, so it's actually really good for us that he is leaving. Really, really good. Because things were getting awkward. I thought problems with boys ended when you get here, apparently not.
Finally, we had a music reading and conducting seminar this week done by one of the Elders in our district, he proudly announced that he was a music major, and went on to teach them blasphemy on how to conduct. I survived by almost gnawing my arm off. After the seminar I asked him where he was studying. He told me he'd done his first year at some university in Missouri, but he just go a full ride to BYU. I was excited for him and asked him if he was in Ray's studio (the main Sax teacher at BYU) at which point he looked confused and said, well, I'll be up at BYU-Idaho. At which point I learned that I still have a long ways to go on learning to be humble. Whoops.
I'm really learning so much here. I love every minute. It's interesting, because some parts of the day are so hard, or frustrating or I just want to give up, but every night as I go to bed I'm just so happy to be here and I know this is exactly where I need to be right now.
I hope all is well for everyone, and enjoy Japan!
Hna Okeson
Ps. Can you send me Trent's letter? I never got it. also, make sure you are forwarding mine to him, I'm not sure if he got my last letter or not. Oh, and Mom, can you just dearelder all of those addresses you sent me. It's impossible to find printers here.
Love you all!!!!!!!
pride, conducting

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