Saturday, February 16, 2013

First Mission Email

In my first Mission letter I explained already that I'd like my Vibram Fivefingers to be sent to me and that my companion's name is Elder Gillette and he's really really awesome. Basically he's done everything awesome that I wish I could have done, he's a skydiving instructor, he's SCUBA certified, he's sojourned through the Sahara Desert, and been to McMurdo Station in the Antarctic. He's also an olympic shooter, a survival expert (he has a lock picking set), rock climber, and he knows a whole lot about military/weapon stuffs. He's one of the Elders in my dorm/residence who also has Vibrams.

SO the first day was pretty cool. There weren't any signs that said 'Missionary Training Center' on them so I couldn't get a typical first day picture. They sent me right away to my classroom, which is also my district. I kind of have two teachers, but the main one's name is Brother Cannon. He's incredibly loving and really really helpful in his teaching. The best thing about him, I would say, is that he always speaks German. He served in Switzerland, so he says ISH instead of ICH, but it's no problem. I am so grateful for the chance Heavenly Father gave me to start learning German before I got my mission call, and especially that it was both religious and non-religious topics. From the very start I could understand everything Brother Cannon was saying except for an occassional few words. Because of this, and because I'm now a district leader, I try to help the other missionaries when I can as much as I can, while still being humble --  without being a show-off/know it all.
There are both sisters and elders in my district, and they're all going to the Frankfurt mission. There are only a few going to the Alpine mission and even less, it seems like, who are going to the Berlin mission. Actually, now that I think about it, there's one sister who's going to a German speaking mission in Hawai'i! That's going to be nothing like the -20 weather I'm going to! Haha!
The meals are pretty good. They're basically the same as in the BYU Cannon Center, although it definitely seems like I'm eating less than I was then. I got a haircut for free yesterday, and tomorrow I plan on using my one free dry-clean for my suit.
We have our first investigator, named Michael (Meech-Ai-El) that we're teaching, although we're not getting feedback on it yet until the next investigator. The first two lessons we gave weren't very good (my fault) at all because my companion (who's learning German still, and is pretty apprehensive) didn't have much to say, I have a WHOLE bunch to say. I think our first lesson was 45 minutes and the second was 55, while every other Elder/Sister companionship in our District  took 3-15 minutes. I know, pretty embarassing, right? My bad.
I've seen a alarming amount of people I know here, mostly from BYU, and not all of them are even missionaries (however 99% are). Sometimes I'll be walking with my companion to class, other times I'll see somebody in the cafeteria who works with BYU services, one time I saw an Elder at a fireside whom I meet years ago at an Honor Choir event. It's great being here and I'm loving the spirit that's always around so constantly that sometimes it feels common (that was especially strange when we had Sacrament Meeting). The German is coming along really well, although I mean not that I've learned a lot, because in truth I've learned very little German since I've been here, but I can SEE the progress that the other Elders and Sisters have done, and I love it. So far, my companion and I have been working on memorizing the First Vision in and the 'Missionary Purpose'. The Branch President challenged us to have those done plus D&C section 4 by the time we leave, so I'd say we're making very good progress on that. Thanks so much for your love and your letters, and I'm looking forward to hearing from you all again!

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