Well today is my first P-day!! Yes P-days are on Thursday and it's a great middle of the week break. I've been here for more than a week and have already been a host for some of the new sister missionaries here so it seems like I've been here forever! So I am at MTC West campus. We live at Wyview and have our classes at Raintree. We eat in a make shift cafeteria that used to be the Raintree pool house and our food is shipped over from the main MTC campus. Our basic daily schedule goes like this: We have to be up by 6:30 at the latest. Breakfast starts at 6:45. We can be late to it, but we have to be in our classrooms at 7:15. Then we have class for 3 hours with our teacher. We have two teachers who are RMs from Finland. Their names our Veli Arnesen and Veli Stewart. I love them so much! They're so patient and kind which is really needed when we're learning Finnish. Our district is an all girl district! Yep they no longer have enough elders for all the sisters! There are 2 finnish districts. Mine has 6 sisters and the other one has 6 sisters and 3 elders. So yeah it's a pretty big deal to have 15 missionaries going to Finland together. Okay so after our 3 hours of class we have language study with our companion and then additional study to study whatever we want. Lunch is then at 11:20 until about noon. Then more class! We have another 3 hours of class with whatever teacher wasn't there in the morning and let me tell you, we need it. Dinner is then at 4:20 (Super early I know) and I always end up taking some food to go to eat later at my apartment. We then usually have gym time after dinner and I've been ballin it up with the Chilean Elders. Okay funny story, on the first Gym time we got, Sisar Schellenberg and I played with the elders and I totally made this sweet hook shot over Elder Mundell and it was great. So now we all joke that the Lord is blessing my basketball skills as well as my language skills. Well after gym time is TALL (Teaching assistant language learning - I made that up, but it's something like that). It's just a computer program that teaches us vocab words and how to pronounce them and it helps a lot because we can record ourselves and then just listen to how close we are to the native speaker (usually not very close). After TALL we have additional study time and language study until 9:30 when it's personal time. That's when I can read letters and journal and get ready for bed. Then it's lights out at 10:30 and I do it all again the next day! So yeah i'm super exhausted and fall asleep very quick and I love it! Oh I also don't get a temple walk because we're at West Campus and I'm super bummed about it (actually really really sad) but i'll get over it. We do get to go to Brigham's Landing (shopping center) if we want to on p days and we can get jamba or any random food we want there.
Okay so my companion's name is Sisar Howell. She's from Bluffdale, UT and has done 2 years at BYU. We're very similar and get along great! We have companionship inventory where we can talk about our problems and just kinda sit there and laugh because we don't have any! The other 4 sisaret in our district are great too! I just love them all.
So Finnish. Yes it's true what they say, it is a VERY difficuly language. But somehow, I'm doing surprisingly well. We (My companion and I) have taught 3 (Yes, THREE) lessons all completely in Finnish. It's a struggle, but eventually we can get our point accross to our investigator. One thing that's good about Finnish is that every letter is always pronounced and there's only one sound for each letter. So as soon as you memorize them, you can pronouce anything. However, there are also double consonants and double vowels in every word that always messes me up. Like sometimes a word with end in "soon" and I'll pronounce is like the English word "soon", but it's pronounced like the English word "son" because one "o" sounds the same as two "o"s, it's just held out longer. Oh also there are no propositions and it gets really annoying. words like to, from, about, toward, for, in, and THE don't exist! So my sentences are very choppy and it's starting to affect my english when a randomly just say "Church is true" without the word "the" or anything. So yes, Spencer, it looks like we'll both we struggling in that area. My Spanish also will randomly come out and people look at me weird when they know I'm going to Finland and keep saying Gracias instead of Kiitos. But oh well, I really am doing fine in the language and I'm not too stressed about it or anything.
Okay sorry this is a long email, but I've gotta tell you about my first week!
Wednesday: I got checked in and went to orientation. We learned some basic MTC rules but this campus is way more chill than main and everything's more fun. The food isn't very good and there aren't any options (No salad bar mom!) And we just kinda eat what we're given. I've had cereal every day for breakfast, but don't worry I always have a muffin, orange juice, and an apple with it or something. So that was basically my whole day, just unpacking and getting settled! I also met my zone. I'm with the Estonians, Albanians, Hungarians, and of course the FINNS! We all have a blast with our crazy languages together!
Thursday: Not much new happened today. we got our classrooms all set up and found out our teachers will only speak finnish unless they're not able to act something out (Camille & Ashley. the very little sign language i've learned from switched at birth has actually came in handy!)
Friday: We taught our first lesson today and could used finnish phrases that we had written down, but the pronounciation was killer. It's gotten much better since then.
Saturday: We had to teach another lesson to our investigator Esko and could only use a couple finnish vocab words we had written down and our english outline, but no phrases.
Sunday: We got to go to Church and RS and sacrament meeting and it was great! It was a definite needed break from Finnish (My brain literally hurts at the end of each day) Then in the afternoon we went to the Worldwide Leadership Broadcast entitled "The work of salvation" at the marriott center. It was great! I strongly encourage everyone to go look it up online right now. And shout out to my good friend Chris Ludlow for saying the opening prayer! He sat right in front and has Elder Holland talk right to him and it was great! I saw lot of friends there and it was just awesome :)
Monday: Well on this day I was in class and apparently stood up too fast to right something on the board beacause next thing I know I was on the floor. Yep super embarrassing but I passed out. I felt so bad for our teacher because he already puts up with 6 girls in one class for hours a day and now I had to pass out while he was there! The medical people came and I was fine but the still made me travel to main campus and go to the doctor. The doctor said my blood pressure was low and I need to eat more protein and salty foods. However, that's kinda a problem because we don't have the option of food main campus does so he said he'd work on that so hopefully the good will get better soon!
Tuesday: This day was awesome! 5 sisters and 3 elders going to Finland got to fly to LA to meet with the consulate to get our visa! (Everyone else went on Wednesday) We left the MTC around 5 am and for home around 9 so it was a very long day but it was so fun and another needed break from Finnish. We just landed in La, was picked up bu a driver, taken to the consulate, signed a paper and gave them out fingerprints, ate some Rubios and Johnny Rockets (Life is rough I know) and flew home! (all totally paid for by the church btw) so that was cool!
Wednesday: Only my and Sisar Dayton were in my district today so we got lots of time with our teacher and it was awesome. I feel very confident about my Finnish now and even taught a lesson with no finnish notes! It was great!
Thursday: Today I got to go to the temple, but after this it's closing for 6 weeks so hopefully I can go again at the end of my MTC experience. I loved it and saw Hermana Pearson there and almost cried!
So I just wanna say thanks for all the many letters of love and support I've received! Shout out to the Beechers for the cinnamon rolls, my district absolutely loved them! And also Shout out to the Winklers for the Krispy Kremes! They were so good and of course I shared but everyone was still super jealous. I've gotten a lot of letters and I can just feel everyone supporting me! I love you all and I can't wait to write next week!
Kirkko on totta!