It used to bother Sydney about capitalization, but since she's limited in time for emailing, she really doesn't care this letter. I think life at the MTC is getting busier and busier. I think life in the MTC can make one crazy!
i have two very important items of business with which to begin my letter and they involve two of my very favourite families--the wahlstroms and the whitmores.
wahlstroms--HAPPY BIRTHDAY BISHOP AND ADDIE!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU SO. MUCH. i wish i could have been there to celebrate both. :)
whitmores--HAPPY WEDDING KENDRA!!!!! i hope everything goes wonderfully and i look forward to LOTS OF PICTURES. also HAPPY END-OF-MISSION COLLIN!!!! WELCOME HOME!!!! i expect you to get a job at the mtc so that i cabn see you before i leave. :)
since i have no real structure or consistency to these letters, this one will simply be a series of lists. i like lists. also, as you can see, i have given up entirely on proper capitalization. i apologize for my informality.
first. a conglomeration of NEWS.
1. they made me sister training leader. i know, right? how did this happen? for those of you who haven't a clue what i'm talking about and for those who have only a vague idea what a sister training leader even is, i shall elucidate. for those who do know, a sister training leader is the equivalent of a zone leader. but for those who don't know, i'll first give some background on the organization of missions in the mtc and beyond. every mission is divided into zones. right now, my zone has about 105 missionaries, all who are learning korean. let me explain that this is UNUSUAL for the mtc. i actually think we have the biggest zone right now. then, those zones are divided up into "don-gees." that's the only word i can think of to describe it. it's a korean word that means the class with whom you graduate, but here in the mtc it means the group of korean-speaking missionaries with whom you enter the mtc. our oldest "don-gee" is leavingand everyone is very UPSET. i don't want to talk about it. anyway, then each "don-gee" is divided into districts. we have three "don-gees" in our zone right now. the oldest one has 6 districts (about 70 missionaries), the second has only one district (10 missionaries) and our "don-gee" has two districts. since we have so many people in our zone, we have two zone leaders and two sister training leaders. i just became the second one.
basically, things are exactly the same as they were before except now i have to attend many tiresome leadership meetings, continually check up on all the sister missionaries in my zone (you know, making sure they're still alive and not spiraling into a whirlpool of fear and panic), and help welcome the new korean-missionaries when they come into the mtc . we essentially just tell them about the mtc and then my fellow sister training leader and i take the new sisters on a tour of the mtc. so, remember when i compared myself to hermione granger? well, now i'm hagrid. just imagine me with a group of new missionaries trailing behind me, calling out, "firs' years! firs' years this way!"
2. we got a new teacher! he's our old investigator from last week, of course (was anyone surprised?) but the cool thing is korean is his first language so he's able to ehlp us A LOT on our pronunciation. the only downfall is he speaks SO FAST. even his english is like one notch shy of warp-speed. i mean, the man speaks faster than i do and that's saying something.
3. i got the bottom bunk. let me repeat. YES, DADDY I GOT THE BOTTOM BUNK. :)
4. i finally saw a friend from pittsburgh!!! brian mccall works at the mtc and he finally found me! he promised me cookies, too. yay, brian!
5. earl count:(She is talking about seeing her uncle in the choir) 2. always exciting, but too far away! can someone talk to the cameramen of the tabernacle choir and tell them earl needs more close-ups? kay, thanks.
6. in our district, we're encouraged to make goals together. so, we have our formal goals--you know, ones like "read all of preach my gospel by the end of the month" and "practice korean together and get better at syl." but, then we have our SECRET goals. the ones that are actually fun to do. the goal we decided upon for our district is that someone has to wear this hideous, paisley tie one of our elders got at the thrift store. every day. for the rest of our nine and a half weeks here. the elders obviously just wear the tie as, well, a tie, but the girls have to be a bit more creative. pappa jameh-nim wore it yesterday at a headband. another sister wore it as a belt. at the end of our stay in the mtc, we're going to give it as a gift to our teacher, forsyth songseng-nim. it's completely ridiculous, but it does encourage district unity. :)
7. i finally figured out what the mtc, and missions in general, remind me of. sorry, of what they remind me. it's like that part in the third harry potter book, when ron is trying to read harry's fortune in divination class. he says, "you're going to suffer, but you're going to be......happy about it." that's it. that's what a mission is like. i'm not going to lie, being a missionary is HARD. there are so many things to do and be and remember, but in the end, it's ALL worth. it brings so much joy and i'm so, SO, happy it's the choice i made.
second. adventures in mealtimes
i must preface this by saying, the mtc cafeteria can make you CRAZY. the longer you stay here, the crazier you get. hence, the stories i shall now tell you.
1. some of the elders we ate lunch with once traded the buns on their hamburgers with DONUTS. laskdjfl;asdfhl;asdghsd. i hope they enjoy having diabetes.
2. there's this game the missionaries in my zone play when they get bored at mealtimes. two people face each other across the table and slide the salt-shaker back and forth. if the salt lands on the edge of the table then the person who the salt is closest to has to shake the salt once into his mouth. and so it goes, back and forth, with the number of shakes going up each round. THEY PLAY TO TEN and clogged arteries abound.
third. adorable native koreans are adorable.
native koreans come into our zone once every two weeks. they're all leavingand, again, SO MUCH SADNESS. but anyway, right now there are six native korean elders in our zone and they just might be my favourite people here. for example...
1. elders yang and kang. they've been here about seven weeks in order to "learn english" because both of them are serving their missions in the us, even though their mission language is korean. i say "learn english" because, i swear, these korean missionaries are SO FLUENT in english. they make me feel sad about me life. anyway, yang and kang have been mine and pappa jameh-nim's buddies since we got here. they always laugh at us and we can never understand why. there was this one time we were complaning about how hard we found calculus and they were both seriously BENT IN TWO, crying with laughter. i still love them though.
2. the other four korean missionaries have to be here for only ten days. they're just learning to be missionaries and then they'll return to korea to serve their missions. they are hilarious. my favorite is when i told them my full name and then the rest of the week they've found me so they can recite my name back to me as fast as they can--"arbanitas sydney elisabeth." it's the best thing in the world. :)\
3. all the korean elders are always hugging...EVERYONE. except the girls, of course. i don't know if this is just a korean thing or if our korean elders are just an affectionate bunch, but it's ADORABLE and i love it.
4. ah! i have more stories, but time is running out! i'll tell them next time. :)
i love you all! i wish i could say more, but for now i must go. till next week.