Nov 13, 2011

11/11/11 Email Home

Dad!  Mom!  Becca!
So, I really only have time to write a little email, so I'll just reply in one email to all the emails I've gotten.
I'm glad you said all that stuff, Dad!  As I was telling mom yesterday, it's pretty intimidating coming to a country where... frankly, I don't understand what's going on.  You always made it look so easy when we went to Mexico, but that's okay.  All the elders got sucked into a bunch of Dominicans taking their bags in carts to the bus, but I wouldn't surrender my bags.  I don't like having to pay people.  I ended up tipping them a dollar anyway, because they had everyone else's bag.  I'm definitely taking it "day by day," I feel like that's the best thing I can do here.  Slow down, don't stress, and remember why I'm here
From what I can tell, my Spanish is better than most everyone else's.  Of course, I am the most verbal, but the people I have heard speak are not very good.  The more practice I get, the more I'm going to speak really fast and really well.
Half of me wants to be really scared about being in a strange place, where I don't really have a "home" and can't speak to people on the streets and everything's really dirty.
The other half of me, the one I'm listening to, has faith that I'm being taken care of, is worried about the welfare of the other 23 guys here with me (5 in my district are from Utah, 1 from Colorado, 1 from Cali, 1 from England), knows that I'm incredibly lucky to have such supportive people in my life and such a can-do attitude, and is half ready to jump outside these MTC gates and just start trying to teach the gospel to these poor Dominicans.  I love this gospel, so much, and am stoked to share it.  Just let me out!
We''re super pampered in here.  It's American territory, really.  Everything's clean, water's safe, electricity works.  We're essentially on temple grounds, so it's a pretty important area.  We'll be playing basketball and ping pong, foozeball, and volleyball.  And foursquare.  Not too different from Provo.  But it's super small, the people we travelled with constitute the entirety of the MTC.  There'll be a bunch of Haitian and Dominicans showing up in three weeks.  My new companion is from Draper, Elder Josh Tracy, he's a sports guy, kind of aggressive, but we get along. He's hard working.  He also loves all the music that I brought (which we've been listening to :), so that's something we can connect on.  I like it.
Oh, breakfast was scanty today.  We had rice cereal (think oatmeal, but like, ricemeal.  It was pretty good), a sort of bread with jelly and PB, lots of platanos, and they have an endless supply of three cereals: Corn flakes, raisin bran, and froot loops.  Really hungry.  Really excited for lunch.
I LOVE being able to communicate in Spanish, to some degree. At least that I can understand better than the others around me, it makes me feel a little capable.  
Becca, don't stress, we're going on that scavenger hunt, okay?  And if we live elsewhere, we'll find plenty of places in which to scavenger wherever we are :) We can come scavenger in the DR. 
San Antonio is hot, right Dad?  Am I going to hate being a doctor after 10 years, or did you have fun at your conference?  The guy we ran into in the airport was going home, fresh off his Santiago mission, he told us that he couldn't believe it was over and would do it again in a heartbeat.
"Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I think it can be easy, if we have faith :)
Mom, good luck with the whole school decision!  I hope you can figure it out.  It'd be pretty cool to have a nurse for a mom.  You could help me study my anatomy or something.  But, otherwise, you can use that time you would NORMALLY use to go to school to cook lots of meals, and then you could give me some of your wonderful recipes!  That would be just as useful :)  Haha, just teasing Ma!  I love you! 
You are wonderful, family!
Thanks for all your letters, keep the updates coming!

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