Thursday, January 17, 2013

Riley's 1st Letter - Companions, Mandarin, and Mollie

Elder John Riley Bowman
MTC Mailbox # 133
CA-LA 0313
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

The MTC has been great, but busy. I was assigned two companions, Elder George and Elder Smith. Elder Smith is from Mapleton, and Elder George from Fort Wayne, Indiana. They are both great companions and balance each other out well. They are both going to the California Arcadia Mission speaking Mandarin.

My branch (~ small congregation) president is actually the brother of my mission president (~ oversees all MTC missionaries). He told me that there isn't anyone in the branch with the same mission and language as me, but it is possible that there might be someone in another branch who already knows Chinese.

Most of the day we spend learning Chinese. We are the first group that is here for 9 weeks, so they push us to learn rather quickly. Just as with the other missionaries, we taught our first investigator Friday. We didn't understand most of what he said, but we were still able to communicate to some extent. We teach him almost every day, and each time we understand more.

I also found out that I am going to be leaving on March 6, a week earlier than the others in my district because my mission has its transfers early.

I've seen Mollie a few times during lunch, but today was the first time that I had a chance to really talk to her and show her the video (~ of Baby Madeleine). She made sure we took a picture together, so now the grand total of pictures of I've taken is 1 (although technically Mollie took it).

The food is alright here, though nothing that great. We always are very busy, and if we ever have time for ourselves, we usually spend it studying Chinese. There is so much we need to learn that the studying is always engaging, and we are making decent progress.

Elder Bowman