Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Riley #2 - Finishing Up the 2nd Week, Some Jeans, and Studying

Dear Family,

      Thanks for the package and the letter. I have now finished my first full week at the MTC and will soon finish my second week. It feels odd to think I am already a fourth the way through my time here, as it doesn't feel like I have been here that long.

(My companions - Elder Smith from Mapleton, Utah and
         Elder George from Fort Wayne, Indiana)

Every Tuesday, we have a Fireside in the evening in which we get to hear from a general authority. Last week, we got the opportunity to hear from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland! He talked about teaching with the power and authority we hold. Also, he talked about what it means to have a successful mission and how we can have one.

    (Elder Holland at the MTC last Tuesday)

Missionaries have been leaving to their missions since Sunday, as their  time to leave came. When they leave, everything they can't pack they leave out in the hall for the remaining missionaries to use.

The majority of it is candy and other treats, but there is also a wide variety of other things from Halloween masks to Christmas trees. One of my companions found a suit that fit him, as well as a sweatshirt. I managed to find a pair of jeans that fit me, which was good because I hadn't brought any.

Every day has been really long, but because we do basically the same things everyday, it seems like in no time a week has gone by.

     Every day, we wake up at 6:30am and go to bed at 10:30pm. The time in between is completely planned out. Everyday, we typically have a half hour to 45 minutes for each meal, 50 minutes at the gym, 6 hours of classroom instruction, 1 hour in the computer lab using the language resources, and 2 hours of personal study in the classroom. The extra time in our schedule is labeled "Additional Study Time" and usually has to take place in our classroom. There are a few other activities we do, but unless it is Pday (~Personal Day) or Sunday, that is typically the day.

              (Here we are studying while waiting for laundry on PDay)

We are always practicing Chinese. We try to speak as much as we can in our everyday conversations with each other, and constantly quiz each other on vocab, as we walk between activities, exercise in the morning, and eat our meals.


Elder Bowman