Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Handwritten Letter from NZ

Written November 9th

Aholele:  Friends and family!

This has been a pretty good week for me!  I met my companion Elder Talanoa!  He is a really good guy from the friendly island of Tonga.  He doesn't speak English very well so I have been helping him learn our language.  When we got here on Thursday we were the only Elders here along with Elder Maiava and Elder Dick.  Elder Dick is from Papua New Guinea, and he is about 4 feet 10 inches! Later on new people have come but in the whole MTC there is only about 30-35 people including our Presidency.

On Friday we started our lessons and it has been going pretty hard here ever since.  We have been given a teacher to be our mock investigator so we meet with her twice a day.  It has been really good to speak with her as it has helped us teach through the Spirit and to prepare more for our lessons.  Having to be with my companion at all times is hard as he tends to walk away without notice but he is getting better!  On Saturday President Tarawhit (it is pronounced Tear-a-fiti) told us to prepare a 5-8 minute talk on the Atonement because he will randomly pick a few of us to give a talk.  I spent 2 hours today preparing it which was good because I was one of the people chosen to speak.

The food here in the MTC and in New Zealand is pretty different compared to what we eat in America.  For example, for breakfast we have eggs, pancakes, and baked beans.  I thought this was weird but it actually turned out to be quite good!  There are a lot of different sayings here in New Zealand so it has been weird to hear people call the trunk of a car the boot or if something is too hot or too cold or anything extreme they say hot-as or cold-as.  It confused me at first but I have gotten used to it.  My companion's buddy is in the MTC with us so I have been hanging around them a lot and have learned a few words in Tongan.  It is a beautiful language but it's hard to learn.

The schedule here is pretty tight.  We wake up at 6:00 am every morning and say our personal prayers then our dorm prayers.  Then we shower and get ready for the day.  We have breakfast at 7:00 am every morning after which we go and study with our companions and by ourselves.  Our beds have to be made every morning and our room has to be clean before we go to our classrooms.  We have lunch at 12:00 pm followed by our physical activity which usually consists of rugby.  We eat dinner at 5:00 pm and class until 8:45 pm when we do our planning for the next day.

Although these past few days have been pretty hard, I know that I am growing in the Gospel so that I can better teach people.  I am so thankful for all of you back home, for all of your love and support.  I will be able to email you guys when I get out into the field but for now I think I will have to write the letters by hand.

Ofa Lahi atu!
Elder Mitchell

He sent some English to Tongan words he learned but spellcheck keeps changing everything so I decided not to include it in this letter.

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