Thursday, May 29, 2014

MTC Week 1

So, this week at the MTC has been super busy. The first couple of days here felt like about a week each, but after that it stared to go faster. The other missionaries here are awesome, we have 14 Hungarians, and our district is composed of 7 Hungarians and 3 Estonians. Our zone also includes the Finns and Albanians. In sacrament meetings we sing in 5 different languages. My companion is Craig Elder, he's from San Diego, has a Grandpa that had to flee Hungary in '56 for taking place in the revolution, and has programmed one of his ties to play tetris. Enough said, Skouson Elder is a trio with us in class because his companion, Vanem Caufield, is a solo Estonian.

Hungarian has been going very well so far. Our teachers are incredible, one of them just announced he will be leaving next Sunday and all the sisters cried. They never speak more than 2 words of English at a time, and those moments are rare. The first day was hard, they didn't speak a word of English, and we didn't know a word of Hungarian. Hungarian has really made me appreciate how well I know Spanish, whenever I don't know a word in Hungarian I usually know it in Spanish. My Hungarian is probably better then my Spanish now though. We have class up to 11 hours a day, including Personal/Companion Study time. We have also been teaching an investigator (one of our teachers) Ricsi (pronounced Richi). We have taught him 5 lessons, and I thought they went quite well considering the language limitations. We have him read a lot, because as our teachers said, Moroni speaks very good Hungarian. Pamphlets are awesome too. It's frustrating when we want to say something and don't know how, but it works because we just bear testimony instead. In our last lesson we realized he didn't actually know much about Christ so we said we would teach him more about him. That should have been the center of out teaching all along. He seemed excited, but that was the last time we will be teaching him so we won't actually get to. I've heard a lot of stories about bad teaching experiences (reading Moroni 9:8-9 instead of DC 9:8-9 to explain how we learn from the Spirit = Bad. Some Elders in our zone did that), so I don't think any of ours have been too bad. The Spirit is helping us all a lot, there is no way we should speak as well as we do, although we still have a long way to go.

We are working a lot, and it is mentally exhausting. At times I feel like I've been taking a Putnam for days. Yesterday during companionship study as we were preparing a lesson Skouson Elder and I burst out laughing for no reason and couldn't stop. We were completely brain dead. We had gym soon after that so that helped.

The food at the MTC is actually fairly good. It's starting to go downhill a little so I don't know how good it will be in 2 months but for now I'm enjoying it. I'm actually eating a lot considering how little I move. I think my brain is going through a few thousand calories a day by itself.

Other fun things - One of our zone leaders is from Sacramento and is a descendant of Samuel Rose Parkinson. Little sister translates to Hungarian as hug, love you Harriet. Hungarian words are all super long, our teacher knows one that is 44 letters. Elder Nelson came to our Devo on Tuesday, apparently apostles have come 7 out of the last 8 weeks. As missionaries we aren't supposed to use slang, so our District leader has us do 15 second wall sits every time we use slang. I don't have to do much but some missionaries do at least 10 minutes a day. Mom - one of the Hungarian Sisters speaks Japanese, and she says they are similar. You were right.

I took some great pictures, but due to some technical difficulties I haven't figured out how to upload any of them. I'll try to figure that out later. Sorry Dad.

Mom and Hannah - remember to put this email address on your weekly emails.

Tom - Have all your Hungarians Skype with us, we would love to teach them!

Anyways, I'll write you all later.

Love you

Parkinson Elder

Ran into Emily by the front desk on Wednesday!