Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The end of week one!

Hello everyone!
Well the first week has been great. The first couple of days were rough, but now we're getting used to the schedule and this really is a great place. In my district there are 5 Elders and 4 Sisters. 3 of the Sisters are going to the same mission as me (the three girls I met at BYU before I came here!) and one of the Elders is going to Argentina, but a different mission. We are in the "intermediate" class, but all of us speak Spanish pretty well and we do everything in Spanish all day. Our teachers have been very impressed with us, they say they have never had an "intermediate" class as advanced as us. Of course, I feel inadequate sometimes, but I will keep practicing and learn more and more. We have three teachers-- Hermano Dallon, Hermano Quintana, and Hermana Jesperson (she served in Argentina!). They are all wonderful and it's great to have the different dynamics in the classroom. Hermano Quintana speaks ONLY Spanish to us, Hermano Dallon is crazy (in a good way) and she switches language mid-sentence sometimes, and Hermana Jesperson is very sweet and does a mixture of both languages depending on what she wants us to learn.
The food is not bad. It's DT all over again. Tell Uncle David, sorry, but I'm not going to gain any weight here. I know how to eat right, and the Sisters have early-morning exercise classes that we get to choose to go to (I go with my roommates) and I get to run at gym time. I run with one of my roommates--Hermana Tingey--and our MTC goal is to get our two mile time down to 15 minutes (about a minute slower than I run it now). So, no weight gain for me!
My companera is Hermana Seegmiller from Las Vegas. I met her at BYU. She is incredible. She lived in El Salvador for 2 months and has a really good grasp on the language and she helps me out a LOT. We all get along really well, and I haven't had any problems with anyone so far.
The Elders in the district are great, it's easy sometimes to forget that they're mostly 19-year-old boys. They are all so focused on learning, but they know when it's appropriate to have fun. We sat next to some obnoxious Elders at the Fireside Sunday night, and it made me appreciate our Elders even more.
Janice Kapp Perry came to Relief Society on Sunday and spoke to us and sang with us--did you know that she has written a TON of the Primary Songs? Even Child's Prayer--my favorite! That was the most incredible Relief Society I have been to. And the Beesons spoke on Sunday night. They are the Humanitarian Aid Senior couple that work here at the MTC, so Melissa's parents will probably work with them when they come here. They are great!
Yesterday, we went to the RC (referral center) and made calls to people who had ordered literature and videos from the Church... and we did them in Spanish! The other teacher there said he had been trying to get his district to do that for 6 weeks, and here we were doing it on our 5th day. I was a little nervous, but it was actually very easy. The only thing that was really hard for anyone was taking directions to send the missionaries to someone's house. My favorite call went a little like this. I was calling a guy named Luis to see if he got his Lamb of God DVD: (Phone is ringing) Answer: Hello? Me: Hola! Puedo hablar con Luis? Answer: Um.... I think you have the wrong number... (hangs up). hahahaha I didn't even realize she answered the phone in English! Oops! I guess I had better pay attention to that. Then (I think this story is very funny), we were leaving the RC and I saw one of the Elders still had his call window open, so I said, "Elder, cierra su ventana!" (Elder, close your window) and he did NOT understand me because he checked his fly! The whole district just lost it, we laughed all the way back to the classroom and the Sisters were laughing so hard we were crying. Even now thinking about it, I laugh because it was so funny!
I think that's about all I have to tell you this week... I'll wrap this up by saying that the MTC is a great place! I can feel the spirit so strongly all the time and it's so great to be around missionaries who are working so hard to serve the Lord. Next week I'm auditioning to sing in a devotional--I'm singing the song "Gethsemane." It is beautiful. Also, I expect more letters! So all you slackers, write to me! I want to hear what is going on in everyone's life! The Church is true, I love you all.
Love, Hermana LaPray

Monday, February 15, 2010

Going Forth to Serve

Well, here I go! I'm off to the MTC in Provo for 2 months, then on to Bahia Blanca, Argentina!

My mom will (hopefully) post my weekly emails here on this blog--I left her detailed instructions.

BUT if you would like to write me a letter, my address is posted under "about me." I would love to hear from anyone who wants to write to me and I will do my best to respond.

I'm excited for this new adventure in my life. The Church is true, and don't ever forget that. Joseph Smith is a prophet. Christ lives and He loves us. Heavenly Father loves us. I love all of you, and I love my brothers and sisters in Argentina and I am excited to go and serve them.