Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MTC Week 4: Spanish, Teaching, and More Spanish

Dear Family

First off, I'd like to say that I hate Colombus Day. No mail on my P-Day. That means I don't get to write anyone for two weeks! GAH. No bueno. No me gusta.

Anywho, rumors were right, my companion is the district leader. So now I'm the senior companion. Fun stuff so far, being the leader and the whatnot. He's generally so genuine and eager and filled with ideas, though, that he practically does the work for me. Let me say that these elders are freaking nuts. I mean, really, these guys are all at opposite ends of the scales and they've all already resolved to meet up and hang out immediately after we get home.

The routine here is really quite mind numbing at times. I mean, we've all jokingly compared it to prison. Unfortunately, the similarities are striking! You know, every minute of the day planned, no entertainment, an hour of gym time a day . . . you know, the works. But seriously, I'm completely convinced I'll love being in Panama more than the MTC. Yeah, I'll lose weight. Yeah, it'll be hot and humid. The rumor is we get machetes and we canoe a lot from house to house. And heck, I've heard the percentage of people that return home from illness is huge. But at least I won't go stir-crazy being on a single block for all my time

Teaching is becoming less mind-wrecking, even if we are only teaching volunteer investigators most of the time. Spanish is going well. My vocab is limited, but my understanding of the grammar is well. Forgot to mention that the Branch President happens to know where Picatinny is. I guess he's been there on business before. President Studdard, if you'd like to look into it, Dad.

Well, the only thing that keeps my head from exploding at times is singing here. We sing anywhere from 6 to 12 hymns a day, I think. Apparently, I'm getting pretty good. Although, technically I should only be singing hymns. I mean, a little Boston or Guns n Roses slips out every so often, but now it usually only happens on P Day. I can usually sing hymns without feeling weird about it now. Although I usually only hum a couple. Currently, my favorite is "Have I Done Any Good", number 223 in English.

My testimony's developed a great deal and I think I understand why you expected such a large change during the mission. I even intend to write my friends to help them understand why I'm doing something so bizarre to them and hopefully get them to at least read the book I'm potentially risking my life over. Don't get me wrong, Dad, I don't think this will snuff out my love for video games. :D

Pero mi español esta desarollando mucho. Recordó mucho que aprendió en escuela segundaria, pero estoy aprendiendo mucho aqui, tambien. Tres elderes aqui hablan español muy bien y soy un de tres. Mi el hablar es despacio y mi vocabulario es limitido pero con tiempo puedo decir qué quiero. Which is to say I'm learning Spanish and remembering a lot of what I learned in high school. Three elders here seem to have a real good understanding of Spanish and I'm one.

Well, my time' almost up. Things are rough and strict, but I'm doing alright. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about you all and I hope you guys are doing at least three times better than me. I love you and await to hear from you again.

Your Missionary In the Field,
Elder Austin Michael Ascura

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