Monday, August 12, 2013

First P-day

Hi All,
Laundry at the MTC
Thanks for writing me letters last week.   I hope you received my first letter, written on a half-size sheet of notebook paper.  It was very short because I had to write it after bedtime one night.  Once again, I have very little time to spend writing home.  I tried to draft a letter earlier, as I did my laundry, but the whole process was so new (and so crowded) that I had no time.  I'm already running out of time on the internet, so I may just have to answer your questions in a list:
Monday is my P-day.  You were right that some elders have their P-day on Friday - Joel Fronk does.
I'm in the main MTC, not the MTC West (whew!).  All I know about the West MTC is that it doesn't have a bookstore, and its cafeteria is supposedly not as deluxe.  (I'm loving the food, especially the chocolate milk.)
My companion is Elder Derek Fletcher, from North Ogden.  He went to Weber High, but he's still cool.  He took Chinese for 3 years, like I did, but he didn't learn how to write, and he says he didn't try very hard in the class, so he knew the least Chinese of anyone in our district at the start.  He is very humble, determined, loving, and just all-around fantastic, and I wouldn't trade him for any other Chinese-speaking elder.
District 25F
My roommates are all very fun-loving elders, and they all respect the rules.  We hit it off well the first day, and our district is already very close and we all enjoy each others' company.  My district includes: Elders Fletcher, Murray, Simmons, Clarkson, and Sisters George, White, and Robertson.  Two other missionaries began in our district, but soon moved to the advanced Chinese class: Sister Chu and Elder Aun.
Elder Fletcher will also serve in Singapore.  All the Sisters will serve in Taiwan, and the other Elders are all going to California, but we all speak Mandarin.
We are district 25F.  Yup.
Elders Clarkson, Murray, Simmons, Fletcher, and Baer
So far, I'm not missing anything that can be sent from home, but my companion's mom just sent him an email saying that Singapore will allow two checked bags weighing 50lbs.  I'm still not sure if that's true, but that's how much stuff Elder Fletcher brought.
I'm actually not enjoying the "extreme scheduling at the MTC" as much as I thought.  It is very tight, and I am often behind schedule - I'm not late, but because of how slowly I do normal things, I am behind in my personal study, and I have to wake up extra early to shower before breakfast.  I just need to figure out how to do things faster.
The current MTC president is President Nally.  I don't know anything about him.
Elder Baer and Elder Fronk
I've met several friends and former classmates already, including Joel Fronk.  We got to sit next to each other at my first choir practice on Sunday, which was very refreshing.  I also saw Daniel Spencer at choir, but I haven't spoken with him yet.  So far, choir is my favorite part - the choir director reminds me a lot of dad, actually (in a good way.)  He's very funny, and asks us to sing tall, not wide.  This Tuesday evening, our choir of about 1,100 missionaries will broadcast "Jesus, Once of Humble Birth" to all the other MTC's around the world.
So far, the MTC is very, very hard work, (I've already had to give two lessons completely in Mandarin, and we spend 3-4 hours at a time in Chinese-only classroom lessons) but it is very fun, and it is completely worth the effort so far.  The atmosphere is very friendly and very uplifting.
I loved hearing from all of you, and I can't wait to get more mail!
Brennan (Elder Baer)

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