Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MTC Week #2

So there is this Spongebob episode where they turn the Krusty Krab into a five star restaurant and Squidward tells Spongebob to forget everything, "...everything except fine dining, and breathing." Well that is about how I feel here. Forget everything except missionary work... and breathing. Of course missionary work means French, purpose, first vision, names of a thousand people, points to begin teaching, etc etc etc. But other than that, yes I have forgotten almost everything. I can barely remember simple phrases in Italian and I'm lost for song lyrics I used to know. Thankfully my well of Spongebob quotes is still full because there are a lot of people in my district that love Spongebob. :)
So anyway, so much to talk about! Last Tuesday, we went to San Francisco to get our French visas. There were 8 soeurs and 1 elder, who is going to Lyon but speaking Mandarin. His mom is French so he is already fluent, now he is learning Mandarin. Respect. Anyway, we were on a bus by 5:30 am and flew to California! It was super beautiful there and we basically landed 20 feet from the bay. The consulate visit took about 20 minutes for all of us. Funny part, the guy that was doing the paperwork was really sassy. But the best part, he was a little French man with a thick French accent. So I go up and first thing he says (forget not, in an accent), "Carson, zat is a boys name, no?" and all my missionary friends laughed and I said, "Oui, it is..." and he said, "Okay I'll think of a joke for your last name while I do this... hmm. I don't know. Can you speak LOU DAH?" Yes, that happened. My district got a kick out of it and now they call me Soeur LOU DAH all the time. I really don't mind, it makes me feel loved. They also say I have really intense eyes and now call them "tiger eyes." It's a thing now.
JED SEWELL! I was walking to lunch and then happened to see someone that looks like you walking down the path with a host elder so I went and said hello :) Turns out he is in my class building and we have p-day together so basically I see him everywhere and we're friends now. It's fun calling someone Elder Sewell again :)
So now to move towards what we've been doing. So I told you about our amie Alyse... and apparently it is a big secret that she was our teacher but I always knew! But after four lessons, everybody is preparing to teach Alyse when she walks in wearing a skirt and a nametag that reads "Sister Scott" and talks to us in perfect English. I was unphased, but you should have seen the reaction. Elder Tai FREAKED OUT! Haha, he was 100% convinced that she was really an amie from France and he was so panicked to hear her speak perfect English. I think some people in my district felt really betrayed but I was amused :) Later at dinner Elder Tai turned to me (he's Japanese so imagine that accent) and says, "Today our investigator came in as our teacher and then my companion is in California, am I dreaming? Soeur Loder, is it really you?" and I said oui just to realize that I had Elder Sikich's nametag on... poor Elder Tai. He had a rough a day :)
We have had a lot of fun teaching. The Spirit really helps and honestly, I have said so many things in French that I never even considered saying and it turned out to be the perfect thing. If you're willing to listen to the Spirit, you will be guided! We're now teaching Sister Scott as Charite and Brother Glenn as Chris. Two amis, yay! It has been amazing to plan for lessons and really try to figure out how to help these people. They are both roleplaying a person they taught on their mission so it's a sweet experience. So many scriptures and pieces that I can use to teach have come to me right when I need them, so I really enjoy teaching :) Charite is harder because she is really, really religious and told us in our last lesson that she thinks she is a prophet, and everybody is a prophet. We've had an interesting time planning for our next lesson! Also, White Collar helped me in our lesson. Soeur Richardson was struggling to say, "The authority was lost" because she didn't know the word for lost. As I was thinking I remembered, "She changed her last name to perdu. Do you know what that means in French? Lost." So I shouted PERDU and it was a really good moment. The lesson was saved :) PS I might have spelled that wrong #dontjudge
Seriously thank you for all the letters and packages! I always share my food with my district because there is so much... and I definitely don't need all of it :) I've had fun getting mail, though. Soeur Richardson and I always get the most mail so everyone gets jealous. Haha, it is pretty fun! Dear Elders are amazing so if you're reading this, I exhort you to write me. I'll write back. I promise. Letters are the most fun thing ever. And if you are ever thinking, "I want to send Carson something, but what should I send?" Stickers. Always stickers. Spongebob stickers. Glitter stickers. SCRATCH AND SNIFF STICKERS. All kinds of stickers. Because there are a million and one things to put stickers on :) Cookies are good too. Or just letters. I'll take what I can get ;)
Let's see. Our district has a lot of really funny quotes, but my favorite one recently came from my teacher, Frere Glenn. "I kept like, four mission journals. Hashtag diligence." I say "hashtag convert problems" all the time so basically it made my entire week. Elder Tai is actually a convert of about seven years so we're in the same boat with things like primary songs, which they sing a LOT of here. It's a little bit sad, but I'm learning slowly. Slowly but surely. #convertproblems :)
There is seriously no place like the MTC. The Spirit can be felt 100% of the time and it is hard to be sad when that is the case! Seeing so many smiling faces (even though they are also tired faces) with nametags and carrying scriptures around. It does NOT get any better. All the soeurs in my district are spiritual giants and the elders work so hard. We have people from ages 18-22 at all different levels of French so we all help each other in every possible way. We're already like a sweet little family. Every night after planning and before going back to residence, we have "bedtime stories" and E. Sikich and E. Connelly (who knew each other pre-mission) tell super funny stories from a camp they worked at. I cry because I'm laughing so hard almost every night. Our phrase is, "Je vous aime beaucoup beaucoup beaucoup!" I just am not in any hurry to leave them behind. :)
Our schedule is pretty fun. MOST days it is like this. Wake up at 5:45 (so we have enough time to shower without lines), get to class by 7 am. Study. Breakfast at 7:30. Class/teaching Frere Glenn at 8 am until 11 am. Personal study until 12:15 when we eat lunch! Then language study from 1 pm to 2 pm, when we go to gym time until about 3:30. Then we have TALL (technology assisted language learning, my least favorite part of the day because I get so sleepy), then more study until dinner at 5:15 until 6. Then class/teaching with Sister Scott until 9 pm when we plan and then go back to go to bed. My roommates are all super obedient. We're usually in bed and asleep by 10:15 even though we have until 10:30... too tired.
Sister Young, thank you for the DearElder. I miss you a lot, but I use your scripture mastery stuff ALL THE TIME. Not even kidding. The songs get stuck in my head constantly, which is good and bad ;)
Basically, I love it here. L'église de Jésus-Christ est vrai. Il vie. Dieu est notre Père Celeste et Il nous aime BEAUCOUP.
The French keyboard isn't insane, it's just annoying. Google it sometime.
Je vous aime beaucoup beaucoup beaucoup! :)
Soeur Loder

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