September 3, 2011

I almost want to cry because I checked my email and there were no messages in it. BUT, I guess you didn’t know when I would be checking it. I have a short P-Day today but usually they will be on Thursdays, at least in el CCM. They made us write you a letter when we got here and I mailed it yesterday so you can expect that in the mail when you get home. I don’t remember what I wrote there so I apologize if I repeat myself.

How do I like the MTC? (drum roll…) It is muy fantastico! (Unlike mi Espanol). Seriously, if I had realized how wonderful the MTC was, I’d never have questioned going on a mission. I haven’t been homesick at all and didn’t even think about all the fun you were all having in Duchesne without me. All those people who told me the first 2 days were the hardest were dirty liars. Or something like that. I could hardly go to sleep on Wednesday night because I couldn’t wait for Thursday to start. And Thursday morning I got up half an hour early because I was so excited. Me! Me! The girl who can hardly stay awake for 3 hours straight. The only time I have felt drowsy was yesterday when we studied from a computer language program. I can only do so many virtual flashcards and still stay alert.

Mi companera es muy magnifico y inteligente. She took 3 years of high school Spanish and is leaps and bounds ahead of me. Her name is Hna B. and her family just moved to San Francisco so they will be living close to her while she is serving (she’s going to Anaheim, too.) Her dad got transferred there after she had already submitted her papers. There are 4 sisters and 6 elders in our zone: 5 of us going to Anaheim; 3 to Pocatello, ID; 1 to Indianapolis, IN; and one sister to Nicaragua (but she will be switching to the Guatemala MTC in 3 weeks). We are kind of awesome. Kind of.

The MTC is overwhelming. Sometimes. My emotions kind of go in a sine curve (you like that math talk, Daniel? Eh?). One minute I am so excited and ready to learn and hopeful, etc., and the next, I feel like crying because my Spanish is so miserable and I have so much to learn and no time to learn it all.

Because all of our classes are in Spanish, I feel like I am missing so much about how to be a missionary and what to do and how to do it. I try to use my time wisely, but I don’t know how. I’m the only person in the class that has no background in Spanish so everyone else knows the basics of grammar but I can’t even put together the simplest sentences. I have memorized a few phrases, but I just feel like I am jumping in on a much higher level than I am at. My teacher, Hno. Clark, is wonderful, though. He is patient with my lack of understanding and tries really hard to make sure I know what he is talking about.

We have already taught 2 lessons to an investigator named Dario. Although I know he is just pretending, I can’t help but love him and want to share the gospel with him. In the short, ineloquently spoken lessons with him, I have definitely felt the Spirit powerfully. It is amazing how easy it is to feel it here. Our lessons are supposed to be only in Spanish, which is muy, MUY dificil. I speak Spanglish as best I can and memorize phrases from some books, but he lets me speak English when I can’t do anything else. I want so badly to learn the language. I don’t have enough hours in the day to study all I need to study!

I see so many people here I recognize. Lissy surprised me at lunch the second day because she was at the MTC for an interview. I also saw Amy S. who is a teacher here. I have also run into people from my classes, from my freshman year, from my ward (who are teachers here) and countless, countless people that I recognize but can’t place. I recognize a few and know that they have gotten parking tickets. That’s kind of funny. I swear I have met my teacher before but I have no idea where. It drives me crazy when I can’t figure out how I know people.

So, the MTC is great. Wonderful. Better than I ever could have imagined. I’ve always been a bit of a crier, but here, whenever I bear my testimony or talk about the gospel, I start to choke and tear up. I’m a basket case. But it is okay. I am so happy. I feel sorry for the people who only get to be here for 3 weeks.

Please pray that I will get better at Spanish. I am working so hard but I see little improvement. I think Hno. Clark things I am “in the depths of despair” but I just want so badly to be a good missionary, and at this point, I can’t do much of anything for our investigator because I can’t speak.

Also, please send a memory card! I somehow got here without one. Also, my black skirt definitely does not work, so the sooner you could get me a new one, the better. Thanks so much, though. I love you all and hope to hear from you!

Hna. Poulson

Also, I love my nametag. I’ve never had anything so pretty and wonderful. I want to touch it and look at it all the time!

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