Friday, November 8, 2013
Greetings from the MTC:
What a crazy 2-½ days! I love it here, but boy things are moving fast! When you dropped me off they herded me through a huge line where I got my meal card, reading materials (7 books (some quite large), and then we somehow ended-up at my dorm room. The next thing I knew, I was in a deep immersion Swedish language class for two hours.
Then we went into an orientation session afterward and I don’t remember much of what they said other than realizing that of the 600 missionaries that entered the MTC with me, there were 30 countries represented by the Elders and Sisters, ranging from places as close as American Fork, Utah and from as far as Latvia.
The food’s not bad. I’ve taken to salad wraps, which are probably the highest quality food in the cafeteria. My companion is a real nice kid. His name is Aldste (Elder) Brown and he’s from Arizona. We work well together.
|Aldste Brown & Aldste Stoeltzing in front of the Provo Temple|
We had another hour and a half language session after dinner. After three days, I’m starting to get it, but the first day was rough. On day two the language classes got ramped-up to three hours. We spend all day in the same classroom and it’s a little tough to stay in one seat for 4-1/2 hours on end, but we are learning quick. I feel like I will have a Bachelors Degree in Swedish in six weeks! Probably not, but the classes are far better than my high school Spanish classes. My only complaint is that it's difficult to balance gospel study with language study.
The end of the second night was crazy! The branch President interviewed all of us and for some reason, he chose me to be the District Leader. This mostly means that I deliver the mail and have longer meetings with the Branch President than everybody else. The responsibilities are limited and I know I’m capable, but there are two Elders in our group that I think would have made far more obvious choices. One is a 21 year-old Fin who is a convert to the Church and who served in the military. I think he is a very capable leader. The other is a Finance Major at BYU. He doesn’t like public speaking and he is a bit quiet, but I know he will do great things when it is his time to lead. It feels weird to be the only one in the group with a title and it is somewhat of a struggle to know how much of a leadership role I should take. It is a good, strong, intelligent group and I pray that God can help me make them better.
So, fun fact… We’ll have no girls serving in the MTC studying Swedish as of tomorrow and by Tuesday, we’ll have just two Sisters left in the ward. I guess they had a hiring freeze for Scandinavian sisters or something… Ha ha! But, all of the teachers are extremely excited for our group. The 12 of us make up the largest group going to Sweden in several months. The teachers are great and I think that it would be a fun way to continue to serve and keep the language alive when I get back and study at BYU, Provo.
Keep me posted on what’s happening day-to-day. I love you guys so much. I’ve missed you a lot, but I know what we are doing is good work!