So... in case you haven't noticed, I've (Michele) been a slacker about these posts. I'll get them going better and more consistently (hopefully) and I know I can catch up even better this summer.
Here is an email letter that Randy sent back in November (and yes, I did help "clean it up"!) His best way of communicating has been through weekly emails that I plan on posting regularly. I'm going to try to coordinate the letters with pictures he sends home, so that's why they might be late.
Date: November 24, 2008 12:10:39 PM PST
"Hey sorry I dropped the ball last week on sending a letter. I didn't have much time and I guess I figured the email would cover it. I appreciate the packages that you sent, especially the ones with sweets in them. I have been doing great this past week. I am getting closer and closer to the teachers and it really makes for a good learning environment. They both have good things to teach us and I actually find myself looking forward to going to class once in a while. I can't tell you how good it feels to actually understand all of the language stuff they are teaching. I just wish that I could remember everything when I leave the class so I could use it outside and learn it better. Oh well I guess I will just have to try harder to memorize everything.
Besides the whole "memorizing everything I want to" I am doing all right in the language. We just got done learning our fourth verb conjugation. I guess there are four main ones but about twenty in total. I understand them, but it takes me quite a while to figure out a whole sentence in my head. It's hard to imagine me using all of them really fast. I guess when I have no other choice I will have to just suck it up and figure it out. Oh, and I have a lot of people in my class that have learned a lot of Spanish in the past and I am told this is a much harder language to learn. You know, just thought I would throw that out there.
I think one of my favorite days here would have to be Thursday. This is the day when we actually put what we learn to use. First we have fifteen minutes of a language activity and then we have thirty minutes to teach the lesson we are on. They give us a scenario so it is as real as possible. This week we got to sit down with them and talk about their families while we bore our testimonies and set up a return appointment. I don't want to brag or anything but I pretty much nailed it. Even when our fake investigator got a little excited and used all kinds of words we hadn't learned yet. Luckily he used some good hand gestures so I could figure out what he was trying to say. The lesson afterward also went well. It was the first lesson again, or at least most of it. They were supposed to have already had a first lesson with previous missionaries. Well, anyway, it went really well and my kasama (companion) and I worked really well together. I was even able to answer all of his questions about how he could really know that Joseph Smith was the true prophet and why he was the only one at the time with the power of the priesthood. I already love teaching so I can't wait to get out in the field and do my thing.
Well, I got to go but I will send a letter this week and make it extra special since I didn't send one last week. So be prepared to be baffled.
The rest of this post is about all of Randy's "learning" time in the MTC. Though in viewing some of the pics I'm not sure what kind of learning was going on...
This is the place Elder Booth spends a lot of time learning. One thing he's also learning is how to mess with his camera and get it to go black and white with a splash of color (Elder Booth did the finish on this picture and I'm sure if I asked my husband he could tell me what the finish is called and how to do it).
Some fun on the chalk board...
Early morning Elder Wade (Elder Booth's companion)?
How does this work? (What is it? is the better question!)
All of this learning makes me .... (yawn)... so tired...
Elder Booth's District (I'm assuming). That's him in the back with his comp (kasama) - Elder Wade - and I do recognize some of the other Elders: Elder Potter - the District Leader - in the front, Elder Shicone (sp) and Elder Tyson from next door (front row middle), Elder Robison (middle row in front of Elder Booth and Elder Wade), Elder Osborn (front row left), and Elder Beckstead (front row right) in the mix, but that's about it for names (at least for me).
Last but not least, the "fun" times in the class room...
Somehow Elder Booth was able to learn a little Tagolog (sp) and is glad he put forth his best effort to learn not only the new language, but ways to teach others to bring them into the gospel.
Good luck Elder Booth!