Thursday, September 1, 2016

First P-Day- August 24th

  It was hard to wait a full week to hear from Elder Schaff again. We were sending him letters via the Dear Elder service, so he was getting a printed letter to read each day, but he could not respond until his P day. Eventually the week passed by and this is part of what he wrote to us, I'm going to edit it, as some of it was written just for our family or he was answering specific questions for mom or dad.

  "I'm going to attempt to write one giant email here for everyone mom, share it with our family. Nobody is really emailing me yet so I don't have a need for a blog or anything yet. 
    I'm going to rapid fire answers to your questions. Orange Juice? Everyone swears it's laced with laxative. Tastes normal, but rumors are confirmed. MTC record is 8 glasses in one meal.
  Didn't forget anything I can think of, I'd like Cheezits and a Breakfast cereal like Oh's if possible. They don't staff the cafeteria Sunday morning so you have to fend for yourself.
    Food is delicious for the most part, very well made and tons of variety as well as options, no need to worry here. A few things like eggs are cafeteria style and not fantastic, but they have a ton of condiments including hot sauce, so I'm doing fine.
   Spanish classes? There is a time each day where our teacher, Hermano Jake, (Jake is his last name!) teaches us Spanish or about gospel/lessons in Spanish. However, we are doing things I consider very basic and he says we are going at a "very good, fast pace" that we are "the most successful, and diligent class he has had." He's a great teacher, but we have to teach an "investigator" who is really a role-playing member. I wish we could tackle harder things like subjunctive tense and haber constructions, but I guess I have to humble myself. So really, my best Spanish has been the Spirit and Gift of Tongues in lessons. Esta bien. (What we say to reassure good feelings)
  Church is by zone, and several districts form a zone which is called a branch. There are branch leaders, 2 of them speak and 2 missionaries speak. Everyone has to prepare a 3-5min talk and could get called to speak at random! In Spanish! They seem to pick people leaving this week though.
   The schedule is rough, very limited time, it feels like you can never achieve enough. It doesn't bug me, don't worry, but it's just not easy. Even our P-Day is scheduled. I also gave Sydney a basic schedule, so you can look at that.
  The Spirit is so strong here and is almost a constant companion. I can't really describe all the experiences enough. The best was this talk/movie that was recorded when Elder Bednar spoke to the MTC one Christmas, called the Character of Christ. Very complex. Very powerful. If it can be found on youtube somehow, you and dad should watch it. They claim it's MTC only.
  Juan A. Uceda spoke at our devotional yesterday. Devotionals are on Sundays and Tuesdays. He spoke from the eyes of an investigator, because he was an investigator once in 1972. It will help us with our teaching. 
  I have used 30min of my email time, but will check again and reply later today.
  For now, 2 funny scriptures engraved into bathroom stalls, and therefore meant to be read in the bathroom. (We laugh so much here too, don't worry)
Jeremiah 4:19-21
Alma 60:7

Sending more later today,"

Elder Schaff

  Later in the day, we received a second email, and finally heard about his companion, which I had asked him about. I also asked him what he was doing during gym, which is 5 days per week at the MTC.

  "Gym time we use the fitness center because of weights, machines, ab workout equipment, etc, lots of variety. Will change it up now and then.
  Before I forget, send as much of the physical mail from Dear Elder as you want, because I can read all of that and prepare for a response over the week. Plus, it's fun hearing from you guys everyday. Maura seems to write pretty well!
  My companion is Elder O. We get along really well, both like to joke and laugh, but know how to get serious and get things done when we need to. Sometimes he gets over-stressed, but that, with my lax nature (as long as I don't blow my fuse) (haven't yet) works out really well. He is from Ogden and is going to SLC South. Interesting for Spanish.
  Doing well, and gotta go now!

  And oh yeah! I loved the stressball for whatever reason with it being a globe and all. Cya later!"

Elder Schaff

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