This has been a really fast week! When they say that the days go by slow and the weeks go by fast, they really mean it. I cannot believe that today is my eighth day being here at the MTC. The spirit that is felt here is absolutly amazing.
Let me walk you through a typical day:
6:30 Wake up
7 - Personal Study time (I generally study language even though we aren't supposed to because its that hard)\
8 - Breakfast
8:30 - 11:30 - Classroom time (Teaching "investigators" and grammar lessons)
11:30 - 12:30 - Language Study
12:30 - 1:00 - Additional Study
1:00 - Lunch!
1:45 - 4:45 - Back to class for another 3 hours
4:45 - 6 - You guessed it... more study time
6:00 - Dinner!
6:45 - 9:30 - Either study time or devotionals or sometimes gym time.
9:30 - 10:30 - Personal time etc. get ready for bed
Its a pretty crazy schedule to have. I am so grateful for the opporunity to be here though.
So on Tuesday we are being moved to MTC West. This is what I know.... We are leaving Tuesday, rumors are living in Wyview and classes in Raintree. Tuesday Devotionals are being moved to the Marriott Center starting June 11. Sunday devotionals will be traded off between the two campuses. One week they will brodcast from the one, and the next week they will broadcast from the other. They are really trying hard to do everything they can to give both Campuses equal opportunities for everything. Rumor has it that we are going on Tuesday so we can be ready to host all of the new missionaries who will be going over there on their first day on Wednesday. We still don't really know anything else. I also found out today that on June 23, aka the day before we leave the MTC, there is supposed to be a worldwide broadcast happening I think from the Marriott Center, and they want the choir to be 1100 people!!! I can tell you this, singing in the choir this last week with 600 people was absolutly a remarkable experience. It is hard to sing when you are shaking with goosebumps. We sang Jesus, Once of Humble Birth, and the arrangement had a nice piano interlude with a modulation that led straight to a unision verse fortissimo. And the loudest we had sang up to that point was like a mp. It was SO COOL! Even though the choir had a lot of people that can't really sing, its all good.
I really have enjoyed all of the mail that I have gotten! Thanks mom for the little package of goodies, I got it last night and I am wearing that kravaty today. I say kravaty because it is the malagasy word for the thing that hangs around your neck, and the english word for that is a swear word there so I am trying to cut it out of my vocabulary already. I have also gotten some mail from Dear Elder and evertime I get mail I get happy which is a very good thing. The MTC has its ups and downs and they are pretty big swings.
I love all of the teachers here for the Malagasy districts they are all wonderful. We had our first lesson yesterday to Jean-Jacques, where we didn't use any notes at all. It was so hard, but it was a really good experience to stop reading sentences from a piece of paper, and kinda memorize them/form them on the fly. It will get better I am sure becuase our lessons right now are super simple and are filled with one liners that don't even make sense. The language pick-up is slow, but it seems pretty steady. My district is 4 elders and two sisters and the other two elders are really really really good at learning languages. They both never stop studying, like ever, and they are excelling really rapidly. The one already speaks 8 languages so I understand why he is so fast. He also is super determined. The teachers every once and a while say "and this is a concept that you won't really understand until like 8 months out on the mission" and that makes Elder Lee even more driven to master that concept. The teachers have referred to him as a prodigy. The 13 missionaries here going to Madagascar make up about 1/6 to 1/5 of the total mission which is crazy! They haven't had any Malagasy missionaries in the last like 2-3 transfers, and after us they will have like 6 weeks off and then they will start having a steady stream of missionaries. So it looks like hopefully the number of missionaries in the mission will increase. We are the first set to try and go through in 6 weeks and we are even ahead of their new lesson plan that covers everything in 6 weeks. They keep telling us that we are the fastest learning districts they have ever seen, and they have been teaching here a few years. And this leads perfectly to my spiritual thought.
At choir rehearsal on Tuesday before Devotional, the director gave a very nice spiritual thought. He likened our progress in life to a ladder. Imagine that you are on the top of your ladder and you are always trying to get higher up. We are all trying to get to the height that the Savior is at. Imagine your ladder, it is probably about 5 or 6 feet off of the ground. Now look at the Savior's ladder. It probably about 500-600 feet tall. So how far are we on the path to being like the Savior? Now you happen to turn and see someone else's ladder and they are like 7 feet off the ground. What do we naturally do? We compare ourselves. It is a natural thing, He gave an example to the sisters. If two girls show up to an event and they both have on the same dress what do they do? They compare. Each sister would look at the other and think, "Do I look better in this dress than her?" If the answer is yes, you keep it on, if the answer is no, you go and change. We all compare, but should we though? When we compare all we are doing is trying to drag them down, and then in the process drag ourselves down as well. But now look back at the Savior's ladder. Is it fair to compare ourselves to each other when the Savior is that much above us? How much farther along are they? You are at 6 feet and they are at 7, but the Savior is at 600. Don't compare it does nothing good.
Now for the funny stuff real quick. I am quickly running out of time and I want to attach some pictures.
In learning a new language there are some funny things that happens.
The people in my district have made the following mistakes:
"Drink you" instead of thank you.
"Joseph Smith restored the gospel last Wednesday."
"Joseph Smith was breast-fed by an angry mob" - This one is actually quite common because to breast feed and to kill are only off by one letter.
Well I am going to send another email with some pictures in it.
I love you! Tia anao aho!
Elder Scott Weber