Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Week One...FINALLY!!!!

Okay...I can breathe now. Good thing the MTC doesn't allow you to be a helicopter parent or else for the first time in my life I would find myself going there.... He is doing awesome! So enough of me...here he is; first official letter from the Elder.

I'm just gonna send one response because the clock on the side says i only have 25 minutes left. First, Slovene is sooooo hard!!!!! It's so killer. Elder S and i really get down on ourselves sometimes for not knowing things, but then we have to remember that we are only 5 days into a slavic language and we have to get over the fact that we're lost. Brat J , my instructor, is such a cool guy. Since he's not allowed to speak in English to us, class is still kind of like charades with a crazy foreign language going on in the background, but it's still pretty cool. After 3 days of constant Slovene he took each of us out in the hall for an interview in english to answer questions and see how we were adapting. It was so funny to hear him speak English. When he speaks English it's super cool, because you finally connect on a personal level. He's from Highland and he said that he knew Nate. If i can be like him after i get back, I'll be in perfect shape. He's back for almost a year, and it's really nice to finally be able to talk to someone who not only knows where the country is, but also what it's like there. He said the food is awesome and the people are like eggs. They have a hard shell, but if you get through it, they are super loving and loyal people. So we're getting along great in the trio. The first few days were huge work outs because between the 3 of us we would always forget something in the room and have to go up and down 4 flights of stairs numerous time to get everything. We're spread out with just 3 of us in a 4 person room.
So we meet with s[name deleted for privacy] our investigator 5 times a week.....what a trainwreck. Imagine having to teach someone in a language that you've been learning for 4 days.....man.....The first day Elder S and I made a script of what to say ( we watched a video that explained her needs....she had a son die at the age of 2 and she's really missing him and doesn't know if she believes in God). So we went in and read the script. You're supposed to involve the investigator, because they need to feel involved and cared about, but we knew that we wouldn't be able to answer questions, so we tried to shut her out. I figured that she would know what the Book of Mormon was, so at the end I offered it to her. Well, she didn't know what it was. She tried to pay us for it, and we didn't know the words in order to tell her about it. It was bad....So we decided that the next day we would talk about prayer and the Book of Mormon (Mormonovo Knjigo).......That went all right. We decided that we would throw grammar out the window and just try to get our way through it word by word. It went better. It consisted of us telling her "Ne Razumen" everytime she asked a question, but she would explain it. Well at the end of that (on Saturday), she told us that she would meet again on Monday at 7:45. We went to class the next morning and were just casually reading stuff, figuring that we had the whole day to prepare a lesson and figure it out....Well she said 7:45 jutoro, not 7:45 vecer (i dont have the right characters on this keyboard, should be the c with the upsidown carrot thingy). We freaked when she poked her head in the door. We just sprung into it and struggled to teach her about the restoration......it was alright, but we were so scared.
The food here's not bad. How bad can it be if you dont have to make it or do the dishes? We've learned things to stay away from though. The chicken fingers are pretty bad..... It's funny because Elder R keeps judging American food based on MTC food. Like he said, "American hamburgers taste funny." We keep on correcting him and telling him that they taste weird to us too.
I heard a cool quote the other day. Right now everyone is kind of struggling with their language just because it's so overwhelming. A guy teaching a workshop said to have faith that it will work out. The Lord knows what He's doing, and He's the one that called me to Slovenia to speak Slovene to His people in that country. As long as i put in as much effort that I can, He will bless me to be able to do the things which i need to do. It was kind of calming at the time, but it's still a tough thing to deal with. Figuring out how to study has been hard. I keep on thinking that if im not in class, I have free time, but it's opposite. Class is pretty much free time. If you have time to just sit there or sleep, you have time to read something. I guess it's been hard dealing with the fact that the next 2 years aren't my own time. I have a job to do and it's going to take all of my effort. I also kind of thought that once i was set apart as a missionary, doing church stuff all day would be fun.....Not so. It's been a little hard to adapt, but I'm learning. I went and watched Music and Spoken word on Sunday, and (Mom, if you're eating anything, swallow so you don't choke) I kind of enjoyed it. It scared me. Motab is supposed to be bad.....I guess I'm deprived here and they say even the worst food and water looks good to a starving man (which is also why you have to be careful with the sister missionaries ;)) I'm down to 4 minutes. If i dont finish everything, I'll write a letter later tonight and send it in the mail tomorrow. Sorry if i've forgoten to answer any questions. Just send them again and I'll try next week. I love you all, and even though it was hard to come here and a hard first couple of days, I'm glad I'm here and I'm adapting. Imel upanje....I have hope. I have hope that everything that's hard will get easier with hard work and effort. I'm positive that i'd rather not be anywhere else right now.
I love you guys a bunch. Feel free to send me letters, that way i can respond whenever.
P.J. (or Staresina Quinn, if we're being official)

So...some commentary to clarify a few things for those who are new to this whole mission thing. The word "Brat" is "brother" in Slovene. It's how we politely refer to each other in our church (either brother or sister in the place of Mr. or Mrs.). Also, the investigator he was referring to is an actress who is pretending to be the person they teach and practice their skills on.

MoTab is Mormon slang for Mormon Tabernacle Choir. P.J. is infamous for not being a huge fan of the MoTab in the past, but apparently being without music is making him a little bit of a thirsty man in the desert. Ha! That part actually made me laugh.

Also, those of you who know P.J. well know that he is pretty infamous for NEVER studying. I don't know how many times Phil and I have harassed him in the past for not studying, but it's because I can't fathom having a good enough memory to not need to. I used to always tell him growing up that he would be the first really smart guy to flunk out of college because he didn't have a clue how to study. It is music to my ears to hear him actually use the term, "study," and to know that he is learning how to do it. Ahhhhh! Just one of the many blessings of serving a mission that he is experiencing. Saweeet!

Until next week...Bye! ~Dore

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