Wednesday, July 23, 2014

4-Week Mark

Hello, Family and Friends!

Here are a few can click on them to enlarge.

This week has been pretty good.  I was called as a District Leader, which means I run district meetings and go to leadership council and that sort of thing.

Language learning is still the same.  I haven't gotten my flight plans yet, but they should come in today or tomorrow, and then I leave in 2 weeks.
Anziano Keller, Anziano Blazzard, me
(Side note: Carter is our neighbor...his mom was David's seminary/scripture study teacher.  Carter will serve his mission in Reno, Nevada) Carter is coming to the Mission Training Center today, so I'll look for him among the new missionaries.

me, Keller, Blazzard,
Sorellas Russell, Friedbaum, Palmer, Maples
We had Brother Ellis of the Seventy speak to us yesterday at the well as 8 of his 9 children, all of whom had served on missions (the 9th is currently on her mission in Seoul).  It's pretty cool to hear of a family that strong in the gospel, all serving missions, all in Brazil, Portugal, and France.

We've just learned conversational past in our Italian studies.  At this point we've covered the lessons in Preach My Gospel in Italian, so we're working on more general-use speaking skills.  I think we'll do imperfect and future next.  I still need a lot of vocab words to be functional in day-to-day activities, but I'm progressing well at gospel topics.  Aunt Kathi and Kim sent me DearElder mail, which was nice; I got your message, too.
me, Blazzard, Keller
It's amazing how much food gets sent to the MTC.  Those missionaries right out of high school are getting packages with candy and cookies and all sorts of sweet stuff!  I don't know what they intend to do with it at the end of their time.  I've run into a few people I know from BYU, though Spanish-speakers are all on the West campus of the MTC.  An elder from the Ultimate team is going to Mexico, another is going stateside, an elder from my self-defense class is going stateside and an elder from my math class is going to Taiwan.

Hope everybody is doing well.
Anziano Whitesell

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July in the Provo Mission Training Center

This is part of David's email to us this week!  Frank had asked him a few questions which he answered throughout the letter.

On learning Italian: Yes, we do Speak Your Language (SYL). Not 100 per cent of the time, but if we know the word in Italian we're supposed to say it in Italian.  And we look stuff up all the time.  I used "Duo Lingo" at home; the mascot was an owl.

I got your letter from the reunion.  That was nice.  Cool that everyone could get together.  And I got Mom's package (cinnamon rolls and some things for him and his district, in Italian).  Thanks Mom!  The way it worked out, I opened it in the classroom with my district after the devotional.  It was sort of like a birthday present, and then there were rings for everyone, and Article of Faith cards in Italian for everyone, and there was much rejoicing!  I didn't realize the large box had cinnamon rolls until I got back to the dorm though so I'll bring those in to class on Thursday.

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but people in the district are like family here.  I can't access external drives (like for photos) here, but we're taking a group picture and I'll send it snail mail to you.  We spend 6 hours a day together classroom time, and another couple of hours together for meals and during language study, and at the end of language study we have family prayer to close out the day.

Here is my district; 3 Elders including me ("Anziano"), and 4 sisters ("Sorella"):
*Anziano Blazzard, from Las Vegas, NV, District Leader.  Has 3 older siblings, likes making up beats, graduated HS my year, has been working at a grocery store for the past year.
*Anziano Keller, from Menden, UT, has 3 older sisters, very good at pronouncing scriptures, just graduated from HS
*Sorella Friedbaum from Provo, UT, has 4 siblings, went to BYU at Heritage last year
*Sorella Russell, from St. Louis, MO, some older, some younger siblings, super energetic
*Sorella Maples, from Westhaven, UT, 7th of 10 children, looking at BYU next year
*Sorella Palmer, from Australia, older and younger siblings.  Has scuba training, going to U of U when she gets back

They're pretty cool. And our zone (the people learning Italian and Romanian) is pretty cool too; usually there is a cluster of Italians at a mealtime table, or mixed Italian-Romanian cluster.

I miss you guys but I keep busy over here.  We're going to the temple for the first time today, since it's been closed for maintenance the last 2 weeks.  Looking forward to that.

Anziano Whitesell