After 13 minutes of reading I have about 17 minutes left to write a bunch of things, both trivial and meaningful. Hopefully you won’t be mad if I cruise through the trivial. First: The MTC, the District, etc. The MTC is great. The food here is amazing, if a little heavy on the protein (a lot of us smell quite literally like meat heads). The schedule is intense. We have to wake up at 6:30am (more like 6:25 am to fit in everything and shave, which I have to do now every day), study from 7-8 am, breakfast from 8-8:30 am, study from 8:30-10:30 am, gym from 10:30-11:30 am, lunch from 12-1 pm, study from 1-5 pm, dinner from 5-6 pm, study from 6-9 pm, planning from 9:15-9:45 pm, all pre-bed things from 9:45-10 pm and writing in journal, planning, etc. from 10-11 pm when we have lights out. Of course, there is some variation on the theme, but that’s the general idea.
My companion is a certain Elder Greenwood from Orem, Utah. He’s a redhead with a wry sense of humor. He reminds me a lot of Erik Burton and Ketan Ahuja, actually. Only he’s not from Norway or England. I think, somehow, I just always get put with the funny, quiet kids that are always on the ball, which is a really good thing.
I was called as the District Leader for the next nine weeks here in the MTC, and, um…well…let’s just say everybody was as surprised as I was. I’m not going to say I’m disobedient or rambunctious, but I will say that my being a space cadet when it comes to planned meetings (already missed my first one as District Leader,) and my general passion for having fun while working hard give off a distinctly ‘swimming duck’ vibe (calm on the top and kicking like mad underneath) that doesn’t jibe well with the general search for sackcloth and ashes that a lot of people (i.e. from Utah) expect. So, I dunno…I think my being called as District Leader may have ruffled the feathers of a few of the more outwardly obedient ones, but there’s not a whole lot I can do about that except smile and continue to get called out for being too loud at gym. 🙂 (P.S. Volleyball is great! How could you not scream for joy with every point?! I accidentally kicked a ball pretty hard over to the other side to give them the serve and nailed a kid right in the huevos…oops!)
The District! My District is downright wonderful. I love every one of those boys. There are a lot of kiddos from Orem here, most of which went to BYU or BYU Idaho. There’s one boy with the last name Pacheco (Brazilian last name) that comes from…um…I dunno, but not Orem. We’ve got a kid from Rigby, Idaho (where’s that? Dunno) and two sisters, both very sweet and very hard working. The kids in my District are going to Recife and Ribeirão Preto. The picture is of my district. There are about 300 missionaries here in the MTC, 60% North Americans. We sing the Brazilian National Anthem every Sunday.
I eat lunch and dinner with Brazilians, but there are no Brazilians in my District, which means that I don’t study with them during class time. But that’s okay because I usually study best/am the most productive when I’m studying by myself, so I’m usually silent when I’m studying except for companionship study.
On another note, typing on this Portuguese keyboard is notoriously difficult. On the subject of Portuguese — WOWZA. I feel very, very, very, very lucky that I had the chance to study Spanish and a little bit of Portuguese before I came. I can carry on a conversation with all the Brasileiros and God is merciful, the Atonement is real, being a missionary is like learning in super-speed (think that one guy with the visor from Star Trek who says funny things). Pyyyyeeeooowwwwwwwwwww. Thank you for all your messages. You are all darling. I love you all, the Church is true, Amen. Time is out!
-Scotty the Lanyon Fleming-