Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." - Neale Donald Walsch

Ia Orana!!!!

Hokay so. I'm about to embark on my 8th week at the MTC and Tahiti is finally becoming a mental reality! I don't want anyone to worry about me, I'm doing really well. Seriously. :) The languages are difficult, but it's not like I'm learning Russian or Japanese, the languages are totally do-able. My teachers are so cool, they tell us interesting things about Tahiti all the time now (praises, I was getting worried that there were dark secrets about the island or something) and I have learned a few cool things:

1. Rotten fish is actually something they eat. Like apparently they deliberately put raw fish in a container and let it sit there for a week until it turns a color and then they eat it. I don't really understand, but if I die out there, now you'll know why.

2. I will get tan. Praises.

3. I will be given gifts all the time because I'm an American girl. I am allowed to accept these gifts! Gifts include: real pearl earrings, necklaces, ukuleles, etc.

4. I will have to deal with cockroaches. If you want to send packages of Roach Killer to my Tahitian address now, I wouldn't object. Please & thank you.

5. I will be doing a lot of reactivation. Our teachers said they would be very surprised if we met ANYONE who hasn't already heard about the gospel. Tough stuff, that means we have to do something different than all the previous missionaries. Challenge accepted.

6. Letters will take about 2 months to reach me, packages somewhere between 2 and 4 months.

I have taught approximately 4 lessons in Tahitian, a total of about 100 minutes. Yes, I have had a big smile on my face while I'm teaching (big indicator of my lack of comprehension), however I can use pictures and string a few words together like a pro. I can understand about 10% of spoken Tahitian, written Tahitian is about 20%.

Oh, I might be on TV. Apparently there is a special feature for one-hour between General Conference sessions where they do an edition highlighting a place in the world. This Conference session's special feature is about the MTC! I am in the choir and the news crew filmed us singing a song and apparently some clips will be in it! Not sure if I'm in it or not but feel free to look for me. :)

My volleyball skills have improved since I arrived at the MTC. I got hit in the face again, I just don't know what's going on. I don't know if I've mentioned this or not, but I have had the best salads of my life here. My district and the other Tahitian district is super tight pretty much, we're all so lucky. I can't say that enough.

My testimony of prayer and the Book of Mormon is the strongest it has ever been. My teacher Frere F made us a promise that if we read the entire Tahitian Buka a Moromona out loud and write the English (or French, whichever I think of first) word above it, we will be fluent in Tahitian by the end of it. He said that everyone who did that in the mission field was successful. I've gotten through the introduction and the page after that, wish me luck. My days are long but filled with so many things, it's amazing how much you can accomplish before lunch.

My friend Fran D came in to the MTC! It's always a big ordeal when we see each other, love her. Ok I've got 1 minute left & I hope I have left you with some pearls of information. It's so hard to summarize time here, but just know that I am happy and working through things that aren't perfect. Big hug for everyone who (isn't a guy) and who reads this blog, handshake for all the guys who read this.

Soeur Carter