The MTC is everything I expected and more! I better start from the beginning though so I don't forget anything. The flights were good. Fairly uneventful. Like I said on the phone, the first one I was in the row behind first class (lots of foot room) and the seat beside me was empty! After I got to Salt Lake I received my bags without trouble and headed to the shuttle kiosk. This is where I met Elder Castro. Poor guy had no idea what was going on, so we got him a spot on the shuttle to the MTC. He is from Portugal and is going to serve in the New York, New York Mission speaking Portuguese! Really cool guy, and really nice for having gone 2 days without sleep and having the airline lose his bags in Pittsburgh. One more Elder joined us in the shuttle. Elder Samuela (not certain if that's spelled correctly) from Australia. Big Maori guy from Australia. He's heading to the Japan, Kobe mission, speaking Japanese. Really cool guy as well. We survived the shuttle ride (barely). Our driver was crazy. Like if Scrooge and the Grinch had a child... Yeah. But we made it. We arrived at about 12:30AM and they fed us a bit before sending us three off to a temporary room with some other early arrivals. It was neat because all of us in that room were going to different places and were from different places. There aren't many places in the world where you can meet so many outstanding young people that share the same values. Obviously there are a few iffy Elders, but for the most part I look up to everyone around me. Especially those in my branch, which I'll talk about next. On the 6th we were able to meet our teacher (Brother Christansen). He's so great. Really look up to him as well. He's a RM from Mad and attends BYU now as well as working for the MTC. He's studying medicine. My companion also arrived. And guess what!? It's the kid who found me on instagram! Elder Soper is his name. From Orem, Utah. Oh and get this, we're the only one's heading to Mad or learning Malagasy! We get a 1:2 teacher to student ratio! I wasn't expecting such a small class, but it really does help while learning. The teacher will only speak Malagasy to us, so it can be frustrating, but we pray for the gift of tongues every day and night and it helps. I'd like to invite you guys to do that for us as well, pray for us to have the spirit help while we learn and receive the gift of tongues. It really is the only way we'll be ready in 6 weeks. Anyways, about the branch. It's just the best. We're like the island branch. We have all of the Elders going to Fiji, Samoa, Marshall Islands, and the people learning Haitian Creole (although they're going to the US to teach). Everyone here is either Polynesian or now acts like a Polynesian. Everyone's always hugging and telling each other how much they love each other and just about everyone told us when we met them that anything that is theirs is ours as well. They're all amazing, will be fantastic missionaries and inspire me to be a great missionary as well. Our residence (room) has four Elders in it. Elder Simiskey, Elder Hamon, Elder Soper and I. I guess they decided to group all the white elders in our district together haha. Elder S is from Utah and Elder H is from Australia and they're both heading to Fiji in a couple weeks. They're also our Zone Leaders. Elder Soper was just called to be District Leader as well (which means I basically have to do all of the same things because we're always together) and I was called as the Senior Companion. Anyways, I love the people here. I love my companion even though he insists on stopping at every single water fountain. I love The Islanders even though when they hug me they pick me up and spin me around. I love and am grateful for Elder Simiskey and Elder Hamon even though they both snore. I can feel their power when they teach, that's the point I want to reach. To be able to teach with power. The language is daunting, even discouraging at times. It's frustrating because I can't always teach the way I would like to because of the language barrier. Tomorrow we teach our first official lesson. Elder Soper and I are both freaking out a little bit. We just had what has been probably the most spiritual experience so far. This batch of Fijian Elders are leaving, so (as per tradition) we all got together and sang a hymn from each of our languages. The Tongan one was amazing. So powerful, even though we didn't understand/remember what all of the words meant. Our schedules are packed. This work and the people I am working with make me so happy, so don't worry about me. I can already tell this will be the best two years of my life. I'll keep all of you in my prayers.
P.S. You can just post this whole letter to the blog. Don't have time to write anything separately.
P.P.S. I'll try to send pictures next Friday (P day), I need to get someone to show me how.