Troy’s Letter: January 12, 2010

12 01 2010

Hola family,

They came! Flight plans came! My district freaked out when they came.  We went around showing them off to everyone in our zone. It’s pretty exciting. Alright,  so here’s what’s happening:

I pack up this Saturday, and then Monday morning, we bring our luggage to the travel office.  I have to be there by 11:30 a.m.  I meet our driver, and we pack up to the airport. My plane leaves at 3:30 p.m., I think from the SLC airport to Dallas. So be ready for my phone call. I should be calling sometime around 1-3pm I’m not sure exactly when- but definitely sometime in the early afternoon. That should be an exciting day. So I fly to Dallas, and then I have a 3 or 4 hour layover…then get this… my plane leaves Dallas at 9:30 at night and I arrive in Santiago, Chile at 9:30 in the morning, haha! With the time change, I think it’s a 10 hour flight- all through the night. I’m not sure what we do when I’m going to get to Santiago. I’m pretty sure we will have a very long (like 6 or 7) hour bus ride to the mission home in Viña. So I won’t actually get to the mission until like a day and a half after I leave for it. Talk about a long trip.

But anyways, there are 12 Elders total in my flight group. I know a couple of them that are in my zone and some of the 12 are from my first district- the beginner district–but no one on my flight is from my district. But guess what?  Elder Brown and Elder Smith (in the picture above) have a layover in Santiago, Chile the same time that I will arrive there so I will actually see them in Chile! Haha…crazy!  But yeah, we are getting stoked. Thanks for sending the calling card. I just found out like yesterday, that I can actually buy one in the bookstore here, but it’s all good.

So this past week has been more Spanish that I have ever spoken in my entire life. I won’t say that I spoke nothing but Spanish, but I would say a good 90 percent was Spanish. It was a week of huge improvements and a lot of teaching. We taught exactly 20 lessons last week- it was ridiculous. I can’t wait to teach real people, but it’s going to take me a while to understand the Chilean people. Our new teacher served his mission in Chile and he said it took him about a month until he could understand the people. I have a feeling it will be the same for me. But I just want to get out there and learn the Spanish and be with the people. It’s getting harder and harder to focus here, when we know what’s coming up, haha. So as of today, we are the oldest group in our district…a weird feeling.

I also gave a talk in church on Sunday. Our branch presidency randomly picks two missionaries every Sunday to give a talk, and of course, out of everyone they had to choose me, haha. But it wasn’t too bad, I gave a short talk in Spanish about the Holy Ghost and I think it went pretty well.

Being a host was pretty cool this week. It was pretty much just a break from class, and the chance to be outside for once was nice. I helped 3 or 4 missionaries go through the motions and get settled in. The teachers gave us some hot chocolate, and we joked around and had a good time. It’s weird to think of how much has happened since I entered the MTC. It really feels like a year ago, so much has happened here. I felt bad because one of the Elders I helped and picked up was crying when they dropped him off.  His whole family was pretty upset. It was a sad sight, but I’m sure he’s fine now. Our district is going to be hosts again this week and I’m looking forward to another break from class.

I have to say it is still pretty weird that John is 2 doors away from me. It’s crazy. But it’s hard to communicate with him when I’m trying to speak only Spanish. So I make a lot of jumping motions and hand signals.  John just makes fun of me. I’m sure you all can picture it perfectly.  He comes to me with Spanish questions and I can tell that he is learning a little bit. Sometimes he picks up one or two of the words I say.

The RC this week was pretty good as well. All of our outbound calls are in Spanish now. Sometimes it’s really tough and sometimes it’s really easy. I think I’ve sent the missionaries to people over the phone 4 times in Spanish. But there were 2 or 3 times where the person just got so frustrated because we couldn’t understand each other that they just hung up, haha. I’ve learned to get over being frustrated with the language. I just have to realize my time will come, and I can definitely see the improvements daily.
Something I thought you would find interesting- we ate in the Provo Temple today after our session. They actually have a restaurant in the basement, haha.  It was nice to eat somewhere besides the MTC cafeteria for once.

It’s weird to think this is my last email from the MTC.  My time is running out, but the next time I talk to you guys will be from the airport. I love you all, and I’m excited to call on Monday.

Love,

Elder Teeples

P.S. Taryn and Savannah send me a Dear Elder before Lunes.  Tell Joel I want to hear from him, too, before I leave.

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