Things are at the MTC are going good. This keyboard is weird so don't mind if my spelling is bad or if looks like a 5 year old. I've been told that the hour you have for emailing is the fastest hour in the MTC, so I'm trying to type fast so I can let you know all that I've been up to and all that I've been thinking.
Just a little more info on the plane ride down, I actually met up with Stephanie Drew, she is Corey's younger sister so that was kind of cool. So we spent the whole time down together in the airports. It was nice to have some company. Luckily our flight from Houston to Buenos Aires the plane was like a quarter full, so I was able to sprawl out across the seats and sleep pretty well. When we got to the airport down here I was super lost, everything was spanish and happening so fast.. But we eventually found our taxi driver and he drove us to the MTC. The area here is pretty nice, the MTC isn't huge but there are about 90 of us here, North Americans and South Americans. But its a nice set up, the temple is right across the street and we have a sports court outside as well which has basketball hoops, soccer nets, volleyball nets, footballs, so we have lots to do during our physical activity.
On the first day we got here I was placed with Elder Oliver from Utah, but about an hour later we were pulled into the presidents office and were told that we were being put into a trio companionship. So its me, Elder Oliver, and Elder Smart who is also from Utah. They are both awesome guys and its a lot of fun. We have 7 guys in our room, 5 North Americans and 2 South Americans, from Brazil and Chile. It is so packed but it is also a lot of fun. I've learned that even though we are supposed to be focused on the Lord's work we are also allowed to have a good time. For the most part we focus hard and study, but during our free time it really is a blast down here. Just a bunch of kids that have the same standards, they really are an awesome group of people and I've learned to love them a lot.
One other pretty cool thing is I got made the District Leader of my district here in the MTC last Saturday. I was pulled into the President's office and was told all about it and then asked if I would be willing to accept, and of course I was. It does put a lot more responsibilities on my shoulders, on top of the millions I already have, but I have already seen it be a blessing in my life. My district is made up of 8 hermanas (sisters) and 4 other elders. So last Saturday I had to write a talk, prepare a lesson, and prepare for personal meetings with my district. It was one of the more overwhelming days of my life, but when everything went smooth and was over with I felt great. Putting my mind to things is something I've tried to learn early and its paying off well.
Our President is Presidente Openshaw. He is seriously the most amazing guy. He can answer any question you ask him with a scripture, Ive heard of him answering questions about dinosaurs, evolution, and more through the scriptures. In his lessons we learn so much, almost too much to take in but thats why we have to write it all down so we can process it later. He is super friendly and every time he sees you he lets you know how much he loves you and how happy he is to have you here.
The food is actually pretty good, we have only had one meal so far that I haven't liked.. it was some cornmeal with weird sauce on top. But for the most part we eat a lot of meat, soups, salads, bread. It is definitely different then our food in Canada but it all tastes awesome, the chefs slave away all day and are the nicest people ever. I seriously miss candy and junk food so much though its bad haha.. The stuff you sent me didn't last long. I shared it with my companions and they now think Canadian candy is the best stuff ever.. I wish I had stuffed my suitcase with 10 pounds of it. We do get a little dessert at dinner time but its not enough to satisfy haha.
And now for the part you really wanna know.. The Spanish. Well to be honest its crazy hard, and to think its one of the easiest languages to learn just blows my mind haha. I know it's early, but it's super frustrating not being able to wrap my mind on some concepts. We are told not to compare ourselves to others but its hard.. Everyone but one of my companions had taken Spanish in high school, so they already knew the basics coming in. It definitely made for a tough couple first days when everyone was understanding things and I was lost. Our teachers are almost all from Argentina so Spanish is their dominate language. Some have such a thick accent that you can hardly understand their English which makes it tough when they are trying to explain things, but luckily our two main teachers both speak pretty good english which really helps. Ive learned the basic thinks, I know how to bare my testimony and pray, and can make basic conversations such as... hello, how are you, I'm good thanks, how's your day been. simple stuff like that. But the way they do some things is so backward in my mind. But I know it'll come with time. Its actually super nice having so many South Americans around. We try to talk to them in Spanish all the time and they usually just laugh at us, but are super friendly. I was trying to ask my roommate if Brazilian girls were cute, and I accidentally asked if Brazilian brothers are cute. They laughed so hard at that one... its a challenge but its such a good feeling when you start understanding more and more. I know it will come with time and practice.
Yesterday I got to leave the MTC for a bit to get fingerprinted for my visa. It was my first time really in the city. it is huge! A lot of it is really old and the houses are in pretty rough shape.. there is also rubble and garbage everywhere. We did go down town tho which was pretty sweet, it reminded me a lot of Europe actually.
I just want you guys to know how much I appreciate your examples and how much I love you all. You have helped me so much in my life and are a huge part of why I'm here. Last thing I want to share is our experience with teaching investigators. Only our second day here we had to teach a fake investigator in SPANISH, man was it hard. But the lessons seem so real. We had some lines memorized and some written down, and our Spanish was awful, but the spirit was still there. They really emphasize everything on the investigator and his needs and to care about them deeply. That way we will truly want them to come to Christ, cause we know how much it'll bless their lives.
I love you guys so much. I miss you guys but actually haven't been too homesick. Im enjoying it, I'm stressed, I'm tired, but I really have loved it so far.
Cant wait to hear from you in a week.
Love, Elder Hansen.