Saturday, June 11, 2011

Week 1: The start of the MTC (May 25- June 1)

Today officially marks one week in the MTC...where do I possibly begin? I love it here. Everyone kept telling me that the first week is the hardest, and that I just needed to make it till Sunday...and I kept waiting for it to get hard! I loved my first week! Granted, it is an adjustment. It truly is miraculous that I have been able to get up every morning at 6:30 and manage to stay awake in class! But the MTC really is a special place. I love it! I am a solo sister, which means that it's just me and 6 elders in my district. It's tough, but the elders are really great and keep class interesting.
Voi etta! (Oh my goodness!) Finnish is hard! On our first day of class, I immediately envied every Spanish, French or English speaking missionary. Our district is part of a "pilot program" which basically means that we do everything in Finnish. (Our teachers can only speak to us in Finnish, we only teach in Finnish, etc.) It's actually really great. It's hard of course, but it's amazing how much of the language we have already been able to learn because of it. As part of the pilot program, we also have a "progressing investigator" named Passi. I feel like it is so much more helpful than teaching volunteers at the TRC because we can really focus on tailoring our lessons to Passi's needs. We have already taught 3 lessons in Finnish, and we're teaching another one tonight! Crazy!
My companions are Sisar Christofferson and Ode Nef. Sisar Christofferson is a fellow Finn, but she is 6 weeks ahead of me in the language, which is really helpful. When I first met her, I could immediately tell that I was going to learn a lot from her. She is bubbly and bright and everything I could ever hope for in a companion! Ode Nef is going to Estonia. She is hilarious! I love them both and have already learned so much from both of them.
I love being here and meeting so many strong Elders and Sisters! It's fun to say hello to fellow missionaries as you pass them and hear all the different languages. (So whenever I say hello, I say "Terve!") I have become so used to saying "Hello," "Thanks," "Sorry" and "Excuse Me" in Finnish that I have to consciously think to say it in English.
I have learned so much this week, and the amazing part is that this is only the beginning! I look forward to the next 18 months and all that they have in store.
Mina rakastan tanta! (I love you guys!)
Sisar Shaw

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