Wow! The first week was really hard and quite up and down to say the least. I haven't quite gotten into the rythm of the MTC yet but I have been working hard. When Mom and Savannah dropped me off they immediately took me to get a bunch of language learning books, like 15 lbs of language books what they call the brick of learning and then stuck me in a classroom with An Lao Shi or Teacher Anderson who is the most amazing teacher ever. He is always so positive but I have never heard him speak english. I know he does though. I spend most of my time in this little classroom studying the language. It is a strange and difficult language for sure but I am slowly picking it up. The tones are the hardest thing by far for me. I am good with remembering vocab but not with the tones. There are 5 tones and I mix them up a lot. The language sounds kind of like singing almost. It's strange. Anyways so there are like 7 guys in the classroom which is our district. 4 of them are going to the Singapore mission. Those are the only 4 in the entire MTC who are going to Singapore. The other 3 are going to England and one is actually going to Riverside California. Most people who speak Mandarin go to Taiwan. I am in the same building as Jason Gardiner and Kristina Olson. So I've seen them a lot. Also I met this guy named Tim Nixon who actually it was pretty crazy was telling me all about our house and how he played basketball on our bball court. It was pretty crazy. He is Lea Daly's cousin (Sawyer will know who that is) and he is good friends with Derek Ludlow.
So I think you want to know about my companion. His name is Elder Lundahl -Wolford or Lu Zhang Lao. He is super hilarious and a hardworking true cowboy. He is a redneck cowboy farmer from Logan Utah who has a huge redneck accent and isn't afraid to say anything to anyone. So we often find ourselves talking to people. We get along great. Probably too great to be honest. We mess around a lot just cause we get along so well. Sometimes we need to focus more. But he is super into working out and so that was huge. He even works out in the morning. He works out in the mornings wakes up and early and at night and during gym time. So he has been pushing me which is good. We have been killing the protein shakes and so Dad we will probably need you to send me some more soon. I don't think we can get it here. Also I got a package from someone, assuming its you guys, but I haven't been able to get it yet since yesterday was sunday but I'll get it today. Oh and I forgot to mention but things haven't changed much from home, me and Lu are always late to everything. We need work on that big time.
So I thought you guys might like to know about how my daily schedule works here.
6:30 wake up (or at least we try)
7:00 breakfast (the food is pretty good, not as good as MIT though)
7:25-8:25 Gym time ( the gym is good they have weights and stuff although the basketball players are terrible)
9:00-11:30 Classroom Study ( we have already taught two lessons to an investigator in Mandarin, Don't ask how we did it, because I have no idea, they weren't the greatest lessons but I think she got the gist, we have to be very creative since we don't know a lot of Mandarin yet but we know enough)
12:15-4:30 more classroom study
5:15 Personal Study
6:15 Companionship Study
7:15 Language Study
8:15 Additional Study
9:00 Daily Planning Session
9:30-10:30 Personal Time ( me and Lu (my companion) always work out we are trying to get huge)
Thats about a regular day. As you can see lots of study study study but there is a lot of fun too. Also Sunday's are a little different. There are lots of church meetings and then we have a devotional from someone legit at night. Yesterday it was Sherry Du who was in the Young Women's presidency is the CEO of Deseret Books and is awesome. It often is one of the apostles so that is super awesome. Also on Sunday we have a Zone sacrament meeting all in Zhong Wen (Chinese) and they don't give you any notice if you are going to be giving a talk or a prayer that day or anything. They just announce it on the program on the spot and then you have to do it. So you have to prepare a talk each and every single week. So anyways, I get there not thinking they would call on any of the 3 day new elders to do anything but of course Elder Pierce is giving the opening prayer and so I did it all in Chinese without any help. I was pretty proud of myself for only three days but that is how fast learning goes on here. It's unbelievable. But I am still very bad at Chinese don't worry, I have a long way to go.
-Ping Zhaung Lao