First email from Elder Pratt:
I am here in the MTC. The flights were pretty good (the start of the Atlanta to Bogota flight was really really turbulent and I seriously thought I might die. I figured that'd be a pretty good place to go though, I'd def get props in heaven for dying on the way to a mission). I got here last night at about 11 and grabbed a few hours of nervous sleep mostly consisting of me just thinking "whaaaaa this is crazyyyyyyyyy". Today have played sports, failed to understand spanish, been in a class ot two, failed to understand more spanish, and started to maybe understand spanish. It is kinda crazy and hard when people are speaking full speed at you, so I am pretty bad at communicating with the latin missionaries, but there are 4 North Americans here and boy am I glad to have them! We are all in a district together since we are the only ones, but they are great. They've been here for 2 weeks already so I have a lot of catching up to do, but so far all of my teachers have been really impressed with my spanish. I think the high school spanish is coming back to me. The teachers talk really slow and don't pressure me to answer quickly so I have time to think and it's not too bad. But when other regular people speak to me in spanish, they just talk too fast and everything sounds like one word and it is basically the most stressful thing in my life. I feel so bad cause I want to understand them but I just can't haha. One of my teachers just told me to be patient and stuff because I'm doing well for my first day. It already feels like I've been here for a week with how much we've done. Also the other kids in my district are heading out in 4 weeks, but I am set to be here 6 but a few teachers so far have said that they won't keep me that long. Happy, scared, scared, happy. Here are some things that I've learned in my day of travel and first half day in the CCM (MTC for cool people in Colombia):
- I think my hair heard that I was going to be a missionary because my hairline has never been as far back as it has when I cut my hair for the CCM.
- The Barber's Theorem is real, and it's awful. (for those who don't know, the Barber's Theorem is an idea I developed a few years ago that when I cut my hair short, my ears actually physically push out farther from my head and stick out even more)
- If old people speak to you in spanish and they don't sound like they're asking a question, a simple smile and nod is really effective to pretend to understand and gain respect.
- I have really weak arms. Lifting luggage in high places is not a strength of mine. Don't worry though, it's going to be an official goal to fix this.
- When people talk to me in spanish really fast, I have this super power I like to call "Cry on the inside and turn of ears to avoid getting disappointed when you don't understand." I have a feeling that this will not be considered a super power for much longer.
- ain't nothing wrong with a little spanglish.
I'll get more time to write next week and I'll bring notes and stuff so maybe I'll have some fun things to tell. So far, this place is beautful, the people are nice, and maybe someday I'll know what they're saying.
I love you all!
- Elder Pratt