Hola! It's the first day at the MTC and our zone leaders have asked us to write you a short letter. It was crazy after you dropped me off; I was escorted to a room where they gave me my card that gives me food, took my picture, asked me a dozen questions in spanish, whisked me off to an office where they gave me a room key, and took me to my room to drop off my stuff. The Elder who was with me then took me to the bookstore where they gave me boat loads of books, mostly in spanish. I was able then to meet my companion. His name is Elder Sonntag. He's from Arizona. He reminds me a lot of Tyson, I like him and we're going to get along great.
On June 15, 2010 Elder Johnson wrote...
I have two companions, Elders Hawkins and Sonntag. Elder Hawkins is from California and is a surfer, he's 6'3" and has wavy blond hair. Elder Sonntag is a lot like me, he did theater in high school and sings, and plays the ukulele (self-taught also). They are both going to the Portland, Oregon Spanish speaking. We all share a room with 2 desks, a "closet" each, and 3 drawers each. We sleep in bunk beds, and I have the top one which is really hard to get out of and into, especially in the dark...I have been assigned as the Senior Companion in my companionship.
We have class every single day (except Tuesday) for like 14 hours...ha ha...we started on the day you dropped me off. I'm already speaking more and better Spanish then I did in Spanish 3, and it's been 6 days. My teachers are really cool. One's name is Hermano Haight, he went to Salt Lake City South on his mission, Spanish speaking. Our other teacher is Hermana Walters, she went to Mexico (I can't remember the mission...), and she has a glass eye. The lessons are all centered around Preach My Gospel, and are all in Spanish.
The food here is...cafeteria food...it's good, and filling when it needs to be, but it's mostly bland. I really do appreciate that last American Hamburger I had, though I wish I could eat another. I'll just have to wait. They do have peanut butter here, and I eat it often.
Doug sent me a package with girl scout cookies and candy and papers and pens, and it was awesome. I got it on Saturday, and it was wonderful. Please let him know I appreciated it muy muy muy mucho.
If you can, please send me lots of dear elders, it gets really lonely here, being in a classroom all day, and getting your letters helps so much, more than you might be able to comprehend!
I love you guys soooo much! I miss you and look forward to seeing you in two years!!
P.S. It's true, I knew how to pray in Spanish at the end of the first day!
On June 22, 2010 Elder Johnson wrote...
Greetings! Well......what a week. First full week. Yee haw.
We have been studying the life of Christ this week in our companionship study, mainly the books in the New Testament. It's interesting to note the slightly more snarky remarks of Mark, in his gospel, compaired to the bland straightforwardness that we know as Matthew. We decided to name our district (my idea) the "Sons of Thunder", a name given to a few apostles by Jesus...Mark 3:17.
There have been some difficult experiences this week...I've spent lots of time on my knees trying to overcome these things...The reading of chapter 12 in Ether has helped me with this...I know that when I exercise faith and DO IT, in the Lord's name, that this weak thing will become strong to me.
I appreciate the letters and the packages, and am attempting to write back when I can! Usually every Tuesday, I write my letters.
Another note, this week is the week when the new mission presidents will be trained, that means we'll have General Authorities come speak to us! Perhaps even a member of the Quorum of the Twelve!!! We have a special devotional set aside from our normal routine to hear from a "guest speaker". I'll let you know all about it next week!! I love you!!! I miss you! Two years will come fast(ish)!