NOVEMBER 28, 2012
MTCssa on hyva. Mina teidan etta Mormonin Kirjasta on totta. And that's about the extent of my Finnish off the top of my head. But it is coming, I will say that. It is hard to remember that I've only had about a week of actual classes, and that in reality, my Finnish is quite good. It is so hard because you have to put a case onto almost every word in every sentence. And conguate as well. So each word must be stripped down to the stem, and then chaned from there. There are about 16 cases. English has like four that are only used with pronouns, and Spanish has three. So basically it is all just hard core memorization of not only words, but what to do with them.
Thanksgiving was good. Elder Holland came! He is such a powerful man and speaker. He gave an awesome talk, and a program by his family. He talked a lot about how this is "real life." I am a frequent user of this phrase. But it is so true, this is not just an 18 month break from my life, it is the next 18 month step of my life. If I do this whole missionary thing right, than it will change my life forever. Hopefully. But it was a nice welcome slap in the face.
About the only thing worse than eating MTC food for Thanksgiving dinner, is getting sick from MTC food for Thanksgiving dinner. It was not too fun. By 6:45 I was stuck somewhere between my bed and the bathroom, and by 7:30 I was asleep for the night. I think part of it had to do with pure exhaustion. With such little sleep on Tuesday, and then a very stressful and frustrating P-day on Wednesday (it's hard to accommadate for three people, especially when one is not so willing to help the others out) I was pooped. Friday I still felt a little sick, but by lunch time I was a lot better. I'm making sure to drink tons of water, and then powerade at each meal.
My Elders are good. Sometimes it is hard to be around them when they don't want to focus. During personal study time I was having an awesome moment, and I had to "shhhh" them, which I hate doing. I hate being that person. But there are so few moments where there can be silence, I try to take advantage of them all.
So, twist in the plot (actually, I totally saw it coming) our investigator Mikko is actually not Mikko. He is Veli Mock, our third teacher. Almost each day I am given another reason to love my teachers, and to know that they are exactly what I need. Veli Mock has been teaching here for about three and a half years. Veli Peterson, one of the other teachers was in his very first group of missionaries, and yesterday he told us we are his last. Veli Boyer just barely started working here about four months ago, and if I had come at any other time, he would not be my teacher. I'm so grateful for them, and I'm sure I will continue to say that in my next 10 emails. Because they really are what helps get through each day here.
So, my schedule is different each day, but basically this is what happens. At 6:55 am my Elders pick me up, and then we walk to the classroom, in the obscure language building, on the thid floor, which is the obscure European language hall. Until 7:45 we have additional study time, in which we usually plan out the Finnish for whatever lesson we have to teach next. From 7:45-8:15 we have breakfast time, and then from 8:20-11:20 we have class. Which is usually done in Finnish. We go over all sorts of langauge things, and then sometimes have other lessons in between. From 11:25-12:25 we have personal study, in which we study for ourselves what we would like to talk about in the lessons. 12:25-1ish is lunch. And then after lunch we have usually an hour of language study, and then three more hours of class. Then dinner, and then we have an hour of TALL, which is a computer language something or other. It helps us with pronounciation and such. We go to that with the other Finns, and the Estonians. It gets a little crazy, and then Princess Ikea starts to complain...oh well. Then we plan for the next day, and then go to the gym for an hour. Then bed time. I think that is how our Mondays work, but every day is different, so I really rely on that white planner, if not I am so confused.
Sometimes I get really confused in class because there are so many languages happening. Vanhin Downs who sits next to me speaks quite a bit of French and Dutch, then Vanhin Golling speaks a lot of Spanish, Vanhin Wood speaks Japanese, Vanhin Glasglow speaks French, and Vanhin Ream speaks German. None of which are like Finnish. And then I'm constantly surprised by how much Chinese I actually know. Haha, when I learn a word in Finnish that I know in Chinese, it always comes right to my mind. I had to ban them all from speaking anything other than English or Finnish in class. I have to ban them from a lot of things. Like sliding down the stair rail. Singing Lonely Island songs. And so much more. One of them started calling me mom. I hate that. I did not think I was like that. But I'm still always surprised at my patience. None of you would even believe it.
We have some questions:
1. How tall is Brittany Snow?
2. Is Kim Kardashian knocked up yet?
3. How 'bout Kate and Will?
4. Can you just write down the headlines from people.com?
5. Remember that the Grammy nominations are announced on December 5.
The MTC is an awful place, but also the most awesome place ever as well. It's amazing everyday to see so many people doing exactly the same thing. I'm so glad I get to experience it. I hate the toilet paper dispencers. I'm going to have like three sets of companions. Already, mine are getting ready to leave. 12 weeks is such a long time. I'm so grateful for the experiences I've already had on my mission, and it's only been two full weeks! I am so happy and excited that I can do this for another 17 1/2 months.
I love you all, and keep sending the DearElders and letters. I LOVE THEM. Minun rakastan sinun. That was probably wrong, but oh well, don't judged me.
Love, Sisar Clifford