Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week One

We were so excited to get Alyssa's first "real" e-mail today.  We were sure it would come today or tomorrow so I (Stephanie) kept checking my e-mail about every 20-30 minutes.  I was so happy when the e-mail showed up!  :-)  It did my heart a world of good.  Alyssa responded to a couple of e-mails I sent, and one of those e-mails included a list of questions for her to answer; thus the numbered paragraphs in her response.  I'll add the questions she was responding at the end.

Week 1: 

I can´t believe I have already missed so much and I have only been gone a week! I will definitely be praying for Opa and Victoria. Let me know how Opa´s surgery went. 

1.  What is your room like at the MTC?  I understand they have dorms -- do you have separate bedrooms?  Roommates?  Community bathrooms or individual bathrooms?
I am in a casa in the CCM. It´s like a house with living room/sitting area and a laundry room and several different bedrooms (5 I think). My room is set up for 2 companionships. It has 2 bunk beds and 4 closets that are kind of like lockers and one bathroom so we only have 4 hermanas to a bathroom. The bathroom is really gross. Our shower always overflows and the floor is always wet and the sink is always wet and the mirror is always fogged up and we can hear the hermanas from the room across the hall when they are in their bathroom because there is a separation between the wall and the window and it´s really annoying. There are two really, really small tables that are supposed to be desks but they are not big enough so we never use them--not that we have that much time in our rooms anyway. Everyone in our casa is native and my companion and I are the only ones who speak English... Not everyone follows the mission rules on going to bed on time and waking up on time. They ALL stay up past 11 which kills me because I can´t fall asleep. They just leave all the lights on and their door open like it´s a bug slumber party. The 2 hermanas in our room like to move their suitcases around while I´m trying to sleep but I can´t even ask them to go to bed because I don´t remember how...and plus I think they leave in a few days. One of the hermanas in my room even has a phone. What´s up with that?
2.  What is the food like?  What kinds of things are they feeding you?
The food is...interesting. Mostly good, but not very American. They had pizza and spaghetti one day, though, which was really nice. I usually don´t know what the food is, but I just try to get chicken and it´s pretty good. Lunch is the best meal of the day here. They always have a dessert and pastries and those are really hit or miss. The bread is so dry which is disappointing because I love bread. They have juice with every meal and it´s always delicious, the only one I didn´t like was piña colada was weird. Usually meals are some kind of meat and there are vegetables, salad bar, always fresh fruit. So there´s at least something I will eat.
3.  What is your daily schedule like?
My daily schedule is as follows: wake up at 6:30, breakfast 7:15 to 7:45, personal study until 8:45 and then we have class until 11:45. We then have additional study until lunch at 12:15. After lunch is TALL (a computer program to help us learn Spanish, but it´s really boring.) Then from 2:15 to 3:45 we have more study time and then gym until 4:45. We have time after that to get ready and do our daily planning. Dinner is at 5:45 and then after that we have been teaching our investigator...yeah, that´s right! They already have us teaching! In Spanish! They are teachers pretending to be investigators, but still! Next week we will have more lessons and language class instead of having so much time to prep and teach our investigator.
4.  How many missionaries are in your district?  Are you all going to be leaving for Honduras at the same time?
There are 9 of us in District 6A. Elders Scott (our District leader), Erikson, Jenness, and Butler. And Hermanas Gisseman (that would be me), Whittle (my companion), Cutler (who was in my tap class at BYU!!!!), Brugman, and Henderson (who is from Anchorage). The other hermanas are in a trio. Only Hmna Whittle and Elders Scott and Erikson and I are going to Honduras San Pedro Sula West. And we are all leaving together, I assume on November 11--that´s what the front of the packet of info they gave us said anyway.
5.  How is the weather?
The weather is nice. It´s cold in the mornings and then warms up. It feels dry to me and when I went running the air felt thin...or I am just out of shape. It has rained twice but both times we could see the clouds come in so it wasn´t a surprise. We didn´t have umbrellas on us, though, so thankfully our elders lent us an umbrella. I haven´t been too cold--not cold enough to need to wear a jacket.
6.  Is it pretty there?
It is pretty in a weird way. There are mountains around us and you can see all these houses or buildings built on the mountainside and literally just house after house. They look like they just sit on top of each other. They remind me of some complicated mosaic. Some of them are gray and others are all sorts of colors. And on the top of the mountain is a big B for Benimerica of something like that which is what the school used to be called? I don´t really remember. When we drove in, I could tell how poor the city is and it´s definitely not like America at all.
7.  When is your P-Day?  (Preparation Day, for those of you unfamiliar with missions -- this is the day she gets to e-mail and they do their laundry, errands, etc.)
P-day is on Thursdays. We went to the temple today and we went through in Spanish! Crazy, right! It was so cool though. My teacher, Hna Thomas, was actually the one that helped me through and that was really neat. My teacher is so cute. She´s really short. She´s from Nebraska. She´s a runner and it´s weird for us to hear her talk in English because she is always speaking to us in Spanish.
8.  How are your language classes going?
They are okay. I got put in a beginner class which really throws me off. There were originally 2 more elders in our district--which makes up our whole class--but they got bumped up to intermediate. I´m just stuck in beginner and I´m trying to make the most of it. Maybe it´s just so I can help other people out or so I won´t feel stupid and actually speak Spanish.  I don't know. It´s just been so slow since I know everything they're teaching.

9.  What has been the most interesting thing that has happened so far?  How about the funniest thing that has happened so far?
Um, I don't know...being with Hmna Brugman is always interesting and funny. She is one of the funniest people ever! Like seriously everything she does is hilarious. She just walks around and sings to people and makes funny faces and is just funny.

10.  Do you get along with your companion(s)?
I get along with my companion, Hmna Whittle. We have the same birthday and got our calls on the same day and we are going to the same mission. She is like me, though, and quiet. I don´t really know anything about her because she doesn´t talk about herself or her family. She is sweet but indecisive like me to and since I know the most Spanish it´s like I am automatically in charge of decision making. I plan our lessons and write down the plans, I answer the questions when we teach our investigator.  She´s cute and not weird.
11.  How many companions do you have?
Just one companion.
12.  Any idea when you'll leave to go to Honduras?  I'm thinking it will be the middle of November...?
Our packet says Nov. 11 
13.  Are there things that you wish you had taken with you that you don't have?  
YES I need a mirror since the one in the bathroom is always foggy and the other hmnas are not considerate with sharing the bathroom, an SD card reader because I can´t upload any pictures with out one--the computers don´t have slots--a sharpie, a paperclip, my running watch (which might be in the basement on an end table but I don´t really know), and my stickers and Plan of Salvation card that I bought at the bookstore in Orlando (I think) because I couldn´t find them.  

Other things, I can understand Spanish really well and for the most part have been able to communicate my ideas when I talk which is a huge blessing. The hmnas in my district got cute clothes from if anyone wants to get me clothes:)  I´m running out of time so fast! I don´t know what else to say. But it has been a good experience here. Conference was in English and idk which was my favorite talk because there were lots of good ones. Love you all! I love getting your emails, even if I don´t have time to write back! I never understood that missionaries really didn´t have time until now lol. Keep me posted on my shows!! I miss them!

Te amo, 

Hermana Gisseman 

 I'm sure you can guess which bed is Alyssa's -- just look for pink!

Not much closet space!!!

 I have no idea who this is in the picture with her -- just notice that they are wearing the same skirt but in different colors.

1 comment:

  1. An awesome first week. I hope she realizes that a lot of people are rooting for her. God bless you
    Jason Starkey x x x