Saturday, April 27, 2013

Week 2 Gone!

Hola Familia!
They started installing air conditioning in the building where our classroom was, so they moved us to the foreign language building, and we're constantly running into elders and sisters hollering, "Hola, Hermanas!" at us as we climb the five stories to our classroom.
So, I live on the fourth floor, have class on the fifth, teach investigators in another building on the fourth floor, so I basically live in an overly large stair machine. My calves and quads will be huuuuge!
This week has been really good. A little terrifying or embarrassing at times, but good. Sister Youngberg and I have really been working well together--I'm going to miss her when we get to Nebraska and we have to go our separate ways with new companions. It's going to be sad, but I'm trying not to think about it.
We've had the chance to teach several new investigators for practice this week. They're mostly people from the area who volunteer to come and pretend to be investigators and ask us questions. Sometimes they're nice and easy, and sometimes they're tough. Sister Y'berg and I have been working to prepare as best we can to meet with whoever we get. Sometimes it's clear what to do... sometimes not.
This week, with our "Investigator" Shane (he's really our teacher, roleplaying with us as one of his former investigators from his mission), we have had the chance to teach him a lot. In fact, one evening, Brother Grunniger asked if Sis. Y'berg and I would be willing to teach a lesson in front of the class for demonstration's sake. Yikes! We were given some time to prepare, and then we began our lesson. I was kind of anxious about it--I don't think I have ever taught in front of a group quite like that. Another teacher, Sister Pitts, would have us pause occasionally and have the class discuss what we were doing, how Shane was reacting, and basically used us as an example. I have to say, I was not expecting that to ever happen here. I'm glad it went well, though, and it did give the two of us one extra lesson with our investigator that no one else gets, so that was maybe worth it. :)
Then the next night, with no warning, Brother Hales asked me to do a roleplay with him and pretend to teach Sister Call. THAT one terrified me. I had no advance planning, and again, it was in front of the class. I felt I kind of blew it for a moment, but the other sisters and elders asked me how I teach so well. Okay, that sounds reeeeeally braggy, and I'm sorry, but it's what happened. Basically, it made me feel like less of a dork for stuttering my way through an impromptu lesson in front of the class. I still don't think I was super brilliant in that moment, but some 19 year olds think I was. :)
Now for a few more secular things:
Some advice for anyone going to the MTC in the near future:
During Gym time, find some elders and sisters who are relaxed and not competitive, and start a volleyball game. It will be the most fun you have in the gym. For serious. It was so much fun!
Polka dots are the New Hotness around here. You can't go more than 20 feet without seeing some sister with polka dots on her skirt or shirt or scarf or.... You get the idea. Most popular is navy with white dots, but I've seen a lot of variations. Basically, I'm glad that I got that navy shirt with the polka dots because now I can just blend right in with the crowd, kind of like how zebras stand in a herd and the pattern confuses the lions. It's a self-preservation thing. :)
Go to choir! Choir is amaaaaazing and the director is beyond awesome. He KNOWS stuff and it is cool how he can get 200 people to focus and sing, especially when 99% of them are like, 19. Plus, if you go to choir and sing with them for Tuesday devotional, then you get a guaranteed seat for devotional and you don't have to wait in line. Bonus!
Devotional was good. It was Elder Evans of the Seventy and the missionary department. He gave some pretty good advice and I really had a good experience. Sister Youngberg and I will DEFINITELY be heading back to choir this Sunday so we can be in the choir and go to devotional again.

That's what's cool about leaving Wed. instead of Mon. like the other Elders and Sisters in our district: We get to be here for 2 devotionals, not just one. Whoohoo!
Last item: Seeing how I will be leaving the MTC, will no longer be an option. :( You will have to stick to my mailing address in Nebraska. Also, I kind of prefer snail mail, because I can get it any day, not just P Day, and also I can pull it out and read it at any time. Emails are tough because reading them also eats into my computer time--I have 30 minutes to read AND respond to email, so that is hard to do. I do definitely definitely definitely appreciate the emails I have received, but short ones are best, since I don't have a lot of time. Long letters, however, are worth their weight in gold. :)
Awards for the week:
Golden Letter Award goes to Mom, for the first letter in the mail! Also receiving awards are: Margo Benson for a letter on Kitty stationery, Hykel Eiche for the first real letter from a non family member, and to Scott Shea for his second letter! Merillee Booren also gets the Golden Pillow award, which I forgot to mention, since she purchased me pillow cases AND wrote me a letter.
Time is up, I love you all, and here's to leaving for Nebraska!

Sister May

Saturday, April 20, 2013

First Email Missive

This is Loradona's first letter via email. Enjoy!
Hey family!
First of all, you should write to me. Hint, hint. This email address works, as does using (double hint hint). Also, so does my address (remember that?).
Anyway, things are going great! It was a little overwhelming that first day, especially since I was running on, oh, about 2 hours of sleep. I got there early since Merillee had to get Ben to kindergarten, but that was no big deal. I was the second sister of the day to arrive, and the first sister was also going to Omaha, Nebraska! We aren't in the same district, but it was still really cool for the first sister I met to be going to my same mission.
There are TONS of sisters here. In fact, this Wednesday was the first time in history that there were more sister missionaries entering the MTC than elders (only about 4 more, but still! We're winning! Mwahahahaha!). My district is made up of six sisters and four elders. Four of the sisters are going to Nebraska, two sisters and two elders are going to New Mexico, and the other two elders are headed for New Jersey.
My companion is Sister Emily Youngberg from American Fork, UT, and she is pretty fantastic. I pretty much think she is the bees knees (I'm still writing this even though she isn't looking over my shoulder this very minute to make sure I say nice things!). We have found we have a lot in common, including a sister married to a Canadian, so that's kind of a fun connection. Her dad is a graphic designer which is another fun familial connection we have together. She and I are working hard together, and it's going so very well. I love it! We have been really diligent in our studies together, and we are learning a lot from one another, in addition to our teachers.
I have two teachers here in the MTC: Brother Hales, and Brother Grunniger. Brother Grunniger is from Magrath, AB, but does not know Kyler (I asked). Both are excellent and inspiring instructors. They really make me think hard about what I am teaching. Which brings me to teaching. They role-play being an investigator they taught on their missions. Sister Youngberg and I are working with Brother Grunniger, aka "Shane." Last night it was our first discussion with him, and it went... Okay. It could have been better, but we were definitely okay. Actually, I take that back. I think we did just fine. It was pretty good for a first lesson where we had never taught before, so I wasn't feeling too bad about it, though I was nervous!
Let's talk about things that really matter: The Food.
Okay, it isn't as bad as I had feared. Things are pretty good, and there are usually some pretty good choices to make, like oatmeal for breakfast, salads at lunch, and sandwiches at dinner. There are tons of choices and there is always fruit to be had. Although you can't take any food from the cafeteria, which I learned the first night after I took a banana back to my room. Oops. Oh well, I still enjoyed my ill-gotten fruits (ha ha! I'm hilarious...)
The elders, though--yesterday, I saw one elder with two different entrees, a salad, bread, a dessert, and three different beverages on his tray! I laughed really hard.
The living situation: I room with the other sisters in my district, two of whom are also going to Nebraska. It's basic dorm style living, with a communal bathroom and all of that kind of fun, though two of the sinks have been stopped up since I arrived and haven't been fixed. I have no idea what's going on with that. Some of the sisters are, shall we say, immature. Not the sisters I live with (they are quite awesome), but the sisters in the room next door are obnoxious--I had to go next door last night after lights out to tell them to hush, because we could hear them shrieking. I walked in, and they were throwing stuff at each other. Ugh.
But, as I said, the sisters I have been working with in my zone and district are splendid, and I love them! We get along quite well, and it is going to be an excellent following week and a half until I leave.
Speaking of which, I already have my travel plans! I will be leaving May 1 on a 7 am flight (ugh... I have to report with my bags at 4 am... sound familiar, Mom?), then flying to Minneapolis with a one hour layover before flying on to Nebraska. Because of that, I don't know that I will be able to call anyone from the airport, but I can try, as long as you don't mind a reeeeeeeally early phone call. Cliff and Jeanette, send me your numbers, pretty please? I didn't write them down--only your addresses.
My Branch President is President Stice, and he teaches Accounting at BYU. He seems excellent, and I have only spoken to him briefly, but I like him. I have already written my talk for Sunday, and we'll see who speaks! Dun dun dun!
Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, it is now time for the awards portion of our show today!
First, the Golden Seatbelt Award goes to Merillee Booren, for picking me up at the Salt Lake Airport and dropping me off at the MTC. Hurrah! Your reward is my eternal gratitude, and possibly a letter (but I don't have her address. Hint?).
Next, the Golden Letter Award, for the first letter I received here at the MTC. This award goes to (drum roll please) Scott Shea! He sent me a letter through Dear, which was super amazing. It was this beautiful, long, informative letter that was perfect in every way, and for his award, he will receive a delightful, personalized letter in return.
I think those are the only awards I can think of this week, and my 30 minutes are almost gone. I haven't even shared the tiniest fraction of everything that's been going on, but I want you to know that it is amazing and I love it. I regret nothing.
I love you all, and I can't wait to hear from you (HINT! HINT!)
Sister Loradona May
PS-- Know what I love? You don't need to know anyone's name here--just call them Sister or Elder and you're good!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Aaannd she's off!

 Here is a picture of Sister May at the airport
talking to her dad one more time.
Loradona is currently in the MTC. Her address there is:
MTC Mailbox # 282
NE-OMA 0501
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

You can mail cards letter or care packages to her here until the end of April. After that she will be at:
Sister Loradona Elna May
Nebraska Omaha Mission
11027 Martha St.
Omaha, NE 68144-3107

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It is now SISTER May

This is a first post of many to come. Loradona was set apart last night as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I will be posting updates on this blog.So if you want to be kept up to date, just bookmark it.