Friday, August 26, 2016

A Good Week For Devotionals

The Plan of Salvation in Creole
First off let me just say that I was inspired by my dad's priesthood emails [those he sends to the Young Men in our ward] and I will be including a game at the bottom of my emails from now on. Have fun!

So let's see, what did I do this week? This week was a good week for devotionals, on Sunday we had the Nashville Tribute Band come and perform for us. Of course I was in the choir, and it was the largest choir in MTC history, 1703 people. That's 5 Mormon Tabernacle Choirs. We filled pretty much all of the gym with just the choir. Anyways the band was great, we sang 3 songs with them live. They were called I Was Born, John's Song [This is the only song with a video presentation, The others are just audio], and When He Comes Again [I think this is the one he means, although the title is a little different]. Whatever you do, DO NOT LOOK UP THE SONG (aka look it up) The Hardest Thing I Ever Loved to Do. You will cry. You have been warned. Anyways really cool devotional but it was kinda weird not being able to clap afterwards. The Tuesday devotional was Juan A. Uceda of the seventy. It was a great talk, maybe you can find a recording of it somewhere. He was a convert, so he went through and talked about what helped him. I took lots of notes.

Elder Stevenson with his doppelganger Elder Duffin 
I guess one thing I should mention is that I'm the District Leader now. Here in the MTC a district is everyone learning the same language, so 8 of us. Some languages are split because they're so big. District Leader basically means I get the mail. I also go to Branch Council on Sundays to report on the district progress, hold interviews with the district, and lead District meetings after the devotionals. In my first Branch Council meeting I was asked to give the spiritual thought. I didn't know the format yet so I didn't really know what was expected, so I just stood at the front and told the story of the pastor and the bird cage (dad will know which one I'm talking about) and it seemed to be pretty well received. So far it's been a good thing for me, because it confirms to me that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Frè Augustin told me in a one-on-one that he was glad when he heard that I was the new DL. He also said I've exceeded his expectations in the language, which is reassuring.

Notes and pictures from his cousins in Houston
I love the letters I've been getting, I got a fun one from the Houston Nicolaysens with a bunch of pictures they drew for me. I'll send a pic, so fun. I love getting pictures and updates so keep sending em.

All the Samoans, Tongans, and Fijians left early in the week. That was kinda sad, they were all super fun and friendly. This Wednesday the newbies came to replace them, they seem like they could be nice too. It was weird thinking that they just came in from the outside world, they seem a little dazed. I wonder if I was like that, probably was. It's honestly so hard to remember what I've done, even just to write in my journal, everything blends together.​​​​​​​​

Class has been going on like normal. Last Saturday we had our first TRC appointment, or Teaching Recent Converts. We go in and teach members, sometimes investigators, that speak our language. All the rooms have cameras in them so our teachers can observe us. Elder King and I taught one white guy that served his mission in Fort Lauderdale and then we taught a couple that had come from Haiti. The couple spoke so fast, it was almost impossible to understand what they were saying. I just mimicked their facial expressions and got along as best I could. The husband in the couple ended up teaching us pretty much, we'd ask a question like "What is faith to you?" and he'd just go off. He even gave me a referral for a friend of his in Fort Lauderdale, which was cool. The wife said that Fort Lauderdale is pretty much Haiti, as in there will be lots of Haitian people to teach.


"Beach" volleyball for exercise
How much free time do you get?
Depends on how you look at it. My typical schedule goes like this:
Wake up at 6:30.
Get to class for personal study time at 7.
Breakfast at 7:40.
Our morning block is from 8:10 to 11:10, we'll either have a teacher for blocks or it will be PCL study (Personal, Companion, and Language).
Then study until lunch at 11:45. Some days we then have exercise time from 12:30 to 1:30, other days it's not until like 2:40.
After exercise we have our afternoon block from 2:00 to 5:00.
Then dinner at 5:00.
Get back to class at 5:45 for study until
evening block from 6:00 to 9:00.
9:00 to 9:30 is planning for the next day.
Then back to the rooms and lights out is 10:30.
If you haven't caught on, it's a lot of study time. My district in particular has a hard time focusing and staying on task, so some of it gets used up with chatting, that's one thing I'm working on fixing. A lot of those like 15 minute study sessions are just like breaks, and sometimes we finish early so we'll have some time then.

Best part and worst part of the day?
Best part of the day is sleeping. Worst part of the day is waking up.

Did you take a map photo?
I haven't seen any big maps anywhere yet.

Let me know today if you have other questions and I can answer them, or I will answer them next week.

So this is the game. I'm going to think of a song (which is super hard I'm finding out) and then use what knowledge of Creole I have to translate it. Then you have to figure out what song it is. That way I am guaranteed to get emails. ;) [his email is: hunter.stevenson (at) myldsmail (dot) net]
So here's my song for the first week:

"Yon moun yon fwa te di mwen, mond la pral woule mwen. Mwen pa se a pi file zouti nan remiz la."

Lanmou [Love],

Eldè Stevenson

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