Hello!

So I am about three days into my MTC experience and it already feels like it has been a week. Every minute of our day is scheduled for us with workshops, classrooms exercises, companionship studying, personal study time, eating, stuff my companion an I have to do, etc. So much!!
So. My first companion! Well, let me tell you about the group I am with first. My district is composed of three sister missionaries: Sister Nikitina (from Lithuania) who is going to Mesa, AZ, Sister Rodelas (from Canada) who is going [back] to the Philipines, and Sister Bautista (from Bakersfield) who is going to Colorado Springs. There are three elders, too: Elder Ojeda (from Paraguay) going to Washington state, Elder Lucerna (from the Philipines) going to Sydney Austrailia, and [my companion] Elder Lee from Hong Kong going to Toronto – Cambodian Speaking. In my Branch are a bunch of international missionaries and maybe two other Americans; I’m the odd one out. But it fun! ALL of the other sister missionaries – besides the ones I listed – are going to Temple Square in SLC (I’m secretly jealous). Two of the sisters are from Switzerland and I speak German with them every now and then: Schwester Weimann & Schwester Jaeger.
I know what you’re thinking… BUT NONE OF THEM SPEAK GERMAN!!! I know. Tell me about it. Apparently, my German is just SOOOOO good for the MTC people that I don’t need to even need to practice it here. I am just learning how to be a missionary here. I was super diappointed when I got here. But I am over it. I will have two years of German soon…. We are all in the Advanced Language program and are all learning how to be a missionary in English. Although, I DID see some Elders with German nametags today in the Bookstore and I asked if I could study with them sometime. Not sure how that will work out with my companion. But I’ll figure something out – because my German is not very good when it comes to Church words and phrases. But I will figure out something. I found out where all the Missionaries going to Germany live.
But I am learning a lot already. The biggest thing that I have seen that keeps coming up is seeing everyone through Heavenly Father;s eyes; they (we) are all children of God and He has a message and a special desire for each of us. We would look up different campaigns that collect stories of people around the world and ask, “How do you think Heavenly Father sees them? What does He want for them? What can you teach them to bring them closer to Jesus Christ?” It is really great.
But this really the place to grow up. I am trying to stop saying certain words that are “immature” and picking up new habits (i.e. you get heckled everytime you don’t button your suit coat or put your hands in your pocket… so I get heckled a lot…).
But, my companion and I keep practicing teaching the lessons and improving where we can. It is really great having a companion and other elders to serve with and find out how we can help one another: getting them a bowl of ice cream at dinner, telling them how to improve in their teaching, and planning the day’s schedule.
Elder Lee is really great. He is actually pretty funny; when we talk to people at, say the front desk, and they don’t make eye contact with them, he stops, waits, says, “Uh… Brother/Sister…?” and then continues when they pay attention. It cracks me up everytime. But he is really determined and pays attention to details like I do. When we plan lessons or read scriptures or Preach My Gospel together, we end up highlighting and picking up on the same things; if that’s not the Spirit, I don’t know what is!
Anywho… I will stop babbling. The food is good… sometimes. Life is good here. The other two elders keep me laughing ALL day long! Seriously, my cheeks hurt at the end of the day.
Viel lieb! Tschau!
Elder Hoffman

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