Friday, August 5, 2016

Week 1 - First Letter from Elder Shoemaker

Manahoana! Salama ve ianao? Well I am two days into the mission so far and I am enjoying it. It is definitely tiring though. Lots of sitting and thinking so much your brain hurts. Haha. So when I was dropped off, a host took me to get my stuff and then to my room to drop off my stuff. Then we went to a classroom where I walked in to a bunch of confused Elders. The teacher was only talking in Malagasy. Confusing and awkward to say the least. He was trying to talk to us and motioning with his hands all over the place and it was so awkward when he was trying to get you to do something. But after that class all of us just laughed at it. The first day was very crazy with tons going on. I have seen just about everyone I know in the MTC already. I ate dinner with Brayden Campbell our first day so that was fun. I have seen all the guys from school and I even saw Jill and Evan's nephew, Thomas! I love seeing people I know. So yesterday we had our normal classes which includes long language classes where you have to pay really close attention because he still only teaches in Malagasy. It is crazy how much I have learned though, in just a couple days and without our teacher even saying Hi to us in English!! So our district is 13 Elders. A lot more than I thought honestly. Our branch has a lot of people too. We have 8 different languages in our branch!! It is very cool to hear everyone speaking different languages in the halls and stuff. We have a lot of the Polynesian languages as well as sign language. A girl gave a prayer in sign language in our branch meeting yesterday and it was really cool. Also at the branch meetings we had interviews with the branch presidency to find out district leaders. I will be honest I did not want to be a district leader this early. I was getting pretty comfortable with the MTC by the end of the night Thursday and then I was told that I was assigned as District Leader. Shows that the Lord was not happy with me being comfortable and he needed to make me feel a little stress and burden. There is a lot of extra things I need to do with being a District Leader but I am up for the challenge. We room with 6 elders per room. So me and my companion, Elder Allen, are with 4 missionaries that are going to Marshall Islands. It has been fun although I wished we roomed with our district. Elder Allen is a good guy. He went to Corner Canyon but he was in Bingham's Marching Band because Corner Canyon didn't have one. He said he has never lifted weights before though and at the MTC you have to exercise at the same place so maybe I can put him through a six week program or something haha. I will attach some pictures of my tag, Elder Allen and I, and our district. We are having fun and feeling the spirit often!! Two times I felt the spirit especially strong this week is when our Branch President said to all of the athletes that the feeling of putting on the name tag and going to work in the field will be so much better than what we felt as we were walking out of the tunnel for our big games while the crowd was cheering. I don't know but that hit me hard for some reason. Also we watched a video and President Monson said I know that my Redeemer lives and may the whole world know it!! That is why I am here to go and teach the people of Madagascar that their Redeemer lives. Also there is a picture of our classroom. Oh and we have to teach our first lesson tonight which is all in Malagasy. Prayers will be needed hahaha. Mainly I will just read out of the book but still hard. In my building where our room is, Talli from 801 Stars is staying there too! He was the big Polynesian kid that moved from Arkansas and then he lived here and played with us for a little but then he moved back. It was so funny recognizing him and talking and catching up with him for a little bit! Some of the guys have started calling me Shoe or Elder Shoe too and so I am liking that. I don't know why but makes me feel back home when they call me that. Miss you all! Have a great week!!!