Sunday, August 19, 2012

"As for my Español..... I have been humbled"

Hola again from Bogotá! 

This time I get to write a little bit more haha, they just randomly came in today with the computers and told us to write our families so here we go haha...
Well it as been a fun week that´s for sure, I´ll start from the airport... We got off the plane and immediately got a taste of South American culture, we had to go through immigration and the workers of course only spoke Spanish, we had to present our visas and kind of explain why we were coming there. I managed to pass but some of the elders had a pretty tough time communicating haha. We then got our bags and went outside looking for someone who was going to pick us up. 

We found as soon as we got out of the airport there was about 3 million people there waiting for people. It was like being a celebrity walking out of the Oscars, and we definitely stook out. Bogotá is literally the most busy place I have ever seen, and the drivers are absolutely crazy, people honk there horns constantly and there is no "yield to people" rule here either haha. I found that out pretty quick. 

While we were walking through the traffic of all the people there were tons of girls yelling at us. We all thought it was pretty funny. Immediately the culture was different. We then found this guy who had an MTC tag on and found out he knew no English either! So we tried to communicate what he wanted us to do, he told us to wait by a huge building across from the airport. He obviously didn´t say something right because we waited there for nearly 30 minutes and no one came. Finally he came and said something about we were supposed to be somewhere else haha. Oh well, everything turned out okay.
We then got to the MTC about 15 minutes away from the airport and met the MTC President! He is a North American from Bountiful and he is kinda like our father down here. He really cares for his missionaries. We got our new companions and like I told you last week it is Elder Musselman who is from Alpine, but grew up in San Antonio. He is really cool and we get along sooo great. We would have been good friends before the mission. After we found out all our room information we headed to bed and crashed till morning. We got up the next morning and had an orientation about what to expect from our experience here at the MTC, we then jumped right into classes and picked up where we left off in Provo. The teachers here are so great, only a few of them know English but it is so good to finally hear a native speak. And we help them with their English so they absolutely love teaching us.
As for my Español..... I have been humbled... As soon as the natives arrived I knew I was in trouble, they talk SO fast and do not pronunciate at all, The good news is the ones that I can understand are all Colombian. In fact,  they say that the best speakers are from Colombia. The bad news is that they all say that the Cali accent is SO much different haha. So we´ll see how that goes.

Other than that I have actually started to build some friendships with the Latin elders. I met one from Medellín who is really cool. Me and Elder Musselman have befriended him and his companero from Honduras. That is another thing about the language. Every country represented here has a different way of speaking, with weird words and slang that I just have no chance understanding haha. But yeah I really love speaking with the natives because they really help me learn the language.
Another cool thing that I got to experience was a district leader meeting that was held all in Spanish. I understood most of it because they tend to speak slower when they are talking to the president. It was such a neat experience getting fully immersed in the language. And I will also be the district leader for the North Americans here at the MTC. It is an oppurtunity I am looking forward to in these last 2 weeks before were off to the field!
We also are teaching 2 investigators like we did in Provo but it is a little different than in Provo, because they are natives and they take a little bit more effort to understand. But we are already through three lessons and they have accepted baptismal dates! I am able to speak and understand so much more than I thought I would be able to at this point. 

 I can testify that the Gift of Tounges is real and I see its power every day! I am also enjoying the surroundings of Bogotá. We will get to go to the temple on Wednesday and I absolutely cannot wait. It is a 45 minute trip so I will hopefully get to see a lot of the city. Anyways, looks like I am out of time but if you have any questions about the MTC email me Tuesday because I will be able to email on Wednesday which is my P-day.

Anyways I am doing great and had so much fun talking to you Tuesday! I get more and more closer to the field every day! I can´t wait but I am also loving learning so much here! Cali is awaiting but Bogotá is where the Lord wants me right now! Love you alll! 

Dios les bendiga para siempre! Hasta Miércoles! Adios!
Élder Eliason

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