He writes: (Aug. 5, 2008)
I'm doing great! The MTC is an interesting experience........we don't have any time to do what we need to and I'm always tired. Other than that, I'm loving it! By the way, if you go to DearElder.com, you guys can type a message and it can be sent to me in letter form the same day, as long as you do it before noon. My P-day is Tuesday, so expect emails on Tuesdays.
After our goodbye they didn't give us a break. I met my companion (Elder Heaton) and my roommates (Elders Anderson and Singleton). They're all great guys and we get along so well. Our room is pretty much the best in the whole place. We've been so busy for the past few days. Our days are consumed in meetings and hours upon hours of classroom instruction. Much of our personal and companion study time is taken up with gospel studies.
I'm also learning Korean (pronounced Han-gurr). It is pretty much the craziest language I've ever seen. We learned the alphabet the first day we began studying. It's not too bad since it's phoenetic. I can read it fairly easily, though I can't understand what 99% of it means right now. I'm also learning vocab and grammar so I can introduce myself, bear simple testimony of truth, say simple prayers and use other random words mixed with english. We're supposed to SYL (speak your language) so we substitue any Korean words we know for their english counterparts. (Companion is dong-pan-ja, milk is ooo-yoo, thank you is kamsahamnida, prayer is kido, etc.) The other missionaries laugh at us sometimes :). So pretty much my three years of Spanish are messing me up as I try to learn Korean. I had heard that when you know/have studied two languages, when you go to learn a third it brings your second to remembrance. We're all having problems with that as sometimes we think of a Spanish word before the Korean equivalent.
I decided Koreans are weird. A typical Korean joke, for example: "There are two people. One dies but you wouldn't even know because the food is so good." What just happened? Also, I think I'll be sleeping on a pad on the floor in Korea. I'll also be dripping with sweat all the time (so I heard). Apparently Jejudo Island is the place to be in the Pusan mission. So many missionaries in this batch are going to Pusan....I'm so excited.
The Spirit of the Lord is strong here in the MTC, as all Elders and Sisters here study diligently in preparation to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our brothers and sisters around the world. I have a stronger testimony of being strengthened and directed by the Lord since coming here, as I have felt His Spirit influence my life. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that He loves His children, wherever they may be. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth and that it is only through Christ, who has the power to save, that we may return to live with our Heavenly Father in eternity. I've known these things all my life, but my testimony of them has already grown and deepened as I have felt the Spirit in my life almost 24/7. I know that what I am doing is right and I can't wait to share this glad message with my brothers and sisters in Korea!!!!
This is my email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mom, if you could put that on the blog, along w/ my mtc address, that would be great!Remember, "there are no homesick missionaries in the baptismal font" - pres boone.
Love, Elder Bocchino