June 15, 2011 Day 1 in the MTC
After being dropped off, the Elder that was there immediately rushed me to registration where I picked up my nametag, and a packet of forms. Then we headed over to the bookstore where I received a giant package of things, including the "Green Monster", followed by swinging by my room, dropping off both suitcases and my backpack and immediately went to class ten minutes late. There are six of us in the class together: five Elders and one Sister. We have two teachers. Unfortunately, because I was rushed around and told to leave my backpack in the room, I didn’t have any paper or pens to take notes today. Afterwards, we had a fireside and ate dinner. After dinner, we spent two hours role-playing with fake investigators, followed by another thirty minutes in the classroom and a quick tour of where the mailroom and the gym are located.
I am in a group of three. Our P-Days are on Wednesdays. We are allowed to wear casual clothing during gym, P-Days and while in the Residence Halls. I got unpacked, but can’t hang much up until I buy hangers next Wednesday. On that note, missionaries are only given $6 each week.
Along other notes, I am surprised at how much security there is at the MTC monitoring the missionaries. The buildings all look alike, so it’s easy to get lost. Finally, schedules are packed, only allowing ten minutes to move between activities (some no time between, and gym is the one exception, giving thirty minutes to shower). This first day, and even the next couple days, is the easy part. A couple days are easy to pass off as a vacation, camp, or fencing tournament. It’s once the realization that it really is a full two years strike that this will really become difficult.
June 16, 2011 Day 2
Got up at 6:15 this morning, showered, and immediately headed over to the classroom for half an hour of personal study. Afterwards, we sang a song and went to get breakfast. The breakfast here has a lot more variety than Penn, but also a lot bigger crowds. We had an hour and a half workshop, then 45 minutes of gym. The thing I found strange about gym is they have Frisbee out on the field, but no Ultimate. Anyway, it looks like my MTC gym experience will involve a lot of 4-square. After showering, we all went to finish immunizations, where I received a typhoid shot as expected. They also said that the Tetanus…
(I started a new page because I left the notebook in the classroom on accident, and with free time being non-existent, I need to continue writing without it.)
So, immunizations were today. I got the expected typhoid shot and also a tetanus booster, since, even though it’s supposed to last ten years, the MTC only allows five year intervals, with my fifth year being in a few weeks. So, tomorrow I need to swing by the office and pay $100. Would’ve it been cheaper to receive the shots beforehand?
In class today, we learned basic phrases and greetings, such as, “Hi, my name is Elder Shipp”, “How are you”, and “Good morning”. Personal study was cut to only 15 minutes, due to the introduction and visit of our Branch Presidency. So ends day two. I think that not being able to shake hands or have any physical contact with anyone is only adding to the feelings of isolation.
June 17, 2011 Day 3
I plan on sending this letter this morning, so I won’t get a chance to tell you about most of today’s events. Just a couple last things I wanted to be sure to include. While I can receive mail every day, I can only send letters on Wednesdays. Please keep these letters in good condition (possibly scan them). As free time is so limited, I have yet to even open my journal and will use these as my entries.
Also, today we learned how to pray in Hungarian and will teach a 30 minute lesson tonight.
Talk to you on Wednesday, and let me know how you are all doing.
Hear from you soon!