Rachel left the MTC on January 3rd. She tried to call from Texas, but for some reason we didn't get to the phone on time, so it went to voice mail. We haven't heard from her since she landed in the Dominican Republic. We hope she made it....
Here are her MTC letters....
Letter #1 MTC (by snail mail)
December 13, 2012
Hola! estoy aqui en el CCM. Es muy interesante. Es como EFY. entonces no es mey dificil para "get used to."
Anyways! Hi! I hope you are all well. Hopefully Riss got home safe and Jeff passed his finals. My first day here was good! a bunch of people are overwhelmed, but I have yet to feel so. So that's good! I almost am overwhelmed that I don't feel overwhelmed.. haha. I'll get over it. Like I said, it's so similar to EFY! I seriously feel like I'm a counselor still. Maybe that's why I feel so comfortable here. Who knows?
So you should get this letter before Wednesday, which is my P-day. So... yep!
My Companions - yes, we are a 3some - are pretty cool. Hermana Brockman is from AZ and Hermana Lecheminant (Le-sh-eh-min-aunt (fancy aunt)) is from CA. They're easy to get along with. Thank goodness! Except I won't be their companion for much longer. I am indeed being transferred into Intermediate or Advanced Spanish. Probably Intermediate, since I can't speak all too well. But this Basic Spanish is killer! We only talk in English. Like, on Kelton's first day, he only heard Hmong. I RARELY hear Spanish. So, I usually translate the English into Spanish and read the Spanish PMG (Preach My Gospel). I should be reassigned by Monday. Hopefully!
Anyways, all of us hermanas in the district (only us 3) are going to the DR-SDOMW mission. Except Hermana Lecheminant, she is going to the East Mission. (Thank goodness, too, because I can NEVER remember her name, haha.)
Sorry about the handwriting. It gets slanted with speed, like this graph |/_ (hand written letter had a graph/chart). Positively correlated.
Oh! These pens drive me nuts. I like the BIC ones so much more. I might send these back with the coat. Also, Riss left her lip gloss in the pocket of the coat. I will send that back, too.
Heather, Thank you for the sweet note. I love you! I don't know what you want me to write back about.. but I guess this is me writing you back :)
I better go.. It's almost lunch time. Being a missionary ROCKS! So far kids, the mission is a BLAST!!! (Shoutout to Jeff & Riss!! :)
I'll write you email style on Wednesday.
Love Hermana Erickson.
PS I get out of here Jan 3, 2013
PPS I forgot the shower bag.. I realized that last night while unpacking. And also I forgot my toothbrush holder, but mainly the shower bag. Also, I have no stamps/envelopes or I can't find them.
And if Riss wants to get on Facebook and ask people if they want my emails, I'm cool with that.
I haven't cried myself to sleep yet!!
Love Again, Sister Erickson
Favorite scripture (for the missionary plaque at the church) D&C 78:18
Letter #1 (by e-mail):
Rachel – MTC #1 (8:28 AM) December 15th, 2012
How is everyone!? I am doing so well. I sure do love it here. Just so you know, you should be getting a letter today. I wrote you on Thursday, but the things that I told you then do not really apply. Therefore, if you get that letter you can disregard most of the information! Deal? ok, great :)
So the first couple of days have been pretty neat. Like I said in the letter, it reminds me A LOT of EFY. We get up at the same time, we have name tags, have a dress code, have a companion, have about the same food, and have activities planned that draw us closer to Christ. I think that is the reason that I haven't felt too overwhelmed yet.
Like you thought, I was put into the beginner Spanish first. And all we did was speak English! It was annoying! I wasn't learning, and I couldn't improve my Spanish at all. So on Thursday, I asked my teacher if there was another class that I could transfer into, and she said that I could be tested. So I went and talked to a guy who asked me all sorts of questions, and I responded accordingly in Spanish. I guess I did alright–because that same day, a guy came over to me and was like, "so normally, you would be here for nine weeks, right? How would you feel if we put you in the advanced Spanish group, and you left to the mission field in 3 weeks?" that was a shock.. because I am not all that good at speaking Spanish, but I can understand real well. So I thought about it for a little bit, and decided that I had enough faith that I could learn to speak Spanish more fluently, so now I am not going to the DR MTC! Crazy right, I went from 9 weeks, to 3 weeks, and from beginner Spanish to advanced!! THAT was overwhelming. So the guy changed my mailbox number (it used to be 246, now it is 222 - please notify my Facebook friends :) gracias.) but yeah! The main coordinator took me to my new classroom, and I met my new companions - have 2 more again. I am the only white girl in the class, which is intimidating!! Everyone else has grown up speaking Spanish, and they are all fluent... but I know that I can learn it, if I rely on God's help - which I have been doing a lot of lately, haha.
Umm.. I am starting to think in Spanish, which is good. Oh!! yesterday, we taught an investigator-my companions mostly taught him. And I had so many things to say, but when I opened my mouth, nothing would come out. That is how this whole experience has been so far. Frustrating - because I can write well, and I can think on my own, but when it is time to actually speak, I have a complete brain fart, and I sound like a gringo. SUPER ANNOYING. I just have to keep practicing :)
I apologize for all of my spelling errors. I am not really looking at the computer, and I know that I am not skilled at typing to begin with.. but yeah, I hope you can understand.
I really love my district. They are so kind to me, and they are helping me learn and speak better. We click really well.
Thank you for the “dearelder” letter. I also received a couple from my friends - which was a nice surprise. I received 2/3 of the letters that came for our district. Yeah, I guess I am SUPER popular. Haha what's new though. I've always had so many friends ;) kidding. :)
I did not get any tweezers. I still have my green ones, but they hurt! Oh well, I guess I will grow out my unibrow.. hahaha!!! No, I will probably buy some.
Like I said in my letter - I forgot the shower bag.. which would be nice to have. Therefore, I have yet to take a shower, since it's too difficult. (not really)
Let's see.. it's snowing now. That's fun. except not really.
I am enjoying my mission so far. It's crazy to think that I will be out in the FIELD in less than 3 weeks. Kelton.. er.. Elder Abbott was right when he told me that time passes so slow, but so fast at the same time. The days are forever long, and we do so much in the time we are awake, that it feels like I've been here forever! It's wonderful!
Oh! one of Marissa's friends is here.. Adam McCurdie? I think? I didn't want to say anything to him, because I don't know him all too well, but he's here. Good times. Also, I met some sisters going to Puerto Rico. They are cool. One wears glasses...so look for her, K Riss?
Haha I was kidding about the shower. Just so you know, I have showered every day. :)
So my MTC departure date is either right after Christmas, or right after New Years. Because prices are cheaper at that time, but most likely around January 3rd? Yeah. I am excited. My new companions are Sister Pena (with a squigly on top, ), so Peña, and Sister Botero. They are cool.
Anything else you want to know? Oh! yeah. I said my preparation day was Wednesday, correct? Well, now it is on Friday. We were busy doing new missionary things yesterday, so that is why we are writing now :) but from now on-for the next 2 Fridays that I am here, I will write you on Friday. :)
I hope Jeff's finals went well, as well as Riss's finals. I hope you have a happy anniversary-it's coming up!! only 4 more days!! yay marriage!! :) Well, I only have about 5 minutes left, and I don't know what else to tell you. I hope this letter is long enough.. I feel like it's almost a novel. But I am thankful for you all, for your love and support, and I hope your week goes well! I think of you a lot, and am looking forward to hearing from you :) feel free to “dearelder” me, and you can tell everyone to “dearelder” me, it makes me feel loved. :) Haha gotta love being loved.
Anyhow, I know this is the true church, and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father. I know He will bless me with the ability to learn the language and to be able to speak it. I can't wait to be able to get out and use my broken Spanish to teach the people of the Dominican Republic! Speaking of the DR, Hrma Botero is going to the DR as well. But SD East mission. Which is cool. We'll be traveling together!
Love you all to pieces. Once again, thank you for your support.
Hermana Erickson :) ox ox ox!