Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Crazy drivers, Graffiti, Spanish and the all elusive "ü"


It's not easy to type as everything gets underlined in red. We had to move rooms today which was our second time so far which was not fun. The temple session today was en español which was interesting as they just dubbed the people in Spanish. The culture is definitely a lot different than America. For example when we are driving the drivers are very crazy and very impatient. Surprisingly, there are no accidents but they still do things that would get them killed in America. Also there is no real right of way and I am unsure that the police have real power here. The country isn't as bad as I heard but we probably don't see the worst parts. When we drive to the temple there is graffiti everywhere on the walls and graffiti is more of an art form here than anything. It was literally on all the walls and lots of buildings  It wasn't just like the graffiti we have in America with the names of gangs or names of people but they have just walls of spray paint that portray different things and makes it very interesting. The food is decent and not too bad here at the MTC. The MTC itself is not easy but I am glad that we have Latinos here to speak Spanish with as it helps me know how well (or how poor) my Spanish is.

My Spanish is coming along pretty well and I speak broken Spanish but it still goes well. I have heard some other missionaries say they wished they had practiced like me and really it takes a lot of effort. Fortunately a lot of Spanish is easier than French as even the irregulars are fairly consistent. The only real hard tense I have had problems with is with the subjunctive with the irregular verbs in the subjunctive. I think Spanish might have more irregular verbs in the subjunctive then French does which is no bueno. But quite honestly the fundamental principle in learning a language is practicing it a lot and even if you speak the language in broken phrases or simply it really helps. Spanish is definitely a struggle sometimes and I do not know if I ever will roll my rs like the Spanish people do. I think me being gone will really sink in after I arrive in Quito as it will be the longest time I was gone from home ever so that should be interesting.

This week the weather was rainy.  I never thought I would hate the rain but I do not like the rain as much due to the fact that whenever it rains we end up having to do gym time and the gym gets really crowded.  It is no fun trying to play a game when it is so crowded. The last day with our batch of Latinos was sad as some were great.  They are now out on the mission proper. In futbol I am doing better and yesterday I scored a PK for my team as the score was 0 to 0 and we ended up winning that round. The really neat part was I scored on a Latino and everyone there that was watching were very excited.

Our MTC president Presidente Duvall said this place was like purgatory once and I said to everyone that he was quite right about that comment. Here's a photo of the missionaries in the CCM in our group. I am in the upper right hand corner trying not to fall off the chair I was standing on. My companion Elder Woodmansee is standing next to me to the left. One of the Latinos that I am friends with is named Élder Egues with an umlaut over the u is standing in the back and he is the fifth person going from the left. (I still can't figure out how to put an umlaut over a letter and it is on the keyboard which is annoying.)  Our mission president and his wife are in the first row of chairs. You can't miss them.

Well until next week on Thursday,

Élder Throop

*Mom's note.  Another mom Sis. Cox, has a son in the same group as Tyler.  She is getting pics from her son and sharing them with me.

So, thanks to Sis. Cox, here's more pics of Tyler and the boys in the MTC.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Temple, Frenchlish, Futbol, and Potato Salad


Hola. Está bien en la CCM y yo amo la experiencia. I have been learning Spanish at a very good rate and it is very neat to learn. CCM=Spanish equivalent of the MTC- Capacitan del Centro de Misioneros.  It has been an interesting week here and the weather is fine in Bogota with a mixture of sun and rain. We got to go to the temple today and did endowments for those who were dead which was a new and exciting experience for me. Bogota is muy interesante y muy grande con 9.000.000 personas. A lot of things here are fun and exciting but also hard. Learning español está un experiencia difficile por que mi comprehensión de francés. Pronouncing words is still hard for me because I still have a slight French accent but I am doing very well. I also cannot roll my "r´s" yet which is hard in words with a double r in it. Still the conjugations are not very difficult as there are very few exceptions to the conjugations that I have learned and they repeat a lot of the conjugations. Another fun experience for me is speaking and trying to understand the latinos. They speak muy rapido y está difficile por mi de comprender todás la tiempa. But I can understand them sometimes and I really just need to have my vocabulary grow to better communicate. We have a faux investigador in the CCM which is fun as we can practice teaching lessons (en español bien está) and it is a lot of fun teaching the investigadors. Another neat thing here is futbol. Now in America we call the sport soccer but its proper name is football. Almost every day so far I have played football with the Latinos and the nortees (North Americans) and it is a lot of fun as they love the sport  Here in this country it is a religion for some and a god for others. Wearing a football jersey on game days must be a law because on one of the game days all but around three people didn´t have a jersey on. The sport is amazing and I do fairly well at it for someone who is still new to it. I have also done some basketball which is awesome as I do well at that. My CCM companion's name is Elder Woodmansee. That is quite correct, Elder Woodmansee.  He is from California and he is to go to Cali, Columbia. He is six-foot five like me and a skinny white boy so it was interesting to see that the two tallest people In the CCM are companions. We do get Latino companions later on but he is my companion for now.

The food here varies with some stranger things but then we also get more American food. For example for lunch today we had salmon and ham.  Breakfast was cereal, but a little while back we had a burrito with guacamole and chicken. Things do vary for our food, but I can normally eat most food. Only one meal caused any trouble for me so far and that was a potato salad thing which almost no one liked. Even some of the Latinos hated it and I got pretty close to hating potatoes after that one meal. It has been fun and I am glad to be here.

I will have preparation day next Tuesday so until then, Élder Throop

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Leaving for his Mission

Well, it was an interesting week before Tyler left.  His uncle Nathan was able to come down from Utah to be Tyler's escort through the Phoenix Temple.  Tyler went through the temple on Saturday, July 13, 2015 and had a wonderful experience.  Then, on Sunday, he gave his farewell talk in sacrament meeting.  Attention was low due summer travelers, but that was ok since he wasn't as nervous to get up in front of everyone.

Then, Monday, his final 4 shirts arrived from Pomeroys.  We had initially bought 8 short-sleeved shirts, but when we got home with our stuff, we only found 4. So, we had to call the store back and left them know.  Unfortunately, they were all out of that size (skinny and tall), so they had to reorder from a Boise store that had them in stock.  They arrived and I was able to mark them with his initials when I got home from work that day.  Then, I helped him repack his suitcases and get all his stuff ready.  Next, he was set apart by Pres. Martin as a full time missionary for the church.  After that, we got dinner, Panda Express, Tyler's favorite and then went to the Phoenix Temple for one last pic together (just the boys, since I was behind the camera.)

We went to the store to grab a few last minute items, pencil sharpener, cheap watch, etc and then back home to try to get some sleep.  I know I had a real hard time sleeping that night.  I probably only got 4 hours.  

Tuesday morning, we all got up at 5am and loaded Tyler and his stuff up and drove to the airport.  
We said our goodbye's and off he went.

I tracked his plane's movements via the airline's website and watched his plane cross the country, connecting in SLC and ATL before heading for Columbia.  

He arrived late last night in Bogota and I received an email from him this morning.


Hey Mom, 

So I am in Colombia now and I arrived safely. The flight was not too bad although it was a little long and we did go to bed a little late last night but I still got enough sleep. I am enjoying it here and am starting to learn how to speak Spanish although it is hard for me to pronounce because I took French and the pronunciations of the two languages differ. Still I am learning and I am enjoying both the weather and the experience. I am told that I will not be able to write home until June 25th so that is when everyone can expect my next email. I am glad to be out here and I hope everything is going great at home. Have a great weak and I love you all.

Elder Throop