Everything is going great so far. I met up with a few other missionaries in Atlanta who were also going to the Colombian MTC. We all flew together and when we got through Customs there was a mission couple waiting for us. They bused us to the MTC and we had a quick meeting with the MTC President before going to bed, because we got to the MTC at like 11.
I am actually currently in a companionship with two other Elders, Elder Bush from Texas and Elder Hamblin from Utah. They are both super chill dudes and we are having a blast. Our District consisted of 7 missionaries until halfway through the 1st day two of the elders moved to the two week program so they will be leaving in a week. We have the smallest district in the MTC, but it's not bad because these guys are super fun. There are only two missionaries currently in the MTC that will be serving in Barranquilla, me and an Elder from Utah who is honestly so much like Jason Messer it's kinda freaky.
I have been progressing super well with Spanish. In fact, I talked with the MTC president a few days ago and he is considering sending me two weeks early depending on what my mission president. Wouldn't that be crazy? Anyways, the other members of my district do not know spanish as well so I help them out a lot.
Our days are so filled with stuff it is insane. We do a ton of grammar (which kinda stinks because I already know all of what we are learning right now) but I am really loving the teaching that we are doing. We currently have two investigators, which are really just two of the teachers roleplaying as investigators, and they are such a blast because there is such a strong spirit at our lessons that I sometimes forget that they are fake. We do all of our teaching in Spanish so my companions are struggling with that a little bit.
It's been kinda awkward for me without a suit because like half of our meetings require us to wear suits. I usually just wear a sweater though so it isn't a huge deal though. President DuVall said that I am the first missionary he has had at the MTC without a suit since the new rule was passed.
We were actually able to go to the temple today. It was super cool because it kinda looks like newport from the front but its in the middle of a kinda sketchy neighborhood. We got to do the session in English so that was good because I'm not sure that I am that good yet. We will be going again, which is also our next P-day, so that is when I can write next. There is a Distribution Center next to the Temple and I was able to buy a small hymn book for 8,500 pesos, which is just over $3. The price of stuff here is really low because the Colombian economy is heading downhill, but it was definitely nice to get the hymn book for cheap.
The food is kinda weird, mostly just an assortment of eggs and hot dogs, but over the past few days it has been getting better. We have had hamburgers, pizza, and today for dinner we had burritos. I definitely wouldn't classify it as gourmet, but it isn't terrible and it keeps me functioning.
Something that I really need is chapstick. It is honestly pretty dry here in Bogota and my lips are very chapped. It definitely isn't the end of the world and it will get better once I get to Barranquilla, but for now, it kinda stinks.
Well, that's kinda been my week in a nutshell. I miss you guys but I can't imagine being anywhere other than here. It feels like it's been an eternity but I'm learning so much that the time flies by. I know that this is the work that the Lord wants me to be doing and he is making sure that I will be prepared to face whatever will be thrown at me.
See you soon,
Elder Daniel Parker
PS Feel free to forward this to anybody who asks about me or wants to know what's going on. The more people the better