I am quite upset about the number of packages and emails that I have not received. I'm assuming that there were thousands of emails wrongly sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm sure the other Elder Jay Brown is overwhelmed at the love he is receiving from strangers.
From the minute you walk away from family they MTC tries their best to totally overwhelm you. I was led away from the car by a "Host" Elder who didn't even introduce himself to me. I was then passed through the hands of a bunch of old people that gave me my name tags, a lock, and a ton of Korean books. I got to go to my residence for thirty seconds to drop off my luggage, but then I was dropped right into my classroom where Brother Driggs was already teaching Korean characters to five flustered Elders. I was sat down next to my companion, Elder Bryson Leithead. A couple other Elders came in late too. There are four companionships in my class which make up my district. The first two days feel like a week each. They try to overwhelm you so much to drill in the concept that the MTC should not a comfortable place. There is not much growing in a comfort zone, and there is not much comfort in a growing zone. Brother Driggs described it as a hard place, but a happy place.
Time is broken here.
I suspect another reason they make the beginning so Hectic is so that we'll appreciate personal study time. I thought the MTC would be be like a half day of reading scriptures and a half day of learning the language, but we only get an hour of personal study each day, and it goes by in minutes. It is so hard to find time to even write in my journal. My ultimate advice to anyone wanting to be happy, is study the scriptures for at least an hour every day. Understand the basic storyline of the Book of Mormon, and Old and New Testaments. I feel like I know nothing about the bible.
I love my district. I am the district leader. Every three weeks it will change, but whoever is next gets to learn from my mistakes. I get the mail twice a day and distribute it to the district. Elder Omari gets about five hundred packages a day from his girlfriend, so we're all depressed when mail comes. I love my district. I wish I could write about every one of them. It's like a EFY company only everyone really wants to be there, everyone wants to obey the rules, and they are all super humble. There are no sisters in our district, which is awesome because everyone can be themselves, but because everyone can be themselves, we get out of hand and laugh uncontrollably frequently.
My companion Elder Leithead, is super laid-back. The first night before we went to bed he said he had been staying up untill four AM the week before he came, binge watching some TV show season that just came out on Netflix. After the first day of language class, he was super discouraged and homesick, so I immediately thought of all the miserable companion stories I've heard, and I was certain he was going to be a nightmare the whole nine weeks. But I was immediately humbled, because he is working so hard, and has such a good attitude. We get along really well.
On the third day we learned how to pray and brother Driggs told us that from then on all of our prayers should be in Korean. Say everything you can in Korean, and then say another prayer in English if you need to. We are learning pretty fast, I want to be speaking only Korean for the last three days before I enter the field. I am not super impressed with the older district's level of Korean use. I wish they would constantly be speaking it to each other because I know they can.
We didn't get to sing in general conference, but watching it in the MTC was amazing. The MTC is so perfect, my whole life has prepared me for this. I love Korean. It's is apparently the third hardest language for an american to learn. Knowing the characters beforehand was super super helpful, but we are all on the same page already, I am the best at pronunciation, but I am struggling remembering new words, they all sound so similar and all have way different meanings. Elder Taotaiolefue, a Polynesian Elder from Australia, studied Korean for three months when he found out where he was going, so he is way good. It'll be a long time before anyone catches up to him.
I had a massive spiritual high the first four days, I was a baby. Then I hit a really rough spot Sunday morning, then another high Sunday night, but now I'm just content. There are talks from apostles that I think they only show in the MTC. They are life changing. We get to watch one each Sunday. We've only seen one, but it was life-changing, the best talk I've ever heard in my life.
We went through the temple this morning with all the missionaries and I recognized an usher at the veil as the actor for Christ in the endowment video we had just watched (my favorite one). He is also apparently a famous LDS singer, I shook his hand. There is probably a bunch more that I want to say but I've already gone way over my time. I am so so happy.