I finished the first full week of my MTC stay and therefore of my full-time mission! How neat is that? It has been a WEIRD week. I'm not one for cliches, but it has quite literally been a roller coaster of emotions here. The first few days were... rough. I prepared for my mission thinking I was gonna just breeze through the beginning without a sweat and I was going to show up all those haters that told me it was hard. Hahaha oh, man. When we first got to class and the teacher was speaking solely Croatian and we had to teach our first (fake) investigator in the language on the third day, I freaked. Or maybe I should say, we freaked. My companion and I have been in similar boats. The lesson went terribly, but we've had about 4 since then, and each time, the language gets better and we get more relaxed, and sometimes we actually feel the Spirit! Haha.
I fell in love with Hrvatski (Croatian) fairly quickly, actually. It's absolutely beautiful. I feel so cool when I speak it, too. We are also learning Srbski (Serbian), which is almost the same language, but with the Cyrillic alphabet, and that is equally as cool. Think of, like, if the Brits had a different alphabet from us. That's about the difference.
Speaking of which, we have a Welsh elder in our zone who is about the coolest ever. He's 24 and has a rock band that like tours the UK or something. And his accent is to die for. I know that dad would love to talk to him. He says there are castles by where he lives. Ahhhh. I'm so excited to go to Europe where everything is OLD! America can have its "Revolutionary War Era" brick or whatever.
A really cool thing happened. So every Sunday afternoon, we take a walk around the temple, kind of as a zone. We were hanging out on the grass, when one of our branch presidency just fainted. He was out for a few minutes, and when we tried to stand him up, his eyes rolled back and he collapsed again. Happened a few times. But luckily, he got a healing blessing from some of the elders in our zone, and let me just say, seeing those young men step up to their duties as priesthood holders was one of the sweetest things I've seen. Probably ever. I don't think very many of them had given a blessing before.
Anyway, right after that, me and Sister Washburn (companion) ran to find a phone, and I got to call 911 and talk to the dispatcher! Whoa. It was kind of a rush. But when we got back to where Brother Robinson had collapsed, he was up and walking, with an elder on each arm supporting him. As soon as he heard the sirens, he said, "you are NOT getting me on that ambulance. I REFUSE." And he talked like that for a while. It was pretty funny. And he's doing okay now!
Guys, I have learned so, incredibly much since I got here, about the gospel and foreign language. I am convinced that I wouldn't have been able to without the help of my Heavenly Father in sending His Holy Spirit to aide me. I cannot wait to get out there and invite other people to know what I know. I can feel the urgency.
I love all of you, and I am so thankful for your emails! I'll try as hard as I can to respond individually, but just know that I don't have a whole lot of time allotted to do so :) Stay strong! I'll keep you posted!
P.S. I think I'm going to do this thing every week where I teach you some words/phrases na Hrvatskom (in Croatian), so here you go.
Tako -- (pr. like "taco") doesn't have a straight translation, but you'd use it in various situations like if you wanted to say "That's right", or "so," or something. It's a very diverse word. We as a class were very confused when our teacher first introduced us to it. He pointed to me and kind of shouted, "Tako!" when I said something right, and it was hiLARious.
Volim te -- "I love you," for all you romantics out there. Use it well. But remember, romance is gross.