Saturday, October 12, 2013

Alex's first letter! September 20th

Mom, dad, Brandon and family!!! I hope you all get this!!!

Alright, it has been my first 40 hours in the MTC, and can I just say I LOVE IT HERE!!!! I have so much to tell you all and not a lot of time, so I hope I remember everything!!!

Ok first off,
Getting here: Going through the Timp Temple was amazing on Tuesday!! I loved it and it still remains my favorite temple....EVER!!!! When my mom dropped me off on Wednesday at 12:45, I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself. Right when you open the door, they really do wisk you away! I jumped out of the car and my escort was so nice!! I didn't even turn around I just went with it all. As soon as I started walking away with my escort I started to cry. She could tell I was having a hard time and told me that I could cry as long as I wanted to and that she understood! She was so nice. She took me to a building, where I FINALLY got my tags!! That's right, I am now Hermana Cattich!!! :) She then took me to my room and to my surprise, it is TINY, and there are 6 girls living in it (I will tell you about them later). After I dropped off my bags, she took me to a classroom and there I was thrown into a class where the teacher only spoke Spanish as we were waiting for the other Hermanas and Elders to show up. I understood NOTHING....but it was great!!! I was just so happy to be there, I just kept smiling! I didn't know what else to do!!!

MY COMPANION: So this is a funny story....I KNOW MY COMPANION!!! I was so excited when I saw her name on my sheet saying that she was my companion!! I know her from BYU and she dated one of my best friends from summer, Mason Marstella!! Funny thing is, we really didn't like each other because I was one of his best friends and she was his girlfriend, but now everything is fine! Right when I saw her, I asked if I could hug her (cause I was still crying and I was just so relieved to see someone I know!!) We both just laughed!! So her name is Hermana Boyce. She is from Holiday, Utah and she is great!! I love her already. We get along so well! We are the only Hermanas in our district so we have to keep the boys in line. It is a weird adjustment having a companion, they are with you ALL THE TIME, but I can already see it as a great blessing. When one of us forgets something, the other one has it. She is very focused and stressed about learning the language, and I am more patient (surprise) about learning the language. She asked me multiple times how i am so patient. We really to balance each other out!!! Heavenly Father knew that I needed a familiar face, and I got one my companion!!

MY DISTRICT: As I said before, my companion and I are the only Sisters in there, then there are 5 boys. A companionship and then a trio. Let me just say, we are the most random people thrown together in a room and we are going to be so blessed to be in there together. I don't think I have met a more diverse group of people in my life.Heavenly Father placed the most random people together but it is awesome!! I already love each of them!! First, there is Elder Persad. His parents are from Latin America but he was born and raised in Canada. So we have a "Latin Canadian" Next, we have Elder Teio. He is from Tahiti and only speaks French. So we have to teach him English and Spanish at the same time. We play pictionary a lot to try and help him. He is so funny and he only really knows the words, "I love you man" and "Okie dokie artichokie"  We love him, but the Elders say he snores a lot at night!! So we have a Tahitian French Speaker trying to learn 2 languages. Next, we have Elder Bowie. He is from Nigeria but was born and raised in London so he has a sweet accent. So we have an African-European, with an English accent. Next we have Elder Tai. He is Somoan, and probably the most humble person I have ever met. After his mission he is going to play football for Stanford!! Finally we have Elder Sharp. He is from Idaho and has been going to college for 2 years. He is a sports maniac, but he really looks out for the Hermanas (me and my companion) especially with his companion. Elder Tai. It is hard for all them to focus together, but individually they are great! Our district leader is Elder Bowie, and he gives us our we really like him!! :)

MY ROOM: So my room is TINY, and there are 6 girls in there! All of the girls are going to Argentina (except me) They are so nice!! We have Hermana Goodall (who is like the mom of the room) Hermana Gonzales, Hermana Woodruff and Hermana Bastian. (Then of course my companion and I) They are super nice and really willing to help us with any questions. They are in a different district but we are all in the same zone/branch!

BRANCH PRESIDENT: President Tyler. He is great, and every time he speaks you want to have your scriptures and note book open!! He is wonderful. Our branch is the smallest one in the CCM (MTC) There are only 17 of us. There are 11 Elders and 6 Hermanas. Our branch is who we will have church with on Sundays!! A branch is made up of 3 districts, it's also called a zone!

ZONE LEADERS!! Our zone leaders are great, and super funny!! Elder Moody, Elder Bradshaw and Elder Blake. They are great!

MEALS; For meals we all sit together as a zone. We have our own little table, and each meal is an adventure!! Last night, Elder Padgett (an elder in my zone) dared Hermana Gonzales to eat a whole bowl of jello in one bite for $5. It was a failure but everyone was laughing and jello went everywhere. Elder Padgett is the zone clown, he will always make you laugh!! His partner in crime is Elder Blake, and together they terrorize the zone (in a good way) you can always hear them though. It is great!!! (Brandon you would love them!!!)

GYM: We have gym time everyday and one thing I have learned is that when an Elder says they are bad at a certain sport, they are lying!! I was paired with Elder Sharp for b-ball. The teams are one boy and one girl so the girl can block the girl and the guy can block the guy. We can't block/guard the opposite gender. So, I was paired with Elder Sharp and he said that didn't play basketball, but I know he was lying cause he was awesome and as a team we dominated together!!

Elder Macias (COLORADO) We have the same schedule cause we are both Spanish speaking! I see him everywhere. It is hard to remember to call him Elder and not Art. 
Elder Rockwood (Aurora Stake) You can't miss Elder Rockwood he is like 6 foot 6. He is speaking Japaneese on his mission but he has the same dinner time as me. Yesterday I say him and I was his "investigator" while he testified to me in Japanese. That was really cool!!
Sister Meredith (COLORADO) She lives in the same building as me!!
Hermana Foutz (BYU) She lived on the same floor and is Jacob Foutz's cousin!! It is awesome to see her literally everywhere because she is Spanish Speaking as well!!
Elder Coon (COLORADO)
Sister Gallagher (Home Ward in colorado) She was actually the first person I saw, that I knew! She came up and gave me a big hug! She is doing great!!
I see a lot of other people, and it is really fun to see them! The hard part is you want to hug them, but you can't!! 

1. You can't give high 5's. That was so hard for me. We have to shake their hand.
2. We have to call people by Elder and Sister/Hermana, not by their first name.
3. There is a tree that smells like Cream Soda....not kidding!! Every time you pass it you have to smell it!! 
4. Everyone believes in the saying "Speak your language" so I have been passed my so many people that say hello in there mission language! I have probably heard over 10 different languages so far!! IT'S AWESOME!!
5. There were 650 new missionaries here this week. 
6. They cut down the time for Japanese and Chinese Speaking missionaries. You are only in the MTC for 8 weeks. If you speak 2 new languages on your mission you are here for 10 weeks!
7. Dear Elder is the best way to get a hold of me!! go to and it is free and it get it that day instead of only on p-days. But still write me letters and emails too. Its all really fun!!

It is actually coming along really well. The first day they just throw you into a class where you only speak Spanish. That was crazy. But now I know how to pray and bear my testimony in Spanish....CRAZY!! Tomorrow we are teaching our first investigator!!

Mom: I miss you so much and I hope you drove home safely!! I wrote you a letter and it should be there either today or tomorrow.
Brandon: how is your broken leg and stitches?? I MISS YOU!!!
Dad: I hope you are doing well with work and everything!! Love you!
Aunt Wendy: How is your vacation?? I am so jealous!!
Sister Wandry: Thank you for your dear elder!! I was so excited to get it in my first batch of mail!!! I wrote you a letter back and you should get it soon!!

Anyways, if you can tell I love it here!! SO MUCH!!! MORE THAN I CAN DESCRIBE!!! I would love to hear from anyone and I can print off emails, so if you can just write me an email or letter, that would be great!!

THE BEST NEWS EVER!!! I have been asked to sing in the choir at the Relief Society Broadcast at the Conference Center on the 28th!!! LOOK FOR ME ON THE TV!!!

I love you all and thank you for everything!! Can't wait to talk to you next week!!!

Heremana Cattich

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