In the MTC you're either in your classroom, in the devotional hall, in your apartment room, or the cafeteria. The schedule doesn't really deviate from that. We're continuing to teach our "investigator" (she's our teacher). We have three teachers now, Broer Norten, and Zusters Schwab and Larsen. Zusters Schwab and Larsen both served their missions in the Netherlands. Broer Norten is the only Dutch teacher in the MTC that's served in Suriname. It's interesting because they talk a fair amount of English to us. Usually if we're having a spiritual discussion they'll talk in English. We can usually get what they're saying though in Dutch. I'd say they speak a good 60/40 with Dutch/English.
I'm getting to the point where I can teach the first few lessons in very simple Dutch. There's words in Dutch that are completely different from English, like agency is de kuizevrijheid. The grammar is very similar. The sentence structure is different. I'd say that's the most difficult part of Dutch is learning the sentence structure. Cuz like your subject is first, the subject's verb is next, and then all the other verbs in the sentence get pushed to the end of the sentence. Everything else in the sentence is normal pattern.
Dutch is a really cool language. It's a very old language too. In Dutch there is no direct translation for "will", like we will go to the store. You use zallen, or shall, Wij zallen naar de wenkel gaan. There also isn't a translation for 'so', you just use dus, or 'thus'. Zuster Schwab told us that in Vlaams, or Flemish/Belgian Dutch, they actually use bible vocabulary like gij (thou), instead of you.
Broer Norten has also been teaching us some 'Taki Taki' (Suranan Tongo). To say how are you, you say Fawaka! (literally how's it walkin'?). To respond you can say a bun, or tong bon, which means like awesome/chillaxed/good/etc. Saying goodbye you can say te shweeti (stay sweet). Zuster Larsen read us a couple of emails from some of the Surinamers who were in the MTC just before us. One of the Zusters used the word crazy like every sentence. One of the Elders said that when you're wondering about how the missionaries are doing in Suriname, they're probably getting rained on. He said when you're on a bike, you're either getting rained on or getting chased by dogs.
What else... We've been playing a tone of volleyball. We usually play with the Nords. Other then that I'm either eating, sleeping, or in class. The devotionals have been AMAZING!! Last night we listened to Elder Corbridge of the seventy. He gave an amazing talk about teaching, which was exactly what I've needed to hear. It's been difficult because I'm learning 1. how to missionary (teach effectively/with the spirit), 2. learning how the heck to say those words in Dutch, and 3. cooping with my brain frying every night. Hey John and Drew, could you guys give me some advice on the ordering of lessons, what an effective order would be? Our investigators have been super easy, they're merely just fascinated or want to learn more about the church.
Elder Corbridge then pointed out that the most important thing we do as missionaries is to help people know the importance of baptism. Everything else is reinforcing this idea of the necessity to baptize. He asked us what God's most precious gift was to us in this life. He answered that it was baptism and being made clean through the verzoening van Jezus Christus (atonement). John, Drew, did you guys listen to Elder Bednar's talk on the Character of Christ? That video was life changing for me. He pointed out that we need to always turn out instead of turning in. I've learned that as a missionary, I must turn out, or serve others, and teach effectively and with clarity.
I am lovin MTC life! I'm grateful that my district is so small, it makes it so much easier for us to learn.
Ik hou van jullie!