First of all, sorry for taking so long to write this. Our first P-day (day off) is on Wednesday's. Please bear with me for any mistakes. I hate this keyboard and Dutch is muddling my brainthoughts. The MTC is great! It's excellent to be surrounded by so many missionaries! You don't have to worry about vulgarities or mean-ness or anything else like that! Plus the spirit is so strong here. It's truly amazing.
I love the letters you're sending me and I hope you write me frequently. Like I said, we only get to e-mail once a week, but it makes a difference to me receiving all these letters.
Learning Dutch is difficult, but I feel like I've already learned more in this one short week than all of highschool. The teachers speak as much Dutch as they can and only speak English when they're: A) teaching us about gospel doctrine or B) we don't understand it.
Sunday was interesting because it was a fast day. I'm not sure what Sundays are usually like, but we had a huge devotional (2 hours) and later a 1-hour fireside. The fireside was super interesting. The guest speaker explained to us how some missions are still closed and how some have opened up recently. He was a lawyer and consequently used many big, lawyer-ery terms that only Dad and Jeremy would understand. Still, very fascinating.
I love my district. It feels like I've known them forever already. I'm stuck in a room with three "Utons" (like croutons but...utah?) but I don't mind. My companion is a cool guy. After getting to know everybody in my district, I wouldn't want to be with anybody else. Oh, and our district leader is Canadian (woot woot) from Alberta, somewhere relatively close to Banff. Fun times.
As for the food? Meh. That's really it. I can't really remember any specific meals, they've all been the same. They have a salad bar, a wrap line, a 'yellow' line (where they serve fast-food style 'food') and two purple lines, where they serve more traditional style foods. I try my best to stay away from the yellow line. It's unfortunate that the serving of vegetatbles with your meal are either minute or non-existant. You have to go out of your way to get some colour on your plate. I don't really mind. I try to eat salad or soup every time. I hear some nasty rumours of people gaining up to 40 pounds. (I may have gained 1 or 2 already).
Oh, here's something fun for you. Yesterday was "Magic Tuesday". Apparently only the Dutch missionaries get to participate in "magic Tuesday"....and only once during their stay at the MTC. The Dutch missionaries who have been here a while kept saying "Oh, I loved Magic tuesday", "We still talk about magic Tuesday", "Magic tuesday is such a spiritual experience, I wish I could do it again" and "Bring your camera." So I did bring my camera. I'm not sure what I was expecting--maybe a awesome talk or the opportunity to speak with a General Authority or something--but the experience was far from magical. We were directed to a small room which had a table. On the table were bags, adorned with our names with "Biohazard" stickers on them. Freaky. A lady came in and directed us to go into the room next door so they could take our blood. Even more freaky. After that, the scariest part of all: "In order to travel to and stay in Belgium, we need both a blood sample from you, as well as a stool sample." Yeah. That's right. Stool sample.
There is nothing magical about Magic Tuesday.
On the plus side, Elder Eduardo Gavarett spoke to us that night. Every Tuesday, General Authorities come and give talks. His wife spoke as well, with a thick spanish accent. It was great. Elder Gavarett's talk was very profound and spiritual. I was hit with a specific phrase "A new heart in me." That line struck me so hard...it's hard to describe. It's like he summed up this mission experience--that I must truly have a new heart to be successful in my purpose here. I have to become somebody new... Powerful indeed.
Anyway, it's great to hear from you guys! Keep writing please! Oh, and Mom, please tells others about dearelder.com It is awesome.
Mom, send this to all my friends.
Love yah lots!
Elder Burgess, Zegelin von de kerk von Jezus Christus van de Heiligen der Laaste Dagen (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)