Thursday, September 24, 2015

Argentina MTC Tips (CCM)

Tips for the Argentina MTC:
1. Bring a water bottle. There are those big jugs of water and small cups, but you're sitting in a classroom for like 12 hours a day and get thirsty. 
2. Start fun traditions with your district. Our district created "milestones" and every time we accomplished one, we did a chant or celebration to mark it off the board. It helps break up the time a little bit. We also told a bed time story every night right after planning before we all had to go to bed. 
3. Set goals from the beginning. Have goals going in, and make more goals once you've been there. Make them realistic and then do everything in your power to achieve them. These can include writing in your journal every day, memorizing a certain number of words per day, etc.
4. Talk with the Latins. Especially your roommates. Even if you speak no Spanish, they want to help you learn! And it will help you improve your Spanish so much, no matter what level you're starting out at. Meal times, exercise time, and night time are great for this. 
5. Work hard, play hard. Work hard in the classroom all day, and then play hard during exercise time. It really does help relieve stress. I hated exercise going in, but after sitting in the same chair all day long I really just needed to get up and move to stay sane. 
6. Get to know the cooks. First of all because they are actually really cool people, and second because sometimes you really want that second pudding which is not allowed but they will give it to you if they like you. Also the good piece of meat or the big brownie etc. 
7. You're going to leave most of your stuff in a storage unit. Don't freak out when they tell you. Just be prepared going in knowing what exactly you want for the MTC and have that all in one suitcase to make unpacking easier. They give you a list of exactly what you need, but just go by what you want. Also you can always get into your suitcases in the storage unit if you need to by asking the President or his wife. 
8. You're going to teach a lesson in Spanish your second day there and go proselyting on the streets of Buenos Aires your second week. Don't freak out. This is just a time to learn and you're supposed to make mistakes. Hundreds of missionaries have done the exact same thing before and survived. 
9. Buy chocolate and coca cola while you're proselyting. It's worth it. You can exchange your US dollars to Argentine pesos in the US, at the airport, or the President (might) be willing to exchange some for you.
10. You'll be going to the temple every week, so if you have any family names, bring them!
11. You can buy things at the distribution center on P-day, but there's only really hymnals, scriptures, garments, and some other church related things. Not any snacks or anything like that. You can use US dollars there, though. 
12. Bring snacks! You'll want them. Had a bad lesson? A little chocolate will cheer you up.
13. The plastic forks will break at pretty much every meal. Just get two.
14. Your teachers have some of the best wisdom and advice for your mission. Respect them and listen to them. 
15. Take notes. They give you a little journal when you get there for this. 
16. The MTC provides you with Spanish scriptures, Preach My Gospel, True to the Faith, a Spanish/ English dictionary, and like 3 language study books. Pretty much all you need is your English scriptures and Preach My Gospel.
17. Remember everyone is going through the same thing as you, so if you're struggling, you can talk about it. There's a pretty good chance someone else can relate. You can also always talk to your teachers or the President if you are getting overwhelmed. The first week you pretty much feel like you're going to explode. It gets better after that.
18. You get to watch a movie every Sunday night (in English). It is the best time of the week probably.
19. We had a constant battle in our classroom between the Elders and Sisters on the room temperature. Not all of the rooms have AC, but ours did. The Elders wanted it literally freezing all the time. Suggestion to the Sisters: bring a sweater just in case.
20. Enjoy your time there! It will seem long at the end no doubt, but once you get to the field you will realize how easy the MTC was. You get fed 3 times a day, barely walk at all, and always have someone close that can understand you if you speak English. This is also the last time you have to study for yourself for the next 18 months/2 years because once you're in the field, you are constantly focusing your studies on your investigators. 

The Argentina MTC is called the CCM in Spanish. It is only one building, 3 stories tall. There are never more than 100 people there. First floor meeting rooms and offices. Second floor housing. Third floor half classrooms, half housing. 

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