Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 24th

So really the only thing I have for the blog this week is what I wrote to dad and my flight plans
LV: SLC airport at 6:50 PM sep29
AR: LAX at 7:45 PM sep 29
LV: LAX at 11:30 PM sep 29
AR: Seoul, Korea 4:40 AM Oct1  (21 hour Flight) 
LV: Seoul, Korea 10:10 AM Oct1 
AR: Vladivostok, Russia 2:50 PM Oct1 
So that is over 26 hours in the air 21 of them in one flight. A six hour layover in Korea, three days of traveling, and probably no sleep.

I think that is kind of neat that someone made it into the white house. That seems like something I would really want to try, but I am not stupid enough to actually do it. Sometimes I really wish I had a rewind button so I could do stuff like that and then just rewind time and its like it never happened. I do get mail on Saturday but only until two o'clock. I didn't know that you were coming down here for conference that sounds neat. We have had two apostles speak to us at devotionals. Richard Scott and M. Russell Ballard. Elder Ballard is a cute old man, that is the only way to describe him. His whole talk felt like it was my grandpa talking to me and he had some really good advice. Namely, "your mission is not two years long, it is one day long for two years." and what he meant by that is that we just need to strive to do our best one day at a time. If we can say that we have tried our best that day when we go to sleep then we have succeeded on our mission, and the next day we need to do it again. (you should put that in the blog) I am sad that I am missing out on all the Logan cuteness but at least I get to here stories and see pictures!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sept 17 2014

In high school I never had to study for anything but trying to learn Russian in two months is like trying to take AP history, AP calculus, and AP english in two months. And when I get to Russia will be the test... Learning Russian is the hardest single thing I have ever done, but it is really rewarding. It is so great to actually talk to somebody in Russian, and for now it is a very basic and slow conversation but this week I passively (so I just learned the words through studying I did not look them up specifically) learned how to ask someone what color their cat is. and with that basic yet not necessary phase I want to believe that I have progressed to the second level of speaking Russian. If you could email me a chart or something on language speaking efficiency that would be great. I want to have something so I can find out how well I speak Russian right now. I really think I hit a breakthrough this week with certain words and phrases I don't even translate them into english in my mind to understand them, I just hear the words and know what they mean. It is like a muscle memory kind of thing instead of having to translate every single word I just know what it means. I took a picture in front of the big map and when i can get my hands on a flash drive adapter (because these computers don't let you just plug your camera in) I will send it and a couple others. TRC went really well last  wednesday I was able to share a personal experience without a single english word. also last thursday we were playing basketball and Elder Simonsen (who reminds me a lot of Tim) and another elder ran into each other and kissed. Straight up lips on lips. it was the funniest thing, and afterwards Simonsen said, "well half of the people I have kissed are male, gonna have to fix that ratio when I get back." On Friday we played beach volleyball it was really fun I bet one Elder a dollar that I could do a backflip on the sand, he thought there was no way I could do it but I landed it perfectly. First time doing a backflip in like two months I wasn't sure if I could do it either. Then that night Van Quill had a big chunk of dead skin hanging off the bottom of his foot, but he couldn't quite get to it so I cut it off with nail clippers. It was a disgusting experience grossest piece of skin I have ever seen. I bleached the nail clippers afterwards and took a shower. So Elder Simonsen speaks sign language fluently (because his parents are deaf) and I facetiously asked him how to say drop the hammer in sign language (Jay will know what I'm talking about) and now everyone does it after someone gets insulted. I have also learned how to say get on my level, I got mad skills, and not a chance. So that I can trash talk during basketball. Elder Castleton can now solve the rubik's cube consistently his best time is 4:14 and I have moved my best time down to 1:44 which is faster than the three guys that knew how to solve it before coming here. I got crazy hand eye coordination (thank you videogames). I will send some pictures later today. I hope I get a video of Logan this week, they are the best. And if Hank is in the video its even better. Only two more weeks in the MTC!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10th

The picture and video of Logan are great I have showed everyone around the video and they all think it is super cute. Not much happened this week, the MTC isn't a terribly exciting place. My had a 40 minute lesson with a native Russian using skype on Monday and it was so cool. It was hard to understand her because she pronounced everything differently (how it is supposed to be not with an American accent) and she talked super fast. But I could understand most of what she said. I have a little notebook where I write down Vocabulary words that I want to learn and then study them later. I know probably 85% of the words in it and there are now over 500 words. Ranging from Restoration and Apostasy to Tomato and pancakes. Which just a little Russian slang for you, there version of the word dangit is pancake. which is pronounced somewhat like Blooyn but the o's sound kind of like e's and it actually uses the Russian letter which looks like "bl" but it is one letter and makes a sound which does not exist in English. I can't wait to get to Russia. I should get my travel plans this Friday. Only two Wednesdays left in the MTC!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sept 3 2014 19th Birthday

This week has gone by so fast, as of today me and my district have now been in the MTC longer than anyone else here. We will be the veterans of the MTC until we leave at the end of this month. I am still not sure when my leave date actually is on packages, letters, and dearelders it keeps switching from Sep29 to Oct01 I get my travel plans next friday though so I will be able to tell you then. Thank you so much for the packages, I got them yesterday at lunch but I shaved that morning so I won't be able to try out the electric razor for a couple more days... ok more like a week. I feel like I have learned so much in just a month but rumor has it that most people feel like they know so much when they leave the MTC, then they get to Russia and can't understand what anybody is saying. One of our teachers says it took her about 5 months in the mission field to get to where she knew 90% of what the natives said to her. This morning I woke up to all the elders in my class sneaking into my room with the intent to spray me with silly string as a surprise birthday thing. I was wearing earplugs and still woke up because of the light that came in when they opened the door, so they decided to spray Van Quill instead then run away. Van Quill got this calender thing where it has a bubble for every day of your mission, and you put a sticker on the day when it ends. the bubbles spell out "Called To Serve" in big letters. So he had to catch up to where we are now and it didn't even finish the first "C" kind of puts in in perspective how long this really is going to be. I can't wait to head out to Russia though. Thank you all for all the happy birthday emails! it really means a lot when that's all I get to hear from everyone. I'll try to send pictures after dinner! Oodachi Vam :) 

 oh and put on the blog please. Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes on Facebook I will reply to any personal messages in 1 year and 11 months

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Aug 27 2013

I don't have my journal with me so I might send another email with more stuff for you to send to everyone. By the way were are you posting that so I can tell people? because they keep asking and I don't know. I love the video of Logan he is moving a lot more than before. It looks like he is about to start doing push ups but then he just sits back down. This sunday Elder Castleton and Simonsen are going to be called as zone leaders which is good. he tries really hard but he just isn't a great leader. In other news I can solve my rubiks cube in about 2 minutes 30 seconds consistently, makes me feel like a total nerd but it is entertaining. The string on my yo-yo broke from use so If another one was in a package soon that would be great, but it' no big deal. I have gained 1 or 2 pounds since getting here it fluctuates daily. I have been playing a lot of basketball and my shins are so sore I have to take breaks and go play foursquare which is super intense but more skill than effort. So every Wednesday we do this thing called TRC where return missionaries or members volunteer to come in and you have to go teach/talk to them for twenty minutes and It is amazing how much I can understand of what they say. It is much harder for me to formulate a response, but I can understand so much more than I thought I would be able to. We have class for 9 to 12 hours a day and sometimes more so it makes sense I bet I have learned more Russian now than I know Spanish from two years of high school.
Another funny thing is that if I am trying to think of a word in Russian and I know the word in Spanish I will accidentally say the word in Spanish sometimes. So some sentences are a mix of three languages we have come to call Spanglishian. I love getting pictures of Logan, and I use him to my advantage in TRC whenever it is a lady I am teaching I will bring up that I have a 7 month old little brother and that he is extremely fat.
 Russian grammar is really hard to get used to. Like instead of saying I have... you say at me there is... even if it is a feeling. so oo menya yest schavstlivooye, means I am happy but the literal translation is at me there is happy. I typed tried my best to transliterate that into English that isn't quite how it is pronounced in Russian but English is missing key letters like backwards R backwards N the one that looks like a little building, the I refer to as the spider, the bl letter sometimes referred to as the 61 which makes a sound I can't even describe with text, and of course b called the soft sign which makes the letter before it sound different in a barely perceptible but apparently very important way. I will write more later if i get a chance to grab my journal and come back. Don't have too much fun without me.

August 20 2013

Thank you for the package of candy it was really packed full of stuff. I took a picture of all of it and a handful of bags of skittles, I have way more skittles still in my suitcases. Not too much to talk about this week, I have gotten into the routine here and not much changes. Learning Russian is going pretty well its a really cool language even if it is confusing and hard to learn. I don't remember if i have talked about this before but there are six "cases" in Russian that effect the ending of most types of words, and you can have multiple cases in a single sentence so if you put something into google translate and send it to me it will be completely butchered, but I will probably understand what you mean since I can just direct translate it back into English and know what you put into Google translate. I only got like 3 emails this week and two from the same person, but I am hoping because I am checking at 8 in the morning Washington time so I will check again later today. You need to keep me updated on what Logan is doing even if you just say that he wiggles a little more than last week. Quotes of the week are "chains on the nets, chains on the people. Straight outta Compton" and "I hate short people, they freak me out" I'll give a quick description of everyone in my class. Elder Gardner (also my roommate) whom I have started calling cupcake is a cuddly little weirdo who is pretty funny. Elder Hansen (also my roommate) is from Idaho and is a fitness nut who takes weird vitamins and herbal pills every day. Elder Stuart is from Texas and is a pretty chill dude he's really good at b-ball. Elder Atchley is from Iowa and he laughs at literally everything with the most ridiculous laugh I have ever heard, he speaks Russian with a midwestern accent. Sister Clark and Sister Russel are pretty quiet very studious and very patient. Elder Hulka is the guy who helped me solve my Rubiks cube and he yo-yos very well he is a big nerdy looking dude but he is cool. Elder Otto is very righteous and little, he doesn't have the best social skills but we get along. Elder Castleton is hilarious he is extremely sarcastic so I call him sassy all the time which he doesn't like because he says it makes him sound like a 14 year old girl. He references movies constantly and loves the show The Office. Elder Simonson is Timmy Green reincarnate but with even more roundabout and confusing logic if you can even imagine that. Me and him get along very well its too bad he is going to St. Petersburg which is farther away from Vladivostok than California is. 
I mentioned in there that I solved my Rubik's cube, it took me four days to figure it out with some help from Elder Hulka, now I need to work on being able to solve it faster and more consistently I still have a lot of work left to do with it. I broke my Yo-yo this week; the string just randomly broke one time. Before that happened I was able to do the cradle, around the world, and some other cool stuff that I don't know the name of. All this makes it sound like I have tons of free time, but I am in class for over 12 hours every day. You wake up eat, go to class, eat, go to class, go to gym, eat, go to class, go to sleep. all this has been accomplished in the last 45 minutes we have in our dorms before we go to sleep. our branch president got back from Europe yesterday, he speaks 8+ languages fluently. and by fluently I mean has translated a book to or from that language or taught lectures in at universities throughout the world. Which was why he was in Europe. He claims to not be able to speak spanish, but he said that he read the book of Mormon in spanish last year so I'm pretty sure he could hold a conversation no problem.  Thanks again for the package and the pictures, If I could get a class picture too that would be great, its very nice to see everyone. and it would be great to hear from them too.

August 13 2014

I've got into the routine of the MTC, but I am still extremely tired all the time. On Thursday Elder Van Quill randomly decided to invent fruit week. He vowed to eat nothing but fruit for a week (with a spoonful of peanut butter for protein) $5.00, ten stamps, and a Russian hymn book were on the line. He made it two meals... I have started trying to write down a quote of the day, the best ones for this week are "eminem is doctrine" "if I wasn't a Mormon I would be a jew" and "do you even conjugate bro?" we have been playing only foursquare and basketball during gym and I do pretty well in Basketball, I am really good at foursquare though. Probably because I am good at reading where people will go. and you have to try foursquare before you write it off, it actually gets really intense and competitive. My ankle still moves out of place pretty often playing basketball it's really annoying. I have started calling Elder Simonson DJ Kip Reid. because that's his first and middle name, but mostly because he is so hardcore. He reminds me of Timmy because he over analyzes everything is extremely sarcastic and is very smart. he also speaks sign language fluently because his parents are deaf. I have hung all of my letters and whatnot on the wall next to my bed and people always come in and ask me about it. I got a package from home on Monday, it had a rubik's cube, yo-yo, and some other stuff in it. I can already solve the first layer of the rubiks cube and I'm working on the middle. At first I could barely get  the yo-yo to come back to me but now I can do a couple tricks and actually look like I know what I'm doing. Elder Gardner and me made a bet that if there are ten or more LDS churches in the Vladivostok mission by the time we leave he has to give me $100 he even signed in my journal where I wrote it down. I had Elder Stuart draw a goat on the whiteboard then had someone come in from the hall to try to guess what it was and the guy guessed centaur. It was pretty funny. Russian is an extremely difficult language, there are either too many consonants or too many vowels in a word, never a good balance. You have to change the ending to every word in a sentence based of Gender, Number, and case. I haven't even really heard about cases before and there are six of them in Russian. but i am having a good time! I miss everyone back at home hope you are all having fun.

August 6th 2014

The MTC is crazy, they shuffle you through a maze of people and buildings as soon as you arrive to get you all set up, and as soon as I walked into the classroom the teacher started speaking Russian to me. I waited until he finished and he was just staring at me waiting for a reply and I just said I got nothin' man. I thought i was going to have a couple days then we would start speaking only Russian, but he hasn't even said a full sentence in English yet. Learning Russian makes learning Spanish seem sooo easy, I have already learned the cyrillic alphabet and can read at probably like a first grade pace (which is so much more impressive than it sounds). The food here is alright you just have to know which meals to avoid, for example the waffles, the problem is that they offer like four different options at every meal so i end up eating two lunches and three dinners every day. We have a pull up bar outside our Dorm though so I'm using that a lot. and I saw another elder bracing himself between the walls horizontally, so he wasn't touching the floor at all and i have started practicing that, I went up and over a doorway yesterday! My companion is Elder Van Quill he's from Provo and he is pretty cool. We work pretty well together and share a lot of interests. We both study Russian more than anyone else, but he is struggling more than me. He is improving though and we will both get it down by the end of September which seems like it will never come. The days here are so packed with stuff it seems like they never end, but then you forget everything the next day so it goes by fast in hindsight. I'm almost too busy to even miss anybody, except hank and Logan I think about them a lot. Hope everyone is having fun,
Sincerely, Tanner

When we have gym We play soccer, b-ball, foursquare, or lift weights. I'm surprised at how well I do in all the above sports, and at how competitive foursquare gets. I will probably go pro when I get home cuz I ball hard. We aren't supposed to chew gum in public or say p-day instead of preparation day, or say guys or man or anything like that you have to call everyone elder. The guys in my class (called a district) are pretty cool, when we have study time and are alone in the classroom we play b-ball, we made a hoop out of a wire hanger and balls out of paper and tape, or just throw a roll of tape and try to get it to hang on one of the hooks on the wall.