There is so much going on here. I get along fine with my companion, Elder Cagimaivuna, but he's definitely got his own set of challenges. He may not know a lot of English but it seems to be more than just being "lost in translation" if you know what I mean. We are getting along great so far though.
The MTC is what I would call a necessary evil. I feel like I am learning a lot but 12 days here feels like it is going to be an eternity :) We have class all day, everyday but Sunday. And on Sunday (which is today) we have church classes and personal time for like 2 hours - then more classes. Sunday is so far my favorite day of the week. I mean the Sabbath has always been my favorite of course but... you know, I probably look forward to meals and physical time the most. I played rugby for the first time! That was crazy! I am awful at it but my size helps.
We have been focusing on meeting investigators this week. It is surprisingly difficult for me to transition from a "normal" conversation into a "gospel" conversation. I can talk to someone about "normal" things all day and I can talk about the gospel fairly easily too but it is the transition that kills me. It also doesn't help that I lead the discussion or conversations every time by myself. My companion doesn't really get what is going on all the time but he sure has a strong testimony that he is willing to share all the time - and I mean ALL of the time, anytime, randomly. It's good to see his strong testimony but it is becoming difficult to either include it in lesson (or force it in I would say is a more accurate description) I know that I was meant to be his companion and I am pretty much constantly reminding myself of this. He is only my companion for the remainder of my training. He is serving back in Fiji for his mission.
One of the things I am learning a lot about is the Samoan culture. Many of the elders serving here are Samoan and they are learning English as a second language so we can't communicate very well. I am rooming with a Samoan companionship and it is so fun to be around them. They are always happy and I mean always. They constantly sing so that is interesting. It is really quite beautiful. I may go so far as to say that Samoan or Tongan is the celestial language. Another thing I have learned is that sharing candy or "lollies" really means sharing. I offered them Werther's and they each took about 10. It was surprising but I wasn't mad because when they share with me they give me so much back of everything. Another thing is that every time they pray, they start by saying "Let us pray" but there isn't like a long pause. It's just, "Let us pray. Dear Father in Heaven..." it is hard to explain but hopefully you understand. :)
Well I miss you guys a lot and 2 years is feeling really long to me right now. Tell Kaden happy birthday for me . I have mostly everything I need but I forgot a picture of our family. So if you guys could send me one that would be cool. I don't know if we can email at the MTC so hopefully you guys get that.
Your Favorite Elder Summers
P.S. Happy Birthday Kaden and remember 2 Nephi 9:34
[Xander wrote this letter and sent it to us via normal post on 11/24. It arrived at home on 12/2 so it took 8 days to get here. I'm sure we'll usually exchange email but it's good to know that it's only a week to send mail. I wonder if it's different for packages?]