I am in the middle of my first sewing class, and it is a blast.
Yes, the bobbin thread is the same as the top thread. You will need to learn to fill a bobbin, before you can sew. Also, practice threading and unthreading your machine, you will be doing this many times.
I have been testing different needles for use with silnylon, 70D nylon, cordura, etc. Right now, I am using a #14 needle, and just purchased a walking foot, to help keep slippery material together.
I am almost done with my rain pants, and will start the rain jacket, to match.