June 15, 2010
Dear Family (jīatíng):
So I just emailed you, and it was way intense. They only give you 30 minutes, and there’s a big red count down in the top right hand corner. It looms over you and starts to blink when you’re down to five minutes. It made me all worried… I tried to send an email with two seconds left, but I’m not sure that it actually sent. Hopefully it did.
Well like I said in my last letter, things are pretty intense here. The favorite phrase of our leaders is, “exact obedience.” It’s like they’re assimulating me into the borg. That’s a Star Trek reference in honor of the way dad starts our family history book. If you will, let him know again how much I love it. It’s very cool to read about family members who could very well be watching over me. I really liked that section of my setting apart.
Zac [Ipson] was right in saying that the MTC is like jail without visits or phone calls. Everything is very controlled; even gym time. We have exactly 50 minutes a day, except Sunday and P-day, and the rules are incredibly strict. I’m dealing though, no real complaints.
My companion is such a goof. He’s one of those Asians that dressed really well in high school and wore giant fake glasses to look cool. He works hard and has a strong testimony, so it’s good.
Regarding the other elders in my district; they’re all very cool. There’s Elder Gillespie, from Idaho, who has 2 years of Chinese and is generally pretty quiet, but always has a funny joke or comment at hand. His companion, Elder Multon from Australia, has about one year of Chinese and is very sarcastic (which I love, but most of the other elders can’t seem to catch the sarcasm).
Anyway, then we have Elder Stone from Arizona, who is a giant, and his companion — Elder Wyatt — our district leader. He’s from Florida. He was in the military for a while, or maybe he just went to school there…
Then there’s Elder Lee from Arizona. He and I play basketball most gym times. He’s really probably the most like me, except he’s 6′ and probably 230 lbs. He and his companion, Elder Smith, are probably my favorite members of my district. They work hard when we’re in class, but can laugh when we’re at meals. Elder Smith is from Utah.
Finally, we have Elders Yee and Whinham, my other roommates. Yee has a good amount of Chinese experience, which is good for Whinham. Yee doesn’t generally say much, but he’s very patient with Whinham, who has no Chinese experience, and tells us about it constantly.
Other than that, not much has happened. We had our first fireside Sunday night, but sadly I slept through about half of it. The part I was awake for was good though. Oh! Me and Chung did have a pretty cool experience recently. We have a system set up with Elders Lee and Smith where we teach one member of the other companionship, and the left over elders take notes on how we do. Then we discuss it. So as we were doing that yesterday (Sunday) the rest of our district was just kind of goofing off. Whinham slid over to us while we were teaching and said it was like “hitting a wall of Spirit.” While it was a nice thing to say, it threw off our flow and it took us a little while to get it back.
So I’m thinking that while I’m in the MTC, letters will be the best way to communicate. I’ll get them, and w can write them more often. Yeah, let’s focus on letters. Please tell everyone you can to write to me! A lot! Please keep my gmail and Google Voice accounts running so they don’t get deleted. I love and miss you! The Church is true.
Elder Johnson Moody