June 22, 2010
Whoa! I got 10 DearElder.coms today! Three of them were from girls! Girls!!! No one else [in my district] got a single one from a girl. Well, three of them have girlfriends (poor guys), but that doesn’t count. I’ll write everyone a response in this letter to save on postage, so just have Mary post them to their Facebook pages, and please make sure she does. I don’t want them all to thing I’m a big jerk. You know, gotta keep my rep up.
So, here’s what happened since my e-mail yesterday. Not much. Well, some of the showers got fixed, but really all it does is get people to spend longer in the showers. It’s a blessing and a curse. We have a devotional tonight. I don’t know who’s giving it, but I probably won’t send this letter until tomorrow so I’ll let you know.
I almost killed one of the elders in our district yesterday. We play kaibaibo here, and we finally told him what it was we were doing. As expected, he pretty much ruined it. He tried to get me to play all day. And only me. He wouldn’t play with anyone else. So I finally let him and he beat me twice, and actually slapped me pretty hard. (Mary, go ahead and explain kaibaibo when you type this up.) So then I was just done. I said, “No more!” but he just kept pestering me. You can’t fathom how incredibly obnoxious it was. I was so close to just verbally destroying him so many times. But, I’ve been praying for patience so I was able to hold back.
(Elder Chung has been praying for patience too; he’s doing better than me.) Anyway! I finally couldn’t take it anymore, and played one last game. I won, and definitely hit him harder than I should have. I felt super bad, but he had it coming. On the plus side, he hasn’t asked to play since.
I tend to stick together with two other elders in my district. We play basketball together. It’s way fun.
Oh, I just remembered. DearElder.com only recognizes English characters. Anything else is sent as a question mark. So, Mom, I have no idea what you tried to say to me in Chinese. Sorry. L Tomorrow is “fresh meat” day. [When new missionaries arrive at the MTC.] I’m like a pro already.
So anyway, everyday I try to come up with a new “hobby”. Well, maybe not everyday, but every now and then. On Saturday, me and Elder Lee decided to get offended by everything, but to keep a straight face while telling people we were offended. Elder Wyatt caught on quickly, but everyone else honestly thought we were really sensitive. When Lee and I talked to each other, it would just become of battle of who was more offended by the other. It was really funny.
Yesterday, the hobby changed to asking someone a question, then interrupting before they could answer. We did it in class, and had a contest to see who got the longest without laughing. Of course, I won.
Class this morning was awesome. There were only six people because two were sick and Elder Chung and Stone were doing a musical audition. Qían Lăoshī’s, who still doesn’t like us much, gave an awesome lesson writing up lesson plans. It really helped me understand the importance of setting commitments and basing them on doctrines. Dad, again, I have to thank you. Remember our lesson on how all Church rules are based on doctrines? It really helped me understand the rules at the MTC. And it just drove home Qían Lăoshī’s lesson. Also, thanks for the awesome blessing you gave me when you set me apart. I’ve really seen the gift of tongues at work these past few days. I’m probably learning 30 words a day. Apparently, most elders only learn that many after six weeks here. So I’m way ahead.
Last night at zone conference, we started a companion-investigator thing. We were assigned an elder from our district who had to role play as an investigator. Our goal was to commit him to baptism before leaving the MTC. It’s a cool idea. But, we’ve already been doing that exact same thing for two weeks so we’re ahead, as usual.
Mom, I just received your package and it makes me beyond happy. I love the book of photos so, so much. And here’s a list of everyone in my district and their Chinese names:
Elder – Zhāng lăo
Chung – Zhōng
Moody – Mū
Lee – Lĭ (like Bruce Li)
Smith – Sī mă
Mutton – Yáng (means sheep)
Gillespie – Gāo (means “tall”; he’s tall)
Wyatt – Weí
Stone – Shī (means “rock”)
Whinham – Wēn
Yee – Yú
So there you go. If I ever name one of them in Chinese by accident, you can refer back to this list. Love you so much, mom! I absolutely loved the handwritten letter. So, if you could, bring a new sole for my Clarks. That would be great. Love you!
Mary, what can I say! Of course the guys here think you’re cute. But these are some of the goofiest looking males I’ve ever seen. One of them was going to write to you. In fact, he actually wrote a letter. I let him know about your powers of sarcasm and he got nervous and ripped it up. Seriously. It was incredibly funny. Write him a letter, please. Make it sarcastic. Ask Quincy to help.
Also, they don’t believe the stories about Cheyenne High School. They think I’m making it all up. They live such sheltered lives!
Anyway, I love you! I miss you alot (yep, I’ve turned it into one word).
Dad, I honestly can’t thank you enough for everything. Is there anything I can get from the MTC for your birthday or Father’s Day? I get a sweet discount at the bookstore.
Ask me questions. Tell me stories. I loved your letter, but send more!
Sam: Hope summer is going well. Love you!
Emi: You’re hilarious. Tell me about the two different kinds of wind. (Same idea as two types of second.) Put them both in one hilarious sentence. I love you!
Colleen: That book sounded disappointing. Sorry about that. But at least school ends soon, right? Tell Kenna good luck at her recital! (I bet she’ll do awesome – can’t wait for pictures.) And tell Nika that high school is awesome as long as she gets involved. Theater was the most fun I’ve had. And the ability to talk in front of people is a useful skill. Also, tell her to get good grades. Maybe she can go to BYU with me, Mary and Sam. That would be so fun! Love you guys! Can’t wait for Kyal’s first chapter.
Wŏ xiăng zuò wŏde jíanzhèng. Wŏ zhī dào Tiānfù hěn aì wŏmen. Yínwěi tā aì wŏmen, suōy tū cĭgeĭ wŏmen tā de èrzi, Yēsū Jīdū. Yuēsì Sīmì shi Shén do xiānzhī hé Yuēsì Sīmì shi zhēnshí de xiānzhī. Móěrmén jīng ye shì zhēshì de. Fèng Yēsū Jīdū de Míng, Amen.
That’s all from memory. I truly love the Lord. And I’m eternally grateful for his love for us! I know, now more than ever, that Christ’s church has been restored. And that it’s through obedience to his commandments we can truly be happy. I know that my family be together forever, and I cannot show my thanks through a mere two years of service in his name. “We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon . . . and then to ask God . . . in the name of Jesus Christ if the book is true.” I bear witness of the Book of Mormon, and thereby the truthfulness of the restored gospel.
I love you all so much. And I’ll keep you in my prayers. Keep writing me!
Elder Johnson Moody
(Elder Moody is a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
P.S. Elder Lowell Snow gave the devotional. It was about being converted to Christ as opposed to being unified to the Church. Conversion to Christ is the most pure goal anyone can have. Those converted will never falter.