July 4, 2010
Happy 4th, family!
K, so last night they let us watch the fireworks! We still had to be on MTC grounds, but still, they let us and it was way fun. Except now I’m flippin’ tired because I got back late and had to still get up at 6:30 a.m.
You know what stinks? I only got letters one day last week. That a big frowny face there! But it’s alright. I only sent one letter last week, I think…
Have I told anyone about the member of my district who stares? As he’s speaking Chinese, he makes eye contact, and his right eye starts to twitch. He doesn’t drop eye contact until he finishes speaking. Here’s the scene:
A ONE ACT BY 穆敬伦
Enter – Elder Moody
Spot light up
Stage lights up
[The district sits in its classroom, awaiting further instructions from the lăoshī men and enjoying their three minutes of relaxation.]
Elder X: Hey, Mu Zhanglao (tones unknown).
Moody: What? [Turning towards the source of the sound.]
Elder X: [Making eye contact.] Uhh, wò . . . No, wó kēyì . . . [Eye starts to twitch] wŏ kēyĭ . . . wŏ . . . [Attempting to look past Mù Zhănglo’s eyes, possibly into the depths of his soul] wŏ kèyĭ . . . chœ [← non-existent 12th tone; eye continues twitching, madly] Wŏ kěyĭ chŭ . . .
[At this point, Elder Moody’s resolve is fading. He has worked hard at maintaining eye contact, but it’s like staring into the face of death itself. The sunken eyes and sullen cheeks, combined with the twitching eye finally break him and he is forced to look away. Meanwhile . . .]
Elder X: Wŏ kěyĭ qù, uhh . . . kěyĭ . . . [his eyes change from human to an ungodly color of red] Uhh, bathroom.
Moody: You did all that to say you can go to the bathroom? I’m pretty sure I lost a portion of my soul! Do you have any idea how creepy it is when you stare like that?!? [Moody grabs his coat and flees from the room in a fury, anguish and terror.]
I hope you liked the screenplay.
Anywho, I just finished my first missionary conference! It’s an MTC-wide conference and every member of the MTC presidency (and their wives) spoke to us. I thought it was only gonna be an hour long. Wrong! It was a doozy; a diggy-da-dang-doodle doozy! Whoa! That was sweet.
Can you believe I’ve already been here a month?!?! I’ve got to get it in gear if I want to be speaking Chinese by the time I leave. Also, I’ve already finished 1/24th of my mission. That’s nuts.
Today was Fast Sunday and I decided to bear my testimony in church. Let me tell you, the Spirit dwells strongly in a few places. I can honestly say that I was given the gift of tongues for the duration of my testimony. It was incredible. I didn’t quite say anything I haven’t studied, but it just flowed out. Perfect accent and tones. It was amazing. What I’m saying is that I can truly testify to you about the power of the priesthood. The power that Dad and Sam hold is . . . well . . . powerful. Through faith and the priesthood, all things are possible.
At dinner tonight (fasting was rough today) I met a certain elder . . . Elder Moffat! He’s Paul’s nephew and he’s going to the Baltic Mission, speaking Russian. Small world! I submit that no Mormon on earth is removed from another by more than four people.
I finally got Elder Glen (from Australia) to say the GEICO thing. Mutton always refused to, but Glen did. Speaking of Elder Glen, Mary, you must write him a letter. Just send it to me and I’ll give it to him. He hasn’t received a single letter since being here and he, like so many others, thinks you’re gorgeous. (And you are.) So send him a letter. Glen is very cool so be nice to him.
So Sam is going to Cedar for EFY? Shénme dōngxì? (That roughly translates to “What the heck?” And it’s fun to say Shénme dōngxì. Try it . . . go. Wasn’t that fun? Anyway.
Right now I’m just chillin’ in my room with the lights off except for my desk light. Elder Lee is asleep on my bed. That was a surprise to come back to, but hey, we all get tired. Sometimes we don’t have the energy to make to our rooms, 30 feet away! Chung is sleeping too.
Oh! Do you know that I get a full Chinese name before I leave the MTC? They wait unto about week 10 because the name actually carries meaning. I guess in Chinese culture, kids usually aren’t named until they’re three of four years old. I’m pretty excited to get my name.
Lately, I feel like I need to start learning characters so I think I’m gonna start studying characters along with teaching the first lesson in Chinese. Exciting stuff!
Mary, how is the list of 101 things to do this summer coming along? Hopefully, pretty well. I miss you a ton, sister. A ton! Send me more pictures of the family, K? And also, please tell Kylee and Hayli and anyone else to write me, especially Quincy. Haven’t heard from her yet, and that could make marriage difficult.
Well, it’s about bedtime now. I’ll send this off in the morning. Mail was closed today for the nationally celebrated holiday of July 5th.
So now it’s Tuesday morning and I remembered some things I’d like you to send: (1) a tennis ball; (2) a styptic pen that stops shaving cuts from bleeding; and (3) . . . I forgot the third one. Dang it! Well, then just the tennis ball and pen thing. I cut myself shaving this morning and bled for like over an hour. Ridiculous!
I started keeping a list of scriptures in the back of my Standard Works that has the chapter and verse, and a little summary sentence so I know what it’s about. It’s really useful, and I’m a pretty proud of coming up with it. I’m cool.
Dad, you’ll like to hear this. You know that pen that Brother Palmer gave me? I call it the “Rod of Aaron.” That’s a good name for a pen.
Well, I wish I had more to write, but I’m all out of ideas. Without knowing what you’re all doing, I’ve got nothing’. Hopefully, I get a bunch of letters today!
Wŏ hěn aì nĭemen! (I love you all a lot!)
P.S. Sorry this letter is so sporadic.