August 9, 2010
Just got the DearElders, so let’s get to some responses.
Twenty nine hours of volleyball in five days?!!! You’re nuts. Nuts. Way to go though! You cut Nathan’s hair, huh? I’ll bet that was an adventure.
Okay. Dumb high school girls make me so mad. Go to BYU, do not get married your freshman year and you’ll be good to go. A GED is just laughable. You need a diploma. Everyone needs a diploma. I’m not worried about you though. You’re smart.
Also, your “Garth-and-Kat”-ing made me laugh really hard. Like almost in tears laughing. Let me tell you some funny things one of the missionaries in our district has said lately:
- “What’s the point of a cheese bagel?”
- “What is there to do in New York?”
- (Elders pointing to South America on the MTC map for a photo…), “So you guys are going to Africa, huh?”
- (While teaching us a teaching skill…), “So who knows who our prophet is today?”
- (While staring a sister missionary right in the eyes…), “Yeast infections are disgusting!” (He later told us that he though you got yeast infections in your feet and that anyone could get them.)
There are so many more but I just can’t remember them right now. I’ve taken a humorous approach to the bothersome-ness instead of an annoyed one.
One more thing before I close. I discovered this morning that an elder in our district keeps an envelope in his journal entitled “Angry Feelings Envelope.” When he’s upset, he writes his feelings on a little piece of paper and put it in the envelope. He spends a lot of time writing things.
I love and miss you, Mary! Get ready for your senior year!
Hey there. I’ll make sure to pray for you about the things your wrote to me about.
Millie and Sam, all in the same classes?!?! Holy cow. You realize you’re practically arranging a marriage, right? And, why on earth are they taking German? Get those kids in the most perfect language in existence; Chinese. I’m pretty sure they had four tones in Adamic. I mean, come on! I want to be able to have secret conversations with Sam. And if he goes German on his mission…? Get them in Chinese. Final answer. Bret in there too. And I can only imagine Doug growling at those two boys. They deserve it. Never arrive at a friend’s house under false pretenses. It’s against the Man Law. Section 4, paragraph 3, 6th sentence.
The two shower thing is ridiculous. Only two have shower heads, two are broken and the other two don’t have hot water. So four of them work, but cold morning showers are terrible. I get a little disgruntled just thinking about it.
Oh, I think “siked” may in fact be spelled “psyked”. Or maybe “psyced”. Who knows? Love you, Christine!
I do not yet have a Mormon.org profile. In fact, I don’t think I’m going to make one. They seem to be discouraging missionaries here from having a profile. I want to see if I can find yours though.
Sam? Grumpy? Unthinkable. Mom, he’s been grumpy since he was three. He just needs to get it in shape. And you didn’t have it so easy with me, I think. At least Sam hasn’t had any two-hour girlfriends yet. He hasn’t, right? I think he’ll grow out of it soon.
Preparing to leave? Nothing yet. Every time we talk about leaving, Qián Lǎoshī hard-core planches us. I’m pretty tired of him at this point to be honest, but I only have — well, it’s now 13 days — left. Don’t you dare call here and complain!
I’m gonna start sending some things home this week I think. I’ll send the rest after I get my travel plans, which should be coming Friday!
Man, I can’t tell you how bad I want to get out there and teach. Those people need the gospel. The sooner I get there, the sooner I can make that happen. I can definitely feel your prayers. No one is blessed as much as a missionary. Love you, Mom!
Loved hearing from you! Service is one of the greatest opportunities you can have in life. It’s good to know Seth understands at a young age. Thanks for the letter. I love you all a lot!
Well, that’s it for responses. Let me tell you about a ground rule I had to establish with my companion. He likes to talk. A lot. In fact, if I go an hour without hearing him tell a story I’ve already heard at least five times, I get worried that something’s wrong with him. Even worse, he likes to talk in the mornings. At 6:30 a.m.! And, he expects a response!
So, the rule is this: “Thou shalt not speak in the direction of Elder Moody until after breakfast. In the event that breakfast is gross, thou shalt not speak in the direction of Elder Moody until after Elder Lee starts speaking to Elder Moody in complete sentences.” It’s actually working out pretty darn well. He is a funny little Gollum creature.
Have I ever said anything about exaggerations in our district? Here’s a short list, with explanations:
Me: I’m the oldest one in the zone; at least 26 years old.
- The first week here, we discovered that my blue card has the number “20” on it while everyone else’s has “19”. It doesn’t correspond to age, but everyone took it to mean that I’m 20. And it’s grown from there.
Elder Lee: He ate 16 plates of biscuits and gravy.
- Derived from the fact that he really did eat four plates of biscuits and gravy. That’s a lot!
Elder Smith: Tackled three sisters and sent two of them home on medical leave.
- The third week here, we were holding doors for sisters and, instead of waiting, Smith just went right on in. Three sisters had to go around him.
Sister Ith: Will tell President Baker if you do anything wrong.
- She actually told President Baker on one of the elders because he gave her some mean feedback. He planched so hard, but he deserved it.
I planned to write more but now that I think about it, they’re pretty dumb. Besides, I’m tired of writing about them. Here’s what I can tell you…
Last night, three people got their full Chinese names. Zhèng Lǎoshī gave them to them:
Elder Lee: 李 扬 德 – Lì Yáng Dé
- “yáng” – to magnify; “dé” – virtue; so his name means “to magnify virtue”
Elder Whinham: 温 夜 该 – Wēn yěn Chéng
- “yěn” – friend; “chéng” – sincere; so his name means “sincere friend”
Elder Smith: 司马 前 – Sīmà Qiān
- “Qiān” – humility; he was actually named after a famous Chinese explorer, so his name really doesn’t have a literal translation
Zhèng Lǎoshī (the native lady that we love) is giving us all names. She’s trying to name each of us after a Christlike attribute. I’m stoked to get my name!
Last in news. I just heard that President Monson spoke at a senior couples fireside sometime last week and said that mainland China could open within four years. Every missionary that has ever been called to serve a Mandarin speaking mission wouldn’t be enough to send there. They would have to call every missionary that sends in papers for several years to have enough in China; every single one. At this point, I’d be happy to serve again in China. I can’t wait to see what might happen!
I love you all!