August 18, 2010
I’m not gonna write much until I get your DearElders. Okay, got em’!
Before replies, lemme tell you a story. We play softball every gym time now. Thursday, I was pitching to Elder Fish, a buff wrestler in our zone. Anyway, as soon as I saw him hit the ball, it was too late. All I had time to do was put my glove over my posterity and turn a little bit. That softball cam straight off the bat and connected immediately with my right hip bone. Everyone on the field thought I had been made sterile. But I’m good. I was more surprised than hurt. In fact, it really didn’t hurt at all. But it did leave a nice bruise, a really nice bruise.
I can’t wait to get on the plan. Sadly, this is probably the last letter I’ll write from the MTC and the last time anyone will receive a handwritten letter in the same week that I send it.
I thought it was funny that Dad wrote to me about gratitude. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot because I’m working on the Christlike attribute of patience. Gratitude goes right along with it. Being polite can make someone’s day; impatience can ruin it. Anyway, I’ll always be sure to be a gentleman.
I got my second haircut since I’ve been here. I actually like it. I do miss Toni, though.
I’m glad you like my name. In case you haven’t seen it written, here it is:
Also, here’s Dad’s name (i.e., Mù Cháncú – the “wood toad”) written in Chinese:
Your name is hard to write. If you want another name, I think I can get Zhèng Lǎoshī (our native teacher) to give you one.
I’m glad try-outs were good for Mary. Don’t you dare let her start dating anyone that I don’t know. I swear that I’ll send her a mosquito infected with dengue fever so help me . . . But if she does date someone I don’t know, I want a letter from whoever the dǎbiān first. Got it? Good!
Mary, I’m really glad that my “taking you under my wing” in high school meant a lot, but that’s not how I see it. You’re seriously my best friend. We were just hanging out. Friends do that, you know? I think you and Sam will get to be that close pretty quickly. Also, keep him away from girls. He’ll be a real ladies’ man.
Christine compared the MTC to Bountiful in the Book of Mormon. I have to disagree with one point. The MTC is less like Bountiful and more like spirit prison. We are stuck in a state of discontent, knowing that there is somewhere else we need to be. So, once we leave, we’ll hit the ground running. Also, the MTC is like a prison with the constant companionship of the Spirit, so the title “spirit prison” fits well.
Mom, do you like that I call you “Momma Dee”? I hope so. I feel like I got the perfect storm of genetics. Neither you nor Dad (especially him) is a morning person. Also, both of you can sleep whenever, for any length of time. I’m a sleeping monster. A monster. Sunday morning I fell asleep waiting in the line for the shower. Now that’s a talent!
I laughed so hard at Mom threatening to jump across the table and kick Sam’s behind. X-box is stupid. (At least until I get back it is.)
Just had a devotional by Walter F. Gonzalez of the Presidency of the Seventy. It was so cool. He talked about “Doctrines, Principles and Applications.” Dad, we went over the same thing when we were studying together. It’s just cool to know that this is the same Church everywhere. He’s from Uruguay and was a convert when he was 19. It’s a real testimony-builder to see that people we convert as missionaries can stay strong and lead. I’m doing the most important work on earth. I know it more and more everyday.
Guess what? I get to host tomorrow. Remember that elder that grabbed my luggage and helped me carry it around and stuff? I get to be that guy! I’m stoked. I’m just gonna scare him that when he actually gets into the MTC, he’ll like it more.
That reminds me of a scene from Arrested Development that I think about a lot. Buster and Gob are kids and Buster is too afraid to go down the slide, so Gob convinces Buster, but once Buster gets to the bottom, Gob punches him in the stomach and says, “Now, next time you do this it will be more fun!” I’ve applied that several times. The MTC is the bottom of the slide. It can only get better from here.
So I invite you, all of you, as you go down the slide of life, if you punched in the stomach, remember that it will probably be better the next time.
Man, I’m getting good. I just related Arrested Development to a mission. Pro! Hope you enjoy the pictures!
Mù Jìng Lún