Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Week 2

Dear Family,
I hope you're all doing really well! I love receiving your letters int he mail. Since I have to pick up the mail and distribute it to my district it's always good to find a letter int he stack for me ever now and then :).
Ok. So I've been through two weeks now, and I love it still! it's amazing! The MTC is amazing! Most of the time our whole district is tired unto tears :P haha. During personal study, people will be falling asleep EVERYWHERE! One time, I looked up from my scriptures to see three of the elders had fallen asleep and one of them was playing with a fan his mom had sent him. He was trying to keep a paper in the air with his hand-held fan and when he'd mess up it'd make a little noise when the little fan blades hit the paper. Anyway. We have so much time to study and prepare that many of the missionaries just go crazy, but I love it. I keep discovering new things during my personal study time, companionship study, and coaching time. I just spent an hour reading and taking notes from 2 Nephi! It's such an incredible chapter!
We have two new "investigators" now. On of them is You Di xong (we don't know his first name) and the other is Pan Chang Zhi. They're our teachers acting like investigators. Pan Chang Zhi is our teacher Chen Lao Shi (Brother Evans). I was talking to him and realized that he was President Uchtdorf's Grandson! how cool is that? Remember when we went to that massive fireside in Taiwan when President Uchtdorf spoke? he was picking up two of his grandsons from Taiwan. Brother Evans was one of them! his twin is also a teacher here! He was the other grandson! so we talked a bit and he told me that I reminded him of one of the investigators he had. Oh yeah, so when we were "teaching" Pan Chang Zhi, he always acts so bored and tired so we all come out with a look of horror on our faces after teaching him. Most of the time, he'll either yawn, or rub his face/eye. It's rather unnerving. He also asks rough questions to answer in chinese. One time, he asked one of the companionships what Xili (baptism) was. So, they explained that it was how we became clean, but he was asking what happened during it. Since they didn't know how to explain it in chinese, Elder Macfarlane stood up, grabbed his companion by the arm and re-enacted baptism. Since he didn't know how to say basically anything pertaining to baptism, he just grunted and pretended to dunk Elder Wright in water after moving his hands around his waist and saying "shui". After they had finished teaching the investigator, we thought our teacher would laugh, but he had a stone cold face the WHOLE time.
Anyway, not too much more has happened recently. Our district was the cause of two new rules though in our zone :) haha.
So, I guess I'll introduce you to the elders in my district via email :P I would send pictures, but they don't let us send pictures through email while in the MTC.
Elder Bellingham is my companion, I told you about him last time, but he lives on a lake in North Carolina and we looked at his house from google earth. It's HUGE! we'll have to visit it some time.
Elder Staples is Bro. Mitton's Nephew. He went to timpview, and keeps telling me that he and Verina are a match made in heaven :P so you better watch out verina! Something about being able to speak our people's language, the piano, and being soul-mates. Fun stuff. Plus he puts this oil on his scalp every night that makes the back of my throat burn and my eyes water. So I've been trying to get used to that.
Elder Brown is Elder Staple's companion and one of my roommates. He doesn't really talk much, but his chinese is very good. He's a funny kid.
Elder Macfarlane is from one of those book of mormon prophet-named cities. I can't remember which. He's an amazing elder. he's been through a lot and wants to be on a mission more than anything. He's such a wonderful example to me. he's going to Hong Kong and has been to Taiwan before.
Elder Wright is Elder Macfarlane's companion. He's going to Hong Kong as well, and he's HILARIOUS. The other day, he wrote a rap to Eminem's song "Won't lose" or whatever it is. I can't remember. It feels like forever since I came in. anyway, his rap went something like this: "oop there goes Cassidy, What? is she mad at me? Who does she think is better than me?" In reference to Mission break-ups haha. We have a very productive study time.
Elder King and Elder Gray are both really quiet. I really don't know much about them, but I think I'll go visit them during down time some time at night. They seem like really nice guys. When I interviewed them, they both were really happy and confident that this is where the Lord wants them to be.
Elder Peterson and Elder Wolfgramm are my zone leaders from the older generation. They're really nice, Elder Peterson went to harvard and Elder Wolfgramm went to Air force academy. We love making fun of Elder Wolfgramm because he's the epitomy of what a military guy looks like, plus he has a six-inch scar down his arm. it's VERY scary to wake up, walk into the showers and run into it. I always let him take his shower before me :P. No one really knows where he got it, but Elder staples thinks somebody shot him with a rocket, Elder Wright thinks it was from a shark-attack, Elder Macfarlane thinks it's from cage-fighting, and I think it's from running into a tank. Elder Peterson said he got it from being stabbed in Vegas, but I don't know.
The Sisters are just crazy. Jeff was definitely right, they are VERY mature and outspoken about it, but I love them. They're really supportive when we're learning chinese and write us notes every now and then. :)
Sorry the emails aren't too long. We only have half-an-hour on the computers and I'm starting to fall asleep :P. The MTC is a lot of hard work! I'm loving every moment of it. I can't stand to fall asleep because every moment counts! "Moments are the molecules that make up eternity" -Neal A. Maxwell. If I ever take a moment to fall asleep or take a break, I'll miss a little bit of eternity! They give us so much time to study and do things but I still don't feel like I have enough time to be ready before the field. A lot of the missionaries keep pulling new scriptures out for every situation, and I've got a long ways to go. Plus, I still can't explain baptism :P. Fortunately there's 3 Nephi 11 for that. haha.
Anyway, I'm almost out of time, but thank-you for ALL the support you've given me. It means a lot. I know I'm in the right place right now. I know the Lord has a purpose in everything that He does, and because I've placed my life in His hands for the next two years, I know that if I align my desires with His desires, I'll always be in the right place, doing the right thing.
Love you all! I wish I could write you more often, but I only have an hour of open-time at night to write in my journal, read letters and write them, and conduct interviews. So, I'll try writing you as soon as I can :)
Elder Joseph Chen

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