Ok, so guess what! I got my travel plans and I guess my visa didn't have any problems! Thanks mom for doing so much for me! Vicky said that you were helping me do my visa work a few weeks ago. It's thanks to you that I get to leave so soon! Thank you so much for being the best parents mom and dad! :) So here are the important travel plan sections: I'm leaving the provo MTC at 3:30 pm on Monday the 17. My layover at the LAX will be at 4:15 (LA time). I'll call you when I get there :) I have a 7 hour layover, so I have as much time as seems appropriate! I'm so excited to talk to you all! Unfortunately because of all of Mom's wonderful efforts and prayers, I won't be seeing Vicky at the MTC, but I know you'll love it. I told the other generation to watch out for you. Also, the Branch President know's you're coming. You're probably going to be advanced so you won't get to meet them until the last few weeks of your MTC stay. I love our Branch Presidency. President Baker loves the church so much and has given so much of his life to further the Lord's work. he is such a wonderful example to me. He's one of the most strict branch presidents in the MTC and he's very proud of it :). You'll love him Vicky.
Well, some of the Thai Missionaries said that they saw mom in the temple! Sister Farnsworth and Knutsen said that they loved you and you seemed like such a wonderful person. Sister knutsen is sad that she's going to miss Vicky, but you'll get to hang out with Sister Farnsworth. Oh, by the way, You know how I told you that you had 2 luggage bags that can weigh 50 pounds, and a carry-on that weighs 15 lbs? Well you're flying EVA and they also allow one small personal item (not sure what that means) and everybody here usually gains weight into their luggage. We get a bunch of scriptures (including the triple column, so you don't have to bring one), three pmg's (Pinyin, characters, and english) a few dictionaries, a few grammar books and stuff, so just dont' pack too much :P all the sisters here are so stressed about fitting all their stuff in 115 lbs haha. I'm also going to leave a few things behind for you so you wont' have to bring laundry soap, I can get a lot from the Elders because they bought a lot here and won't be able to use it all, so don't worry about it. I'll probably just send most of it home so you won't have to worry about it.
Something that all the missionaries here are covetous about is that I"m going to leave with you my old "white plates" haha. My old lesson plans. They've got a few good scriptures and can help you figure out how to start your lesson plans off. It's really good. there's so much I want to tell you about the MTC so you don't waste any time getting into the thick of things. Our whole zone wasted a good 2 weeks because we weren't sure what things were. Evidently, we're the first generation to go through this special program. I really like it though. I'm not sure how the advanced missionaries work, but I'm sure it's pretty similiar. just the first few weeks are in english. Mom could probably tell you more :)
Well, I'm going on an airline called qantas which seems to be something of an enigma here in the MTC... I'm not sure what to think of it or anything. Nobody really can tell us the carry-on limitations or anything... So I'm not sure what to pack, it'd be awesome if you could find that out for me. If not, it's fine, I'll probably just ask the Australian Elder here. He's going to Hong Kong cantonese speaking and he's a really cool guy, he definitely knows qantas. (also, there seems to be a lot of australians in the MTC for some reason. I wonder why... huh... ok
Vicky, if you want a little pmg, just let me know, I've got my real PMG and it's got all my notes in it so, I don't know if I want this little one. If you want it, I'd love to send it to you. It seems like more of a feminine thing to carry anyway. It could fit in your purse and stuff. Oh and by the way. Mom I LOVE the little side bag you gave me from Jeff! It is such a wonderful thing! it's perfect for my scriptures but it's not so big that it gets annoying or in the way. Thank you so much for your for-sight into my mission. It's so great. All the Elders here are covetous of my lesson plans and my bag :) haha. Thank you so much! (I think I'm thanking you all so much because I'm finally realizing how cool you all are! you all are SO cool! Love you all)
Well, something funny about the lesson plans, there are some lessons in PMG that have IMPOSSIBLE scriptures to find in the book of mormon because they encourage us to use the book of mormon rather than other scriptures. Well, I've found a lot of good scriptures for each lesson, but whenever someone finds a new verse about apostasy, or how the gospel blesses families, we all have a really big celebration. It's pretty hilarious. We're all so weird here. We love looking at graphs, progress records, baptismal dates, area books. hahaha, we're crazy. Also, they played some strange music over the speakers in the big building and everybody just stopped talking and listened it was SO funny. hahaha, I'm so weird and I've only been here for about 2 months hahahaha.
Speaking of music, they wanted Elder Staples and I to play again, so we're playing tomorrow. :) Just a heads up. I guess it's just a last hurrah for Elder Staples and I to go and play for the new Missionary orientation. I'm really excited for it. haha, he Always keeps joking about marrying verina. He's so funny, I definitely respect him so much. He works SO hard in learning chinese. The first day we were here, I remember he knew how to say Ni hao, but now his vocabulary is bigger than mine! He's an example to all our district. So you better watch out verina.... mom might approve of him ;) haha.
I feel like I need to say something to Jeff too! Mostly because I just read Alma 39:1. You can find it for yourself if you'd like, I don't have enough time to type and look up the scriptures. But you are definitely such an example to me and Jon! I love getting your letters and hearing about medical school and how well you're doing over there! I knew you'd do so well in Medical School. I look up to you so much! thank you for setting such a wonderful example! Jon, dont' follow my example, follow Jeffrey's! He's such a hard worker!
When I call you, I'm going to have to speak a little Taiwanese to you. our teacher has been teaching us a bit. I can say maybe three words, but I love it. It sounds so funny. You'll have to correct it and I don't think it'll be much use in Australia, but it's a lot of fun to learn.
Well good news, we are the coolest district ever! I'm definitely going to miss them. Our district hasn't had any problems and all the teachers love us! Even the teachers that haven't taught us. They always love coming to our class and just talking to us and helping us during coaching missionary study time. haha. I hope you get such a wonderful district here Vicky! I feel like you can make any district work, you're just awesome like that. All the other missionaries wish they could've been in our district. YEAH! hahaha, the Lord had blessed us! he know how we'd all work together and since all the missionaries all have the same purpose and have been trying to reach the same goal, we all get along so well. Some Elders here have different purposes for being here, and you can see it. I admire their obedience to the Lord's commandments! LIke christ, they are doing as their father's commanded. The Lord will bless them!
One of the devotionals we listened to talked about Help from the other side of the veil. I thought of mom because she does so much to help our ancestors. One of the seventy said that: "Your relatives will be the ones to drive the devil out of your lives. They will be the ones leading the charge against the adversary in your protection." I remembered what the Temple workers told me every time I went to the baptistry when they said that. He told us of an experience when the adversary was testing him and trying to get him to sin, and when he prayed for help, he said that in his dream, he saw a host of angels led by his grandpa against the adversary. How cool is the gospel!!! One of the councelors in our branch presidencies brother Johnson told us: "not only your family, but the family of those you are to teach are protecting you! they want their work done, and they can only do that through your efforts in bringing the gospel into the lives of their posterity."
How great is the church!
Well, my time is up, so I'll wrap it up. I love you all, I feel like I forgot to tell you some stuff, but I'll probably right a letter before I leave if I can find some time. If not, I'll just put some in a package I sent home
I'll see you in two years! :)