Monday, August 19, 2013

Week Two Letter

Yes, I'm doing well and surviving somehow.  It's funny, I can't tell which it is I'm doing, sometimes.  Thank you for your mail, I really love hearing from everyone.  Sorry you had to wait a whole week to hear back from me.  The post office hours didn't line up with my schedule very well.  I haven't got your most recent Dear Elder message yet, so I'll have to write a response to that later in the week.
I'm glad to hear the family got to go to Lagoon, and I hope all of you (and Samantha) had fun.  I'd love to see pictures if you have some.  Oh yeah, thanks for sending me those pictures last week!  It makes me feel a little more connected to the family than just getting letters does.  Getting the Elder Evan & Elder Rex, and the Hatman drawings was a hoot!
I'm glad Great Grandma and Grandpa Sorenson got a visit.  How are they doing?  Was it fun for the kids, or not really?  I have fun memories of Thanksgiving Dinners at their house from a long time ago.
I'm definitely making some great memories now, too.  The food is great, my district is great, and my companion is awesome!  (No, that's actually not the most common adjective in the MTC.  In fact, I rarely hear it.  I usually hear "Feichang Hao!")  I love going to the temple, too.  Somehow, they actually do manage to work all the missionaries in. 
This week was fantastic - Elder Fletcher and I committed our first investigator, Leo, to baptism!  Actually, he beat us to the punch and actually asked if he could be baptized.  I nearly fell off my chair, because he had never asked any questions in a lesson before, even when we asked them.  I think he was taking it very easy on us because our Chinese isn't as great as the rest of the district's.  His baptism isn't going to happen, sadly, because the next day, he became one of our two new language teachers.  *rats!* :)  I've been getting plenty of exercise: running laps around the MTC, playing some fierce paiqiu (volleyball), and doing flashcard push-ups - a cruel game I invented.  On Tuesday, we sang at the Marriott Center, accompanying an address given by Richard G. Scott, which was broadcast globally from Provo to all the other MTC's.  Elder Scott taught us about the importance of prayer, and how we could make our own prayers more meaningful.  My favorite line was "You can't rush an effective prayer."  Last night, we were also addressed by Vai Sikahema, who told us about his mission experience, and encouraged us to propagate missionary work even after the mission.  Hopefully, everything we do can demonstrate our testimony in some way.  Sunday nights are also film nights.  Last week, we saw The Testaments in Mandarin.  I actually understood the part where one character said, "Come with me."  Yess!!  My Chinese is getting better.  Last night, we watched Elder Bednar's address, "(the?) Character of Christ."  That was probably the most powerful teaching have received in the MTC so far.  It is an outstanding address, and I encourage you to look it up, if you can, and watch it sometime!  I usually think that nothing tops Elder Holland's talks, but this one struck me especially strongly.
Well, things are going very well for me.  Strangely, I don't even feel homesick.  I'm just super excited to be here, and I can't wait to begin in Singapore!  I do think of the family every day, though, and I wish all the best for you and pray for you always!


Most of our choir, before Marriott Center performance.

I sing with Elder Fronk.

Crazy Guy preaches to missionaries on their way to the temple.

Study time

Elder Murray gets 5 letters and a package, Elder Clarkson gets nothing. 
(This is really not a dramatization. He actually rolled around on the floor, moaning.)

Elder Murray opens his many packages.

Lots of soap

Suiting up for "Service"
(I don't know,  I think the goggles look good . . .)

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