Few things before I tell y’all about my first week…I NEED DEAR ELDERS!!!
DearElder.com makes it so easy for missionaries in the MTC to get mail. You go on the website, find my information, and type me a letter, and DearElder prints them out and puts it in my mailbox, so I get to read your letters throughout the week, instead of just on P-days!! So DEAR ELDER ME PLEASEEEEE!! 🙂 Also, Dad, I need that iPod charger you were supposed to drop off. Can you send that to me please?
So there is an Elder Wimmer that will be going to Houston speaking Mandarin. He’s leaving the MTC in 2 weeks. Look for him! And Elder Dorius (from Bountiful, going to Taipei, reported Oct. 1st) is so much fun. He was talking about one of his best friends, Elder Perkins, who reported to Taipei July 9th. I asked him if he was related to a member Of the Seventy, and Elder Dorius told he his uncle was a GA. Dad, can you ask Elder Perkins if he has a nephew in Taipei right now? Maybe it’s the guy!
I CAN’T BELIEVE TAYSOM GOT INJURED. Utah State hasn’t won at BYU in over what, 30 years? [David: 36 years, but who is counting?] So much for a perfect streak. With him and my boy Bronson out, man, I’m glad I’m not there to witness this heartache. I need someone to send me the rankings each week please. 🙂 I must know!
I am so in love with missionary work. It is really difficult, but I am already seeing miracles happening! We taught our first investigator on Friday. His name is Luo Yan and he’s from China. After studying some of the vocabulary from the Restoration, Sister Hendricks and I were able bear our testimonies in Mandarin to him. It was easy for me to talk to him, since I have some Mandarin background. But I don’t know anything about teaching lessons, and that’s the whole reason I’m here! However, after that lesson, Sister Hendricks got very discouraged and started to cry because she was really intimidated by how I could understand most of what Luo Yan was saying. I just told her that it’s okay, that I would help her with the language, and that it was no accident that she was called to learn Mandarin. She is so capable, and she’s learning so fast. I am so proud of her! She really is the best companion!
The missionaries in our district are amazing! Elder Davidson cracks me up, he tries to speak as much Mandarin as he can, but no one ever understands him haha. He will try to say “hao ba, hao ba” (okay, okay) but it sounds like he’s saying “hubba hubba”. Sister Hendricks and I are always on the floor laughing every time he opens up his mouth! We have 3 Texans in our district! Lone Star state represent!! Elder Tan, Sister Oviatt, and myself. Everyone makes fun of us because we always say “y’all”. But, hey, what can I say? They just don’t understand. 🙂 We’ve become so close. We were joking around and saying that we feel like we knew each other in the pre-existence, Then Elder Tan said “Yeah! And we were all speaking perfect Mandarin!” We got a really good laugh out of that!
I am so truly blessed to be in the MTC for General Conference. Since they started having seventies give talks in their native languages, everyone at the MTC was so excited for that! We were waiting for someone to give a talk in Mandarin, but no Mandarin talks 😦 But when a GA gave a talk in Spanish, all of the Spanish speaking missionaries cheered. Same with the Portugese and Cantonese missionaries. It was the funniest thing!
There were so many talks that were just amazing! I don’t have time to share my insight on all of them, but go look at Jorg Klebingat. That was such a good talk. Also Elder Christofferson’s talk was one of my favorites! But Elder Bednar’s talk is what I really needed to hear. He talked about why Mormons are so eager to share the gospel. LITERALLY MY MISSION SCRIPTURE. We’ve experienced this great joy from the gospel, and we just want everyone to know how happy they can be with the gospel in your life. I’m going to work that into our lesson with Luo Yan today. He was curious as to why missionaries volunteer to do this, he wanted to know why we didn’t get paid. Now I know exactly how to answer him!
Sunday night we had an MTC devotional. Vai Sikahema spoke to us! Dad, you must know him. He played for BYU in the championship game in ’84, drafted by Arizona, and then played for the Packers, then the Eagles. He was hilarious! He told us so many missionary stories! One thing he taught us is to not worry about baptisms. Our job is to spread the gospel, and if our investigator doesn’t get baptized right away, that’s alright, because we are starting the work that someone else will continue! Love that so much! [Dad: Of course I know him, I was at the game in 1984, and when I lived in Philadelphia, he played for the Eagles. He is now the Giff Nielsen of Philadelphia…the sportscaster and a Stake President!]
During devo, we watched a replay of the MTC Men’s choir perform at Priesthood session. Watch for all the Mandarin speaking Elders, I know them! It was so funny seeing them up there, because we were all sitting together they would point at themselves on the screen and say “Dang, that guy is really good looking.” They crack me up!
One last thing…PRAY FOR THE MISSIONARIES! I always prayed for the missionaries before, but now that I am one, it is just means so much more. I can’t believe how grateful I was so hear them pray for the missionaries during conference. I really did take it for granted. We really need your prayers!
I love y’all so much!
At the map! And Sister Hendricks and I with our Zone Leaders, Elder Lindahl and Elder Dixon.
The Elders in our district, and General Conference!