Thursday, November 14, 2013

Email sent 11/12/13

Hi mom and dad and ben and aaron and josh and lindsay and matt and baby and other family and friends,

Sorry if my letter is out of order, I just jotted down thoughts and want to tell them to you and I wrote them down. Firstly, Ben should take Team Sports, it is the second easiest, but not as shameful as if he took the class where they just write essays about being physically fit. 

Just so it is on my blog, I can't accept letters from any girls in or near my mission boundaries, so that is the reason that I am not responding to letters from some people I know at BYU.

It was cool to get all of your letters. They sometimes break them up, but sometimes combine them, so I think I have gotten like 12 sheets of paper each folded into their own rectangle. Everyone was like "why is he getting so many letters?" and then I read them Lindsay's thing. Also everyone thought Josh's book was a great idea to send in letters. 

I appreciated Ben writing me since he is so busy, too. To hear about my favorite TV shows, its almost like I am still at home.

To answer Lindsay's question, there is no tree of life here or at the main campus (I am at west like you guys asked) anymore. We shower with the door unlocked, so people can wash their faces and shave and stuff because we barely have any time, but its alright because we have a curtain.

I love seeing people I know from BYU, even though it is weird to live in Wyview (although now its 6 people in one apartment, three bedrooms, instead of three and two bedrooms). So far, I have seen Kayli and Madison and Elder Crawford and also Camille. Speaking of which, I got those Reeses from the Creamery. Thanks, Josh!

There isn't a lot of time to eat the food you send, because it is not allowed in a lot of places, but sometimes I have barely enough time to eat a puffed rice ball before a quick shower and bed. On P-days (tuesday) I will try to get in to play piano, but my companion doesn't want to do that I think. Mostly just sit in our apartment and do nothing.

My foot is still messed up. I think there might already be warts where he treated those big ones, but I am just going to ignore it until they seem healed, because I don't want to kill the skin that just filled in. Does that seem like a good idea? Its just so frustrating. 

Food is more like in a temp. than in a bubble. They have bubbles for gym class, but they aren't done, even though they were supposed to be finished in April. So we do gym outside in the parking lot and play four square and basketball and volleyball. They have ice cream and I think you can have one a day. They have fudge bars usually and orange dream and strawberry, but not very many. Sometimes they have ice cream sandwiches and once they had BYU ice cream, but it runs out really fast. The food ranges from good to okay, but once they had breakfast with this meaty, oatmealy thing on it, that seemed like bacon, but was not. That was hard to do. 

Something funny that someone told me is if you accidentally have an investigator read 3 Nephi 3:7 instead of in 1 Nephi, so you can look that up.

The weather here has actually been really sunny, although its cold during the night and morning. 

My companion is Elder Craggs. He is going to Denver North and is from England. He is pretty alright!

Otherwise in my district are Elders Smalley and Hesterman (it turns out his brother is marrying the girl that I home taught over the summer...she'll remember me if he says the worst home teacher) who are going to Tijuana too and theyre pretty cool. I've met like 6 people I thinkish going to Tijuana. Elder Smalley told me his friends cousins bike got stolen the first time he parked it somewhere in tijuana. So I hope that doesn't happen to me. Also they give you filter water bottles for your mission here, so  Iwill have to see if I can get one (free I think) they are back-ordered right now. And Elders Hulme and Christiansen (Mitt Romney is in his ward, or one of his houses is) who are going to Argentina. 

I cleaned both sinks and two mirrors and swept and was like alright you guys (you're supposed to say elders) (5 people) can vaccuum and take out the trash. I kind of doubt they will do it. But I guess it is not the worst. Also, we went to change our laundry during service time (which is cleaning empty classrooms) which we aren't supposed to do. So as much as a companion protects you, they also can force you to break the rules sometimes, like turning the lights off and other stuff. Later, we are going to do some other stuff and then go to the Temple and dinner at the main campus. 

The MTC so far is okay. We study for like 8 hours everyday and it gets pretty boring. We don't spend as much time studying Spanish as I thought we would have to.  My companion said most people are immature on the outside and deep on the inside. 

I am sick and have had a runny nose and now I have a cough. I guess I will have to go into the health center soon. It might also be because they make us stay up and get up and play four square in the morning (they don't have four square in Britain apparently and we had to explain it to my companion). 

We teach a pretend investigator or pretend-igator named Antonio, which is fine. But even though I can understand his Spanish, we can't solve his problems. We don't know if we should avoid them or make every lesson about them until he feels they are resolved. He's like "I don't feel anything when I read the book of Mormon or think Joseph Smith is a prophet" And his wife is a member, but he dislikes all the other members because they're lazy and hypocrites and think it is more important the longer you are a member. And he won't read anymore. He thinks Jesus is the Christ, but I asked him to read the bible and the Book of Mormon together, but he said he won't. It is frustrating, because he is not making any progress.

I don't know if I will get my visa in time but it isn't completely based on when you sent it in, we found out from the district that just went to Mexico. A couple people have to go to Ogden, which sounds lame, but a cafeteria worker said he had to and it was awesome because you have tons of baptisms and people love you and an old man gave some missionaries 40 dollars once, and crazy stuff. So that would be okay. Something someone told me is that we shouldn't take solid poop for granted, and that will give me a couple more weeks of that I hope. 

Everyone here is better at feeling the Spirit than me and always talks about how it was so strong, or they are just less precise about their vocabulary or it is a relative thing. I don't think its bad to not feel the Spirit as long as you (some kind of verb) the Spirit. And I feel (but in an intellectual non-emotional matter-of-fact way)  that the Church is true, I think. But it is just frustrating when people are like, you have to rely on the Spirit so much. And it seems more like to me that it is less of exterior thing and the spirit is more like something that is integral to you, so maybe it never seems like the spirit, but just seems like me, because its knows how I am and matches that attitude and personality. 

Also, we were talking about being on are mission (I don't talk that much, so mostly everyone else) when you feel you aren't worthy and how everything you do you would have a nagging feeling that you aren't supposed to be here or whatever. But, at least for me, I think that I will always have that, no matter what. maybe time will change that, but  I decided that that is part of faith, and so if I have done all the necessary steps and feel sincere about them or a Priesthood leader says that I am good to go, I think you just have to have faith in the Atonement everytime you feel badly about yourself and your inadequacies, even if they are in the past. Maybe my ideas are not mainstream enough though, because I think they tend to be more practical. Like we were talking to our investigator and I told him that his testimony doesn't have to be based off of Joseph Smith (because he was saying how everyone acts like he is the most important thing in our church) and then take all the other principles associated with that for granted. Because I think it makes more sense for it to be different, like you see the fruits and so then you think Joseph Smith was a prophet. Like I see how the gospel has blessed my family or how I am happier with it and then I think that that must mean he was some kind of Prophet. 

I am not the senior companion (it was alphabetical) or anything else. Which is fine, I guess, but I have a lot of pride and so it made me feel inadequate kind of, but I guess I can work on that. 

They want me to get my Priesthood Line of Authority, but I thought you weren't supposed to do that anymore, so if you could you can type it in a letter. 

I think we go back to our apartment (barely on the north side of wyview on the raintree side) at about 9:30 every night. Frequently in the mornings we have gym in the parking lot of our half of wyview. Also, on sundays, we go to the south field of wyview and take pictures at noon and a little after, i think. Oh yeah, that reminds me, I haven't taken any pictures yet, because I feel like there is nothing to see, maybe one of the other missionaries could send me some, but I guess maybe I will take some...I am just evil and don't feel that close to anyone, even though they are like "I feel like I have known you guys forever". I will keep trying though. 

I have only ten minutes left to email you guys (or rather brothers and sisters....) so lets see what else I can think of....I sleep on the top bunk and shower at night, because I am nice. I will keep trying to be better and more patient...with myself,  I am not sure that I have a spiritual enough personality to be that model missionary.

They say everyone gains weight here in the cafeterias, but I just eat one plate of whatever they give me and then sometimes fruit or soup or salad. And I have had sprite and hot chocolate once each And ice cream 3 or 4 times I think. 

Our branch meetings are allegedly all in Spanish, but they just mean the hymns and prayers and missionary talks that are 3 minutes long, all by english-speakers. Only 5 more weeks in the MTC. 

Don't worry about me, because I am not depressed ( i guess that is a miracle) just sick and sometimes bored and very occasionally feel lonely (and more frequently than that a little irritated, but mostly okay). I only have 6 minutes left

Sorry if this letter was self-centered. I think maybe that is just how I am sometimes....if you want me to respond more to what you said in your letters, tell me...there will probably be less to say next week anyways. 

I love you guys and miss you! I hope you like my letter and that I responded to everything that you wanted me to.

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