Nimen Hao!!!!!How is everybody!!!!! Ya'll learning Chinese yet??? Hope everyone is doing well it has been awesome to read your letters. Sorry if my letters don't make sense, i'm kinda scatter-brained like all the time. i finish the letter and then leave it un-sealed because i consistently remember stuff i want to tell you guys as i'm about to put it in the mailbox. So thats why there is always the weird writing on the back and stuff, so sorry about that... I've resorted to writing things down in my day-planner so that i can remember what i want to tell you guys. (teachers just think im a good missionary when i pull my planner out mid-lesson and start writing something in it)
I don't know if you guys know anything about it, but i heard they do "Free package friday." I'm not sure if its dear elder.com or who does it, but you might want to look into that.
I almost lost my watch today. We went to the computer lab to print off our emails so we could read them and then come reply while we do laundry and after we printed them off we went to the room to get our laundry and i tried to check what time it was and my watch was gone! I had taken it off to use the computer cuz it drives me nuts to type with it on. We went back and found a note that said "i took your watch to the front desk" the front desk was halfway across campus! such a pain, but nice of him and i found it alright.
We had our first TRC on Saturday. I don't know if they did them while becca was in here, but i don't think i've ever been more nervous for something in my whole life. They bring in real-life people and we have to teach them a lesson. Some of them are returned missionaries, some are new members, and some are real investigators. I was completely terrified of getting the investigator because we had to teach in total chinese. Luckily we got a guy from lehi that just got back from his mission to Adelade Mandarin speaking. he was way cool and we taught the plan of salvation. I'm not sure how good the lesson was, (i couldnt understand most of it) but at the end i bore my testimony about how God has a plan, and i don't know it. I don't know why he wants me to learn chinese, i don't know what he has in store for me, but i know he knows, and i trust him. It was amazing how despite my bad grammar and awful tones, the spirit seemed to fill the room. And when Hixson bore his it was even more powerful.
This week was a departure week for a bunch of districts, but almost all the Australian missionaries didn't get their visas so they are staying another week and if it doesn't come in a week they will get re-assigned. They're pretty bummed and i am really worried mine wont come in time. Is there any way to check that to see how far along it is? I'm really stressing about it, but i guess the lord will send me where i'm needed.
The guys that are leaving all have these phone things, its like a one-day use phone that they bought at like costco or something and they use it to call their family in the airport, and then they break it in half and throw it away. I'm not sure what you guys are planning on but that seems good to me if you want to do something like that.
Elder Lunt (from our stake) was our district leader until yesterday, now its elder ward, but he and his companion have been having issues. Both of them are very strong personalities, and they both want to lead out, but it ends up just them bashing heads. They argue constantly. It's too bad. His companion, Elder Larson, Is the ROTC kid and he is a year older than us which apparently turns him into our mentor or something. It's frustrating and his comments go on forever and if you make a comment after him he will raise his hand and say "going off what he said" and then say his previous comment in different words. It is very frustrating, but we have made a game out of it and have a good time.
I had my first REAL idiot moment with the language on friday. We had just finished our lesson with our fake investigator(which is our teacher) and i wanted to ask if we could return on monday because that was the simplest thing i could think of to say, but instead of saying Huidao, which is return, i said Huigai, which means to repent. She looked at me like i was retarded and elder hixson had to correct me. Oh it was embarassing.
We went to the temple today, BTW, if you havent seen the new film you should go see it for sure, but we went to the temple and we were sitting in the chapel and in walks a lady with a pink mowhawk. I was dying. Just not something you see very often in the temple.
Elder ward just walked into the lab with a package slip for me... did you guys send me a package?????? oh i love all of you so much.
Things are going well. The language is coming but i need to work harder. I find myself struggling to focus. its tough to go all day without letting up a little bit, so i'm working on that. The older elders told me something a while ago that i have to agree with. they said "the days feel like weeks but the weeks feel like days" its so true. The time is starting to accelerate. i know i wont have the language mastered by the time i get to the field but i just want to be able to hold a conversation without looking like a fool. It's interesting because before you leave on a mission you have a ton of support and everyone is so excited for you and they all tell you how great of a missionary you'll be. But then you leave and you have to go out and BE that amazing missionary that everyone tells you you'll be and you no longer are special because of your cool mission call because everyone around you has just as cool of a call as you. Its good, though, because it brings you back to earth so you can realize that a mission is not about you. You play a vital role in it, but without you, the work would continue on. I just want to do my best to help.
You guys, i love this gospel. I learn something new everyday. (like the fact that Christ came to the Americas!!) My faith is constantly strengthened and i find myself being cut down quite often so that i can grow stronger. I know with every fiber of my being that what i am out here to do is the work of God. I know he is aware of each and every one of us and he cares more than anyone how we feel. I know that, like Ammon, as to my strength i am weak, but in the Lord's strength i can do all things. So do not worry about me. Chinese is no match for my perseverance. God is real, and he amazes me every day.
Wo Ai wo de Jiating!!! You guys are amazing. i get more letters than most elders i know and i am forever greatfull for the support i always feel.
your favorite elder Tingey