Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 3

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)
We got new Chinese elders this week, which i THOUGHT would be a good thing. but turns out EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM TOOK MULTIPLE YEARS OF CHINESE AND THEY ARE BETTER THAN ME!!!!! Ugh. I know i'm not supposed to compare myself to other missionaries, but That was ridiculous. Maybe one day i will be better than someone at chinese... Until then, I will improve my charades skills as best i can. 

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 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

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 2


How is St. George????? Or St. Geezy for all the Jr. High girls in the family... I hope you all enjoyed yourself while i am here toiling away. I can't believe it has been only a week and a half so far. It feels like i've been here for a year. President Lew sent me a couple emails with stuff i need to send him. I will try to attach those just so you can see them. I die a little bit every time i think about it and realize that i am still 50 days (give or take) away from being out there. A bunch of chinese speakers are leaving for their various missions this week. Apparently the chinese elders come every four and then two weeks. We were four weekers i guess so there are newbies coming in this week. I cant wait to not be the youngest! Its kinda weird how i feel younger then all the guys who have been here longer than me when really we are the same age. So i guess in about two weeks the generation above us leave, and then we are the oldest for four weeks until we go! Elder Hixson and I just got called yesterday to be Sacrament Coordinators. It's kindof a big deal, like we stood up in branch meeting. I guess you could say we are climbing the ladder to becoming zone leaders. haha just kidding but ya, we assign passers and blessers, and then set up and take down the sacrament. I already wowed elder hixson with my speed at putting the cups in the trays. It takes me back to the glory days of being a teacher. 

I am doing okay as far a treats go still. Its not that im not hungry, but i just dont feel like eating when im in the room. This food is not the best. I've made it all the way through the cycle now and so its getting repetative now. I find that i never leave the cafeteria thinking "man i feel great. That hit the spot." Even the fries are starting to wear on me. It's okay though. Hopefully by week 9 i will be used to it... HOWEVER if you feel so inclined to send me food (elder Ward has gotten like six packages already) send something salty, not candy. but if you must send candy, send chocolate. And fruit snacks/gushers. That would be amazing, but no pressure:) 

I did laundry today for the second time of my life and I made it through. This week i managed to only stain ONE shirt! i forgot to check and see if the stain came out though... But, Tender Mercy, somehow it got under my tie without getting on my tie at all. Church is true. 

My chinese is coming along. Last night i said my whole personal prayer in chinese and i was so happy about it. I don't know how good my tones are though... I'm working on it. One of the teachers (Ge Lao Shi) showed us how to make a language study plan so i think that will help me a lot. We learned last week that "Jaiyou" means good luck in chinese, but is literally translated to mean "add oil" or "give it gas." Elder Barlow has decided to use that when he is informing us that he did indeed just "give it gas." Since we are doing the whole SYL immersion thing i have become a professional charades player. Every once in a while i figure out what the teacher is trying to say and she turns to me and says "gift of tounges!" I've tried to explain to her that she has the gift of acting, but she won't have it. Last tuesday we had a devotional that Elder Scott spoke at. he talked about prayer, and then at the end of his talk he gave an apostolic blessing to those missionaries learning a language that they would have the gift of tongues according to their faith. It hit me like a brick wall. Earlier that day i had been all frustrated with the language and was telling myself how bad it sucked that it would take me at least a year to be able to preach the gospel as well in Chinese as i can right NOW in English. I have come to know that there is a reason i am learning chinese and every time i see a mormon message with a chinese person i get the chills and i am so excited. It's hard work, but i know the lord will help me. He already has. (but you should still pray for me...)

I'm sending a few pictures so a few things first. I look like i've gained a thousand pounds in one of them but i promise i am still the same weight. I took a selfie sunday just for you guys, and i didn't take very many pictures... but its okay. there will be more to come. 

I love you guys! I will write you tonight as well. but I have to get off the computer now. 

your favorite Elder Tingey

(Tian Zhang Lao) -i figured out the spelling.

Love all y'all

Church is true!

ps i've come to love the hymn "Be thou Humble" it applies to me better than a Justin Bieber song applies to MJ

*MISSING PHOTO* Check back later! 


Back row(left to right): Elder Sherman, Elder Smith, Elder Lunt, Elder Larson, Elder Tingey, Elder Hixson (hixson and i probably should have switched places) Elder Ward, and elder Barlow

Front row: Sister Elliot, Sister Connor, Sister Cabamongan, and Sister peterson

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Week 1

Ni Hao!!!! Did you get my first letter? I hope so... otherwise i did something wrong. We need to set up a group email that will just send to everyone but i don't have time to do it. so if you could do that or have one of the girls do it that would be great. I'm typing really fast so there are probably a lot of mistakes so don't judge me. 
My companion is Elder Hixson. I think i already told you that but just making sure. I told you about the first day, and how eventful it was, but its all good. i am all settled in now and getting the hang of things. There are two other elders in our room. Elder Ward and Elder Barlow. They are both great guys and we laugh way too hard all the time. its nice cuz most rooms have six guys but we just have the four. And i still barely have room for my stuff. All the other elders are jealous of how much mail i've gotten already and we have been making bets on who will get the most. its fun. I actually do like it here. I am cooped up in a room almost all day with the same people, but i manage to make it through. time seems to pass about half as fast here. i have, multiple times, looked out the window, expecting it to be dark, and then realizing that i havent even been to dinner yet. Chinese is ridiculous. my first day i didn't get one thing out of class. lao shi (teacher) will only speak chinese, and i have to rely on elder Hixson to translate for me. We had to teach a full lesson in chinese on friday and it was supposed to be a half hour. we went in there, i didn't understand one thing our investigator, mei shou xian said, and we were done in five minutes. it was kinda depressing how bad we did. but we went back on saturday morning and smashed it. i understood some of it and i gave the opening prayer. We talked about the atonement and even though i was using broken Chinglish, and despite the fact he wasn't a real investigator, the spirit was strong. he asked us for a scripture from the book of mormon about the atonement and neither of us had prepared one. Elder hixson just opened his BOM and it fell open to Alma 42:22 and 23. i think thats the right reference. it was perfect for our situation and we had him read it. The lord is watching out for us! We went the whole half hour and we have another lesson with him later today. 
As for my apartment area, there arent any of those bins becca talked about. I saw one by my classroom but i don't know if im supposed to use that one. there is a pull-up bar right outside my door where all the tough guys hang out. one elder is a model and we call him elder Abercrombie. not to his face of course. An elder in my district was in the Air force ROTC at BYU and so he put us through a workout on thursday that i am still sore from. i havent' weighed myself yet, but i assume i am about the same weight. i havent' been gorging myself. the food isnt that great and for some reason it hasnt been sitting well with me.... MERRY CHRISTMAS. i feel bad that elder hixson has to keep waiting outside the bathroom for me but desperate times call for desperate measures. An elder in my district was saying the prayer and in stead of saying YESU JIDU, which means jesus christ, he said YESU CHRISTO. i lost it. I was crying on the floor. I am okay as far as treats go, i am never hungry when i am in our dorm. So i will let you know if i need more...:) I'm still trying to get into the swing of things, but its coming. i see kids from olympus everywhere i go. We all met at the map last night and got a picture of all of us pointing to our missions. i'll figure out how to upload pictures and i'll send some. I've talked to michael and given him his shoes so don't worry about that. he told me that after the first week time starts to fly by. Lets hope so because i feel like october  will never come. i did the choir yesterday. it was nice to sing something in english for once. i can't stand hearing all the people around me talking to each other  and i can't understand any of it. i DID understand some of the prayers and testimony yesterday, though. i have come way further than i expected. its only the first week and i can say a prayer in chinese without having a paper in front of me. If i had to, i could bear a simple testimony of Christ and his gospel in chinese. Its amazing how thick the spirit is here. Not a day has gone by that i haven't felt Gods love for me in some form or another. 
I don't really know what else you would awnt to hear about, but just know that i am doing okay. i make a fool of myself everyday, and its okay. There are a lot of sweet spirited sisters here. We have four of them in our class. All the guys in my room are going to my same mission. my branch presidnt is president Dunn. I don't think dad's client is in the presidency. Sister dunn is interesting. She is a great lady, and i took notes on her sacrament talk, but she is, i don't know how to put this, Power hungry? Its kinda weird. I don't know, maybe i need to be more humble but i just think its weird. i'm lovin it here. Miss you guys like crazy but i know i'm doing the right thing. I'm weird already, i can tell, but i'm not the weirdest one here. We have an elder in our generation that was a ballet dancer in his previous life and he likes to randomly throw pirouettes and weird stuff like that. He's not in my district though, thankfully. Its good stuff here. Life is wonderful. Pray for my chinese, and pray that the people of sydney will be prepared to hear the gospel. thats what i pray for every night. and for you guys. I love you all. Miss you!!!!!
zai jian!!1 or whatever...
Elder Tingey
(Spencer, for you haters out there........Sarah......)
talk to you soon! keep writing me please.
love ya!