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 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 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 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...love,Elder Tingey(Spencer, for you haters out there........Sarah......)talk to you soon! keep writing me please.love ya!