How are things? I'm assuming that seeing as today is labor day you guys went up the canyon or something with the Woodburys. As i ate my plastic eggs and nasty tater tots and soft sausages i was imagining the breakfast caseroles and mom's sweet rolls. It was bu hao. I miss all of you a ton, but i would DIE for a home-cooked meal right now. It's bad. I have yet to leave the cafeteria and feel like my day was improved, and isn't that what food is supposed to do??? Even the ice cream is sub-par. Everyone raves about the BYU creamery, and maybe it's just my bias against BYU, but it just isn't that great. (i just want some of mom's raspberry ice cream) But that is enough complaining from me. I'm not supposed to find fault with the MTC anymore. On the bright side, Friday is hump day! Its my thirty day mark and i have thirty days after that until im SUPPOSED to leave! The elders that were supposed to leave last week are still not going to australia. Some got reassigned to San Antonio, and some are staying here another week, and none of them are very happy about it. I hope i don't get reassigned, cuz the san Antonio mission they're going to isn't like a Mandarin speaking mission so i feel like if i get reassigned to somewhere english speaking i will lose what little language i already have. But its all good. The Lord knows a lot more than i do and if there is someone i need to talk to in somewhere other than sydney for a while then i will go. (but i'm praying that isn't the case)
Yesterday was Fast sunday and i've never had a longer fast sunday in my life. It's probably because we were just sitting in the classroom all day studying and i fell asleep like ten times and Elder Lunt would wake me up every time. I almost punched him in the face. But i made it through til dinner and it all turned out okay. For testimony meeting, it is all in chinese, but i liked it because testifying is one thing that i can do and mostly understand when others do it. Every single person got up and said the same thing. "Dui bu qi, wo de Zhongwen bu hao" I'm sorry, my chinese is very bad. And then they proceeded to bear testimony that i could only understand a little bit of. I almost stood up just because no one from our district bore their testimony, but i decided not to. It's funny because our branch presidency cant speak chinese (except for one of them) so they get up there and fall asleep within five minutes of the meeting starting and then President Dunn will kindof jump and he somehow pulls it off as like a nod of agreement. I don't know how he does it, but i MUST learn to. President Woofindun Spoke and he told us that we need to be writing home and telling our family about the spiritual experiences we've been having so here are a couple spiritual experiences from the life of Elder Tingey:
One kid bore his testimony and shared a quote that i Love. He said, "when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." I've reached the end of my rope a couple times in here, and i've had to have the savior show me how to tie that knot and hold on and then i look around and realize that the knot he has tied has added more rope. Hopefully you understand my random analogy there but i just know that i've been sustained and i can feel the prayers from back home.
We watched a previous talk that Elder Holland gave at the MTC last night for our movie night after the devotional. I always go to his when they show anything by him. He speaks with so much power. He was talking and he said, Its called missions are forever or something like that. But he was talking about why missions are hard and he said something that really hit me. He said, "why should it be easy for us when it was NEVER easy for the savior. The road to salvation goes through Gethsemane, and along it, we must carry our cross to the top of Calvary." I loved that. He also brought up Moses 1:39, "For behold, this is my work and my glory: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." and then he talked about how this needs to be a scripture that we can say for ourselves. It IS God's work and glory, but it needs to become MY work and glory. So that is what i'm going to focus on for the next little while.
Other than that stuff its mostly just little inspiration moments here and there. I'm into 3rd Nephi in my book of Mormon reading. and I wish i had more time to read every day, but i have to study my chinese.
I was expecting a dear elder on friday night telling me how the game went but i had to find out through the grapevine. GO UTES!!!! and the Cougs lost! i want details on the game. Also i want to know about my Titans. How are they doing? I heard they won their first game but i'm not sure. If you didn't know, dear elders dont come on saturday. If you send them saturday i get them monday. and today is labor day so no mail at all. so hopefully i'll get something tomorrow:) I lost that paper that has all the email addresses on it so i could only do mom dad and sarah's on this email so send me everyone else's emails. I finished off my thank you notes today and they are in the mail. I will send my bedding through that same day service sometime this week maybe wednesday or something. Does it notify you? I guess we'll see. It's Elder ward's birthday today and he got like 9 packages over the past week. it was every day at least two packages. I got the package you sent, but i got the note too late to go pick it up and the mail room was closed so i had to wait over night to get it and when i saw the subway sandwich i almost cried. I ate it anyways. I picked off the soggy tomatoes and tossed it in the microwave and it was amazing. I kindof felt like my stomach was going to explode for a while after, but it went away and i ended up okay. Thank you!!!!!! I love packages. Things are kindof boring here so there really isn't much to tell you. We are going to be inheriting a mini fridge when the generation right above us leaves, which is a week from tomorrow. So im excited about that. And then we are the oldest in the zone!!! They called new zone leaders yesterday that will be in until we leave and it looks like me and Hixson will be Sacrament coordinators for the extent of our MTC stay. Such an honor. (at least this way we wont have to say the sacrament prayers because i am completely retarded at reading Chinese) I hope things are going well. I feel like i have a ton to tell you guys and then i sit down and nothing comes to mind. The church is true. OH YEAH!
Dad i need some sort of way to learn characters out in the field so if you could look up some good books or flash cards or something that would be awesome. BYU's semester has started and there were a bunch of girls at our temple walk that came to see the missionaries yesterday. You'd think that they would at least TRY to be modest.... GEEZE. hahaha well played, Satan. Just kidding. Becca was the guy with the cross that protests the missionaries every sunday there when you were there? He always yells that he's "been doing this for 35 years!" Its funny because he is yelling at us about christ and how he died for our sins and i want to tell him that he is preaching the same thing we are. He's just mad that we don't use the cross. It's whatever. I guess he doesn't care that Christ rose from the grave and that is what really matters.
This church is true. I know it is. I pray for you guys all the time. I hope the Lord is blessing you. I love how close i am to him right now. There have been times where i've been bearing testimony and all of the sudden my palms get all sweaty and my knees shake and my chinese flows smoother than normal and I know that it is the spirit testifying through me. I've decided that if you ranked missionaries it would go 1. the spirit 2.the book of mormon 3.Elder Tingey. I'm so thankful for this missionary opportunity. I know that the lord would have me nowhere else right now and he has something in store for me. i just need to submit to his will so that i can live up to all his plans. It's amazing. I really can't explain how happy i am right now, despite how badly i miss my family, i love it.
Happy Labor Day
Are you sick of map pictures yet??