I am officially more than halfway out of provo!!! The sad thing is... I'm starting to enjoy it here. The lady that cut my hair told me when she was here she felt like she was living in the celestial room.... I can't say i feel the same.....at all. But it is nice here. The spirit is really strong. Plus i am completely terrified of having to talk to someone for real in chinese. We do TRC every week where we go teach actual people, and i swear its a total different language than we are learning in class. So i don't really mind that i still have four weeks here. Well, three and a half actually. But yes, I got a haircut today. I've been putting it off because i've been hearing horror stories about elders that come back looking like what our bushes look like in the back yard after dad "trims" them down. hahaha just kidding:) but it got to the point that i really needed it and i was worried that people were going to start getting mad at me for it so i set up an appointment and went in. It was definitely not as good as sports clips, but it looks okay. If you don't look behind my ears where she pretty much shaved my head bald. Oh well. It will grow out soon enough. We are losing another generation of chinese elders so we will be the oldest in the zone from here on out. that means someone from our generation will have to give a talk every week so pray for me that i don't have to! Although its just this week and next week and then its fast and then general conference and then i'm gone. I was hoping that they would do a missionary choir for general conference because its a year since the missionary announcement, but they are just doing a sisters choir... Darn. Oh well. They'll be really good and the fact that there are enough sisters to even do a choir is cool.
We were asked by one of the speakers in one of our devotionals to start reading hymns before we go to bed every night.(i think it was a sister) So I pulled out the little hymnbook that Grandma Tingey gave me for my baptism (ps if you can find a small mandarin hymn book i'd love one. They run out of them in the book store about ten minutes after they get them so i havent had the chance to get one yet) and i opened it to find a hymn to read and i noticed some writing on the inside. It was Grandma's testimony and a note telling me that i was making the right decision to be baptized. I've probably read it before, but it's been a VERY long time. It made me so happy. I realized how blessed i am to have the family i have. Every single one of you guys makes my life easier and better. Love you guys!
One night we were walking to class for study time and we were stopped by a portuguese elder that asked us if he could teach us the first lesson. We said yes and he taught us about prophets and the restoration and then he asked us if he could meet with us again. Elder Barlow, thinking quickly, responded in Chinese and said, "yes. you are fat. you can help Elder Hixson." I died. And then barlow said, in english, as if to translate, "yes. works best for me." The kid bought it, thanked us and walked away, a little confused as to why we were laughing so hard. I was crying all the way to class. Such a good time.
Im trying to think of other things that happened this week but really nothing happened. I don't really know what you guys want to hear about so email me and tell me what you want to know. I bought an SD card reader at the book store for 10 bucks because i've been using hixson's for the past few weeks. The cord only works for charging or something i think. So i'll send some pictures. I also don't know what kind of pictures you guys want so tell me that too. As far as companionship drama goes, I'm doing great. me and hixson get along amazingly. Same with Barlow and Ward. It's lucky that our room gets along so well because the other room in our district has major issues. Both the companionships hate each other and they have to do daily companionship interventions. I know they're called inventories, but we call theirs interventions because they both just sit and tell the other what they are doing wrong. It never really does anything and we have nightly visitors to our room so that they can rag on their companions to us. We just listen and tell them its something they need to work out with their companion. Elder ward is such that he isn't afraid to tell someone EXACTLY what he feels, which i don't do very easily. And then we have weekly lectures on the importance of companionship unity. I know I can still improve as a missionary but i can't help but feel like their issues are holding our district back. I guess i need to humble myself a little more, as always, and focus on MY weaknesses. If there's one thing i'm learning how to do, its finding out what i'm weak at. I feel like i'm trying to clean a pool with a skimmer. Every time i think i've got all the crap out, i notice that a bunch more leaves are at the other end. It's frustrating really. But every once in a while i look over at the pile of leaves and junk and see how much i've cleaned out so far and i feel a little bit better. DANG THAT WAS A GOOD ANALOGY. Am i a missionary or what???? Holy cow.
I'm having a blast down here in Zoobieville. Hearing the crowd at LaVelle Edwards when BYU beat Texas made things a bit rough, but It's still great. I go to bed exhausted every night, and i wake up not quite refreshed enough, but somehow i make it through the day. Long days, Short weeks. I'm going to be home before you know it. I want to be able to get on that plane in Sydney headed for america and know that i've done what the Lord needed me to do. So i will put in the effort necessary. I love you guys. I Miss you guys. and I love hearing from you more than about anything in this world right now.
PPS I keep thinking how weird it is that Chinese no longer sounds like the ching chong ping pong that it used to and it never will sound like that again. I feel like I'm not really learning Chinese. ITS STARTING TO SOUND NORMAL!!!!!!!Ps. i need everyone's emails so that i can send this to everyone!Elder TingeyLove,
Next door left their door open so we left them a present.