Thursday, October 31, 2013

Week 12

okay so i have like no time at all to email today so i have to make this shorter than i'd like. forgive me please and don't judge me if it's scatter-brained.

first off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH!!! It's not early either because it's the 30th in Australia. Love you.

Every friday night across the street they play live music in the pub. It's really loud and makes it hard to plan but they stop around 10:30 so we sleep fine. but we were planing and our ward's second counselor came by to drop off the general conference talk he wanted me to speak on on sunday in sacrament meeting. (i spoke in sacrament this week. did fine.) But he knocks on the door and i opened it and he asks, "how do you deal with this?" talking about the music. I recognized the song to be a bruno mars song and told him i just have to block it out. (really i love it.) hahaha bad missionary, i know.

We met a guy last week named Daniel. He's from Ghana. It was weird cuz we were going to grab some lunch and we were about to cross the street and there were no cars coming but for some reason i hesitated. I looked over and elder grant had hesitated as well. then we both look over and see Daniel sitting on a bench waiting for a taxi. We walked over and started talking to him and he said he'd had contact with the church over in ghana because they would do activities in the ward house. he is studying to be a vet and we got his number. He's leaving for ghana soon to go to his fathers funeral so i'm hoping we can get in contact with him before he leaves. Just a little miracle to share with you guys.

We went to the temple yesterday and it was awesome. Our new zone is great. I love being around all the missionaries doing stuff because it's just so much fun. The Tongans (tongan speaking elders) would disappear and we owuld think we'd lost them, but then we'd get on a train and they would be sitting in the car. hahahaha it was hilarious. They are so tongan it kills me. Love them to death.

Our investigator is doing well, we had to postpone the baptismal date but we are working with her to get there!

I had an epic battle with a cockroach a couple nights ago. I was victorious, but it came with lots of yelling and slamming of shoes and phonebooks. ELder grant got a kick out of it. luckily we don't have any neighbors...

Love you guys, the church is true. THe work is great and is way exciting to be a part of. It truly is hastening.

Elder Tingey

ps. i got your letters yesterday. Thank you!!!! i will be writing you back soon okay!

A stereotypical Australian tree. 

Me and Elder Grant at the Temple

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 11

Holy cow it's been a crazy week!

Sorry i didn't get to email yesterday. We had transfers going on so P-day is on tuesday this week. and next week is the same because we have our Zone temple trip next week!!! So don't look for an email until tuesday. I havent gotten your letters yet but there is the chance that they are sitting in the mission office waiting to be picked up and brought out to me. I havent sent a letter yet because i don't have envelopes so i am buying some of those today and i will send off my letter as soon as possible. Also i said the guy that knew who grandpa was name was brandon murray, but its actually braedon Murrin. This is not english that people are speaking to me. hahahaha he's a funny guy though.

To answer the question you have all been wondering, yes, i have seen Kangaroos. Two of them, to be exact. They were both roadkill.

This past week has been our stake's stake conference so i still haven't been in a sacrament meeting with our ward. On the Saturday afternoon session of conference the stake president, who is in our ward, called Elder Tingey up to the stand because "he's as green as they come". He asked me why i'm here and i wasn't sure what answer he was after so i started reciting the missionary purpose. I hesitated after every line and he didn't cut me off so i kept going. He stoped me around baptism. and said "well at least he's keen!" hahahahaha it was funny. He asked me if i had had any good meals while i was here. I said heaps. He asked if i had had any at the Jones' home. (his home) i said "just the one." brought the house down. Hahaha but he's a funny guy. Then our investigator Dean showed up to the sunday session of conference! She is awesome. On tuesday of last week we met with her in the park and invited her to be baptized and she Accepted! Her date is november 9 which is her birthday so she's really excited about that. Thursday we taught her the Word of wisdom and she has a pretty bad smoking and drinking problem so i was worried but she took it like a champ, as if she had been expecting it and she is doing her best to give it all up! She's amazing, and one of the strongest people i've ever met. She's got a few more things to sort out before her baptism so we'll see how it goes, but i have a lot of hope!

As i said, we had transfers this week. Grant and i got moved into another district where there are four elders and five sisters... I'm pretty bummed about that. Elder Sa'u Gaui got transferred out and that makes me sad cuz he was awesome. plus i'm not in the fun district anymore!

We saw an ad for Thor in a members home and that looks amazing. Put it on my must watch list for when i get home.

Yesterday we were tracting in the 36 degree heat (celcius) and as we walked past a high school a young polynesian girl from across the street yelled "Hey! I'm a Mormon! I'm LDS!" It was awesome. I wish everyone in the church had the confidence to yell that in front of all their friends. I feel like i'm constantly yelling that just by wearing the badge. BUt its amazing and such an awesome opportunity to serve the lord and be a representative of Christ.
I love you guys. The church is true. God has been so good to me. I love that story president Monson told in conference. Our message changes lives for the better.

Hoorah for israel!

Elder Tingey

Elder Pongi, Elder Vaele, and Sister Burnett. It was elder Vaele's first time bowling. it was killing me.

Elder Sa'u Gaui, Elder Fuataga, Elder Fiu

Elder Sa'u Guai...yes it's on the mirror.

Week 10

Welcome to Australia!!! 

Oh man its awesome here. I just exchanged my american money for some aussie notes and i feel like i'm in harry potter with how big the coins are. Everyone has the accent and everyone thinks MY accent is weird. Sadly, girls, everyone doesn't look like Keith urban. Its looks like america but it sounds different. My companion is Elder grant. he is about 5'5" (he won't say how tall he is exactly, he just says "short") He's an aussie through and through. Funny story, He doesn't have his license because apparently its a lot harder to get it in Australia  and our area has a car so thursday night, when i got here, I got handed the keys and after a couple turns around the block with the APs, i was taking me and elder grant back to the flat. I was jet-lagged, and on the opposite side of the road and car and it is lucky the lord watches over missionaries because we made it home safely. I've got the hang of it by now and elder grant has been in the area for 6 months now so he knows his way around so we make a pretty good team. Like i said in my last email, president Lew told me i won't be speaking a ton of Chinese  I still get an hour a day for language study, but my lessons will almost always be in english. The area i'm in is called Camden. It is mostly white people with a couple polynesians. Not a single Chinese person. My district has four white elders and four polynesians. They're hilarious. our district leader is Elder Fuataga and he played football for the Utes! The district bought me a cake for my birthday and sang to me outside a Hungry Jack's (which is like burger king) They're way cool and we're going bowling later today.

our flat is something to behold. I'll try to send some pictures, but all the lights are pull-strings. Our bedroom doen't have a light, well it does, but the electricity is such that if you put a lightbulb in, it would explode, so we just steer clear of it and use flashlights at night. So far i havent seen any cockroaches in our flat because Elder grant has kept it nice and clean. I had to do some jimmy work on my drawer so that it would open but it's right as rain now. It's exciting stuff. our flat is on a street called Argile street in Camden. im not sure what the exact address is but if you want to google earth it, go to argile street, it's like off the main street in camden, it's on top of a butcher shop and it has a balcony. let me know if you find it!

We don't exactly have any progressing investigators right now but we are working to get some. We taught a family by the name of the Utapos. They are so awesome. They're polynesian and their son has a girlfriend that wants to know about the church, so we have been teaching her but she lives in a different area so technically she's not OUR investigator, but she comes over to the Utapos when we teach. There's a family called the Crofts that is amazing. They're members and they love the missionaries so they invite us to dinner a ton. they've got two young boys and they are just way cool. We're going to start teaching a girl named Shylee, who was baptized when she was young, but her family went inactive so and she wants to learn more about the church so hopefully we can get her to come back to church with the whole family! Last night i had my first bible basher. It was dumb. She wasn't even willing to open the book of mormon and ask god if it was true and she just wanted to bash with us so i kind of gave up. Elder Grant likes bashing so he kept going and i was just frustrated because we weren't getting anywhere. So i'm promising myself i will never bash. not only because i don't know the bible well enough, but because our religion comes down to the fact that joseph smith was a prophet and people have to WANT to know that he is a prophet. But it's all good. We actually had a miracle happen yesterday. Dean, a woman they've been teaching, but they havent' been able to get ahold of her for like two weeks, walked into general conference yesterday! (they broadcast it a week late here so i got to watch it twice!) It was a straight up miracle and she started crying while the prophet spoke.
I'm loving it here. I miss you guys like crazy. 

I've met heaps of people that know Grandpa already! I think his name is Brandon Murray, but i'm not sure. He's in our stake presidency and he said that grandpa was the mission president when his dad was in the stake presidency. A bunch of people ask if Earl C. Tingey is my relative, and he was a mission president in Australia too so things get confusing. I drive a white toyota corola and we cruise the town like it's nobody's business. The kids are adorable. The only thing cuter than a little kid talking with an aussie accent is a little polynesian kid talking with an aussie accent. 

I have been homesick but like Elder Dube said in conference, Never look back, only forward. There's a lot of work to do so i'm losing myself in it. God is great, i feel Christ's love all the time.

Love you guys!

Love, Elder Tingey

Also, a sister in the ward told me i look like the guy off George of the Jungle. I can't remember his name now but look it up and see for me.

Me with President and Sister Lew. I kinda look like a heroine addict here but oh well

My Bed

Selfie Sunday!

Cleanest Bathroom in the ASSM

Week 9

Holy cow i leave tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its official. my visa is here. i report to the travel office tomorrow at 12:30 and take the frontrunner out to the airport. Nervous is an understatement, but so is excited. I feel like i've been waiting for this day and it was never supposed to come. But its here! Already said goodbye to some people and will say goodbye to some more tomorrow, but my whole room is going at the same time and three of us are on the same flight all the way there. (hixson is on a different flight to LA but with us on the flight to sydney and he's with a bunch of cantonese speakers who think that their language is superior to mandarin... psht) 

Over my mtc life i have come to liken it unto highschool. You come in as a freshman, all excited and ready to do your best. Then you take felt and get your first A- and your momentum begins to decline. By the end of junior year you're ready to get out, but when you get to the last months of senior year you realize that after highschool life gets real. We had a departure devotional last night and it wasn't until that was over that i realized how close the field is. I think the constant idea that we might not get our visas made me not be able to think about it but now its just here. also, you've got the different cliques here. at least with the people that are here for more than two weeks. You've got people that are social butterflies like the frenchies ( not fair. they have french accents and i cant compete with that) and then there's people like me and Hixson that sit back and make fun of people from the sidelines. and all sorts of others that i don't have time to go into detail on right now. Also i feel older than all the elders here, but i know that i'm one of the younger ones in age. 

How did everyone like general conference?!?!?!?! Man it was great. Tons of good stuff and its amazing how when you go in with questions and with a prayer in your heart, then even if the talk is about overcoming depression you can receive revelation from it. I also couldn't believe how much they talked about missionaries! I don't know why, but it seemed to me like when they were talking about how members need to step up to the yoke with the missionaries i just felt this overwhelming amount of trust. The apostles trust the missionaries so much, even though we're not able to speak the language, and don't understand the gospel as well as some members, the apostles are asking members to place their trust in missionaries that the spirit will work through us. I just hope i can live up to the expectation.

I've been hearing weird things about the government being shut down or something... What's going on with that? 

Today we went to the temple for the last time. It was great. My temple recommend works if i didn't already tell you guys that... everyone is excited for me to show them how i packed my suitcase so lets hope i can remember... last night at our sunday devotional they had "Vocal point" come. they are an acapella group from BYU and they were great. It's nice to hear recently returned missionaries talk because they are real with you. They remember better the emotions that go through you and they seem to connect better with missionaries than an 80 year old man that no one really knows that well. Aparently since it was conference this week all the general authorities have been preparing their talks for conference and we haven't had an Apostle come speak at one of our devotionals in Weeks! I'm kinda disappointed about that, but the talks have still been great. Elder maynes that spoke on sunday came to the mtc a few weeks ago. I really like him. 

We said goodbye to our investigators last week. We were so close to having Mao Jiemei ready for baptism. We just had to teach the law of tithing and paying fast offerings and that would have been all the lessons. Oh well, i guess i'll have to wait till the field to teach those... 

Thank you to everyone for being so supportive of me. You have no idea how many times i've been down on myself and pitying myself and then i get a slip telling me i have a package or i get a letter and my spirits instantly get better. I love you guys so much and i cant wait to talk to you tomorrow! 
Love all y'all!

Elder Tingey

ps. My mission is officially 1/12 over. now i just can't wait to get to work!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Week 8

My abstract art photo that I took on our Temple Walk

Look who got a haircut!

Guess who got travel plans?????!!!!!! 

Ugh i'm so excited! Can't wait to get to Sydney. Last night at the sunday devotional i sat next to a sister from Denmark going to the Temple square mission. She wouldn't believe me that i was going to Sydney because my tag was in Chinese characters. I'm pretty sure she still doesn't. I guess its just too cool for people to handle. I sent you guys a letter on friday but it doesn't seem like you got it on saturday so it's going to seem redundant but i'll go over my travel plans anyways. I leave tuesday night, the 8th, at 3:00. My flight leaves at 6:30 from salt lake to LA and i get there at 8:30 salt lake time. that is probably when i will call you guys. If i'm sitting in the salt lake airport doing nothing, i might give you a call as well. Are you still going to be in St. George? or can i call the home phone? My flight leaves LA at 10:10 LA time, which is 11:10 salt lake time. So we're looking at about a three hour layover. then i get on the plane and head to Sydney, which is only a 15 hour flight instead of the 18 hour one i was planning on. Its still enough time to teach all the lessons... hahaha just kidding but a little bit serious at the same time. In our travel group it is me, elder ward, elder smith, and a sister named Qi Ke. I've never seen her before but elder ward met her and she is apparently on the fast track so maybe she can teach me Chinese on the airplane. We talked to the travel office today and they said that we will probably find out if we have our visas tonight! At least i think that is what she said... if we get it, i will send a quick email and tell you. oh yeah, i talked to the health center and set up an appointment to get that shot so i'm all squared away there. As far as weight goes, i'm not sure what i'm looking like. I will probably send you guys a package of stuff i cant take but i don't know how much it's going to be. Hixson got his plans too and he leaves on monday so i am without a companion for a day. but it's nice cuz tuesday is just like an extra p-day for me. we don't have classes and all i do is pack all day and do some laundry.

This week was pretty typical. except one thing... I saw Katie! I was walking back from gym on tuesday and she was on her way back from the temple with her friend and they pulled up next to us at the light. It was crazy. she was freaking out. It made me miss home though. Plus i'm realizing that once i'm in the field, it wont even be like you guys are just up the street. you'll be half-way across the world. its weird. but i can't dwell on stuff like that or else i get depressed. Gotta just press forward. its only 22 months and it's already flying. Even though i feel like i've been here my whole life, i can't believe i'm leaving in a week. I'm completely terrified and i've said that many times, but last week i feel like i jumped as far as progression with the language goes. I was listening to some recorded Chinese lessons that i couldn't understand at all a couple weeks ago and i was following, for the most part, the stuff they were talking about. I bore my testimony in church and even made a joke! I can talk a bunch about the gospel, but anything else, i'm deer in the headlights. I know the first few weeks are going to be rough, and i'm not looking forward to feeling like an idiot, but i know someday i will be able to talk to people. 

It is ridiculously cold here. It like happened over night i swear. I was wearing short-sleeved shirts and feeling amazing and all of a sudden i'm an icicle. It's ridiculous. I'm just glad i'm going to summer in Australia. 

Last night i was having my personal devotional, because in mission conference yesterday the speaker promised us that our language would accelerate, and our effectiveness as a missionary would improve if we had a personal devotional every night so im taking his word for it, but i decided to flip open my bible and i flipped straight to the story of the man that takes his son to Christ to be healed, then when asked if he believes his son can be healed he says, "Lord i believe. Help thou mine unbelief." I know elder holland had a talk on that so i'm going to print it off and read it. Faith is something i have been working on since week 1 here. I've been trying to get more of it, but also to understand it better. It seems to be the catalyst behind every miracle christ performed. If people had the faith, then they were healed. I've studied the story of peter walking on water. It has helped me understand the power of faith, and how easy it is to let our faith falter. That's my weekly sermon.

The funny experiences have seemed to be spread out a little bit more. probably because everyone is realizing how close we are to the field so they are buckling down for crunch time. I don't have much else to say... i got a ward newsletter from bishop doxey. seems like elder liddell is doing well and the ward is pluggin along as usual without me. we dropped our suits off to be dry-cleaned today and hixson took both of his so he isn't going to have one for the devotional tomorrow... he's retarded. hahahaha oh well, good luck to us. we'll just sit at the back. I weighed in at 204 yesterday which is pretty much EXACTLY what i weighed 8 weeks ago. Hope everyone is proud of me. i only eat 1 bowl of ice cream every time they have it. And sometimes i only get 1 cup of soda and the other water instead of 2 cups of soda. Thats right. AND i ate a salad one day for lunch. 

We held a fantasy draft of states for reassignments. We went through rounds and picked states that we thought people will get reassigned to if we don't get our visas. it was a waste of time, but it was fun. We also had a Sisters draft. we only made it through one round before the fights broke out but i picked a sister from South Carolina that by the looks of her, is EC material. hahahahahahahahahah okay i better send this before i say anything else weird that's gonna make mom think im a bad missionary.

Love you guys! Church is true! Desperately hoping i get my visa!!!!!

-Elder Tingey


"lets not."

Week 7

Nimen Hao!!!!!

Sooo im not sure if y'all got my letters yet, i sent them on friday and so they either got to you on saturday or they will get there later today. If you already got them then this won't be big news to you but if not then maybe it will be! Me and hixson are now zone leaders. We are in for two weeks and then off we go. We don't do much, but we have to go to some meetings on sunday morning and walk around to everyone's room every night and check on them but luckily there are only 3 districts in our zone so it doesn't take that long. In case you are worried, we are STILL sacrament coordinators. President dunn is out of town this week so he hasn't found time to call new ones. Apparently we just have to assign the preparation and take down to someone else next week if there isn' a new one called yet. Sorry this keyboard really sucks and i don't want to go back and correct all my mistakes so if you want to just do some editing before you send it out feel free so that i don't look like retarded or something. However, Chinese does jack with my mind so i reserve the right to make errors.

I made it past this week without speaking in church so that means that as long as my visa comes through (and i think it will because a couple english elders i talked to today got theirs and they weren't delayed at all) then i won't have to speak for sure! because next week is fast sunday and then general conference! I'll probably bear my testimony next week, but that is much easier than giving a talk. This week me and hixson taught district meeting which is after priesthood and right before lunch and the topic was enduring to the end. It turned out to be a really good lesson/discusion. we went around the room and had everyone share a story, personal or scriptural, of someone that is the epitome of enduring to the end. I shared the story of uncle paul. We talked about Joseph smith when in jail he says, "oh God, where art thou?" and then we talked about Christ, and how he is the ultimate endurer. (is that a word? i don't know) We discussed what would have come of mankind if he hadn't endured to the end. If he had instead of saying, "nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done" had said something like, "Father, let this cup pass from me. I can't do it. It's too hard. You can't expect me to suffer like this." BUT he didn't say that and because he stuck it out we can overcome the Fall and return to our Father in Heaven. He is so awesome. 

At the end of every class we have what's called coaching time, where the teacher does 1 on 1 with the missionaries that want it. I asked Sister Xiao for some feedback on my Chinese and she told me my tones are really good!!!!! I can't tell you how awesome that felt to hear, but i'm not completely sure if she was being real with me. But then she asked if she could talk to me in the hall and i was worried cuz in the past, every time i've been taken into the hall by a teacher it hasn't been a good thing.... But she took me out and reminded me of what she had said earlier in class that day that we are doing a teaching exercise with the younger district where we will teach them 1 on 1 on thursday (which i was not exactly excited for...I'm sick of teaching fake investigators) but then she said that there was one elder in the district that is really struggling with the language. He will only speak it when he absolutely has to and even then he doesn't say much. She told me that the whole exercise was mainly to help this Elder out. She told me that they were talking about how they could help him as teachers and my name came up. So they set this teaching thing up so that he can have a chance to talk to me and hopefully I can help him. I have no idea what i'm going to say to him and i feel more pressure from this than from being zone leader! So please pray for me this week that i will get some sort of inspiration for this kid. I really want to help him out. The lesson is on thursday.

I finished the BofM on Saturday!!!!!! I said that in my letter too, but oh well. I'm excited. That book is true. I just know it is. I'm starting to study PMG now for personal study, but i don't have any good ideas for how i should mark it up. Becca and John, do you have any ideas?
Saturday night was one of the longest nights here. We could hear the crowd, but we couldn't pick out a score. Some kid two floors up had a radio that people were listening to but i decided that if i went up that my Chinese would probably suck this week or something so i stayed in my room and cried. Then sunday morning at breakfast i asked a cafeteria worker named Lexie what the score was. She said "20-13. we lost." i smiled real big and said, "who's we?" hahahahahahaha GO UTES!!!!!! I hope you had some good bets going on with some zoobies!!! We had gym time saturday night so we saw everyone going to the game. some elder last week going to argentina saw my utah shirt and asked, "they let you come on a mission?" I said, "the begged me".... Spanish speakers. psht

There was an elder from Tahiti named elder Mataoa but he lived in Australia for a while so a couple nights ago he was in our room telling us about Australia  He said he loves sydney and that he is really jealous of our mission. just listening to him made me want to be there sooo bad!!!! I'm completely terrified of the language, and he said that there is a huge population of Chinese people in sydney, but i am so excited to be out there. Although you guys should go check out my mission boundaries, cuz we've been looking at it and it seems like we don't have much of anything in our mission. It shows that the Oprah house and the bridge are in the north mission, but i don't really know. plus the fact that im Chinese might mean that i will be jumping borders into the north mission. I really cant see them putting me anywhere but sydney or maybe canberra but we will see. 

I definitely just put my temple recommend through the wash because i am just a little bit dumber than a rock. I must have forgot to pull it out of my shirt pocket after the temple this morning. when i pulled my whites out of the washer it was sitting there, plastered to the side. its still in that plastic case thing, and the pen on it didn't bleed too much, but its all soggy. Do you think i need to get a new one? or will it be alright? 

Hope all is well! Heard my titans lost this week. I get my travel plans on friday so i will email you monday and let you know what day i leave and the other details. Love you guys! Church is true!


Elder Tingey