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!!!!!
"Austria eh? Well then... LETS PUT ANOTHER SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE!"