Monday, December 27, 2010

It's cool, because here I am!

December 27, 2010
MTC, Provo, Utah

For my Christmas present to my zone, I went to every person and asked them if they needed sewing done.  It's funny, I did a lot, a real lot.  Every evening we have an hour of personal time, and I used that entire hour for three days straight, and gym time, to finish it.  It was pretty fun.  I am glad I had something to give for Christmas.  I've gotten pretty good at hemming and stuff.  I did hems, buttons, split seams, and similar things.

Sister Danner won't be going with us to Iloilo today.  She hurt her arm playing volleyball and has to stay behind for three more weeks.  I am devastated for her.  She is going to be with the younger district until they leave.  It's been hard on her because we had a bunch of meetings to prepare leaving, and we've been so excited to leave, and we've been packing.  It's been super tough.  She's a trooper though, and she'll be there in three weeks.

I got a new journal.  My MTC journal I'm sending home.  You may read it if you like, I covered up the personal parts.  It's almost full.  My new journal is brown.

Thanks Dad for the candle story.  I read it to my class on Christmas Eve.  I know the Sisters at least liked it.  It's a well written and good story.  Sister McDonald from the other district borrowed it and read it too.  I really liked it. Thank-you, Dad.

So I played in the talent show.  It went really, really well.  I sang "What are They Doing in Heaven Today?"  I was 43rd of 44 acts.  I felt like I did really well.  Some people recorded it on their cameras, and when I watched their recordings, it sounds like I sang well.  The lady who did the talent show is the music coordinator for the MTC.  Before I played, she did a very nice introduction about Kentucky and how I'm authentic.  I told her beforehand that I live in Las Vegas, but she said she didn't care.  She's awesome!  I have been receiving endless compliments the past few days.  I think my companion is getting annoyed because we always get stopped.  There is some serious talent here!  One Elder played the bagpipes!  There was an Asian sister who sang and played the guitar, and she was really good.  Some Russians did a missionary version of a Lady Gaga song.  I don't know Lady Gaga, but apparently she's kind of crazy.  It was a lot of fun.

We got to watch Mr. Kruger's Christmas on Christmas Eve.  President Smith told us we could take off our jackets!  It's a Christmas miracle!!!  They also gave all the missionaries a bag of popcorn!  Also, we sang the “12 Days of Christmas” missionary style that evening.  It was so wild and fun.  For instance, on the 6th day of Christmas it was "the MTC gave to me, a 6:30 wake up," and for the 11th day it was "eleven loads of laundry."  My favorite was the tenth day’s "ten more commandments".  They divided up the audience based on the where we were sitting and different sections sang different days.  It was sooooo much fun.  We were all dying!

Packing!  Oh man, it's hard.  There is so much to bring.  We have a 44 pound limit for each bag, and 18 pounds for carry on.  I don't think I'll be able to bring the seasonings.  Sorry.  I ship out at 11:30 today!  My laundry is finishing right now.  I can't really pack until it's clean.

So Elder Peterson and I opened presents together Christmas morning.  We were just like five-year-olds, sitting on the floor and tearing them open.  I really loved the picture book so much.  It was a great diversity of pictures!  (The book contained pictures of our family and Nate, some old and few recent.)  I loved them!  Thanks.  I liked a lot of it, but the picture book the most.  I love you, and hope you had a good Christmas!

I finally got that thing notarized.  The lady said that I had to sign my full name even though I told her I have never signed my full name.  She wouldn't sign it if I didn't.  I told her “Well, I'm going to have to practice because I've never done this before.  I forgot cursive after the 3rd grade.”  So, I practiced and did it.

You'll have to tell Ben, Trevor, and Tanner something for me. I hid notes behind the "standard of truth" poster in room ____ in ___.  I hid notes for them there for when they come into the MTC.  Tanner leaves in two days, so you'll have to get to him quickly.  Feel free to break into my Facebook account to contact them.  I won't be able to.  Sorry.

Bishop Allen spoke to us last night.  He's done so many things in the church, such as make all the Mormon commercials.  We watched about ten of them, and then he expanded on the punch line of each at the end of the commercials. It was a great fireside.

Elder Russell M. Nelson came and spoke!  Remember when he gave me a 2 dollar bill for my mission?  It's cool because here I am!!!  He spoke to us on Luke 2.  He took it a few words at a time, finding all the meaning you could possibly get out of it, using about nine different translations of the bible.  It was cool.  He also spoke to us in Priesthood on Sunday about the gathering of Israel.  That was super cool.  Oh man, he's legit.

It turns out missionaries here have other missionaries sign their journals.  I didn't want that, so I used one of the blue notebooks Sarah gave me.  It's been fun.  It's like the last day of high school when people are signing yearbooks.

Christmas was good!  However, by the time Christmas morning came around, we were too excited about leaving for the Philippines to care about Christmas!  I leave today!!!  Oh man, I am so stoked!!  You have no idea.  This is the craziest adventure I've ever been on.  I get to talk to real people today!!!  Real people!!  I get to be a real missionary!!!  It's crazy to think I'm at this point.  You remember when I was little, and know when the missionaries would come over to eat, and I'd get sent to my room almost every time?  Well, I'm one of them now!  Awesome.

I think I'll be a good one, but it’s hard to tell - especially for the first couple of months out there, when I won't have any idea what's going on.   I am going to call you today from LA.  So, yeah, be home for it.  I am excited for the plane ride so I can talk to people, but also so I can have caffeine soda.  Rebel Yell!  Jok lang.  (jok lang is how Filipinos say "just joking".)

My favorite phrase is when people ask me how I'm doing - I reply "buhay pa," which means “still alive.”

I passed down all the Waggoner worksheets to Elder Gillette.  I am going to miss him.  He is so cool guys.  He's super legit. I wish he was in my district.  He's going Manila, not Iloilo!  So, bummer there.  He's going to hike the Appalachian Trail with me.  I really have enjoyed him.

I love you so much.  The jury's still out on the MTC thing.  One thing is for sure - breakfast was terrible here.  I love you.  I'm leaving on a jet plane!!!!!!

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