Monday, December 6, 2010

my best self I've ever been

December 6, 2010
MTC, Provo, Utah

Hey guys. I hope all is well. Everything is just great here. They have all the lights on the trees around the campus.  It's really cool looking.  Our district all took pictures with them last Thursday.  A little too Technicolor for my taste, but whatever.

We had the Church Relief Society President come and speak to us last week.  I can't remember what she spoke about, but I remember being surprised that it was good.  After all, Relief Society gives me the heebie-jeebies.

In the week's game of Jeopardy, Elder Peterson and I lost, not only to the sisters – again - but also to Elders Doig and Tran.  We did not miss a word, except for a surprise word that Brother Bryant threw in.  It was very upsetting.

Brother Welch is the best.  He is our other teacher.  I look forward to his class every day.  I'm seriously bummed on the days he doesn't teach.  He is learning Danish for his girlfriend.  The Sisters think that's "soooo sweeeeet."  Anyway, he's really cool and funny.

Yesterday was Fast Sunday.  It was really a great Sunday.  Really, really great.

We had the temple walk again yesterday.  It was about 60 degrees!!!  I was burning up.  It was a nice day.  The oldest district is leaving tomorrow, so we took pictures with them.  In one day, we will be the oldest Filipino district!  It's crazy how fast time is flying.  

Elder Peterson and I taught in a full lesson in Tagolog for the first time.  It went ok, good for the fact neither of us really know Tagalog.  We taught one of Annie's co-workers.  I think his name was Brian.

I've started reading out of the Tagalog Book of Mormon stories.  It's going ok.  I have to read it with a dictionary on my desk.  I have to look up like one in three words.  It's not fun to read, but I'm learning.

Every week I write letters while I do my laundry.  I love the laundry room. It's moist and warm.  It's like at home when I'd take 30 minute showers.

Thanks for the cookies on behalf of the entire zone.  Everyone agrees, the cookies changed their lives.  They are really good.  Really good.  At times, it's hard to have access to so many cookies because I'm trying to be healthy.  But don't let that discourage you.  They are too good!  I like it when you send them in plastic bags because then I can give some to the sisters as well.  They liked them.

We've been talking a lot about how poor the Philippines is.  I'm super excited to go there.  It's bound to change the way I think about America.  We've been taking a look at how the poor relate to the gospel.  As a borderline hippy, this has been a good topic.

We do service every Wednesday.  We clean another dorm.  We clean 15M.  This past week, I got to clean toilets.  It's pretty fun.  You dump a bucket of water into the toilet so that it flushes (I don't know why you just don't flush it?) then you attack it with a toilet scrubber and cleaning stuff.  It's pretty fun.  Elder Thayne and I did the easy half.  Elder Peterson got paired up with a guy who complained the entire time and had to the hard half.  I was about to drop kick this guy for how much he was complaining, so Elder Peterson must have been even more annoyed by it.

Well Mom, hold onto your seat: Other people have started coming to me for sewing jobs.  I have sewn Elder Washburn’s shirt pocket back on, and today I'm fixing his ripped seem in his coat jacket.  I know it's crazy, but I think I'm the only one who knows how to thread a needle.  I enjoy doing it.  I'm trying hard to be a Christian (it's hard when you're around so many Mormons) so i find ways to be nice and do service.

The MTC is not accepting packages that arrive later than the 22nd.  I really don't want anything, I don't need anything.  Maybe some root beer barrels and my Bobby Kennedy shirt, but Dad if you could write out that story about the kids lighting the candles during Christmas time in Holland, that would be great.  Be sure to include all your Doug Waggoner-style comments explaining people, places, and feelings in endless detail.  I watched the Christmas devotional last night, and afterward, all I wanted was your story.

Later last night we watched The Mountain of the Lord.  I convinced our roommates and my companion it was good.  I was embarrassed.  It was alright, but not really all that enjoyable.

I'm doing very well.  So is Elder Peterson.  This week has been great for everyone in our district.  We are starting to really enjoy it.  Most everyone in our district has buckled down and has started working and studying all the time.  Maybe we're just scared that we're leaving in three weeks?  I don't know, but the work is going well.

Yesterday we learned how to barter.  Apparently, it's common to barter for things there.  I feel it's inhumane to barter for a lower price because those people have so little, and what's really the difference between 60 cents and 70 cents to us?

Mom, thanks for doing that suit.  It's my favorite out of the two.

Dad, Happy Birthday.  I love you. You old (Dad’s editing deleted a word here.)

Like I said, I'm doing well.  I am probably my best self I've ever been.  Weird.  Yeah, but it's true.  Today Elder Peterson and I went to the temple and did two more of our family names.

Elder Doig has been marking down how many times I drum my pencil on my desk and how many times I started randomly humming or singing to myself.  He complains to me about it.  The other day he got in my face about it, “Do you know how many times you've started singing randomly for no reason?"

I responded, "Elder Doig, do you know how much time you've wasted counting?"

The Sisters "Elder Doig, why don't you work on your purpose?"

He had been waiting all week to get a good shot at me, but now to no avail.  I ask him a lot to focus and study, and ask him to talk about other things.  I'm sure it seems I'm constantly correcting him.  So every chance he gets, he corrects me.

We have a Christmas talent show here at the MTC.  They have a guitar we can use. I think I'm going to sing "What Are They Doing in Heaven Today."  I'll probably just sing it alone.

I love you all so much. I hope to hear from all of you in letters and what not. Thank you for so much communication and apples and cookies and carrots!!!!!! and root beer barrels!!!!!!! i love you.  Subsequently, the district loves you.  They reap the benefits of our kitchen.

How are the Avetts?  How does Kevin Hayes solo album sound?

Much love.


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