Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Jul 8, 2013

Dear Family,

As part of the 4th celebration they let all of us watch 17 Miracles. It was a good movie. From the eyes of Levi Savage who helped as a co-captain of the Willy Handcart company. I still liked watching The Other Side of Heaven last year more though. Oh well.

But so the fireworks weren't as cool as we were hoping. I mean I have seen so many of the RSL fireworks that I already know what that is like. We were all more really excited to hear the music from the Stadium. Is that bad? We all just really wanted to hear music. But the MTC must have had their hands in it or something because we did not hear one lick of music while the fireworks went off. Then on top of all this the fireworks show just made all of us more anxious and excited to get to Taiwan because honestly no U.S. fireworks show will compare when we get Chinese New Year. Also I am so sick of the MTC food that I am getting so anxious to get to Taiwan and have all that fresh and authentic Chinese influenced (Elder Turner doesn't like me calling it Chinese food since it is Taiwan :/) food.

Yeah, I wish I could have been there in Florida doing the crazy firework stuff. I still have yet to play with roman candle :/ 

I am sure it was hard for everyone leaving the Trockels down in Florida. But hey, that's their path they are following right now and where their life is taking them. I remember very little about Florida Keys. Just basically what you've told me. I am sure that everyone had a good time and enjoyed being around family. So that is pretty funny about Sahara. I think she is spoiled. Also Allaina and Kyle need to tell me about being at Sea World. Did they go on Manta? I freaking love Manta and wish so badly to go on it again. Did they love the loop going head down first and having the gravity slamming into from so many different directions. Also did they ride on the very back car, which obviously is the best place to ride because when you get to the drops or loops you are already going so fast?

Dad, you needed the break in Florida though. You were wiped out. Don't do that to yourself. It's not good and not healthy. I know you will get your papers and research project done though. You always do. That's what's great about you. You are always very dependable and can be trusted. Also Elder Turner thinks that is awesome that you are working on a research paper/project for 3 months. Elder Turner is the best and always there is more to learn about him each day. I love him and am so thankful to have him.

Yes, I have been in touch with many of my missionary friends: Christian, Cody and many of the ones in Taiwan or Australia. Just emailed Jaren today. Not Pat though. He kind of doesn't really email anyone.

Well if things go according to plan I should get travel information in a week and a half. The thing that is making our whole district nervous though is that Sister Mancilla's blood samples were twice lost and finally on the third one they got it sent off and everything. But unlike everyone else in our district, she has still yet to sign the Visa forms since they haven't heard back on the blood sample stuff yet. We, as a district, have been trying to proactive on getting that done. But what makes us nervous is that we don't remember if we heard right that if one missionary in a district doesn't get the Visa stuff done then the whole district could be delayed. I don't know. Maybe cuz they keep the district Visa papers together. I don't know though. I hope not. I really hope that I won't have to get sent to some state side mission while waiting and missing valuable time to learn and grow in the language in Taiwan.

I think I will be able to see the Sky magazine because we should be leaving for Taiwan on Tuesday, July 30, in the morning. So I will probably be seeing the article on David Beckham. But I try to not leave any reserve in my tank. I think its happening, or why else am I so tired every single hour of the day. If you think you are tired, you haven't been in a missionaries shoes. And I am only at the MTC right now. But I study so much, prepare so much, and still turn to the Lord every minute asking for help with remembering, teaching with the Spirit, and asking to bless those we serve and teach.

Yes, that is also true about it being one year now. But that's all in the past. I had to step out of class during the last half hour and ended up talking with Elder Turner, my companion, for the remaining time. It was nice to just have him listen so I could just talk things out. We then went back to the classroom and everyone had already gone to dinner, but Ge Laoshi or Brother Nightingale, our teacher, was still there so I talked with him for a little bit and just asked him how you handle bad memories or feelings that come back up. He told me that a friend told him about how the scripture talks about when you repent sincerely, the Lord remembers your sins no more. Brother Nightingale told me about how he always thought that this meant you, youself, wouldn't remember anything then. But that over the years especially after his friend told him this, that you do remember things from your past and emotions and feelings and thoughts. The key is being able to remember things like mistakes or sins so that you learn from them and become a better person, but at the same time not remembering too much so that you aren't consumed and harrowed up by bad memories, feelings, and emotions. But at the same time the sad thing as being mortal is that we sometimes forget that which we wish to remember and that we remember too much that which we wish to forget. I love Brother Nightingale. He said that he actually wants to study more into this and will have some more things to maybe share with me on Tuesday. It's kind of funny and amazing how as a missionary you come to just love everyone.

So yeah I already read President Monson's message about Pioneers. One step ahead of you. Ha! But yeah it was good. I ended up reading the pioneer story about Austin Hammer last night at Haun's Mill. I never fully realized how much of Dad's side of the family dates back to being members right at the start of the Church. It's amazing.

A mormon message from LDS.org you should watch and share is called "Extraordinary Gifts". There is a quote at the beginning by President Eyring that is beautiful. It says "Every person is different and has a different contribution to make. No one is destined to fail". But the video is truly astounding and extraordinary, and a chance to listen to some good music. It's about a boy name Kuha'o from Hawaii. I'll leave it at that.

So interesting you talk about the Sacrament. At TRC, Elder Turner and I taught about receiving revelation through church attendance. It was a blessing to study more about the Sabbath day and how to receive revelation. But so this last time we still taught two 20 minute lessons. This next week we will have just one 40 minute lesson to teach at TRC. But what made this TRC experience definitely unique and stand out was that (so there are 6 companionships in my district, so we have 6 rooms with volunteers lined up normally just one person per room, but sometimes 2) we were teaching our first lesson to a member. His name was Tian Dixiong and that he served a Mandarin speaking mission in Sydney, Australia. But so we started teaching about church attendance and revelation, and then about 5 or so minutes into our lesson a TRC worker person came in and had another volunteer sit down in our lesson. We then slowly learned with help from the member as well that this girl was from Shanghai and was not a member. She didn't know if God was true and also if this church was true. But so we continued teaching according to lesson plan, and the member definitely helped so much with talking with the girl and answering questions. Elder Turner and I though bore our testimonies and taught a little more. We invited the member to come to church the next day with a question in his heart. We also invited the investigator to read the BoM, but she said no. Didn't really understand her reasoning though. It just made wish so much more to understand the language so I can be able to listen to my investigators to discern what their needs are and what their questions are. I know though that I will always have a prayer in my heart to have the Gift of Tongues because there is no way on my own I will be able to teach without the Spirit. I don't want to miss a single soul when I get to Taiwan. That's always my goal is being able to understand my investigators and helping their needs. But so in TRC we found out after teaching, and then talking with the others in our district, that there had been I believe 4 investigators that had volunteered that day and that we taught. That means they weren't members. 4 actuall volunteers! Just makes me a little nervous for being in Taiwan the first while.

I guess now that I have answered some of your questions, time to turn around. So first I haven't really heard anything from anyone on how to best really work on patience and trust. Waiting on the Lord and waiting for His timing. This really is something that is so weak in me and I want to make a strength. So please I am reaching out and asking for help and advice. Also did you watch first the "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father" Mormon Message (not I'm A Mormon, this one is one LDS.org)? Did you watch the I'm A Mormon messages I told you about. There is three (side note and funny thing is that Chinese people don't say I am a mormon, which would be "Wo3 shi4 yi1 ge Mo3'er2men3". Instead they say I am a Latter-Day Saint which to them equals saying I am a Mormon. So "Wo3 shi4 Hou4qi2 Sheng4tu1".). There is Mao Kaiping who lives in Taiwan and is a tourguide for people who come from China to Taiwan. Then there is Jiying who writes reviews for restaruants in Taibei. Then there is one other who's name is slipping me right now but she does surfing and lives in the U.S. Just looked up her name, its Monica. So you should watch those.

Also you should send a binder with some piano music. but music I actually play. So like the 6 page song of the Lonely Mountain (not the shorter one) from the Hobbit score. Maybe a few others from there. And also from the Lord of the Rings books. and anything else you have heard me play or think I might like. I probably won't get time to play those here though, but I want some of my music I like for when I am in the field and maybe get a chance to play. By the way, I am playing the piano for priesthood this Sunday.

I guess that is pretty much all. Oh I also just remembered that Dài with a dropping tone (that's what the à is) is my Chinese name. But this dai means like to put something on or other. So really doesn't have any meaning which sometimes lots of Chinese names don't have meanings. But when we taught the member at TRC and we told him our names, he said something back about Dai that meant Kangaroo. So I looked it up in the dictionary and Dàishǔ (so dropping then a dropping rising tone) means kangaroo. The dai is a different character from my dai character, but said exactly the same. I really want to be able to change my character to that character which actually means sack or pouch. But hey names don't really actually carry the meanings that are behind the characters. So I think I might talk to Ge Laoshi and see if it's possible.

I think the two things I miss most (of course besides also family and friends) is driving and listening to music. It's difficult. But yeah......

Elder Roo

So here are a few recent photos of me with my District 25L and my MTC roommates. I found Elder Soule, who entered the MTC a few weeks ago. He's in my branch.
District 25L
My MTC roommate companions
Elder Soule and Elder Dayley