On Tuesday we had our regular devotional. At these things we have a big dog general authority come and speak to us and we all feel very spiritual for many hours afterward. This week we had Elder Costa, you know, one of the presidency of the seventy, the one that is from Brazil and talks really funny. He gave an amazing talk about the importance of planning and being guided by the spirit. It was filled with lots of laughs, emotional stories, and hard-core doctrine content. At the end, as everyone was leaving, he went back up to the mic and told us that he wanted to give us all a hug. This is what he said in an Italian sounding Portuguese accent:“I want to hug you all but, you are very big. So, this is what you do. Reach out your arms like this, and hug self. There! You get hug from Elder Costa!” I’m sure to an outsider it looked pretty lame and dorky, but every single missionary in the room did it. I think that in a way we all felt a lot better about the MTC experience after getting our imaginary hug from Elder Costa.
...the MTC ...the food makes you go crazy. If I happen to become a general authority someday, I’m definitely going shorten the length of time in the MTC to three weeks for everyone. Let the Russian and Chinese kids fend for themselves. On that note I feel almost sufficiently prepared for Madagascar. If they sent me out today, I’d have no problems at all. The language is easy and I’ve taught all the lessons several times over. Sure, maybe I would have an exceedingly rough couple of months when I got there, but the best way to learn is through immersion. Right? Something tells me, tho, that there are far harder things ahead than just learning some weird island language.
Thank you so much for the Christmas package! It was awesome-tastic. Just so you know the Warheads and half the popcorn was gone before that night was finished. The stocking makes my area of the desk much more festive, so misoatra betsaka for that. Though I did ask for the candy, it is becoming harder and harder to maintain discipline in relation to food. Surprisingly, I’ve lost like four - six pounds. I have no idea what is going on.
Well after all of my ranting I suppose I should give you guys some good things to hear about. When I went to the RC last Tuesday, I got nothing but answering machines and shut downs. For an hour and a half absolutely no one wanted to hear about the Church. Finally, the last five minutes proved fruitful. I talked to this one guy who got sent the wrong Church thing. He had wanted the Finding Faith in Christ DVD and the last person who talked to him sent him a Happy Families pamphlet. To this he exclaimed, “I already got a happy family, ya know?!” We had a good laugh about that one. Then I just straight up bore my testimony about the Book of Mormon, prophets, and Joseph Smith. It was scary because they pretty much have taught us to not go in to deep to start off with. The Spirit must have been working over the phone because my simple testimony convinced him to have the missionaries over and to receive a Book of Mormon (Bokini Mormona is Malagasy). I think it was my first true missionary experience. Though I’ve taught pretend investigators and had really great discussions with people over that phone, none of them were quite like this. That simple four minute conversation was worth more to me and someone else than the hour long, deep discussions I’ve had with other people. Btw, me and my companion are going to baptize are first pretend progressing investigator this week. His name is Solo and his family left him last year. He only spoke a little English but it all worked out. As for one of our other investigators, Brotrefona (meaning fat, but solid), is probably going to be dropped. He is crazy and wildly opinionated and doesn’t want to do anything we ask him. Great.
That is way cool that there is snow in Alvin. As you might have guessed, there is snow everywhere in Provo. It is extremely cold but I think that we have all gotten numb to it by now. It is also like 12 degrees here and my face hurts.
About the choir/singing question: yes, I have sung in the choir. No, I haven’t sung for a solo type thing yet. The problem with singing a solo is that you have to have the music, the time, and an accompanist. I have none of those! I don’t know when people are finding the time to practice their special musical numbers, but they must be skipping class. I also am still kinda getting over Bronchitis so my voice is not totally ready to go yet. I can sing well, but not quite as good as usual because of a pervasive cough. To say the least, it is a bummer.
Guys, we did have an excessive amount of fun in the weeks and months leading up to my going into the MTC. Though I miss it and know that change is a good thing, I will always cherish those fun memories we had. I know that it much strengthened our relationship and I’m extremely thankful for that. But just remember, when I come home there will be at least a couple of months before I go anywhere so…..party time ;). I also feel that I should tell you something that is very disconcerting. Because of the way they have transfers in Mad Ant, I will either have to come home December 23 or October 23. So a month late or a month early. I really have no idea what I am going to do as I have no idea how I am going to feel two years from now. Why can’t they just let me do my two years exactly?! Gahhh! There is the small chance that I could persuade and beg my Mission President to let me go half way through a transfer and therefore right on time. That is what two of my teachers did. I’ll just have to pray hard and put my faith in the Lord that everything will work out. Pray for me one year and ten months from now specifically about this.
Dad, I sent you a birthday card. I hope your birthday was the cat's pajamas. Everyone you have past 50 is a blessing, LOL. How's your job going? Getting paid the big bucks? Haven't been fired? Nice Christmas bonus? Office brawl? I would like to know all these things, along with wrap ups of all the bowl games and who won between Texas and Alabama. I love you all so much and miss you. You guys have better done something cool. It makes me feel good to know that my family is having a good time. BTW, you guys having fun and eating good things does make me feel better. I feel like I'm eating vicariously through you.
All I want to do is get to the mission field.
I hope you guys are doing well and that you'll have a Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas and love, Elder Cryer