Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Week 8 - Last week in the MTC


This will be the last letter I send from the MTC! We received our travel plans last Thursday and I am leaving Monday, the 29th. We check into the travel office at 4:30pm, and our flight leaves at 8:05pm! Luckily, our group is not one of the ones who leaves super early in the morning. We fly to Los Angeles at 8:05pm, arrive at 9:05pm, leave to Honk Kong at 11:15pm on the 29th, and arrive at 5:55am on the 31st! Isn't that crazy? We basically skip a day because we cross the International Date Line. We will leave Hong Kong and fly to Jakarta, Indonesia at 9:30am, and will arrive at 1:20pm. We will be greeted by the Mission President and his wife, go to the Mission home to eat, and then rest a bit. After that, we will most likely go out shopping to get a few things, and spend the night in the mission home! I am incredibly excited to go. I’m sure this week will go by slowly!

Thank you for all the packages and letters I have gotten. I love everything that has been sent, and I feel very blessed to have so much support! Aunt Karen, thank you so much for the English Toffee! It was really, really good! Aunt Leslie, thank you for the letters and the Halloween package you sent! I also loved all the messages from all my fantastic cousins! Thank you to Grandma James for the pillow and snacks, they will come in great handy as I travel so far. Thank you all so much!

The MTC was pretty good this past week. We are really improving with the language, and we pretty much feel that we are ready to go. Our teachers are trying to teach us as much as they can, and we keep asking them for stories in the Mission field. They tell us some pretty insane stories, and I can't wait to have my own so I can tell all of you! Last Wednesday, our District was assigned to host the new Missionaries. There was not a huge group of people coming in, but we each were able to host about two Missionaries, and it was a lot of fun. I hosted two who were both going to different places in South America, Spanish speaking. It felt very strange to host new Missionaries, because it felt like just yesterday when I was one of them.

On Thursday, as I said earlier, we were expecting our travel plans. It honestly felt like Christmas! The day went by so slowly, and when dinner finally came, we were able to get them! We were very relieved that we all had plane tickets, because sometimes one or two Elders in a District have problems with visas and such, and they have to wait in the MTC until they are approved. I have heard of some Missionaries staying an additional three weeks! So all went well. 

We had TRC this past Saturday, which is where we teach members in the language, and try to help them with anything we can. This week it went really well. My Companion and I taught two people, one a wonderful return Missionary, and the other, a lady who was from Indonesia, but is living in Utah! It was very humbling to teach a real Indonesian, and I think we did a pretty good job with the language. It really is so strange to learn a new language, because I mix Indonesian and English all the time! Our District loves it, because unlike some other languages in the MTC, there are only nine speakers of Indonesian. So we can pretty much say anything in front of anyone, and they will have no idea what we are saying! It is like a kid’s dream, where you and your friends have a secret language that no one else can speak!

Sunday was our second to last one here in the MTC, and it went well. Our Branch is very cool, and everyone in it is super nice! The devotional Sunday night was also really good, and we gained great advice for the mission field.

On Monday, our District's good friends, the Missionaries going to Madagascar, left. There were only four of them, Elder Arrington, Elder Ham, Elder Horne, and Elder Evans. They were on our same floor in the classrooms. They would always play Volleyball with us during Gym time, and we all had a lot of fun together. Elder Horne and Evans were our Zone Leaders, and I got to know them very well. We will miss them, and we wish them the best of luck in Madagascar!

Today was quite sad, because it was the last time we were able to go to the Temple for the next two years. I realized it on Sunday, and I promised myself that I would pay as much attention as I could. It was a great experience! I really felt the spirit, and it helped prepare me for the departure to Indonesia.

Well, I have run out of time, but the next time I email, I will be in Indonesia! I hope all of you reading this are doing great, and my Mother will post my new mailing addresses if you want to send anything! Thanks for all the love and support!

-Elder James

{Please see previous post with pictures from Week 8}

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