Dear Mom, Dad, and Eric (I guess Belle too...)
Well, here we are. After approximately two and a half months of spiritual and Chinese overload, nasty food, and loads of anticipation, it's time for my "final" email before leaving for Taiwan. I put the word final in quotes because if you are prompt about returning this email (before 6:30), I will be able to write another brief one to answer questions/get answers to questions. Anyway, like I was saying, here we are. There are a lot of practical matters to be taken care of this week, so I suppose that I'll respond to your email, then add anything and everything I feel like I need to. If you can't respond before 6:30, respond sometime when you can, and I will find a way to get on and check. I just want to make sure that Tuesday goes off without a hitch.
Now to your email:
I did receive the package. We had loads of guys over to our sÃ¹shÃ¨ and we ate the cookies and bought some milk. It was nice to kick back at the end of the day a bit. Thanks so much! With regards to a calling card, I bought one today. It was only $5 for 500 minutes...or so she said. It doesn't actually say how much time is on the card , but....I don't know. If that sounds weird, let me know and I'll look into it more. I'm going to save the travel itinerary and its accompanying story till the end because I know you're eagerly anticipating it. ;)
Am I excited for Taiwan? Umm......was Ammon's joy so great at the sight of his brethren that he collapsed to the ground?! Uhh....YEESSSSSSSSS!!!! Are you nuts?! How could I not be. There are nineteen of us flying out on the same day (16 to Taiwan) I can't wait to talk to you either! I need to start packing!!
I LOVE the reviews on Hunger Games. I'm SOOOOOOOOO jealous. I heard some girls who work at the MTC discussing it and I almost died!! haha! I wanna see it so bad! P.S. Eric, I got your letters. I just don't have much time to respond. I'll email you either later today or in the field. My preparation day will be Monday from what I understand. That's awesome that you did so well Dad! You're moving up and up!
I'm happy to hear that Nate is doing well. It doesn't surprise me in the slightest! I bet he's a phenomenal missionary! Eric's life sounds kind crazy, but a lot of fun. He better not get married while I'm away.... I'm glad that Fablehaven is good. You should remind me to read it when I return in two years. Mom seriously got ANOTHER oven just for the extra burner....hmm...that's cool. :) Kaiwan xiao. I'm so happy that Dad and Mom are going on dates and such. I've heard that you should be dating your wife until the day you die. I like the thought of that!
I'm so stoked for conference. I'll be thinking of you too, Dad. It's going to be an odd though, looking at my mission in terms of priesthood sessions. Don't be sad that I'll be gone. I'll be safe. The Lord protects His missionaries. I know that that is true.
Curb-side missionary welcoming is fun! We get to do it again tomorrow because we're awesome. I helped a kid from West Jordan going to New York English-speaking and a kid from Alabama going to Mexico City. The West Jordan kid's parents were pretty emotional, but it's fun to be their transition from the real world to the MTC.
Last Tuesday, it wasn't Packer who came, but Dallin H. Oaks (don't fret about the chair, it was just his wife who needed it. She had just received foot surgery). He gave a phenomenal talk on having the spirit. Zui hao de. President Jenkins talked to us about how about twenty-five years ago, people used to discuss the USSR, and how it seemingly never would open. He then shared some talk or something from...I think Spencer W. Kimball, that said that the Lord would help after everything we can do. He seemed to think that China's being opened is very near. I would like to think that as well. Conference weekend will be crazy here. All classes and church activities are canceled and basically we just eat, sleep, and breathe conference. We go, ponder, discuss, those kinds of things ALL DAY LONG. I'm tremendously excited!
I'm glad that you liked the movie so much. You know how much I appreciate Peter Travers' opinion as well. It sounds phenomenal, mom. You'll NEED to show me as soons as I get back.
Now for all the extra stuffs.
Elder Bates left for New York on Monday. He woke us up at three a.m. (upon our request) to say goodbye to him. I'll miss that Elder. He's such a hard worker! It really hit us, that we are leaving soon when he left. I'll be excited to see how he changes, because he's truly an example.
I'm so overjoyed that Eric loves his job. It sounds nerdy, but incredibly awesome. My companion Nie Zhanglao, is totally into those kinds of things, so it gave us some common ground to stand on.
Now for the grand finale!!
DELTA AIRLINES FLIGHT 1741 : Leaving Salt Lake City at 11:20 a.m. 03 APRIL 2012 (I SCORED THE BEST DEPARTURE TIME)!! I can sleep normally!! I don't have to be at the travel office till 8:00a.m.)!!! I may have to time to call around 9:30-10:30a.m.
Arriving in Portland, Oregon at 12:19 P.M. I have about a 1.5 hour layover here.
DELTA AIRLINES FLIGHT 617 Leaving Portland, Oregon at 1:55 03 APRIL 2012
Arriving in TOKYO NARITA, JAPAN BABY!!!!!! WOOOHOOO!! at 4:55 04 APRIL 2012.
Leaving Tokyo Narita, Japan 6:55 PM 04 APRIL 2012
Arriving Taipei, Taiwan at 9:50 PM 04 APRIL 2012 WOOHOO!!!
The mission president will meet us at the airport. We get right on a bus and travel to the Taizhong mission home. The bus ride is three hours long, and we're expected to stay awake because orientation begins on the bus! BE JEALOUS! HAHA! I don't even care. I'm stoked. The rumor is that during orientation, we have to stand on a box and cry repentance to the people. We'll see....