Dear Mom, Dad, and Eric,
This week has likely been THE MOST crazy week that I have had in the MTC thus far and likely my entire life....well, I may not go that far, but it was nuts. So let's start with last Tuesday and move up to this Tuesday, shall we? So, on Tuesday, Jeffrery R. Holland came to the MTC. He gave the most intense talk that I have ever heard any apostle ever give. He talked about converting yourself on your mission and only yourself if it must be that way. He wants us to get this gospel so deep inside our hearts that it can NEVER be pulled out again. It made me realize that the only thing I can do in this life for my Heavenly Father is to promise my life to him and hand it over. The talk really shook me. I never want to have any regrets on my mission. I don't want to grow out my hair again, I don't want to get back into the same entertainment, I don't want to watch television on Sunday. My mission is forever.
Now for the next MAJOR and CRAZY thing that happened. An Elder (the only who gave up major league baseball to be here, and has had serious back problems that are incapacitating him) developed stomach ulcers this last week from all the stress. He is a spiritual giant, truly. I feel so bad. That's not the kicker though. Yesterday, at lunch, we found out that he is being sent home. Needless to say, we were all very upset for the rest of the day. Well...the worst part is that about one hour later, Elder Dagenais busts into the room and says that this Elder is leaving in two and a half hours and that we have to help him pack everything now. We rushed around the room, then back to the dorm to help him pack up all of his belongings. He lefts loads behind. We skipped our assigned times that day and just talked and walked with him. We hugged and took pictures and sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." As we prayed and sang, I cried. It doesn't seem fair. Why do I get to stay and he doesn't? He had to work so much harder than I did to be here. He's probably the most loved Elder in the MTC after yesterday. I'm going to miss him. He gave each of us a tie and signed it and wrote a scripture on the back. We've all committed to wear our ties every Monday now.
Ok...now for the things I have to say this week. If you could, send me that journal from my farewell. I want all of the elders and sisters here to sign it. :D This singer name Alex Boye (look up his 'I'm a Mormon' video and his cover of "Paradise") came and spoke on Sunday. He was phenomenal. He sang and spoke about his conversion story. He's a black, English man, who decided to devote his life to singing uplifting music for the church. He's also hilarious. David Archuleta comes to the MTC next week. Pretty cool, huh? You should tell me where he's going! Haha! I can't find those kinds of things out! I got the brownies! We're all happy with them! Umm....one last thing before the major thing, Sister Ochoa's Dad, the one who's in the general young men's presidency is speaking in the Priesthood session at the end of this month. HOW NUTS IS THAT?!
I hope BYU makes it to the tournament. GO COUGS! Also, there's this guy who works in the Book Store from Phoenix who gives me Suns updates. I've heard that they and Sacramento are stinking up the place. :/ I guess I picked a good season to miss, eh? Oh well, I needn't worry about them.
Am I excited to leave? More and more each day. I have four real weeks left, and only two and a half until I get my travel plans. It's pretty insane. The nearer it gets, I imagine I'll get more and more excited. I hope you watched those Chinese "I'm a Mormon" videos. They got me SO CRAZY PUMPED. To hear and understand their Chinese and to see Taiwan, it was just so crazy awesome! I was so overjoyed! I love you guys from the bottom of my heart, I truly do. I just want you all to understand that not a day goes by when I don't think about you and pray about you. Homesickness hasn't really hit me yet, but from what I understand, it doesn't until you get to Taiwan. I may not be homesick, but that doesn't devalue my love for you all. I truly miss you and hope you understand that. The Lord is pouring out endless amounts of blessings upon you. Wo zhidao wo you zui hao de jiating. Wo feicheng ai nimen.
This is pretty easy Chinese, but still. This one is good to get translated. Sorry about the lack of tones.
Maybe next week I'll bear my testimony in Chinese for you guys, then you can have it translated. Would you like that? I just thought that maybe it would give you a bearing of where I am Chinese-wise. I'm also going to send a letter sometime soon with some pictures. I love you guys. I'm ten minutes over however. Thank you for the support. Wo (3) ai (4) nimen (3)!!