Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week 2

This week has been full of ups and downs.

My companion and I taught what we thought was a great lesson on Monday, when we committed our investigator to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, but our next two lessons fell flat, and she even pretended to fall asleep at one point. I heard once that on your mission, your happiest and saddest moments will all come because of your investigators, and even though I'm not teaching real ones yet, I can already tell how true that is. However, both nights after our horrible lessons, we had very spiritual discussions as a district. We are definitely one of the tighter districts I've seen around here, and our teacher is one of the most humble and spiritual men I have ever met.

I've gotten a lot of gym time this week, and that's been really fun. Elder Emfield, who I know from high school, got injured in a soccer game we played, and he wasn't supposed to be off his crutches until Sunday, but on Saturday he played as goalie for our team and saved all but one shot all game long.

I've run into my school counselor, Mr. Nielson, and my high school principal, Mr. Baron this week separately. I've also run into several kids I knew in high school and junior high.

Choir has been one of the funnest things I've been involved in. We have performed once so far, but apparently we are going to perform at the Marriott Center on June 11, and then something really special is happening on the 23. I don't know what that is yet.

Chinese is coming along, but we are actually taught relatively little of it each week, so learning pretty much has to happen on our own. I'm surprised how difficult the tones are, though, I never expected that they'd be the greatest challenge of learning Chinese.

Our branch is also pretty cool, and strict in a good way. And about China opening to missionary work, my branch president said as a person who has worked with China for the majority of his life (he went on his Mission to Taiwan and is very good at Chinese, especially pronunciation), he thinks China will definitely open in our lifetimes, though not in the next two years. Our residence hall is also pretty cool, it's almost completely Chinese elders on our floor. Because it's so ancient, there are secret places called Narnia Holes everywhere, and people go to great lengths to find them (behind plugs and stuff). It's fun.

Last night we had the guy over all Missionaries speak to us, and he didn't give the talk he had prepared, but his talk was still one of the best ones I've ever heard.
Caught between suits

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week 1

Well, I think I may have left the wrong e-mail address with you, since I haven't gotten anything, but maybe you just haven't sent anything, I'm not sure. Sorry if I did give you the wrong one! I hope you are going to receive this e-mail. Everything is going good. I do have a question, though. What do you want me to do with my old tennis shoes you sent me?

Oh, thanks for the cookies. But don't send me donuts, since I don't want to be too fat. I'm still really bad at Chinese, but I've run into lots of friends here. Every day feels really long here. Monday is my P day, as you probably guessed. And you said in that package that you thought I'd e-mail you that day, and it is true that I could have, but they said that was so our parents knew we got to the MTC safely, and I'm sure you already knew that. Anyway, I don't have much else to say, since I don't know if you'll even get this. If you ever want to communicate with me, Dear Elder is the best option, by the way.

Oh, and by the way, Elder Humphries isn't in my district. My district is kind of all the random Mandarin missions. Singapore, Paris, Montreal, New York South, Brisbane, London, Lyon, and Toronto, I think. My companion is Elder Sutherland from Mapleton. His family breeds pythons and boas.

And our branch is entirely in Mandarin, so we have to give talks in Mandarin, sacrament prayers, etc. Luckily, in July, our branch will be over 150 people (right now it's 72, last week it was 36). We are teaching an investigator right now, and our lessons are pretty bad since we can't understand very much Chinese, or speak it.

I think I'm allowed to call you guys when I fly to Singapore, but you'll be at Hill Cumorah at the time, so it doesn't really matter anyway.

Guess what? I joined the MTC choir. It's probably the funnest thing I've done so far. Except maybe shower cleaning (no sarcasm).

-Elder Earl

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Entering the MTC

Elder Earl entered the MTC in Provo Wednesday, May 15th.
Giving a missionary farewell

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Mission

Hello, everybody! My name is Andrew Earl, I'll be a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between May 2013 and May 2015, and this is my blog. I will be serving in the Singapore Mission, which includes all of Singapore and Malaysia, preaching in Mandarin Chinese. I report to the MTC in three days!