Tuesday, July 3, 2007

First Letter - Wednesday, July 3, 2007

Wednesday, July 3, 2007


Hey, how’s it goin? I wasn’t sure how to start a letter so I decided to do it with a rhetorical question that you couldn’t possibly answer without sitting down and writing a letter and then sendng it in the mail for a few days…anyway…. It feels like a month since I’ve been here. When I sat down to write I was trying to remember what happened on the firs day here and I couldn’t, but after looking in my journal (which didn’t help at all), I managed to remember. I realized that this was because it seems so different from when I first came here my first day, after stepping off the bus into the confines of the MTC. The first thing they had us do was to be ID’d and tagged before shuffling us into the gymnasium where we were filed, checked, and immunized. Like nuts being sorted, the line of missionaries was passed slowly from one lady to the next who asked questions, gave us papers, took our papers, informed us of what needle we would be getting and where to wait for it. Finally having been fully screened we were packaged into our district containers of nuts. Personally, I’m of the Toronto variety but I live near a lot of Philippines nuts, New York and even Korean nuts. Some people even live in cans of assorted nuts. The buildings seem all sharp and alien and the sun would steal your will to move as it baked you alive in your suit. The MTC was almost like another dimension that day, every building looked so similar that every time you entered and exited one I would wonder if I had ended up somewhere completely different.

All new missionaries were given an orange sticker on their nametags so that they would be given special treatment. This treatment basically consisted of every other missionary informing us over and over again that the first three days were miserable, but that everything got easier by Sunday. This turned out to be true, although for me it happened around Friday morning when we had gym, because this was the first time that I hadn’t been miserable hot when I left any building. Apparently this has been the hottest week of the entire summer. Now I am pretty much adjusted, my first P-day has been very relaxing and I no longer have everything scheduled for, but I now get to decide how I should spend a lot of my time outside of class. My companion’s name is Elder Zueigg. He is a pretty good guy. He’s not an academic by any means, but he makes up for it by being able to run over 120 miles in less than 2 days. The other Elder’s that I’m working with are Elder Chu, and Elder Haytz. Elder Chu has been teaching me how to say a few phrases in Cantonese like, “Le-ho ma” is “how are you doing”, “da dinwa bai Chu Janglo” is “call Elder Chu using the phone”, and “O-de iu sow-la” “is we need to go!” (I made up the spelling it really looks like this #$%^^%$#... or something).

The four of us and the other tow guys in our district have become good friends and I’m having a great time when we’re not studying and a lot of the times when we are studying. We’ve started memorizing one scripture a day because we heard that President Monson promised that if you memorize one scripture a day for everyday of your mission, you’ll have a photographic memory. We’ll see how long that lasts. I’ve been mission you guts a lot, and I would have wrote sooner but apparently you are only allowed to write non-emergency letters on P-day, and maybe Sunday although I’m not sure.

It has been a huge adjustment living with a companion every moment of the day, sometimes I just want to be by myself for a few hours but I can’t. It’s at times like that I start thinking about home the most, but I just kind of sit somewhere a little further away and pretend like I’m alone and that’s almost as good. Other than all the annoying stuff, there is a reason why they call it “Alcatraz”. I’m really enjoying the MTC. I’m getting excited about studying the gospel, and am making a lot of progress with my ability to teach lessons. I’ve been to one of the training centers here where you teach a local volunteer the first discussion, which was pretty intimidating. That was nothing compared to working at the Referral Center. There I sit at a computer with a phone and take calls, from actual investigators. Their either got the number off a television or some kind of pass a long card. We take down their information, bear our testimony, and teach them a little about the restoration. It may be the most nerve racking experience ever. Anyways, thanks for the cookies Mom, they were great. I realize now why it is so exciting to get mail. Other than that, if you guys could send me my ‘spy’ t-shirt, my ‘cougars’ t-shirt, my black wells fargo t-shirt, that I turn inside out, and a few more plain white T’s without pockets, that would be great. If that’s too much to send just send me some of it, but we have gym 4 times a week and I need shirts to sleep in so I realized that I’m drastically short. I’ll try to set up my e-mail before I leave, but I’m not sure if I can use it before I get to Toronto. Also I think I left my laundry bag at the grandparents, it’s tan and blue. Today I carried my laundry in my bed sheet. I miss you guys a lot and I can’t wait to get your letters.

Love Josh (Elder Olson)

By the way I saw Spencer and he left on Tuesday before I could get his address so if you guys could send me it that would be great. And it you still need a scripture for my plaque you can use 1Corinthians 13:12 the one that starts “for now I see through a glass darkly…”

(picture of some sort of bird)

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