Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mom & Dad,
I don't have a whole lot to say this week.  We are all just very excited to be going, and all very nervous/scared.  Our teachers have been telling us lots of stories about the country, but I see 3 different Malaysias from the three different teachers..... and they served in the same areas.... so I guess it all depends on how you see it.... or how you exaggerate it.   haha.  It has been kind of hard to focus this week because we are all so anxious. 
Make sure you keep me updated on Whit's call, I'm afraid he'll forget to dear elder me before it is too late!  Also, did you get the email last week about all the stuff I need?  If I don't get it before Saturday, I probably can't get it...  And yes, we get to call whenever we're at the airports, so apparently in SLC, LAX,  and Hong Kong.  Our flight leaves on monday night at 8:10 PM, and I think we get to the airport around 5.  We have a layover in Los Angeles from 9:10-11:50 PM (pacific time), and we are in Hong Kong from 5:40AM-8:05AM (Hong Kong time).  Are you guys going to send me some calling cards??  We don't get mail on the weekends.  And I don't know if any one has been reading these things, but starting next week you can't dear elder to the MTC.  All of our teachers say the mission presidents there let you email your friends (after family) because mail can take so long.  So give out the email to who ever wants it.  Oh, and you had a question about what email to send it to?  Send it to this one  The name of the email means "trip" in Malay.
There were lots of funny stories, but I cannot remember them.  Oh, it turns out that ABC dessert (that stuff Dad always tried to find, and talked about at every asian restaurant we went to) actually is a thing, and is very popular in Singapore.  Another funny story is that we were trying to teach our 'investigator' this week about the Word of Wisdom, and while I was trying to tell him that we do not drink alcohol.... I couldn't remember the word, and I was 75% sure it was akal.... which is actually brains... the real way to say it is arak.... So we told him that we don't drink brains, and that he shouldn't either.  He was ok with this, but was very confused why we would need to specify that we don't drink brains.  I have a bad feeling that this will only foreshadow my teaching in a new language once we get there... >.<
Oh, so apparently how this all works (traveling) is that we go to Singapore as our MTC district, and the mission president picks us up from the Airport.  We stay in the Mission Home in Singapore (which is supposed to be really nice) for a couple nights while we get to know the Mission and the President.  After that, we get back on planes, boats, or buses to our assignments throughout Malaysia (or stay in Singapore).  Our teachers tell us stories about the rickety (sp?) planes they've got on..... but they say to fly across Malaysia is only $40!  Apparently it is often cheaper to fly there than to take the bus. 
I'm very happy to be leaving the MTC.  I can see why they have it though.  It is a good transition from regular life, to complete missionary life.  I think it's good they don't let us leave the MTC, or play music, etc.  because we wouldn't be able to make the transition into missionary life as smoothly.  I'm glad that I've had the chance to really think about why I'm here, and that I was able to do it in a controlled environment now as opposed to when things get crazy later.  The MTC Presidency is awesome, and the first counselor was recently called to be the new President starting in January.  He is really good.  His name is Lon Nally.  The talks are always very good, and the devotionals have often times been what I needed at the exact right time.  He will probably be the mission president when Eric comes in. 
what else....
Oh!  Sister White sent me a copy of a talk about the opportunity to serve as missionaries.  I think a lot of missionaries here forget that.  A lot of the talks make it seem like a mission is primarily a sacrifice, when really it is a perfect opportunity for us to do our duty and part.  The adversary does everything he can to try and diminish our personal worth, and tries to make us confused and useless.  Knowing that there is so much more in store if we trust the Lord makes every doubt seem insignificant.  At the end of the day, we really have to humble ourselves, and give our broken heart completely to the work.  I know that right now I am uneasy about heading out, and quite nervous and scared.  I think that is part of the experience, and that as I forget about myself, and help others, then I will find my place.  No matter how good the MTC is, it cannot offer that opportunity.  So because of this, I'm sooooooooo ready to get out of here. 
SO respond to this with lots of dear elders!  Because I don't know if you guys are sending me the stuff yet........ hopefully it comes soon!  Oh, and I have no idea what I'm going to be doing on the airplane ride over there...... we're not supposed to watch any movies or TV shows....... so lots of reading, I guess?  And let Eric know that I will not be pursuing our usual plan to handle long plane rides....
I'm also sad that I will be leaving my friends that I have made in the district.  I will especially miss Elder Mayo and Elder Crum.  They are hilarious, and so much fun to be around.  I love all the other Elders and Sisters too though.  The cool thing about our MTC stay is that all the teachers for it served in our mission (minus the Indos) and all of us will be going to the same mission, so there is a high chance we might be companions.  If not companions, I hear we all get together for mission conferences and stuff.  I'm excited for that.
Elder Gee left yesterday, so Elder COok (joe) and I went and took pictures with him.  He was very excited to go.  He'll do fine.  I hope the French know how to handle him... actually I hope they give him a good/rough time!  Hahaha.  If you have any questions about the pictures I sent home, include it soon so I can respond.  But remember, the next time I'll be on the computer I will be thousands of miles away.  So send dear elders until then! 
We also went to the temple for the last time (for 2 years) so that was a good experience.  I can see why they are so sacred.  I haven't even gone to Singapore yet and I really reallly really want the Church to build a temple there.  THey're thinking about it.  It would be like the Hong Kong temple. 
Ok, I g2g bai.
kali seterusnya saya akan berada di Singapura atau Malaysia! 
sampai nanti
E. Robinson

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