Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How far away is that plane?

We had transfers and stake conference this week! Transfers was pretty cool! A whole chapel filled to the brim with missionaries. Awesome. I went because we were losing one of the English speaking Chinese Elders to the English program (Elder Chen--called to the English speaking mission but serving in the Chinese program). He got switched back into the English part of the mission. We now have Elder Huang, a Taiwanese Elder who is the first official Chinese Elder called here as a Chinese speaking Elder! He is five foot five! This is so hilarious because all of the Elders in the Chinese program (all three white and two Chinese of us) are short! Well, except for Elder Johnson who is five foot ten. It goes Elder Johnson at 5'10", Elder Tang (My trainer) at 5"8', me at 5'7", Elder Beck at 5'6", then Elder Huang at 5'5". It is so funny because in the mission we are the short bunch haha. (And we are mostly white!)
Here is something I learned recently! Being a missionary in a branch is like being the delivery boy/ party planner! Whenever a member doesn't know how to use some electronic device, read bills, have time to get groceries to a poor member, we get a call. If there is an activity going on, we have to get rides for the members-- not just for investigators! There was one afternoon we got stuck at an older lady's house from China working out her bank problems and phone problems (wellll I end up doing that stuff because Elder Tang and Elder Johnson arent super assertive... whenever someone has to be the bad cop, either to other missionaries or to companies over the phone, the companions have me do it. I guess I was destined to be the bad guy).

I remember before going off to my mission I was told that Branch missionaries do everything haha! Boy, were they right!

Now for the spiritual experience of the week.... We found a new investigator. Finally. So stinking happy. This is what happened...

We finished visiting a member and we were planning on going somewhere to tract... We were almost there when suddenly Elder Tang says "I feel we should visit so and so in Fairfax"
Now, you gotta realize we had been driving for a little over ten minutes AWAY from the place that was a couple minutes AWAY from fairfax.
I tell him to go for it, so we swing this fat U in this huge main road and head back down the opposite direction....
When we are close to Fairfax, we get this call from these other elders.
"Hey, we have a guy who is really interested in the church... the only problem is we cannot communicate that well. are you in the area?"

They were in Fairfax.

Hmmm. Coincidence? No way.
They had been stalling for awhile and if we were in the other area, there was no way we would have made it in time...
We end up going there and having an awesome lesson. This guy had all the right questions, motives, you name it.

Miracles from listening to the spirit, I tell ya.

Alright people, I am off! Have a great week!

Take care!
Oh yeah... there is a saying in the mission field.
Elder Tang pointed to the sky at an airplane and asked "Elder Valentine, how far away is that plane?"

I answered "I have no idea. Quite a few miles, I am sure."

"21 months."


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Halloween, Megamind, good food, so on and so forth.

Why, hello there!

Halloween was this week!
We watched Megamind and Monsters University! My goodness I love those movies! (Megamind was a little more up my ally though-- gave us Elders some good motivation to hit the iron the following morning.)
Oh yeah, there was this one scene in Megamind where Metroman's Calves gusted wind upon flexing... totally reminded of you, Dad. You are welcome.
Monsters University made me decide that I will be much more involved in College activities when I go back after the mission!

Oh, did I mention I am actually becoming a halfway decent cook now? I have learned the asian art of fried noodles and rice from my master miyagi (Elder Tang). It's some dang good stuff (no worries, I still make sure I use brown rice and noodles).
It's all about the asian sauces... it's the secret ingredient, man.
American sauces just don't do it.
Oh here is something I never thought I would say in my life.
This week we did yard work.
I loved it.
Now, Dad, don't get any ideas...

We did a whooole slew of branch work! Took us a good chunk of time! Hey, Tsu Jiemei (Sister Tsu) fed us some good Chinese food in return! well worth it.
Oh, our companionship found out how straightforward chinese people are this week...
We were at our new member's house, Irene, and we were just about to start our lesson... Her son, Joseph (10 years old), who was also recently baptized, was not present, however!
Me: "Ey, Joseph zai nali?" (Where is Joseph?)
I then hear this huge loud speech eminating from behind the closed bathroom door...
Joseph: "WO XIANZAI ZUO DA BIAN!" (Translation: I am right now making big one)
Funniest thing ever. Elder Johnson and I were dyiiing. Irene chuckled and looked towards us and said "You aren't used to how straightforward Chinese people are, are you?"

Instance 2: We were teaching a lesson to Linlin, our college student investigator...
Elder Johnson starts explaining something to her in Mandarin. She just sits there and stares at him. He then says "Did you understand my Chinese?"
She stares at him for 2 more seconds and looks over at me and says "Your chinese is much better."

We were all laughing so hard (except for her). Needless to say, Elder Johnson has some more motivation for his Chinese now.

Alrighty, I must be going now! I am sorry there is no grand message/ theme this time around-- I am slightly pressed for time D: Have a great week everyone! Take care :)

My Companion, Elder Tang, eating the abomination...

Virginia:  One of the most beautiful places in the world.  Trees, Trees, EVERYWHERE.

I swear you see so many hilarious license plates here.  All.  The.  Time!

Awesome license plate ;)