Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ada Dua Minggu Lagi! (There are two weeks left!)‏

Halo Keluarga Saya!

How are you all doing? How are things going back in good ol' Salt Lake City? I'm sure you already heard, but I actually had a little connection back there this week. We had a chance to host this week which means that we got to be the missionaries who help brand new elders and sisters at the curb to get their luggage to their rooms and get their books and their name tags and everything. It was very, very awesome. We've been looking forward to it for a really long time and were starting to wonder if they were ever going to ask us to do it. It finally happened though! Not only is hosting a really wonderful break from going to class all day, but it's also kind of a sign of seniority around here. Everyone knows that once you're hosting you're the elders who kind of know their way around, know which foods to avoid at the cafeteria and know all the best games to play at gym. It's actually a lot like being a senior in high school. So anyway, just getting the opportunity to host is a nice acknowledgement that we've been here a really long time. As a bonus though, I totally randomly had the chance to host Elder Sperry! I didn't even remember he was coming in this week, but as I was sitting at my station, I noticed the Sperrys dropping him off at the spot just right next to mine, so I just switched with the elders who were already there and got to be the very first person he met at the MTC. Very cool. He didn't even say a ton about home, but it was just nice knowing that he had just come from there. Almost like finding a relic from life before the MTC. Anyway, last I saw him he was doing really great, and I hope Sister Sperry told you I looked like I was doing great as well!

The other big news is that we've kind of sort of received travel plans! Last week ( I think it was Thursday, but I can't entirely remember), Elder Christiansen (from the other district going to Singapore) received travel plans in his mailbox... for Kansas City, MI! So, there was definitely a big moment of panic where he wasn't sure if he'd been reassigned or if his travel arrangements were all messed up or what. So he and his companions rushed to the travel office to try and get things worked out. I guess they told him it was just some kind of huge mistake and said something like, "well, as long as you're here, why don't we just go ahead and give you your real plans." So he got them a week early, and it says there are 10 people in his traveling group, which means I'm pretty much guaranteed to be doing the same thing he is. I should know for sure later today, but, here's almost definitely what the travel plans look like! On Nov. 3rd we leave the Salt Lake Airport at 4:50 PM to arrive at LAX at 5:52 PM. So, I'm probably going to end up calling sometime around then. I guess we have pretty much as long as we want, we just have to find a payphone and make the call whenever we can. Anyway, you can pretty much plan on sometime after 6 PM (LA time) on Nov. 3rd. Sooo, we have a five hour layover (heavens! I don't know what we're going to do), then we leave for Taipei, Taiwan at about 11 PM. We'll arrive there about 5:30 in the morning, and I may actually be able to call again from there. I'm not sure though! I think it's like a 14 hour time difference, so if I'm not mistaken, that would be at like 7PM here? Anyway, we'll work that out and I'll tell you what the plan is for sure next week. So we have 2 hours in Taipei, then we fly out for Singapore and arrive there at 12:05 PM on the 5th of November. You'll notice that looks like 48 hours of flying, but we cross the dateline and lose a day there. So! I don't know if I'll be able to call from Singapore. When we get there it will be like... 2 in the morning here, but maybe we'll be able to call a little later! Who knows!

Phew! So that's one piece of big news. The other is that Elder Lang and I had the chance to teach our first non-member on Saturday! It went really really really well. It's such a different experience to be teaching people who have real legitimate questions about the gospel, and I was so much more aware of the Spirit as we taught. She was from Jawa (or Java, I'm not sure how they spell it here) in Indonesia.

Plans for sacrificing Lucu are well underway. We haven't determined exactly how we want to do it, but it should be somewhere in the next few days here. Out teachers couldn't be happier. I'm not too torn up about it either.

Umm... So! I learned some more kind of funny Indonesian factoids! I'm really starting to feel like I'm getting a grasp of the language, and even though after listening to our investigator, I'm pretty much 100% positive I'll have no idea what people are saying to me, I'm pretty confident that I can at least get what I would like to say to people across. We taught one of the other companionships in our district yesterday, and one of the other elders (who was pretending to be an investigator) and I had like 1/2 hour conversation about the word of wisdom pretty much entirely in Indonesian. Maybe not totally effective teaching, but it sure felt cool to be able to do. I've really come to learn exactly how real the gift of tongues is. It's like all of the effort I put in is magnified many, many times by the Spirit. Very cool.

Anyway! Indonesian has no word for "comfort" in the sense that we mean when we say that the Spirit can comfort your heart during times of trial. So the best equivalent they have for the title "Comforter," is penghibur which actually means "entertainer!" It's the same word that someone would use to describe Michael Jackson's job. I guess people understand what you mean though! Very funny! Also (and I'll have to tell you very quickly), we learned the word "Budak" means "child" in Indonesian, but "slave" in Malay. Who would have guessed?

Anyway! I have to run! It's been so good to write home though, and I can't wait to give you a call. I'm doing really really well. Feeling better than I've ever felt in my life! The church is true! It's God's true church on the Earth!

I love you all so much!

Dengan Kasih,Elder Blissett (Kevin)

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