Archive for August, 2007

Buh bye America!

August 23, 2007

First up, our flight plans got pushed back a day, so we’re leaving Tuesday. Got a slip to get permission to call you, but you haven’t been home. I figure I might as well use it, bear my testimony to you in Mongolian or something.

Something about the last week is odd, they warned us about it, too. The anticipation is giving us all an itch to act irrationally and stupid (or more than usual 😀 ). My ability to spell in English has gone down the tubes since we started speaking Mongolian. Bah to angithaar anyway, its tenig. We get a 15 hour lay over in Korea. At least it’s not LAX. Should be interesting. The Malagasy elders shipped out, so now we’ve killed off everyone that remembered us from the last 2 1/2 months. It’s kind of funny since the zone leaders are in our rooms. All the zone knows is that we’ve been here forever, we’re partially insane, and we speak a language that makes sounds that for some of them are physically impossible to duplicate. I giggled ix inedtei xumoos.

Speaking of Malagasy and what not, the floor where our classroom resides is odd-ball row. The whole building is Spanish and French, and then one side of the basement is Malagasy, Bahasa, Indonesia, Mongolian, Tongan, Samoan, Fijian, and Haitian Creole. Everyone’s got the attitudes to match. My favorite so far is Elder Salt, a 6 foot 6 350 pound Tongan that can sing and beat box (simultaneously) to just about any hymn. I’ve started hanging around with the Tongans and singing random stuff on Sunday (Figure, why not?).

The boots did get here, and they’re freaking monsters, too. I had my feet in them for about 5 seconds before they started burning up. But if -40 degree weather is a mild winter (Cannon ax said the coldest it got while he was there was -65, one of my companions refuses to believe it, but he refuses to believe a lot of things), I’ll take it. Oh yeah, I don’t have neck gators or gloves. Cannon ax said a big scarf worked as well as anything. Random thing, too. Do you think you could send my Fox racing shirt? I keep ending up needing one more t-shirt than I have.

Oh yeah, I can call from the airport. You and dad can work it out. Just email what to do.

I’ll write a letter that’s more in depth today and send it with some pictures. Buh bye America!

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11 Days and Counting

August 16, 2007

This week’s been pretty straight forward. Lots of Mongolian. One of the other elders and I have been translating random dumb quotes into Mongolian for practice. My boots haven’t arrived yet either, but one of my teachers is going to go bug the shoe store. Finally hit me that I’m leaving for freaking Mongolia in 11 days. Good thing the language is coming faster. We got 103 new words dumped on us yesterday in 1 hour and 13 minutes, aside from the normal stuff we go through. We went over what we learned yesterday, and our functional vocab is around 700 words. Blah, kick me in the face. Started hanging around with the Tongan elders some, sang with them for a few hours on Sunday. Elder Salt (one of the Tongan elders) is in the other Mongolian room in the residence hall. The guy is massive. Also, can beat box and sing hymns at the same time (I can’t remember how to spell simultaneously anymore).

Hmm. The gel warps sound nice. So does the way you say work is going. I’m guessing the letter reached Murph. I got a response back from Lorraine. Even when we were playing counter strike together, it took forever to get a response out of Murphy. I passed English certification. It wasn’t a very fluffy experience: Lots of training, teaching (taught level 1 English to two Tahitian elders and one Italian), and lesson plan evaluation. But, now I have a signed document from BYU that is kosher with the Mongolian government. English is a stupid language. Found out Demmy More means “Worthless cat” in Mongolian. Other random fact, one of the Mongol staple foods is meat mixed with peppers, wrapped in dough, and the deep fried. Yum. Then again, anything may be better than cafeteria food.

Oh yeah! For culture day before we leave, Sister Infanger wants me to give a mini lesson on Buddhism. I’ve got a lot of it committed to memory. But could you dear elder me some refresher info. I don’t want to ingrain any misconceptions.

The Week Goes As It Goes

August 11, 2007

The Indonesian district we grew up with left Monday, they were about the only other people we got close to here; everyone else leaves too fast. That works though, since we start speaking Mongolian only this coming Monday.

Elder L. Tom Perry spoke Tuesday. I sang in the choir, so I got 2nd row, eye level seats. Sang happy birthday, that was cool. I think this brings my count to an even 8 of the number of apostles I’ve been within spitting distance of.

Met Sister Tum Ocher, her name means “steel thunder” in Mongolian. One of our teachers was the one that baptized her mom, or knew the Elder that did. She’s going to the Ukraine.

We started teaching English to level one beginners this week. We did well; the teacher is going to start using some of our ideas. Tonight, I am going to pass certification to teach English as a Second Language in Mongolia.

Sent a post card to Murphy and Lorraine, but haven’t heard anything from Murphy. Could you see if it actually made it through the mail? I need to mail thank you cards to people in the ward, but I don’t know if the cards will even make it.

I think that rounds the week out, I’m probably going to start writing up descriptions of my district to send back with some more pictures today.

Translation: Where are my pants?

August 3, 2007

We were practicing language be translating stupid jokes and movie lines into Mongolian. At one point in the MTC, our zone leader burst into the room while I was changing, so I just shouted “DONDE ESTA MI PANTALONES?!” where are my pants in Spanish. The send line last week is that in Mongolian.

The wraps, music, and pictures got here. Mash ik bayarthaa. Particular pictures would be of you, some of James biking, my grandparents, more martial arts stuff, and my friends (most of the people in my district still call people “non member friends”, they’re amazed at the diversity of people I hung out with, odd), and some vacations stuff, too.

It’s been a good week. I have discovered my unique ability to precision slide tackle in soccer. I am also beginning to realize how odd my brain functions, in a good way. Every time I open my mouth it seems to spur debate. For example, I was relating the usual conversation you and I have about faith and agency, and my entire district and teacher looked at me funny and asked me to explain further. Sister Infanger is also really happy I have a close acquaintance with both Buddhism and Islam. Bore my testimony at Zone Conference, which then spurred on a conversation with 3 districts and part of the branch presidency. I dunno, it’s just interesting to see how there are bits of knowledge that I take for granted that other people have never even heard or thought about. There was even a giant debate about if people in spirit prison lose their memory… It’s even in the silly pass-along pamphlet that they don’t lose it. I actually have people asking me to study my notes from personal study and devotional talks. I’ll copy some and send them back home.

Also seeing how uniq…uniqly..uniqlaulaualllyyy (can’t think in English anymore) fitted I am for Mongolia, but more next week (only have 2 minutes left). A few semi-random thoughts in closing.

I’m now the proud owner of the official MTC haircut. I actually like it, the jar head look is easy to primp.

I left my recommend in my room last week. I sprinted from the Provo temple, to the MTC, up to my 4th floor room, and back up the hill in 15 minutes (just under a mile round trip). I sat down in the chapel with 15 seconds to spare.

Tell Cody I’m not blowing him off, my companion just put all of my letters somewhere and can’t remember where.