Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013 - Faith Hope & Charity & the myriad flower beds of the MTC

Hello Dad,

I've had a pretty good last couple weeks. I just finished reading through the Book of Mormon again, which I started a few weeks into MTC. It was very cool, much more effective than any read through I've done up till now. I attribute that to the constant MTC atmosphere, the much longer study time I've had (we have an hour, first thing almost every morning, to read.) and my acquisition of some scripture markers. I wouldn't have thought that it would make any difference, but the conscious marking of important verses makes me pay more attention to them. My scriptures, which previously were mostly barren or disgustingly marked with pen from an unfortunate burst of EFY related zeal, are now as bright and colorful as the myriad flower beds of the MTC, especially Alma, Ether, and Moroni. I've taken to reserving the green marker for verses that are interesting but not doctrinal, or, more often, humorous.

As I read through Ether and Moroni I had a lot of cool thoughts about Faith Hope and Charity. I remember you mentioning those several times during Family Home Evening, and I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what they mean this week. That has been very interesting, very rewarding, but also frustrating. It always bugs me that the gospel principles we try to define often simply don't have a strict definition, an absolute method of working. I wish that the gospel was like math, and everything could be understood fully. Maybe it will be. Anyway, I think you'll sympathize most we me.


Your letters always make me laugh mostly because you never put in any punctuation and I can imagine you saying it all really fast at me so I really really really reallllllly hope when I get back you still do that or I'll be sOOOOOOOOOOO MAD I might never talk to you again!!!!!!!! Do you see what I mean? I'm glad your talk went well. Do you know how they do talks at the MTC? They don't tell you if you're speaking or not until during sacrament meeting, so you have to be ready before hand and then just pray they don't call you. One of the guys in my district is a convert, so he always doesn't prepare anything. His plan is basically, 1. Thank them profusely and repeatedly for giving him the chance to speak, 2. Share a scripture about the topic, 3. Tell his conversion story and at the end slightly relate it to the topic, and 4. Bear testimony. If he gets called we might all bust up laughing and disrupt the meeting. And if you want chocolate you should send me something first! Except I can't really think of anything I want, so no chocolate for you. Oh, you guys (whole family) should get in better shape. I've been working out quite a bit during gym, so I'll probably look huge when I get back.


I can only imagine what it must be like to not get to sleep in ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. THAT MUST BE TERRIBLE! Oh wait, that's what I do EVERY DAY, for 2 YEARS. So don't try to make me chew on anything, or else.

I'm very glad you got your part in Nutcracker. You work so hard at it that it really wouldn't be fair for them to give you a bad part. Though, you really should be doing a martial art anyway. That's kind of like dancing, except you can use it to kill people. So really, what makes more sense.  You could jump around randomly for a couple hours, or break people. Just saying. Glad to hear my friends haven't all forgotten me. It's kind of weird in the MTC. Hard to imagine things going on in the outside world. I hope school is going well for you, because I haven't showed up to a single class since I got to BYU. They'll probably kick me out in a few weeks, at this rate. I just keep hanging out with this weird group of guys living on campus. I'm pretty irresponsible.


Don't feel too bad. I rarely actually say anything that is going on over here. We're super busy every week, but don't actually do much worth writing about somehow. Did Coach Ryan leave? I'd be sad if he did. I don't know for sure, but you should probably work harder at swimming. Just a thought.

I hate statistics in physics more than anything else, and there's some annoying stuff in physics. Just do like I said and never miss a lab. You will regret it. Falling objects are kind of boring, some of the other labs are better. I just want you to know, typing is extremely difficult right now for some reason. So be grateful. I do so hope you send me your book. I would be delighted to read it. If you can, if it's not too ridiculously long, dear elder it. I can't print out emails. That just reminded me of a movie we saw, one of the few that we can. Look it up on, it's called the Mailbox. About a sad old lady, probably the most depressing movie you will ever watch. Also watch the Phone Call. Same place. It is hilarious, we try to watch it once a week, so I can quote it pretty well by now., they're BYU production things. Watch them today. For family home evening.


Few words merit few words. I can imagine Dad's glee at buying the lock cutter. I can also imagine Mom's upsetness at you. If you don't figure out how to stay completely on top of school work, your life's going to be tough, David. I know you don't want to hear this but, there it is. Conflagration. Extrusive. Gratuitous. Loquaciousness. first letters spell CEGL. And you know what that means....

CEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGL! The holiday we've alllllllllllllllllllllllll been waiting fooooooooooor! Get your piƱatas and scimitars and release the rat-hogs! Let the Celging begin!


Guess what. We're not moving to West. There was a conflict with our teachers’ schedules, so we're moving into another zone while the rest of ours leaves on Tuesday. We have to be with the silly Thai kids. We all look down on those random, rarely used Chinese derivative languages. So I will be directing traffic when Matthew comes in! Please Dear Elder me the time when he'll be showing up so I can look for him. I saw Evan at a devotional thing, but yeah, I won't be able to see him a ton. Ah well.

I did get a letter from Xander and Elizabeth Day, and I have written responses, I just haven't got around to sending them. If they ask, I will try really hard to send them today. At the same time I'll probably be sending back the tape recorder, some insurance stuff to pay for immunizations (the charge for which should be on my credit card) and maybe some drawings. Things are going pretty well here. I feel like I should write a ton more about what's going on, but honestly most weeks are like the one before.

Cantonese is weird. The grammar is really simple, but tough because it's very context based. And the rules are really weird. They are simple but totally different from English. For example, the word for before, ji chihn, is the same as the word for before, bihn chihn, with just a different first word. Ji hauh is after, bihn hauh is behind. So in Cantonese we move backwards into the future. up one is the same as last time, down is next. So we're walking backwards down a staircase, to be more exact. The verbal aspect markers are similar enough to tenses to really confuse my comps, but totally different. No past tense, but jo means completed, gwo means have experienced at least once before, so it seems sometimes like they're tenses.

Things are still good here. We're having a good time, but we all want to go to Hong Kong. Oh, they sell call cards at the bookstore, and we'll probably have about a 5 hour layover in LAX, so we should be able to talk. Send me some dear elders, it brightens my week.

I feel really guilty about not sending more photos, for some reason. I was a pretty great 7 year old, but I think a better baby.

See you in two years, if the Triads don't get me,

John Morrell

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