Saturday, August 31, 2013

Derek's 8th letter from the MTC

Dear MOM,                                                                         Aug 31, 2013

I got my packages!  And I loved them!  I really like the shoes!! They are so nice.  I'm not sure if we need anything.  But thank you!  Oh by the way you will never find all my sock! I promise! HA HA

I would love to see the quilts that you have been working on Mom.  It is hard to charge people, but if you were working for a company outside the home; you would want to be paid for what you are worth.  What is the Easy Street Quilting?

I hope your back gets better soon.  It is probably pretty painful!  Hey I'm having some back pain too!  Maybe you just transfered it to me! HA HA

Tell Steph I want pictures and that I love the name!

So Mom do you want to have a race reading the Book of Mormon?  Where are you at?

I'm sorry about answering the question and not making complete sentences.  I forget that you don't have a copy of your letter in front of you.  I'm trying to write fast.

Thank you for your example.  I do love the Lord.  I know He loves each of us on a personal level.

Love your son,
Elder Fletcher

Dear Dad,

I'm glad Weber won.  I guess we were just a very prideful team. Today I heard Utes were playing, but no one knew the score.  Ok I want a picture of the paper cut out! Did you drop cable?

BYU?  Who do they play?  What'sthe starting line up? You have togive me updates. Ok so we climbed the walls and took flying pictures. I'll send them home Monday!

Well ok I got to go it's lights out.

Sorry there isn't a family letter I've been really busy.  I'll write a good email.

Your Son,
Elder Fletcher

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Derek's 7th letter from the MTC

Dear Family,

You want to know something funny?  We all wrote the same questions home to our families.  The answers all came back the same.  It shows that the gospel is the same every where.  Thank you for your answers.  Have you guys seen the new temple movie yet?  It is really good.

Oh Ya, I totally forgot to tell you Elder Oaks was coming.  Last Tuesday we had Richard G. Scott here.  So I’m reading the Book of Mormon and highlighting every time it mentions Jesus.  In 1 Nephi Christ is mentions to many times.

That was great to hear about the Smith’s from our ward.  Tell them “HI” from me.  Have you heard from the guys?  I’m really starting to miss them.

There is a quote I have “The closer you get to the Lord (Light) the more dirt (uncleanness) you can see on yourself!”  I really like this quote.  It makes you think.

Here are some fun things I did this week:  I had light saber battles.  I put ketchup on Sister Keith’s hand.  I went to school with her.
It was great to hear about Brandon’s farewell.  Thank you for going.  He is a very calm guy on the outside…but when you get him with he is crazy on the inside.  Brandon may get to see me if they broadcast the devotional next week like they are this week.  I sing in the choir!  Thought you would like that Mom!  HA!  HA!

So I looked up the song Abbi wanted me too.  I only have a Chinese hymn book.  I hope it is the same song.  It sounds good in Chinese.  I hope Abbi is saying the Chinese teacher’s name with the right tones.  If she doesn’t she could be calling her something really bad.  Ha ha.  I did get a letter from the Blue Cougar (I mean Griffin).  I haven’t heard from the other 2.

That is funny about the leftovers and food.  I think I have gained like 10 lbs.  My district says to send the cheese here!  It might be gross!

You guys are so weird for looking up and following other missionary blogs.  But I love ya!  None of them have a blog.  Oh Elder Murray is now the District Leader.  We switch every 3 weeks.  No more stress.  We have a blast as a district!  My 3 weeks are up as a District Leader.  I feel a little relieved.  Now I can focus on learning the language a little more! 

On Saturday, we start the mornings with TRC.  It’s basically where returned missionaries, member and investigators come and volunteer to have messages shared with them.  Because no investigators here speak Chinese we usually get members or returned missionaries.  This time they had a Chinese investigator and our teacher picked us to teach her.  I have no idea why, but it was super hard.  She had a mainland dialect and we are speaking a Taiwan and Singapore dialect.  Well, we had problems understanding each other.  Our teacher said she had been taking the discussions for 3 months so we were ok.  But when we were talking to her, she said that this was her first time talking to the missionaries at the MTC.  We were terrified before the prayer.  After it was like our Chinese ability didn’t matter.  We taught her that she should pray and ask Shen for guidance before she reads the BOM every night!  We committed Zhai to a date next month to be baptized!  That is what my Saturday is like.

Sunday, we had the opportunity to bear our testimonies in Chinese to some sisters again.  You guys need to watch the movie Legacy again.  I love that movie!  We watched it this Sunday.  Here are some quotes from the movie:

“Serve your mission in a way that when your 2 years are up Heavenly Father will say “Well done my good and faithful servant.””

“The days are long but the weeks are fast in missionary work.”

“Let’s help God keep his promises.”

So today I went to the temple this morning and now I’m writing letters and shining shoes!  I enjoy it a lot we are having quite a relaxing p-day.  I have some pictures that I will be sending!

Love you guy!

Elder Fletcher

Monday, August 26, 2013

Derek's 6th letter from the MTC

Hi! Family!                                                                        Aug 26, 2013

OK i looked up the hymn #270 like you asked Abbi.  But I looked it up in Chinese; I don't have an English hymn book, it sounds good in Chinese!
Well that's good to hear about Brandon's and Minroy's farewell.  I don't exactly know if I'll see him.  I have some other friends here that are going Asia and I don't see any of them except when I go to the store.
Brandon is a very calm guy on the outside... but he is crazy on the inside!  He might see me if they broadcast the devotional next week! Like they are this week! I sing in the choir!
So Abbi got into Med Term and Jamie is her teacher.  She is good.  Abbi will like her.  Long Lao3 Shi1 ha ha did she say it with the right tones? If she doesn't she could be calling her something bad! ha ha
That was cool you got to see the 3 guys.  I haven't heard from the other 2.  I miss them.
That is funny about the food.  Yes it would be gone if it was here.  I think I have gained like 10 lbs.  My district says send the cheese here!  But it might be gross!
You guys are weird about looking for all the blogs, but i love you!  No, none of them have one.  Oh Elder Murray is now the district leader.  We switch every 3 weeks.  No more stress! Oh ya we have a blast!
OK so Saturday, well lets see... well OK.  We start the morning with TRC uh... ya so basically returned missionaries and members and investigators come and volunteer to have messages shared with them.  Because no investigators here speak Chinese, we usually get members or returned missionaries.  This time they had a Chinese investigator and our teacher picked us to teach her.  I have no idea why but it was super hard, because she had a mainland dialect.  We are speaking a Taiwan and Singapore dialect.  So we had problems understanding, but our teacher said she had been taking the discussions for 3 months so we were OK.  Then when we were talking to her she said that this was her first time talking to missionaries at the MTC... well we were terrified.  After the pray it was as if our Chinese ability didn't matter, and we taught her that she should pray and ask Shen for guidance before she reads the BOM every night!  We committed Zhai to a date next month to be baptized!  That was my Saturday

Sunday, we had the opportunity to bear our testimonies in Chinese to some sisters again.  Basically my 3 weeks are up so I'm no longer the District Leader! I feel relieved!  Now I can focus on learning the language a little more!  You guys need to watch the movie Legacy again.  I love that movie!  We watched it on Sunday!  Here are some quotes from the devotional and the movie!
"Serve your mission in a way that when your 2 years are up Heavenly Father will say "Well done my good and faithful servant""
"The days are long but the weeks are fast in missionary work"
"Lets help God keep his promises."
So today I went to the temple this morning and now I'm writing letters and shining shoes!  I enjoy it a lot.  We are having quite a relaxing p-day I have some pictures I'll send from this week!
Elder Fletcher

Saturday, August 24, 2013

5th Letter from the MTC

Dear Family,                                                                           Aug 21, 2013

This week has been a little crazy.  Every day I write 100 flashcards that I must memorize by the next day.  The next day I write 100 more that I can work on throughout that day.  I do my best.  I know when there is something besides myself working on this.  I feel very strongly that I have something helping me.

For the first time ever I feel that I have Grandpa with me.  He is helping me.  I know that I set my goals high.  But I always have.  Here they are:  S.Y.L. every day, all words in orange book (2500), read all the Book of Mormon in Chinese, First Vision memorized in Chinese, My purpose as a missionary, and D & C 4 memorized in Chinese.

I will always leave behind something when I leave. I choose not to think about that, but rather I hold this statement in my mind “It’s not what I will get from my mission, but rather what can I give?”  This mission is not mine it is the Lord’s and I’m just a tool which He can work through.

Thank you so much for those tips.  They really helped.  So I know the Lord has helped me through another person whose name is Bi lao shi or Jeffery Peterson. He just got back from his mission and is a teacher.  He is a lot like me in the aspects of not really knowing Chinese very well when he entered the MTC.  He has really helped me learn.

I saw Grandma’s email when I only had 4 minutes left to email.

I want to share something with you in Chinese:

        Wŏ zhí dáo Yēsū Jí dū shì zhū Juē,  Tá sí wéi wó cóng zuí tā,
        dē Jíu wŏ men,  wŏ xíangxìn Tiánfu aí wŏ men,
        Tā yáo wŏ men heí dào,  Shēn biān Yēsū Jí dū shì Shén de,
        érzi.  Wŏ aí Tiánfu.  Wŏ yáo,  gén suí Jìemìng.

 That is my testimony.  Basically grammar is totally different in Chinese.  So good luck in translating it you will need the gift of tongues!

Love you,
Elder Fletcher

PS.  Thank you for the care package.  If anyone has mission stories or MTC stories I would love to hear them.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

4th letter from the MTC

Ni hao family,

I continue to be humbled. I have decided that just like the scripture says, I am nothing without Jesus.  The only reason I am picking up Chinese is I place my faith in Christ.  As I get to know my Savior more, the language becomes easier.  This is truly the gift of tongues at work.

Here are the additional responsibilities for being a district leader: Get the mail, direct all meetings for the district, go to and report at branch meetings, set goals as a district, interview senior companions, and bear testimony on things the district needs to work on.  So basically, keep everyone in line and my senior companion keeps me in line.

Today, Richard G Scott came and talked to us.  He blessed us that as we struggle and strive to learn the foreign languages, we will be able to qualify for the gift of tongues. This really helps me!

Right now, Elder Clarkson, Elder Baer and Elder Simmions are discussing pre-mortal life.  Love this place!  Bye for now, time to study.

 Zai Jian,
Elder Fletcher

PS.  I am excited to get my package.

PSS.  I got grandma’s email, but I gave the rest of my time to Elder Simmions because he accidentally left his account on and ran out of time.  Oops, sorry!



Monday, August 12, 2013

3rd Letter from the MTC

Dear family,

I wrote you some letters I hope you got them!  Hey can you send me some stamps and some real mountain dew in a package??

Well, a really cool experience I had yesterday; is we were watching the Testaments in Chinese and I was able to pick out most of what was going on.  I think that is the movie Lindsay Farr was in?  You should find out! 

For P-day today we went to the temple.  Cool experience!  Well I mostly just do push ups and sit ups and stuff.  My comp is a great guy and is extremely smart but not all that athletic.  Yeah actually I think I am starting to get the hang of it.  I found these cool flash card things on a ring in the book store.  I have been doing tons of flash cards,  I have made probably close to 500 so far and going over them as much as I can.  I carry them everywhere and if I have a free moment I do my best to study them.  I actually just read that scripture that you told me this morning when I was doing personal study.  I have it marked and it really helped me.  I got your email about the suit case.  My comp and I went and talked to the travel office and they said as it gets closer they will let us know what we need to do!  Yeah we were talking about how you found Elder Baer’s blog on the internet, I think his parents looked me up too. I have Elder Murray, Elder Clarkson, Elder Simmions, and Elder Baer, also the sisters Sister White, Sister George, Sister Robertson (no relation to Janessa) 5 Elders and 3 sisters.  We lost an elder and a sister because they were too advanced for our Chinese!  Elder Baer and I are going to XinJiaPo, Elder Clarkson to Riverside California, Elder Simmions to the Arcadia California mission and the sisters are going to Tiawan!  The branch president and zone leaders have nothing but glowing complements about our district.  As district leader I find so much joy in letting everyone participate and help out.  It really brings the spirit into our class and helps us all learn better. Mandarin humbles me by showing me that I know nothing and that the only way I am learning this is through Shen (God)! Sorry I am running out of time before dinner and I still have a lesson to plan for Leo, my first investigator. I will write you a letter this week to answer the rest of your questions!  I am attaching pictures of everyone and just funny things ill try and caption them!  I can't access drop box!


Elder Fletcher

2nd letter from MTC

Day 3
Well hey there family! How is it going? I’m doing fine.  Today I learned that an eye single to the glory of God means that you are determined to do what’s right even if you can’t think of how to.
Well today Elder Baer and I taught our first lesson to Leo.  I basically hit a brick wall, over and over throughout the discussion until Elder Baer hit one.  I was able to jump in and help Leo come unto Christ.  Leo asked, “How do I pray?”  Elder Baer struggled to find the words, but I had a feeling to show him how to with the Book of Mormon.  Even though I was struggling explaining it, he knew what I meant and was able to say a prayer.  Elder Baer is a very smart guy and I am so lucky to have him as my companion.  He knows the language a lot from before his mission.
Well like I said in the last letter, I was made district leader.  I am grateful for this opportunity because I don’t know the language and I am struggling with it.  I feel that God is blessing me with the language through this calling as I help my district become the best.
Elder D Fletcher
My leave date is October 8th.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

First Letter from MTC recieved 8/10/13

Dear Family,                                                                                       Day 1

I am alive and well.  I’m not able to get on email until Monday, which is my p-day.  So, I have some pictures that I can send you then. 
Today we learned that you need to teach the person and really put yourself in their shoes to understand them. (In) my first experience in the MTC, I was shoved into a room where everyone was speaking Chinese and I had to learn super quick! 
Well it looks like I (am) taking one suit case. 
My companion is Elder Baer or Xiong Zhang Lao.  He is from Providence, UT.  He is a marching band guy.  We get along really well. 
I don’t know what to write in these thing so good bye for now.  The church is true!

Elder Fletcher
Qui Zhang Lao

Dear Family,                                                                           Day 1-1/2

Well we as a district have decided to read one verse each of the Book of Mormon in Chinese (Shawn “he explain this later on”). It’s kind of crazy!  This language has a very humbling spirit about it.  The Mandarin speakers are the best of the best, but we can’t let it go to our heads, because others look up to us. The words people use are “we have to have a culture of righteousness about us or we won’t succeed and the language will slap us in the face”.
I am really feeling the spirit in everything we do here.  I mean everyone in my room is writing and saying prayers.  Well, its 11:20, way past lights out, but I will send this off tomorrow.

Day 2
Wow this day has flown by.  I really can’t believe it.  Well to make a long story short, I have been overwhelmed with this language.  My district is really trying hard to do our best!  Every night we have a district prayer and we each read a verse in Chinese out of the Book of Mormon.  Everyone in my district is a lot better then I am at Chinese.  I really am having a hard time.  I don’t know what to do.  I can’t figure this out.  I am praying every second for help and I just don’t get it. Then today when I thought I was starting to get the hang of it, I got slapped in the face.  This language has brought me to my knees more than once and I have only been here 2 days.

Well today it was interview day and I was nervous beyond belief.  President Dunn shared a scripture with me in D&C; it talked about angels round about us.  This gave me comfort even though it felt like it took place a long time ago.

Well, I can’t take too long I plan on mailing this tomorrow.  The Lord saw fit to bless me with more responsibility even though I feel like I am falling behind in Chinese.  Don’t get me wrong I am blessed and thankful to be speaking this wonderful language.  I have been blessed in being the district leader. My companion told me that if I take this responsibility seriously, the lord will help me with my Chinese.  I am grateful for this opportunity!  I pray for all of you.  I was able to speak my first prayer in Chinese today so maybe it is already helping.  Well, I got to go but I got mom’s Dear Elder. Thank you I am doing fine I hope you guys are doing OK as well. 

On to day 3.
Derek Fletcher
Qiu Zhang Lao



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The MTC drop off day

These are the things we did the day Derek was to report to the MTC .  We left North Ogden around 8:30 and drove down to Provo.  It was a lot of fun to just be together as a family.  We went to the Provo temple and took pictures.

Provo Temple
Derek "I'm Ready"
Dad, Derek and Mom

Elysa, Spencer, Shawn, Derek, Shar, Abbigail

Then it was off to The Brick Oven for lunch.  The food was really good.  The waiter and waitress were going around asking about what missions they were going to.  Derek even had a Sister start to flirt with him.  That was funny. 

We went back and sat on the grass across the street from the MTC.  We watched other missionaries and families.  There was such wonderful excitement around there.  People waved to us.  Those that would walk by would ask Derek where he was going. 

Then one o'clock came, so we walk over to the car and everyone said good-bye.  Hugs to his sisters and new brother-in-law.

Derek and Abbi

Derek and Elysa

Derek and Dad

Derek and Mom
We climbed in.  As we started to cross the the street and motor home turned in to drop off a missionary.  Talk about only being able to bring in one car.  HA! HA!  No They just probably took a family trip across the country to drop their missionary off.  We just got a good laugh. 

The church has this system down great. We pulled up the host opened my door, and Derek's.  Derek, Shawn and I got out.  Shawn got the luggage.  I gave Derek a hug.  He hugged Shawn.  The host grabbed Derek's suitcases and the two of them walked up the hill. 

I only cried a little I promise.  But not until we were pulling away. I know that Derek is in the most wonderful place he could be.  He is serving our Heavenly Father.  This has been his dream since he was a little boy.  He is in the Lord's hands and will be guided.  I love my son.  He is very amazing and the spirit is with him.  I hope you enjoy following his blog over the next two years.

I am wearing my Great Grandfather Warner's shoes.  They are still in great condition and I'm excited to be walking in his example.