Monday, September 23, 2013

15th Letter from the MTC Sept 23

This week is a couple of emails grouped together.

It sounds like you guys are all really busy! Sorry about that! It also sounds like Weber is doing good! But BYU isn't.. we could hear it all night!  It was so loud!
Those were cool quotes.  I like to get quotes!  I miss hearing Ulu's piano playing! That is cool that he played for Tyler's farewell. OK I'll look up Alma 29:9 in a minute! I'll have to read it in Zhongwen!  That's my goal from now on! :)  OK I'll wait for more! I would love to talk to Ulu.  I could tell him so much! I hope I'll see Tyler at the airport. I'll email Monday when I am leaving exactly!!
Love you guys!
Qiu Zhang Lao
My week!
I have started to understand the Zhongwen scriptures.  Most of the time they bring new meaning to the scripture.  We have found tons of pictures to put in our room for the past couple weeks.  We really have made it a "sweet" room!  OK so try this and see if it works:  take dry ice, put it in the same cooler as grapes.  Leave it closed for a while! It should make soda bites AKA grapes that are carbonated.
Zhongwen is coming easier and easier.  Yinwen is making less and less since.  So I made these cool charts for my investigators.  They can see their progress and we can see their goals!

I learned 2 characters that are super interesting! The character for the word yi4 is me under a lamb and it means righteousness! Keep in mind these characters were made thousands of years ago.  So tell me how did the Chinese people know if we follow the lamb it would be righteousness? The other character is ling2 which means spirit and it has 3 mouth radicals.  But only 2 of the mouths have body radical under them! This character is used in words such as sheng4ling2 and ling2hun2 which mean holy ghost and soul respectively.  So you tell me how exactly a 1000 years ago they knew about the Holy Ghost?  I have my suspicions that the gospel was in Asia before we thought it was or at least part of it!
OK so we played soccer today and I was goalie... it was nuts we were playing Brazilian Elders. They are crazy good at soccer! But now worries they couldn't score on yours truly! I guess all those swat drills in football paid off! So we got our full Chinese name tags.  I'll send home a picture!
So jing laoshi is as old as the sisters in our district if not a little younger!!  That was kinda funny!!  Today we also had a sub and he went to Singapore Chinese speaking.  He basically talked the whole class about it!! We are so excited!  He said most of the Chinese areas are in East Malaysia.  Which is crazy, so we will most likely be over there!!  Oh and there is spiders the size of soccer balls and grasshoppers the size of footballs.  He told us to find out about Sun Bears and Mouse deers.
Sun Bear

Mouse Deer

The BYU game is on right now... and I am trying to not focus on it... it is hard though! So the the character for today is hui3gai3 which means repent, but the character written a thousand years ago means "heart everyday change"
Our devotional was really good today.  We learned how to become great missionaries! So this week I am studying all the great missionary stories in the Book of Mormon and seeing how I can become better!
Oh by the way you have asked about what you can send me.  I cannot take beef jerky over with me.  They will take it.  You have even said that the beef jerky that gets sent in packages does not arrive.  I guess this means that I will not have jerky for 2 years.
I have to go!  Have a great week!
Love your son!
Elder Fletcher

Monday, September 16, 2013

14th letter from the MTC Sept 16th

Yes another week has past! Yep! Singapore, here I come! Almost! You asked about my goals that I'm working on, but I have so many so which goal did you mean? Sorry? So the language is coming!  No, I haven't messed it up again.  I have it memorized pretty well now.  So that won't happen again! Ya I don't think he would like that very much, but I bet he understands!   Oh, that is funny that Carmen would play with the papers as you are writing.  Tell her "Hi" for me.  Oscar does like to talk to everyone.  He really goes down and barks at Dad.  Maybe he does miss the boys coming over.  He is a weirdo!
It sounds like canning is going good though! I'm sorry we keep losing branches.  Don't wish the cold on me yet!  Wait like 3 weeks OK!!  Water aerobics sounds good!  I miss swimming!
Tell Abbi to just pound flash cards 24/7 and all will be OK! :)   Oh I'm glad her color guard is going good!  Ya I don't really pull any other pranks.
Our new teacher is Brother Johnson so Jin laoshi!  Basically he is the best!  What is going on with the luggage? What essential stuff should I have?  I'll go buy a phone card!  If  Ulu wants to come over he is more then welcome.  I would love to talk to him.  Good thing Weber is winning and BYU is playing Utah this week at BYU oh that will be nuts!!  We actually know where we can go to watch the scoreboard of the game so that will be a little tempting!
Love you guys too!!
OK so my week!
The older districts left, so now we are the oldest.  Well they gave us a bunch of cool gifts.  They gave us the scrolls, Nerf guns and "The Spray Bottle".  They go spray the tree every morning with Cream Soda so it smells like Cream Soda! ha ha!  I always wondered why it was the Cream Soda tree!
Oh we got Elder Delicana this week!  His visa didn't come, so he is with us till he gets his reassignment.  He is from the Philippines, he is Elder Simmons companion.
Elder Delicana stole my camera
Today I learned missionary work isn't about teaching it is about being their friend.  I have a present and I'll be sending it home.  But it's for ULU! :)
Elder Baer and I set the record for most times called up to the front desk in 24 hours.  We don't enjoy that every much!  We have been going around during free time to find some secret places we can study in peace!  I love it!
Forgot to write in journal
Dad did you get my card!!?  I sent you one and has Elysa gotten hers??
We have 2 weeks left as Zone Leaders!! wot wot!! ha ha I'm so excited for Singapore!
I have been really wondering if our Mission President sends us letters in the MTC, because everyone else has gotten one.  He like tells them what he expects they learn in the MTC.
Elder Baer and I taught priesthood because our Branch Presidency had meetings.  We taught about Baptism.  Everyone said such nice things to us about it!
"I really liked your lesson today in priesthood.  It really changed how I think I could teach baptism to help my investigator" -Elder Simmons
"Wait what do we even learn in priesthood usually?" - Elder Murray
"Exactly" Elder Simmons
Then later that night we watched The Testaments! in Chinese.  I was able to understand basically the whole movie!
Oh and you need to watch Ephraim's Rescue!
Well I got to go!
Love you guys,
Elder Fletcher

P.S. Xiong Zhong Lao (Elder Baer) is exaggerating in his blog this week about my love for BYU football!

Friday, September 13, 2013

13th Letter from MTC Sept 13

Dear Mom,                                                                Sept 13, 2013

My week has taken a turn for the worse as of yesterday.  Things are a little harder.  My body doesn't want to work like I want it too.  But no worries the Lord is with me and I shall not fear!

It really is amazing what one bodies can do when we are determined!  Honestly that's the only reason I could run at State!  I have always been proud that you, because you push through all the pain that you have on a daily basis.

I sent Dad a card for his birthday hopefully he will get it.  And did Elysa ever get her card?  I never did hear?

Oh ya I have heard of the cell phone thing.  But I haven't thought much of it. And my phone card has a lot of minutes I think!  The last group had a 7 hour layover in L.A.?  That is long. Does that mean I probably will have one too?

I love you too MOM!  Thanks for the letters.  It's amazing how much Satan tries to fight the progression of the gospel.  I love the Lord and will always try to make Him happy with trying my best everyday!

Oh do we have resistant bands? I would love those!  That is about it! You guys have had me prepared so thank you!  Oh and there is a book out there that talks about how Jesus teaches and it is written by Rammson, I want to read it after my mission!

Love your son,
Elder Fletcher

Monday, September 9, 2013

12th letter from MTC – September 9, 2013

Hi there family,
I love Neil L Maxwell.  He came to talk to us this week.  He really cares for everyone! The storm that came through while he was talking had such bad lightning, they wouldn't let us leave.  So he walked around and shook tons of Elders and Sisters hands!  The drinks are an MTC secret! Just kidding it is just a bunch of different juices!
Yes the Lord does have a plan for my mission, but He just hasn't told me yet. Richard G. Scott said "If the Lord doesn't tell you what to do, that means he trusts you to do the right thing."
As I learned over this past week if you turn yourself to the Lord and say "Lord I will do my best, but can you cover the rest?" He will help you!  He has helped me learn to love my new teacher and my old teachers and certain Elders and the Gym people that send us back inside cause it is raining!
I have just turned my trials to the Lord and said if I can't handle a situtation Heavenly Father will you help me? It has work all this week!
OK so my responsibilities as one of the zone leaders.... are well just make sure no one kills anyone else! ha ha! Really I just plan sacrament meetings and take new elders around and just check up on everyone!
Planning, many times as I present a plan to the Lord I get a bad feeling so I change stuff till it feels right.  By doing that I really feel like the Lord is guiding me! He really is helping me! I know I can't teach these people any thing! But I know that the Lord can work though me when He needs to and I feel that everyday!
I really like that quote from Spencer W. Kimball!  I just wrote it down in my journal!
Oh that sounds like so much fun! Tell Abbi good luck!! I'll be cheering for her!  Tell her I love her!
Oh good did you read Elysa and Spencer my letter!? oh that is cool did they get anything that Elysa liked? oh and she emailed me today! Did you get my letter about Brando? and Peaches... I miss those!!!
OK my 2 new teachers...
Well bai lao shi is leaving on Wed. so we will get jing lao shi.  I'm so excited he is super nice!  But bai lao shi was super strict its kinda crazy he is the one that got mad at me for the picture of the phone! And Jiang lao shi is great!  She just barely got home from her mission and she has so many good stories it is really wonderful! They both served in Taiwan!
Love your son,
Elder Fletcher

ps. Oh and thanks for the info mom!! ya I am still waiting to get my travel plans so I can decide on the suitcase!  ya it sounds like I'll be OK though! Thank you guys i Love you!! and yes please send the BYU report every week! WE COULD HEAR THE GAME!! I was so sad!!!! is the BYU and Utah Game and BYU??? Can you send me a list of all the Home games??? :) Love you Guys!!!

pss. OK funny things of the week!!
the other district left their door open and somebody stole their mattress! and their room got silly stringed. Oh and we got a Nerf Bball hoop for our room!!
OK so I have gained 12 lbs since entering the MTC. So they kicked us out of playing pai qiu because it was sprinkling! oh and 7-11 in Singapore is just 7! I took the role of mo and investigator and Elders Murray, Simmons, Clarkson are teaching wo! Oh and this week i also messed up the first vision... I said I saw a flying pig instead of a pillar of light... yep... oops! We watched Johny Lingo this week! oh and Phone call!! well that's all the fun stuff I can think of! well Love you Guys!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

11th letter from MTC – September 3, 2013

Well, OK!  How was your week?  Here is mine:

On Tuesday we have a speaker come speak to us.  This week was Neil L Anderson.  Here are some quotes:
  1. “Be bold in what you say and believe.”
  2. “What do you love?”
  3. “How much do you love God?’
When you answer these questions take the work “I” and put it away for awhile!

So at breakfast, lunch and dinner we have cool drink making contest.  I’ll send you some pictures.

Today I have been praying all day for the Lord to tell me what I need to do with my mission.  I what to know how I can best accomplish His will.  I haven’t gotten an answer yet.

Well, Bi Lao Shi leaves this Thursday and I’m really sad because he is like my inspiration.  He didn’t know any Chinese and now he is fluent!  He really has helped me a lot with the language.

Today Bi Lao Shi left.  He is going to school a lot more and going into pre-med.  He was a friend!  He pulled me aside today and talked to me!  We talked about praying and planning.  He helped me understand what I was missing.  He really showed me that even though he was my language teacher, he was really a friend!  Every night I talk with God about what I did and what my plans are.  It helps me make better plans for the future!

Well today was interesting.  We taught 2 brand new investigators with no prep.  It was interesting to see how the spirit prepared us throughout the day with what was needed to say and do!  We decided to strive for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Qi deo thought:
“Be perfect at what you can be perfect at.”  Rick Corbridge
Planning, rules, praying
Do you want to change and follow the rules?  Because you want to please God.  If you come unto God, He will make weak thinks strong.
TRC we taught a sister who served a mission in New York.  Also a Brother & Sister who served in Australia and Washington D.C. North.  That was really good.  We taught them to have a notebook with them while they pray.  They all agreed to keep the commitment.  Then we got 2 new teachers Jiang lao shi & Bai lau shi.  Well they both seem nice and knowledgeable.  I hope we can learn a lot from them.  So I have my purpose in Chinese memorized.  Also the First Vision almost memorized!  Working on D & C 4 and finishing the First Vision.

Elder Baer and I were called as Zone Leaders today.  He feels really good about our companionship!  We will stay Zone Leaders until we leave for Singapore.  We are in charge of 7 districts!  I have no idea what to think or do.  Well the Lord has said “I have shaped the back of these I call so they may bare burdens.”  I take great satisfactory in that quote!  Well I have to start working on greater love for everyone in our district.

Well, I’m going to email you a little tomorrow.  This would be a long email.

I know this church is true!  I know the Lord loves us individually.  I know he wants the best for each of us.  As we give Him everything He will make us in to what he needs us to be!  I love the Lord.  I love Joseph Smith!  I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God!  I say this in the name o our beloved redeemer Yesu Jidu Amen.

Wo ai ni men,
I love you guys,
Elder Fletcher
Qiu Zhhang lao

There are symbols that he has written above the Chinese.  But I just can figure them out right now.  Have to look up in the Chinese dictionary during the week.

Monday, September 2, 2013

8th Letter from the MTC


Ok I just sent a hand written letter describing this last week.  I am very happy that I got your email though because I really wanted to email you guys too. 

I am sorry to hear that Abbi dropped Chinese; it is a really amazing language! I enjoy speaking it! But you got to do what you got to do!  Let me know when Abbi gets asked to Homecoming and by whom and how.  Abbi has as a pretty hard schedule. I know she can do it she is a smart girl!

 I am sorry the peach tree broke will it be ok for next year??

 Oh Liby???? NO!!! I love Liby! That is too bad to hear, I feel bad for Brandon’s mom that her dog Liby died.  Tell Brandon’s mom, I am sorry and tell her to tell Brando that I am sorry.  Actually I will tell Brando.  He emailed me today!

Oh the rain! We got caught in a rain storm on our way back from the Marriot center Tuesday.  It was crazy and fun and then we had a district testimony meeting that was neat.

I am sorry the flowers at the house are dying, because of lack of water.  Does that mean the weeds die too? Haha

So, our cat Carmen is putting up a fight? Does the other cat look bad too?

I heard that BYU was losing 10-7.  I was super sad.  Brother Averret, the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency, said that it isn't worldly if it is BYU, so I am ok getting the football scores.

You know how I said I had more times? Well I don't anymore. Elder Baer and I were just called as Zone Leaders. We both feel the pressure of handling 7 districts now so we are a little worried about the stress. Our branch president is confident that our strength as a companionship will be able to overcome anything as we put our trust in the Lord. We are confident that we can turn it over to the Lord when we need to.

We were able to really have the spirit with us as we taught Yan Di Xiong and it was an amazing experience to see him realize there is a God and that we can talk to him.

I really like that quote from Thomas Edison, that you gave me, I wrote it down in my quote journal. 

So, I sent a big letter home.  I hope you guys get it! I have to go! Love you guys so much!

Love Elder Derek Fletcher

9th letter from the MTC?

Dear Family,

I thought I might get a head start on my letter now, even though it is only Wed.  This past week was my last week as District Leader, and I am grateful!  It really was an honor to serve but it was really hard.

 I really have started to focus more on my pronunciation of words and the tone I say it in.  SYL (Speak Your Language) is really cool because to helps you run your sentences together.

Monday - P-Day
Wake up, Study Book of Mormon 1 Nephi Chapter 1 and Genesis Chapter 1-5, - which was good.  Then I went to breakfast, then the temple.  I then came back and printed off emails and wrote responses.  Well, then came the good part.  I was able to take a NAP!! We came across a little extra time and we were able to take a 10 minute nap.  After the nap, we went and did laundry.  While our clothes were washing we went to the computer and emailed.  We switched out clothes to the dryer and went back to the computer room to finish our emails.

So, what is going on at home?

After emailing we prepared to teach Zhai Dixiong.  He is a 31 year old that works as security guard at a pub.  We taught him about God, Family, Prayer and Christ!  We set up to teach him again on Wednesday.  After that we just studied then went to bed.

Well we played some wicked volleyball.  It was a blast! That’s all I remember really.

I don’t remember a whole lot except that we taught Zhai Dixiong and after the lesson Elder Baer and I thought that we missed something.  So, on Saturday we are planning on teaching him the Plan of Salvation and reviewing the first lesson.  We didn’t commit him to be baptized.

We met with Zhai Dixiong, today his friend introduced him to the church.  Well he is a pretty awkward guy.  Elder Baer and I feel that we shouldn’t rush this guy, because if we push him he might just run.  He is 20.  After the lesson, we went and played volleyball.  That is all I can think of.

Friday, Today,
Well so far we studied this morning and went to breakfast.  Elder Baer has a cold…After breakfast we did some service.  We cleaned toilets to day.  Oh we also climbed the walls, that was fun.  And now it is almost personal work out time.  Elder Baer just wants to sleep.  So, my personal work out is going to be push-ups, sit-ups and resistance workout (if you can get one for me that would be awesome)

Well last night, some English speaking sisters wants us to bear our testimonies in Chinese, so we did.  We then asked to hear theirs and now they want to teach us a practice lesson.  Everyone here is so willing to learn and practice, it is amazing!

Well, I am going to go.  At this time I am in bed and it is almost lights out.  Here is the rest of the day after Elder Baer slept while I worked out.  I got the mail before language study.  I got 2 letters! Woot woot.  Then I started character study and SYL.  Then Lunch.  We had class and then dinner and then class again.  And now I am here.  Well tomorrow I have my first TRC.  That will be exciting.  TRC is like investigators or members come and we get to practice teach them. Or really teach them.  We are going to teach them about praying before you search the scriptures and about anything else that they ask.  Well, I am going to write another letter.  I will send this tomorrow.

Elder Fletcher