Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feb 16, 2011: Letter from Shaun to Eric

Aloha Elder Nelson,

How's it going for you there man? Sorry it's taken me a week or so to get back with you since your last letter (that came on my birthday :)! I turned 25 freaking years old, it's the oldest I've ever felt while having a birthday, haha, seriously...when I woke up that morning I actually felt the pains of being 25. It was bad news bears for sure.

So Kevin forwarded an email recently of you & your comp setting a date with an investigator. What do they do, to they invite non-members into the teaching room areas so you can teach them or what? I remember when we did our teaching, we practiced on senior volunteer missionaries from Provo and they were already members, it was kind of a waste! haha, that's cool you're actually doing "real" teaching these first couple weeks! That's cool you've been so powerful in teaching so far! Just keep it coming straight from the heart man, you're doing awesome!

I miss the old days of only worrying about others, it seriously feels like all I do is wind myself up tighter & tighter everyday with things focused on me and my success (in school, etc.), it's kind of crazy how different when life is when you're serving and when you're not serving full-time. I guess there's a time & a place for each but I miss those days of being worry free, only worrying about things day - to - day and about others. When you get to the field I think you'll understand what I'm talking about.

My first couple of days in the field (Iowa) were a foreign concept to me. I'm going to tell you what basically goes on so it doesn't seem like a complete whirlwind. So, you'll leave the MTC in a huge Charter Bus that'll be full of Elders/Sisters from your mission (even the Spanish elders entering your area, most likely). You'll head up to the SLC airport really early in the morning like at 3 or's kind of crazy. Anyways, you'll hop on board and head to the ATL. I just googled it and it says it takes like 3.5 - 4 hours, depending on wind conditions. So you get there to the ATL airport, since that airport is huge it'll be crazier. But you'll probably get your bags and the Mission Pres, his Wife, and usually the Assistants (APs) will be there in a huge child molester van to pick up your gear. Usually the Pres and his wife drive in a pimped out toyota, just a heads up! :p

So they'll probably take a couple pictures with you guys and then you'll head back to the mission home (where the president lives). When you get there you'll probably unbunk if you're going to be staying there for the night. You'll probably have a big lunch and then the President will basically take each of you aside and interview you. He'll basically ask you to tell a little about yourself, etc. and it is during this time where he's analyzing your skills to see where he wants you to go and with whom he wants you to be trained by. After that's done, right after or even a day after, there'll usually be a mission "Transfer Meeting" where all the missionaries meet up together, hear a talk or two and then get their new companions. You'll probably have a meeting right before where all the "greenies" are in a room with the soon-to-be trainers. Your areas and new companions are then assigned and you sit by them, and flirt, haha. Then you'll probably hear the talks, split off (usually a member from the ward will drive the missionaries so they can save mileage on the car). You'll find out quickly that you're only given 1000- 2000 miles a month, which actually gets used up really fast!

Oh, you'll get a debit card, with like $130 - $180 per month on it, for food, etc. You'll also get a couple other things, so just a heads up. You gotta evenly space your expenses or you'll run out like most elders do in the first couple weeks of the month. Each car has their own individual gas credit card that you use.

Alright man, I thought you might like to know some of the logistics behind the operations. I think it would've made me a heck of a lot less worried/nervous when I got into the actual field.

Anyways, things are going pretty well here. I'm still dying from school, seriously I didn't sleep even 30 minutes last night-I was up the entire time due to a freaking chemistry assignment. I sometimes just want my education to end so I can actually make the big bucks

How are you doing on your cash reserves man? Do you have enough cash to get you up and going for your last week at the MTC to the first month or so in the field? Let me know of what you might need because I know what it's like to travel and not have all the $$$ you need.

I'm trying to think what else to write, here are some extremely important things going on in the world:

The Egyptian people revolted against their corrupt president and kicked him out. It's caused a stirring around that whole area where many other nations are battling their corrupt leaders too. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Hawaii just approved same sex marriage

Supreme Court is deciding if Calif gay marriage is okay...(it's a nasty world man)

Well, anyways man you should mention to your mission president in your first meeting with him that you'd 'love the opportunity to assist in the spanish language if there ever comes an opening.' Then you could pick up the language of the Gods, haha.

Well bro, I better get rolling, this is a long letter I think and I better sign off. Remember to keep working hard. The time will come where you're sitting on a couch like me, thinking about your mission and what you'd do if you could have one more day. Go out there and get it done, make sure you treat everyday like it's your last (Eminem) "you only get one shot do not miss your chance to blow..." hahaha, gangsta!

A couple Martin Luther King Jr quotes (because it's Black History Month"

-"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."

-"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

-"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars--must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

Well Bro, take it easy man. "Be bold, work hard, and stay chaste." Try to get back with me soon so I know if we need to send Jew (you) anything. Who have you heard speak to you guys so far at the MTC? Have you been packing on the gut? Fatter face? I hope you're becoming a fat effing baby that cries all the time. Seriously, it's my dream to hear deep throat Eric speak with a light-feminine-feathery voice like Kevin did for the 1st year of him being off his mission, hahahaha. I'm expecting by April you'll have fat warts in your pits because all the greasy fried chicken and jambalaya, hahaha.

Congrats on tearing it up there so far, remember to eat man...the days are slowly slipping away....well man we both miss you and feel the urgent need to express our amor for you man.

Work Hard,