Elder Randall”s first email

Hola, familia (and friends who are hopefully getting this/reading this on my mom’s newfangled blog?)…
 
Great, I got a computer with a Shift key that sticks. Guess I’ll be using the one on the right, which is weird. 🙂 Anyways…hi. I have a lot to say. And only 27 more minutes to say it. (Well, if we go over time, it just goes into negative time on the counter, and as far as I know they don’t swoop down on us and send us to the infernal pit, but it’s still good to try to stay in the time. :))
 
First off, before I forget, some logistics…and some news you’d probably like to know. I will be able to email each Thursday, at about this time. (Thursday is our P-day here at the MTC…I didn’t have one last Thu. since I had just got here, which is why you haven’t heard from me in electronic form until today. You haven’t heard from me in written form, either, because I have only an hour each night to take care of personal things, and I usually have much less than that to just sit down at my desk and write, and I often keep up with my journal, so today I’m going to try to get most, if not all, my letters out. Apologies in that regard. Thanks to you all who have already written! You’ll get replies soon. And if you haven’t written, and you’re a close family member or friend, you’ll get a letter soon, anyway. I’m about 3/4 through writing yours, Mom. :))DearElder.com is your friend, btw. If at all you can use that to write me, please do. I was a heathen and never used it while I was at home, so I don’t know how to use it personally, but I’ve heard it’s SO easy (Livi even used it to write Elders from Dad’s old ward), and I get it the day after you send it, and when I get a letter, I dance in my heart, so…yeah. Even if it’s just a short note, it means a lot. DearElder.com. Remember it well. 🙂
 
Second, some big news…I got a note today from the Travel Office saying I will not be leaving on time, so my departure date is NOT May 22 like it was originally scheduled. Only 3 people from our district (including my companion) of 10 are leaving then, so…that will be interesting. Them being able to leave is hopefully a good sign, since it most likely means the other 7 of us won’t be delayed too long. If not, I’ll be able to learn more here, and if I somehow get reassigned like Natalie did, that’s alright too. Wherever the Lord wants me, I’ll go. I’ll let you guys know as soon as I receive any new developments (by letter or by email, whichever is faster, and closer). I am pretty sure I’ll also be able to call from the airport when the time comes, too.
 
Speaking of calling…so, I’ve found out that I actually will NOT be able to call home on Mother’s Day, since I’m at the MTC. (I guess it makes sense…there’s thousands of missionaries here, so the logistics for calls would be a nightmare and a half.) So, I guess we’ll have to wait until Christmas. Sorry about that, I should have realized that before I told you all I would be able to call, but at least we have Christmas. 🙂 (And once I get to Peru and once it gets around that time, I should be able to find out if I can Skype you guys or not on Christmas.)
 
I’ll cover some more logistics/odds and ends in my little personal items section below, but now that I’ve buried the lead…I LOVE it here. It’s such a terrific experience. I love my district, I love my companion (Elder Valerio, from Las Vegas), and…I just love it. I’ve had ups, I’ve had downs, but my downs have been very few and very small, and my ups have come almost constantly, and plentifully. I’ve felt the Spirit probably more strongly than I ever have in my life (at least, at this kind of rate) so many times here, in classes, in the temple this morning (we get to go each P-day…today a few of us did initiatories, which were wonderful), in talks with my district, during devotionals, firesides…everything. It’s a wonderful place. Of course I miss you all, but my experience here so far, my first week, has been more than I could have ever hoped for. Basically…I’m doing outstandingly well. 🙂 (P.S.: Elder Christofferson came this week for our devotional. Such a cool experience listening to an Apostle, and his devotional was absolutely wonderful.)
 
So, before I address a few items of business (13 minutes!) to specific people, there’s a little system I’m trying out to record some random details (both serious and fun) of my stay here at the MTC. It’s inspired (surprise, surprise) by Twitter, and I’m calling them “MTC Tweets.” They’re little bite-sized, tweet-sized (though I’m definitely not bothering to count if there’s 140 characters or less) parts of my day, just whenever I feel like something would work in a tweet. It’s partly because I’m missing Twitter (but I’m doing just fine without the computer all the time…take THAT! :)), but also because it’s a good way to catch little bits of my experience that escape my journal entries and notes during classes. Here they are (hopefully I can type them out really fast):
  • Oh, dear. A group of elders were singing “Back To December” on the way back from gym. They certainly know their Taylor Swift. — 10:23 AM, May 5
  • Gosh, I keep getting Spanish songs stuck in my head. El problema? I only know the title/chorus to most of them. Ay ay ay… #AnaGabrielOnEndlessLoop — 10:49 PM, May 5
  • Also, the Spirit…ahhh. It’s so amazing. (I’m sure you’ve heard that a lot…but it’s true. I’ve felt it so strong today.) — 10:50 PM, May 5
  • Something we randomly just realized about Will Smith’s family: Will = Willow, Jada = Jaden. Whoa. #WhereDidThatComeFrom — 9:40 AM, May 6
  • Mission Conference…absolutely terrific. The talks, the musical numbers, everything. And I stayed awake the whole time! #SmallSteps — 12:01 PM, May 6
  • One of the elders in “The District” videos sounds almost EXACTLY like my companion. (Insert Twilight Zone music here.) — 2:05 PM, May 6
  • I keep wondering why the people in these videos aren’t saying “Si.” And are speaking English. #SpanishIsTakingOver — 2:30 PM, May 6
  • Our district + too much sugar = craziness. We just might be going insane. (But in a good way. I think.) — 5:49 PM, May 6
  • For some reason, I’d never seen “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration” until tonight. I’m SO glad I’ve seen it now. Incredible. Absolutely incredible. — 9:17 PM, May 6
  • If you’re ever thinking about taking a photo of about 35 people, with about as many cameras, all on a timer, at about the same time…don’t. Tis crazy. 🙂 — 9:48 PM, May 6
  • (Cue Blue’s Clues song) I just got a letter, I just got a letter… #ILoveTheMail — 5:41 PM, May 7
  • Great workshop tonight about doctrine. (Have I mentioned I love this place? Because I do.) — 6:46 PM, May 7
  • I have rediscovered the magic of Four Square. Those third and fourth grade memories are rushing back… #ThoseWereTheDays — 9:49 PM, May 8
  • An exceptional devotional by an Apostle (Elder Christofferson) and his wife? A fine way to spend a Tuesday evening, methinks. — 8:01 PM, May 8
  • My letter count is 3! Not bad for my first week at the MTC. #StillWriteMeThough #DearElderIsYourFriend — 10:19 PM, May 8
  • Today marks our first full week at the MTC. Time is starting to fly… — 6:55 PM, May 9
  • So surreal to see all the new missionaries, and think that we were in their place just a week ago. #ChChChChanges — 1:15 PM, May 9
  • Never give Elder Hancock an apple. Don’t ask why. Just don’t. 🙂 — 12:52 PM, May 9
  • I may or may not have just accidentally pulled the nozzle off my water bottle. (It went back in, thank goodness.) #Oops — 4:13 PM, May 9
And…I am going over. Let’s get all I need to get out really quick. Ariel…send me (by DearElder) info on who got eliminated from all the various reality shows (DWTS, American Idol, Amazing Race) this week. 🙂 And also post my address on my Facebook yet again and invite people to write me. And also post Mom’s email on there and have people email her if they want my letters. And could you mail me McCallin’s address? It’s on my phone somewhere, I think, or you have it. Mom…I’m writing your letter. I love you. And could you guys look for my patriarchal blessing? I think I might have left it at home. Dad, I got your letter, thank you for it. I can’t believe you guys used SYL (it’s actually HSI in Spanish :)) when you were there, too. Guess some things at the MTC don’t change. 🙂 Glad you guys had fun at Disneyland…I’ll be shooting off a letter as soon as I can. And…I’ll probably haev  to cover anything else imporrtant by letter, because I don’t want to go really any more over. Make sure to DearElder me whenever you can, and if you are reading this and are a family member, you are allowed to email me at this address, and I can read it each Thursday. (Could one of you…Granny, maybe?…forward Natalie’s emails to me? Including the one she sent last week? And Ariel, could you check my personal email each week and forward me the letters from “Elder Issa”? They’re sent by his mom, Regina Issa. He’s someone from my BYU ward who’s serving in Hawaii. What might even be better is if you copy and paste them into DearElder, so I can get them in a printed letter, during the week, rather than having to wait for Thursday. If you can do that, that would be amazing.) I love all of you guys, and I’ll write to you soon. If you have any questions about how it’s gone so far, just write me and I’ll be glad to answer them! It’s amazing here. 🙂
 
Con mucho amor,
Elder Randall
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Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Elder Randall”s first email

  1. Jessie & The Gavilanes Crew

    Very Nice to hear from you Brandon.. Great to be able to share ur life experiences via this blog.
    It truly sounds amazing. Best wishes and I look forward to hearing from you next week or when you get a chance.
    xoxo
    Titi Jess

    • Jessie he wont read this blog comments until he gets back. You can write him at his email address which is brandon.randall@myldsmail.net with this address you can go to this link dearelder.com and he will get your mail. Comments here are also welcome. Thank you . Love you

  2. Jessie & The Gavilanes Crew

    Great to hear from you!
    Continue to enjoy every minute you can.
    Best wishes..

    XoXo
    Jess

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