2nd letter from Elder Randall

Hola familia…
Such a creative title, eh? So…it’s my second P-day. This email as usual will be completely scattered. Should I break out the bullets to start off? Yeah. I think I will.
  • Thank you (once again) to anyone who has sent letters/DearElders. Once again, DearElder is your friend (at least while I’m here in the MTC in Provo), as it reaches me the fastest by far. I LOVE getting mail, whether DearElder or otherwise, so if you ever feel the urge to write me something, even if it’s just a little note, I will be happy to receive it. 🙂 Note about snail mail: it seems like most of my handwritten mail I’ve sent out (AKA two letters to my mom and one to you, Ariel…asking for addresses, which I’m just going to cover in a second too) has taken much longer than it should have to get home, but the handwritten mail/packages to me come just fine. So…I’ll still be writing letters to everyone when I can, but keep in mind that if you think I haven’t written you yet, I may have already, it just hasn’t come yet.
  • Speaking of mail…Mom, I got your package today after lunch. I thought I smelled an Easter Braid in there…but I didn’t believe it until I saw it. 🙂 I’m also way digging the orange cupcakes and fruit snacks. 🙂 I didn’t see Ariel’s letter in there, but I was so excited to get the box open and see all the goodies, I didn’t look inside it too well. I’m sure it’s there…that box was packed so well I doubt Superman could have stolen anything out of it. 😀 (Also, glad you finally got my letters. :)) I’ll be sure to share the bounty with my companion/room/district (they have with me…for example, my companion shared some DELICIOUS Oreo cookies from his family last night. So, SO good). 🙂
  • So…addresses. Dad, I don’t have yours (and I promise I’m going to send you a letter ASAP), and Ariel, I need Kassi’s too. (She sent me a DearElder, but her address was funky. Dad, you’ve sent me two, but it still has your old address listed. I remember you live on Juanita in Gilbert, and it involves a 9, but I don’t have anything better than a guess. :)) There’s also a few others I’d love to have, but those can be sent whenever you can. Please send any addresses by DearElder, as if it’s by email I’ll have to wait a week, and if it’s by snail mail it’ll take a bit. Thanks in advance! 🙂 (P.S.: Ariel, you can text Kassi with my old phone, or check with her on Facebook.)
  • Speaking of Kassi, could you forward this email (and last week’s) to her at cougarchick@gmail.com if she hasn’t already gotten them? Thanks. 🙂
  • No news on my visa. (They say no news is good news, but here it kinda means it’ll be a bit longer until I get my visa. :)) I feel really at peace about the whole thing, though. Wherever the Lord wants me, I’ll go. I know there’s a reason I’m still here, and when I go to Peru, there’s a reason I’ll be going there when I do. When I get my visa, I will most likely shoot you guys (meaning mi familia, in case you’re reading this and you’re not them) a quick email, even if it’s not my P-day. I will also be able to call you at the airport. Mom, is there a way I can use one of Geo’s calling cards if I have the number and stuff, or should I just buy one here? Let me know by mail or DearElder what you’d like me to do, and I shall oblige. 🙂
  • My patriarchal blessing…tis a mystery. Like I said, it’s probably in the middle white drawer next to my bed…but then again, it might be somewhere else, because I’m pretty sure we had it out to take with me. It’s somewhere around the house. I looked through my suitcases and backpack, and I didn’t see it, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t bring it, but I’ll keep on the lookout for it.
  • Music: So here we aren’t allowed to play music, but once I get to Peru (either at the MTC or out in the field), depending on what my mission president says, I’ll be able to break out my CDs. I may have a solution for the CD player problem: I can use one of those portable CD players we used to take on trips (it MUST have a “line out/aux” slot), then some small portable speakers (just with a regular jack at the end, the same size as a headphone one) to plug into it, and there we go. If you guys could get one of those for me (we might have one of those CD players still lying around, and if not, they’re really cheap…same with the speakers), that would be absolutely lovely…BUT the CD player I might be able to get here. DearElder me if you find one at home…if I do get one it’ll be probably be right before I go. The speakers I do know they don’t sell at the bookstore. Also, could you send me headphones (preferably the ones I was using, but any that work pretty well will do)? Like I said at home, I can’t use them out in the field, or anywhere here, but on the flight to Peru they’re fine, for the most part. If you aren’t able to send them, that’s OK.
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…MTC Tweets! Haha, like any of you were waiting for that. 🙂 But here they are…once again in bullet form:
  • My first letter home is FINALLY in the mailbox. Bam. #ILovePDays — 5:50 PM, May 10
  • I love my district. It’s as simple as that. #SeAmoMiDistrito — 10:22 PM, May 10
  • I finally tried grits this morning! Not too bad. And intriguingly gritty. #HenceTheName — 7:51 AM, May 11
  • And we finally meet Felix (AKA Hermano McClellan). So weird to hear him speaking English. — 2:07 PM, May 11 (Note: Felix was our first practice investigator. He’s actually a teacher here at the MTC, and now teaches some of our classes. We were told at the very beginning that he was a real investigator, but soon learned otherwise. :))
  • I just said I was going to “swaggle” out my mouth with Listerine. #YouKnowISpeakVeryGoodZeEnglish — 9:40 PM, May 11 (Mom, please say you noticed that Sabrina reference. :D)
  • I just realized that in one of my dreams last night, Ben Folds was the fourth judge on “America’s Got Talent.” Now that would be interesting. — 9:37 AM, May 12
  • Since I’m not there to say it, I’ll do it here: Happy 9th Birthday, Livi! I love you. 🙂 — 11:27 AM, May 12
  • There are three elders in the hallway, clad in only towels, locked out of their room. #NiceTiming — 10:06 PM, May 12
  • Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you. 🙂 — 7:02 AM, May 13
  • The dining staff certainly had fun writing the menu options for dinner today (it was spaghetti). One was written in IPA, one was a long, flowery description (“cooked dough, in red, meaty sauce…”), and the third involved “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.” #Awesomeness — 5:17 PM, May 13
  • It’s very disconcerting how Kohor in “The Testaments” movie always reminds me of Geddy Lee. #Awkward #ButIStillLoveRush — 8:28 PM, May 13 (Note: I wrote down all of these ‘tweets’ about “The Testaments” AFTER the movie, so I wasn’t scribbling on a notepad the whole time or anything. So it goes with pretty much all of these. :))
  • Kohor: “Walk with me.” Elder Morrow (in our district): “Roll with me.” #LamanitesInDaHood #TheTestaments — 8:41 PM, May 13
  • How to tell your marriage proposal isn’t going well: The answer you get is, “Is the place of records far?” #ShutDown #TheTestaments — 8:56 PM, May 13
  • “The Messiah has come. Stay here!” — Jacob’s little sister to their monkey #PoorAnimals #TheTestaments — 9:13 PM, May 13
  • All slightly cheesy moments aside (detailed in part above)…such an outstanding movie. Truly inspired and full of the Spirit. — 9:22 PM, May 13
  • I had a dream last night that was a strange semi-combo of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and the new Dark Knight movie (which I haven’t even seen). Involving dinosaurs at one point. #OhKay — 7:22 AM, May 14
  • Today has been absolutely full of amazing spiritual experiences so far. And I love it. 🙂 — 5:02 PM, May 15
  • I got sing in a choir for an Apostle tonight. Elder Perry and his wife gave a terrific devotional. — 8:04 PM, May 15
  • A powerful experience teaching someone at the TRC tonight. It went much better than my companion and I thought it would. — 4:14 PM, May 16
  • So the fire alarm just went off in our classroom building — right when we were about to leave for the night. No fire as far as we can see, though. It feels like an elementary school fire drill, but it was probably just someone accidentally setting off the smoke detector. — 9:31 PM, May 16
  • I’m waiting right now with a bunch of elders and sisters while my companion gets some shots a few rooms away, and an elder just broke out playing/singing a Leona Lewis song on the piano. #HeckYes — 2:00 PM, May 17
OK, some odds and ends to close this puppy out. This has been another great week. I have some periods of frustration/stress, but I’ve never felt like I wanted to go home, I’ve never felt like I’m in the wrong place, like I don’t belong here…everything has worked out for good. Like I mentioned in the tweets, Elder Perry gave a devotional on Tuesday (two Apostles in a row! And I got to sing in the MTC choir, which was so cool), and it was outstanding. We also had a nice fireside on Sunday. Today, I got to go to the temple again (last week we did initiatories, this week we did sealings), and although I was worried about time (I auditioned for a special musical number…they pick people to sing/play solos/small groups/duets for firesides/devotionals, but not the Tuesday devotional because the choir sings at that/etc….by the way, that went very well, the adventure that it was this week/today to find an accompanist, and get to practice with him, AND get to our audition after going to the temple in the first place), it was still a beautiful experience. Temples are wonderful places. (I have about 8 or 9 temple pictures up on my wall. Seattle, LA, London, Mesa, St. George, Salt Lake, Provo, and Nauvoo, if I remember right.) I even got to bear my testimony about them last night at the TRC (Teaching Resource Center…we teach volunteers, who are usually members as was the case with us, but sometimes aren’t) to the sister we were teaching. It got really personal for me, for various reasons (so much that I almost started crying at one point), and it was a truly moving experience, even though my Spanish was a bit lacking. (She understood some English, so I slipped into it whenever I absolutely couldn’t think of a word. :)) My companion’s testimony was excellent, too. Speaking of Spanish and my companion…the Spanish is coming along well (my district asks me about words, which is kind of fun), and my companion is absolutely great, as is my whole district. Maybe in one of these letters I’ll tell you a little more about them. (In my individual letters I’ll get into that, too, when I can. They’re awesome elders, and they’re great missionaries. Peru will be so blessed in a month or two, because of all of them. :)) I’ve had a lot of other great experiences this week, but I’ll have to save those for letters or my journal, because I’m a bit over time. I love you all, and I’m happy to be a missionary for the Lord! It’s a wonderful work. 🙂
Con mucho amor,
Elder Randall
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