Dec 11, 2011

Email 12/8/11

Hey fam.  I wanted to say... something that missionaries shouldn't say, but Dad says all the time.  I guess I won't.  I'll let your imaginations take this one.

Dad, I'm glad you admit your sins (not writing me).  Now, repent, and do better :) Courtney told me you invited her to Thanksgiving, she thought it was super thoughtful of you and was almost sad that she already had plans.  Thank you for doing that.  I feel like it's difficult, being so far away from home.  I never realized how much of a crutch that was for me, being three hours away from home.  So thank you for taking care of her.  I know we talked about me being focused on the work, and not worrying about Courtney getting married or whatever.  I have to admit, it was more difficult than I was expecting when I got here and I wasn't getting letters from her (gotta love that Dominican Mail system), but every day gets a little easier, and I'm pretty much ACTUALLY ready for whatever does happen, just ready to work hard and do what I'm supposed to.  A little separation has reminded me how scary the idea of marriage for time and all eternity really is.  So, I'm set.  No trunkie feelings. Darlene, if you're reading this, I will NOT be that missionary who's lousy til he gets his Dear John :)

Yeah, so, I wasn't homesick at ALL until I got physically sick.  Then I just wanted to be in bed and have mom bring me soup.  Guys here, they're like. "Hey, man, you look disgusting.  You okay?"  And I'm like, "Naw, I feel pretty awful," and they're like, "Well, that sucks.  Get up, I have to eat dinner."  It's okay though, I have the Lord.  Lots of prayers were answered last week for sure, and I was sustained in strength and support by the Lord :)  I got better around Saturday/Sunday.

Got any snow?  I just know you love snow, Dad.  The threat of getting hit by Becca's snowball everytime you walk outside... as if she wasn't already scary enough, now she's armed with ice crystals.  Woo.
Love you too, Dad.

Latvia?  That's crazy.  Yeah, first week's pretty crazy, but she'll make it through.  Almost all missionaries say "Once you get past Sunday, the rest is easy." I disagreed, but whatever.  Blake Benham is in Russia Samara.  Justin Crandall is in Hungary, though, and cool thing: in Provo our class was in a building with a bunch of eastern European speakers, and I made some friends.  I now have a pen pal who will be serving in Hungary. I figured since Justin never wrote me back, I can hear about Hungary through Nover Suranyi (or something like that.  Her name, ironically, is Hungarian, even though she's American).  So, if Sister Kerr entered three weeks earlier, I would've met her.  Latvians were close to us.  Too bad. 
I'm glad you feel good about nursing school!  Becca needs opportunities to be a little more responsible, that'll be good for her :)  And a break will be good for you, cuz I know how crazy those times can be.

Okay, I only used the debit card once, that $63 charge at the mall I had you check on, so if there was other charges, please cancel them or something.  I hope not.  Ooh, and if you like those Isaiah scriptures, you should have Courtney send you the scripture chase she sent me for Christmas.  There are so many beautiful scriptures about Jesus Christ coming to the world, you should all read them!  Court did a good job finding them all :)  Thanks for sharing, Mom.

So, if you haven't sent the package yet, PLEASE send American postage.  I need them for the way the Church does mail here.  We don't mail internationally, we use a system called the Pouch that sends mail to Salt Lake.  Then, I need postage for it to get from Salt Lake to Provo, or wherever else.  Thanks for the other stuff.

We now have... I wanna say 56.  But eight are leaving tomorrow because they got their visas to Mexico, so they're going to that MTC.  We're going in to the field on the 20th.  It's a two hour drive, I heard, to Santiago.  Which might be really scary.  Traffic here is WAY worse than Mexico, at least the parts we went to. 
Becca!  If you're writing a Zombie movie, you should let Courtney be your stage manager.  She says she likes doing that.  And I want to edit your script... but I don't really have any time.  :(  When I get back, we'll make movies, ok?
Whoa, Teresa's hanging out with her fam?  RAD!  Good for her.  So, y'all will have to stay home?  Go to Grammy's?  Whatever it is, have fun!  I'd just as soon hang around with you guys, bored, as I would with Teresa and their family... if you remember, that wasn't exactly the biggest party of my life (Teresa, I love your house.  This is simply a comment about how I had no one to play with all those years).  Dicken's Festival!  Haha, that was a fun crazy little winter... I hope you enjoyed it.  I'm glad we moved back, too, they're all really good people.  Chase should be hitting the field about the same time as me, so that's really good!

Cody and I have been emailing a little.  He's doing well, it sounds like.  If y'all want to know more, his blog is ontheroadtovalor.blogspot.com

Umm, food hasn't changed.  I speak really well, but I'm still not fluent.  All the latins say I'm the best whitie.  I'm learning three big things!  I wrote them down for y'all:
1) I've always had a large group of friends, people who genuinely just love being around me.  This is my comfortable state, this is my support system.  However, here, I don't know what changed--the people I'm around probably has a lot to do with it, the fact that I'm not very fun any more (because I don't spend time being fun, really...), the fact that my sense of humor's way different than everyone else's... anyway, I feel pretty alienated most the time.  I think this is the biggest thing I'll learn while I'm out here--that big group of friends is great, but I need to learn to rely on the Lord for my emotional support.  I know I'm not alone, and I've had lots of good comforting nights given up in prayer.
2) I try to be a passive person.  Cody would scoff if he read that, but when I'm with people that I'm not super comfortable with, I try to let people have what they want. However, I have ALWAYS believed that if I treat people with patience, they'll treat me with patience.  I expect the golden rule.  Here, I get to learn the platinum rule.  People won't treat me well, and I'll have to keep serving and respecting them anyway, without anger.  I'll have to let people walk on me a little bit, turn the other cheek.  Because I need to be like Christ, and that's what He did.  So, patience.
3) Also, and this'll be Dad's favorite, I have to learn tolerance without condescension.  I have to understand people's debilidades, and love them, and help them learn, and not expect them to live according to my standards.  But, at the same time, while I'm being tolerant of them, I cannot accept less from myself.  I have to keep working as hard as I can, love the lazy companion I will have, and teach them to do better so we can accomplish the work.  It's a challenge, and I'm excited for it. 

I got a new companion (again).  We're now in a trio.  That's 4 missionaries, out of 28, that have left this MTC.  I don't know what's up.  The last guy just had serious separation anxiety, so he should be back soon.  Anyway, this new companion is quite the package.  I'll be learning a lot about #3 through him.

Dear family, I love you all.  Dear friends, WRITE ME.  Cuz... like twenty six of you said you would, and only about four of you have.  So, if you want to go to hell, be a liar (2 Ne 9:34.  read it in spanish, it has an extra little ZING).  Or, write me.  Your call, really.

Oh, my camera decided to stop charging.  I don't know what happened.  No matter where I plug it in, it APPEARS as though it's charging (like, it has the charging screen up) but even if I leave it in all night, I turn it on in the morning, and it turns itself off in about thirty seconds.  I think I'll just buy an overpriced, low quality camera here, unless you guys really want to send me a new one.  Remember, I can't take video here, so if you DO get a new one, don't worry about video.

Have a fantastic week.  I'll be counting down the minutes til my first toca de puerta!  Love yall.

Your missionary,
Elder Trent Taylor

 Hey!  I got your package on Friday.  I forgot to tell you.  That was the 2nd.  Love you!

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