Dzien Dobry family!
I'm loving the MTC. I'm realizing I never have enough time to do what I want to here. It's crazy. I will try though to write all I can in the time allotted.
Tell Matt hello and that I hope he's doing well. I still haven't heard from him. If he's making the effort to visit you and not say anything to me, well, I'm wondering who he likes better, me or you guys. (Only joking, but a letter would still be nice)
Mom, to answer your questions.
1. The razor burn is doing just fine. It's a lot better now. The anti-bump stuff is working wonders. I'm also finding if I only shave my lower neck every other day it helps a lot. It doesn't grow fast enough to need to be shaved every day, so I just do it every other, and that's helped a lot.
2. I usually get packages around 6. I just pick them up after dinner. I'm no longer the district leader (three weeks is how long we serve here), so I no longer pick up mail. That being the case, times may change or shift a bit on mail, but 6 is pretty standard.
3. I really like the watch. I actually fixed the band on my old one by myself, and I sent it to BYU to get the back put on the face. That way, I'll have two watches. I don't have it back yet, but I'm expecting it soon. Thank you for the quick delivery! It was a real relief to get a watch to put back on my wrist.
The raspberry shortcakes? Ingenious mom. I'm still impressed. The cream was still cold. I'm sending back the cold pack today along with a package. In it are my compression shorts (I have yet to use them), my memory card from my camera, and a Polish Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is for Braden Lanham. I wrote his address on a sticky note and put it on the Book of Mormon. Is there any way you can get it to him? Packages are fairly pricy here and I can't use my card, I have to use cash. I would really appreciate it if you could help me out with that one. I could also use some more white athletic socks. I didn't look very closely at the pairs I brought and they are pretty beat up. Just stick them in with the package on friday.
So, last night we heard Jenny Oaks Baker play for our devotional. She is incredible. Heather, it made me think about you. She's a violin player who got a Masters in Music from Juiliard. She's unreal good. It was so cool to hear her stories about music and to just sit back and enjoy an hour of music. I loved it. Such a strong testimony builder. Get this, she played at Stadium of Fire a couple years ago and got hit by a firework. Can you believe that? Luckily, it didn't go off and she was fine, just had a little singe on her arm. I also found out she is Dallin H. Oaks' daughter. No surprises there. I feel bad for her husband though. I would be scared out of my wits to go ask Elder Oaks for his daughter's hand in marriage. We all had a good laugh here in the district thinking about that one.
Hall-Choro (Elder Hall) is off to Tokyo as of 5 this morning. I said goodbye to him last night. He's going to be great. I'm so excited for him. He was so ready to get out of the MTC. I'm getting excited to get to Poland. I had this overwhelming wave of excitement hit me yesterday. It's sometimes hard to focus here in the MTC, but I'm doing my best. The Polish is coming along! I'm teaching without any notes and no memorized statements now. I just roll on the fly and say what I need to say. I'll admit, it's hardly ever conjugated or declinated correctly, but it's coming along! The best part is, the investigators can really understand the message I'm trying to share. It's so cool to see the Spirit really focus in on one simple topic and testify so strongly to an investigator about the truth that I'm sharing.
So, a few questions for you, family. First, dad, we were talking about staying in touch with converts and investigators a little while. We've also been talking about the impact we will have on these people's lives. It got me to thinking, are you still in touch with any of the people you brought to the Church? Do you have any stories about them? I'd love to hear all about them. Mom, the laundry has faded the creases in my pants a little bit. Any suggestions on how to bring them back? Also, any emails from my Indian friend that I met on the way back from St. Louis? His name is Daniel. I'm curious to know if he has anything to say. Also, could you send me some copies of Grandpa Leo's music? Laminated possibly? I don't want to ask for too much, but I love being able to play the piano here. That's something my companion and I have been doing in our spare time. We just find a room and play hymns. It's awesome. It's really strengthened the Spirit in our companionship and during the day.
So you wanna know about Gym Time huh? I've been spending a lot of my time playing sand volleyball. I know it's not the greatest workout, but I try to do pushups, situps, and pullups nightly to stay in shape. I've got a pretty mean spike, and it's a lot of fun. Soccer is another routine sport we play here. There's a british Elder who's pretty good, and an Elder in my district from Qatar who is good as well. I don't have great ball skills, but I'm a hustler and I try my best. It's a lot of fun. I've also played a little bit of basketball, and we even played Kickball one day. Sand Volleyball is still the game of choice though. It's a lot of fun.
Dad, I've been studying a lot about the Atonement. I watched Bruce R. McConkie's final conference talk about it yesterday. It's been really powerful to study about it and learn all I can about it. Any suggestions on more scriptures that really teach about it or that give a better understanding of it? I've been thinking a lot about Grandpa Leo as well. I'm really beginning to understand what type of a man he was. I'm still amazed by all he did. It's incredible. I know he's super proud of me going to Poland as well. I can just see him now, with an awful joke about Poles and a smile on his face. I hear you may be going out to the cabin soon? Make it a good trip. I miss that place so much. Be sure to take the boat out and take a spin around Vernon Bay for me. Mom, I'm feeling much better thank you. Your letters are not a distraction at all either. I love hearing about everything that's going on at home. Please, keep them coming. They're a big strength to my day.
I hope everyone is doing well! I've been watching a lot of the bible videos on lds.org on Sundays. Take a look at them! They're great.
I love you all. This gospel is true. I'm growing and learning so much. My testimony is being strengthened daily. I'm learning to teach with the power and authority of God like Ammon and his brethren did. Keep an eye out for the words power and authority in the scriptures. I've found them everywhere. It's really opening up my studying. Mom, every day that goes by, I'm more and more convinced you really are like one of the mothers of the stripling warriors. Not that I'm a stripling warrior, I've still got a long way to go before that, but I'm so grateful for the lessons on faith and the gospel that you and Dad have taught me. I'm trying to center all my learning around them.
I love you all! The Church is true! I'm working my hardest.