Week 3 email :)

Hello my dear friends!

Week three down. C'est fromage ("it's cheese"). There's nothing I can't handle. I mean, there are still all sorts of new things to learn and grow from each day, but there's nothing insurmountable. I've got the world at my fingertips.

Making some seriously great progress in my classes and with the language. One of our last lessons especially felt so calm and comfortable, and felt the most natural and like real missionary work. We've gone from talking at our investigators, to talking to our investigators, and now we're on the verge of talking WITH our investigators, if that makes any sense. One of our instructors said he wanted to "hear more of us" in our lessons, and I think I'm on the brink of doing just that.

Speaking of him, his name is Frere (French for "Brother") Kellett, and he's one of the chillest guys ever. He's a genuinely caring person, and he's very patient with all of us, and is a great teacher. He actually went to France on his mission, so we're learning actual French before we go learn islander French, which I think is good. And he's totally down with the kids. Likes movies, no less.

Our other teacher is Soeur (French for "Sister") Cook, and I love her. Dearly. She feels like family. She's such a nice lady. Great sense of humor. Come to find out she's into movies as well. Like, a lot. She owned me by having seen Bicycle Thieves. It was totally unexpected. She's actually studying film right now and wants to make a documentary about places in the world that survive solely on tourism and how that kind of diminishes the culture of that place, which I think is awesome. She went to Tahiti on her mission, and has all kinds of crazy stories. Legend tells of a dish called Fafaru, which is a dead fish put in a jar of sea water for like a week, and then put in a bowl with the sea water and some vegetables. Challenge bloody accepted. She speaks Tahitian as well, and we sing some of our hymns in Tahitian (other than that they're all French).

Speaking of which, we went from 12 weeks in the MTC, 6 French 6 Tahitian, to 5 weeks of French and 1 week of Tahitian, to now we're not learning any Tahitian at all. The teachers like aren't allowed to teach it to us, and they won't give us our course materials for that either. Soeur Cook said she actually cried when she heard about that because she loves Tahitian and knows we'll use/need it. This is still in sway, it's actually with the Twelve Apostles right now, and could change. There's even a slight chance that they might go back to the 12 week thing (which, by the way, is 1/8 of a mission; just saying). But for now, it looks like we'll all have to learn Tahitian when we get there.

I've taken to trying to memorize more scriptures, and memorize more scriptures in French. I have a little notebook that I've set aside for that and keep with me always so I can practice whenever I get a chance. It currently only comprises of two scriptures. The first is Psalm 23, which is the Navy SEALs' official scripture, and is the scripture that kept the Lone Survivor guy going each day he was behind enemy lines, and it has become very dear to me. The second is John 11: 25-26 (I am the resurrection and the life). Both are so inspirational and reassuring, and honestly just sound cool when you say them haha.

I haven't been that great at telling you guys about some of the finer details of my current circumstances, but I daresay that's because I was a bit worried about running out of time the first couple of p-days. Now though, I have a much better grasp of how much time I have and how much I can write. So hopefully this one makes up for the lack of detail in my other emails.

A bit about my district:

Two guys in there, Elder Cottle and Elder Flandro, are actually from Logan, and are going to Madagascar. Everybody loves them dearly, but unfortunately they left for the Ghana MTC last week (after p-day). Apparently they were supposed to be in the Ghana MTC since day one, but they didn't have their visas ready. Elder Flandro said that he thought that that was no accident and that they were meant to come to the Provo MTC first and that we were all meant to meet. I tend to agree with that assessment.

Elder Cottle would nerd out about Star Wars with me super deep and he actually made a way to explain the law of grace and the atonement through an aggregate long-term supply chart (he's way into social economics).

Elder Flandro is so funny and off-the-wall random. He reminds me of Jackson Wall (Action Jackson for those unfamiliar with my close circle of friends) a lot.

Elder Fillis is from Canada, and he's super chill and has Canadian super powers. He's really good at volleyball.

Elder Barfuss is a really sweet kid, and he and I bro around a ton. He's way into cars. He actually went to the same school as Elder Boyd.

Elder Boyd looks like either Jared Leto or Josh Hutcherson; we can't decide. He owns really hard at basketball, and gets way nerdy with me on Zelda.

Elder Terry is the chillest kid that ever walked this Earth, and he's always talking about "les canards" (the ducks). Not that he hunts or anything, he just talks about ducks in French because he can.

Elder Sovereign has the voice of Julian Smith, and is one of the most sarcastic and big-hearted people I think I've ever met. He and Elder Boyd absolutely love every dumb Adam Sandler movie ever made.

Elder Murdock is really cool. I think he has the most soul out of any of us, although he'd insist it's the other way around.

My companion's name is Elder Isabell, and he's done a little bit of everything. He's, as Nick Carraway would say, "the most limited of all specialists; the well-rounded man".

Hopefully that makes up for the lack of detail all the other times. I put companions next to each other.

And one last random note:

I've met a couple people from Fresno (as Elder Flandro would say, "You know what's good!"), and one of them, Soeur Lawrence (in our zone), is actually the daughter of the first client of Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing, the guys who made the movie I worked on; The Gallows. His trampoline company is the one they made the video of Travis jumping out of an airplane for. She actually knew Chris and Travis and was there for The Gallows premiere. It was so cool to talk to her about it.

I think that's all for this week friends. Know I love you all and think of you all every day, and know that I literally wouldn't be here without the help of all of you.

I suppose I'll end by bearing a simple testimony in French:

Je veux rendre ma temoinage que L'Eglise de Jesus-Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours est vrai, que Le Livre de Mormon est vrai, et que Joseph Smith vraiment est un prophete de Dieu. Je sais que notre Pere Celeste nous aime, et je sais que par la foi en Jesus-Christ, nous pouvons vivre avec Dieu encore apres cette vie. Et je dit ces choses au nom du Jesus-Chris amen.

(hopefully I didn't have too many grammatical or sentence structure errors).
 Translation by Ty's Mom:  I would like to bear my testimony that the church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-Day Saints is true, that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith truly is a prophet of God.  I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and I know that through faith in Jesus Christ, we can live with God again after this life.  And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Note:  This picture of Ty was taken before he left, but I decided to post it because I was tired of all of the picture-less posts!  Ty's camera broke and I am in the process of getting him a new one.   Hopefully he can send us pictures soon. : )


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