Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 26, 2012

Thank you for the Email. Happy birthday to the big man in a little body (Harrison) Welcome to the Double Digits +1! Sounds like the wedding was nice, congratulations Katie and Jacob! It is just fine and rather approriate that you did not answer the phone. To answer your questions: Elder Omori just left for Arizona an hour ago and the final four are here (me, my companion-Elder Hegland, and the other 2:Elders Morley and Parrish) We should know by noon today if we are leaving this week.
The second day we were here there was a sister going to Mongolia wha had her travel delayed, and one day they called her in and told her: "You have 3 hours until your shuttle leaves for Salt Lake." So she had to be outta there fast! That could very likely happen to us. In the which I would just try to call at the airport I suppose and hope you are not busy. I will let you know as soon as I know so that we can make arrangements.
All of the brotheren are here for new mission conference seminar, that is to say they have been or will be here - I have not seen a single one! The MTC put up nice curtains and put out little truffles in the main building, and block off to us where the conference is going on, to make it look less like the chaotic holding pen that it is. That is not entirely true, the MTC is a petri dish of spiritual growth, and once the culture has been fed and has the plentiful nourishment it requires it rapidly multiplies. We missionaries of course are the culture, and if we accept the wonderful program here than we can become solid, more commited representatives of Christ.
When I arrived at the MTC there were some little tiny plants just coming out of the ground in front on my residence hall. In the two and a half months that I have been here, they have just exploded into a veritable bed of flora. I liken these small, yet good and growing plants to me and my understanding of what it means to be a missionary. I am here to obey the rules and follow the program, but I myself am learning about myself, growing (around the middle) and understanding the true character of Christ. [I sent you a letter the other day about that, mom, have you gotten it?] He is not here right now, so I am choosing to do what He would have me do. I am here, in His stead, to share a miraculous message and bring others unto Him. Through this process of true understanding and teaching what I know to be true, I am becoming converted and consistently living and thinking the way I should. This Gospel brings true happiness and I am truly grateful to have this choice opportunity to help others have the opportunity to accept this knowledge.
I hope this is my last Prep-day at the MTC, but if not, then you will be recieving another Email in one week's time. If it is my last week I will do my best to reach you so that we can have a phone conversation on my way to Mongolia.
ONWARD! -Elder Chandler

PS:I forgot to ask you to tell Sister Norton THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE BEAUTIFUL CUPCAKES!!
Quote of the day for the blog:
Temple worker: "So where is your work going to take you"
"What part of Texas is that?!"
That is all for now, talk to you soon :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 19, 2012

This was a great week!   Best news first: We DO leave on Monday, June 25, 2012 for MONGOLIA! I am way juiced. Four of us got our visas and we are still praying for Elder Omori, but we are very hopeful.   I will be in some airport from 9:20 pm until my next flight to Beijing, so I am planning on calling you then with the phone card I got a a righteous deal here. Dear Elder me if that time does not work, but I will plan on calling your cell phone, mom. I need socks, just any old excersize socks. If there is some way to get them to the MTC before I get out of the MTC, that would be great; if not, Mongolia has some way different styles I wouldn't mind trying!   We had brother Per G. Malm speak to us on Tuesday and then Shari Dew came on Sunday. Both were fantastic. Some of you may remember brother Malm from last General conference: he gave a closing prayer and has a swedish accent. Irrelevancies aside, he gave a great talk on working hard smart and focused. Then sister Shari Dew, who was on the general relief society presidency and CEO of Desert Book, spoke to us about following the spirit even when it is unusual to do so. She so illustrated this point by showing a candid camera (copyright) clip of an unsuspecting subject in an elevator and then the candid people coming in and subsequently all facing the same way until the innocent bystander also turned, then they would all turn 90 degrees another way and it was hilarious to watch the unfortunately included person be pressured into following suit. It was especially enjoyable because of the great 70's commentary that Bob Sagat does such a poor job of mimicking.   The message that really stood out to me in sister Dew's talk was an experience she shared when a friend was counciling her about personal things and she had asked the Lord without apparently recieving any direction. The friend said this that changed her life: "Have you ever asked Him (God) to teach you what it feels and sounds like for Him to talk to you?" She replied that no, she hadn't specifically. Her statement really reflected how I was feeling and made me commit to ask my Heavenly Father to tutor me in the nature of spiritual promptings. I have come to more fully understand the Spirit here and when I am feeling it, but in respect to guidence being given, I feel pretty lost. I made it a goal to ask God to help me know when He is directing me and I know that as I do so He will listen and teach me what I need to look, listen and wait for. I know He will guide me on my mission and throughout life if I let Him and strive to align my will with His.   Well, this is my last Email from the MTC for probably the rest of my life. I have seen myself transform as well as many things here. To name a few:   Rampant, out-of-control tie trading becoming locked down to a whisper   Ferocious 2-handed dunks and gym being subdued to hands of the net and backboard   8 English speacking districts zooming in and out again of our hall while we plod along trying to learn Mongolian   My favorite drink changing from sprite and rasberry lemonade to blue powerade with orange guava passionfruit mixed to a fearfactor green perfection   The awe-inspiring view of the mountains shifting to everyday background landscape   Waiting with baited breath at the mailbox claming down to soaking in the sun and relaxing in the 15 minutes that we saved by eating dinner quickly   My clothes, which were borderline gangster-baggy, becoming standard-pushing skin tight My companions being wierd kids from Utah evolving into my best friends here   Rain and cold days are now bright and sunny   I could go on for days, but I am exceptionally thankful for this opportunity to be my Savios's representative and have the life-changing, exciting experience of serving in Mongolia. I wish you all the best this week and I will talk to you this coming Monday night. -Elder Chandler  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

5 seconds of fame

The interview Jefferson mentioned in his blog was broadcast today on NPR.  Click on the link to hear him.  You can skip to minute 44 and you will hear Jefferson chime in at minute 49.



June 13, 2012 Elder Collins and Elder Chandler

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12, 2012

Hi Mom!
Thanks for the letter yesterday and email. This week was really spectacular! Our musical number went great and a lot of friends I knew from SVU were there and it was so refreshing to talk to them at dinner after the orientation meeting. I am so glad I went to SVU and I am planning on returning, because it enables me to live the way I want and need to, while I learn and seek a career. Even though my schooling is on hold right now, I know that this mission is preparing me to learn better and it is more than worth the time I am 'losing' in my academic endeavors. sorry if that is random, I just feel like someone needs to hear that.
Alright, everything is good I think, I have a couple "skinny slacks" as my companions call them, but the seams are holding up. I have popped off 2 bottons and a belt loop so far, but that is very easily mendable. No worries there. The food is getting repetative, and my rate of increase has decelerated, but the derivative of the actual wieght gain has not crossed the x axis. (meaning I have slowed down the pounds I am putting on, but I am still approaching my goal) I hope 200 pounds is not the asymptote of my function. I cannot think of anything I need to finish up my MTC tenure. I understand I should be thinking long-term, but I really just don't know what I will need in Mongolia, I wish I did though!
Teaching went great for the new missionaries; we taught Lawanna and Arnold, one was a black woman who knew she could not be perfect in this life and therefore refused to try, and Arnold was a mountain man who felt close to God through nature. It was really interesting that even though these were just role-plays my companions and I were able to teach to thier needs through the Spirit.
One more interesting happening of the week was a suprise visit from BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) We found out about them wanting to meet with us Mongolians on Saturday and they were there Monday morning. our interveiwer was Owen and very British. I don't know why they only wanted us Mongolians, but it was fun for him to come in, observe and ask us questions. I will send you the link once my chap, Owen, finishes his article. He was in terrific reporter form: pink shirt unbuttoned to his scraggly chest hair, disheveled white hair, cuff-link sleeves open out of his too small coat and when he talked to me he put his puffy microphone halfway down my gullet and peered down at me through his half-moon glasses. It was classic. I hope his accent comes through in the article! We were told it was going to be a video segment, but I am sure glad it was not, because I do not want the 100 million viewer audience seeing me in this awkward stage of my  body sculpting master plan. I digress.
Hopefully we will get our travel plans on Friday, but that is looking doubtful to our teachers, however, the overall status of the visas are optimistic. I do not know all the logistics, but the goal is still to head to Mongolia on July 25, as far as I know. This is the final strech of the MTC for Elder Chandler! I am extremely grateful to be in this dedicated facility to wholly devote myself to the Lord's work; to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I am ecstatic that this Gospel is my life and I mourn that I did not spend more time understanding it more completely. I do feel that I can be adequate, yea even excellent as the Lord strengthens and qualifies me. I will need divine support to communicate in this language. Our teachers have been so faithful in teaching us and really motivational and inspirational in explaining the Gospel and the language of parseltongue. We are the last group for all but one of our four teachers. We have been so blessed by thier experiences with the Spirit and with the culture of Mongolia.
I need to get going, but I do know that this church is God's restored church on the earth today. Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet and I will follow him. Tell everyone you can that you have the restored Gospel in your life! It will affect them for eternity.
Until next week -Elder Chandler

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 5, 2012

Thank you for the Email, everything sounds like it is going well! I am also really happy to have gotten the camera! I talked to Elder Collins this week and he said that what he had to do was send home the memory card because there is no way to send pictures via Email until I get to Mongolia. I will try to either print some out and send them, or expect them in about 3 weeks when I am in the land of the rising sun.
A couple highlights of this week: We have a senior couple headed to Mongolia around the same time as us and they are learning a little Mongolian while they serve in Salt Lake for the rest of the month. If you are in the mood for some pictures of fat Elder Chandler and a comical description of learning Mongolian then check out dr.valfarmer@blogspot.com or there might not be a period (drvalfarmer@blogspot.com) he is pretty wacky. I think that is a requirement to serve in Mongolia.
We had a nice discussion with one of our teachers this week about somethings that a mission can be. He told us that the reason that sometimes our mission companions are our best friends is simply because they are the people that see us in our raw, hard-working spiritually devoted selves. As I am here at the MTC I see that occuring daily. I am changing little by little and trying to decide who I will be. The next two years I have the opportunity to become anyone I want to be. I really feel that that is true.
Tomorrow my district (the 5 Elders going to Mongolia) are singing a special musical number at the welcome meeting for the approximately 500 mew missionaries that are scheduled to arrive. We are singing "I need Thee every hour" the third verse is my favorite because Elder Parrish sings the verse in English and then the rest of us introduce Mongolian as we harmonize on the chorus. It turned out not too bad. Then my companionship has the opportunity to be the "example missionaries" later in the evening as the new missionaries practice how to begin teaching. We have to do it in English and we need a door approach, so hopefully we don't just say "It's me! Hold your dog!" Which is all the door approach we need in Mongolia.
Иүц шө нүг цүглб лшоу хужу шы й лшээлу эйыэу үө Түиаүлшйиь гиөүжэгийэулн Ш ёйииүэ цжшэу жуйл цүжбыь мгэ эхшы шы цхйэ Түиаүлшйи лүүоы лшоув Шэ шы жуйллн өгион ыэгөө! There is a little taste of what Mongolian looks like.
I am really excited to be a missionary at this time and grateful for the opportunity to serve. The last thing I want to briefly talk about is the talk we recieved last Tuesday from Elder Craig Zwick of the Seventy. He talked about the Book of Mormon. Then we had a workshop on it yesterday, and I really felt that this book it true. I desire to read this book, and to have an abiding, unshakable testimony of its divinity. I have always thought it is a good book, and believed that it is true. Now I know that the Book of Mormon changes lives, but I will not stop there. Let me tell you how it can change your life: reading and pondering the Book of Mormon invites all men to come unto Christ through faith in His Gospel and Atonement. Through the Atonement we can repent and stay on the path the Christ has set for us. His example to me and to everyone who will look upon Him, will lead to a knowledge that you are a child of a loving heavenly father, who knows and loves you. It will give you purpose in this world that often makes men feel so helpless. The teachings of Christ in the Book of Mormon will provide peace in this life and confidence in a life to come. The book teaches that families are central to eternity and those beloved individuals whom we care for most can live with us forever. Finally I want to add that Satan is trying so very hard to turn men away from the truth, but, in spite of the shifting values of the world, Christ teaches, in the Book of Mormon that we need to be virtuous and through that diligence and faith, He will provide Himself as the rock of our safety and salvation. I know the power in which this book came to us is unearthly and I can see God's hand in my life as well as in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Through the knowledge of its truthfullness I also know that Joseph Smith restored Christ's church to the Earth in the latter days. I know that we have a living prophet today and that this still is Christ's church and God's church. I am grateful for this assurance and hope. I am grateful for purpose in my life and I want to share Christ's love with everyone.

Have a lovely week! -Elder Chandler
(photo from drvalfarmer.blogspot.com)

(photo from drvalfarmer.blogspot.com)