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 firstname.lastname@example.org or there might not be a period (email@example.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.