Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Last letter from the MTC....hopefully!!

Hey, didn't I just write you guys?  Huh-ho, I think I did.  Craziness, this is probably my last email in the MTC, unless they surprise us by letting us write another before we leave.  Just think, the next time you'll hear from me will be over the phone.  What is a phone, anyway? 
As you may know, I got my itinerary last week.  It goes as follows:
On Monday we leave at 4 in the morning, fly out from Salt Lake to Dallas, then from 11:55-4:45 we're in the Dallas airport.  Wait, what's that?  A 5 hour layover?  Sweet goodness.  No worries about making time now, eh?
Then we fly to Heathrow and land at 7:30.  Haven't done the math yet, but that's the overnight flight.  Mmm, should be loads of fun.  After that, it's a brisk hour en a half layover between Heathrow and our flight to the Netherlands.  I'll let you know where I get sent from there, of course.  I doubt we'll take anymore flights in the Netherlands/Belgium.  It takes something like 2 hours to get from one end of the country to the other.  Needless to say, I'm going to waarschijnlijk be tired when we arrive.  I'm curious to see what the first thing we'll do when we get there is.  I'm going to make it my goal to get a waffle at least once a week.  Oh yes, and proselyte and stuff.
So apparently they're having great success over there.  I'm not sure whether our mission or Europe specifically, but someone was saying that the baptisms are aplenty.  It's because of the younger generation.  They're sticking less to their ingrained cultures and religious believes (devout Catholics and the like) and are more open to hear the word.  I'm excited for that!  I'm not expecting so much success numerically, but hoping to do the Lord proud.  That's all that matters, right?  Where's that one scripture where it says that even if you bring one soul to Christ, great will be the joy?  Ik weet het niet, maar het is belangrijk, ja?
It was awesome hearing about your Christmas celebrations.  Man, our dumb cat (the black one) is so boring.  Where'd we get her, anyway?  Who chose hey?  Probably a dummy.......ME!!!  HA!!
So Elder Burton left the campus to see the doctor on Tuesday.  I don't think he's got anything specific; he's just sick.  But, he did have to...ahem...participate in "Magic Tuesday" again.  Poor him. 
I'm glad you're getting Dad off his butt.  Sounds like he needs some exercise.  Work off that flab!  Grapje
I am so excited to finally be leaving here.  The MTC has been a fun experience, can only take so much of hotdogs, fries and hamburgers.  Real food, real people, mmm.  Can't wait.  I want to just lose myself in the culture and work.  I'm sure these next two years will be a blast.  Before you guys know it, I'll be back home again, speaking Dutch and toting chocolate.  I hope you are still moderately the same.  Go ahead with your life--I expect nothing else--but stay the same people you are.  Keep your chin up, that's all you can do.
We heard from William R Walker last night.  He gave a great talk (they're all great, aren't they?) about ten things you can do to improve your time as a missionary.  He brought up some excellent points.  Two which I've already mentioned: losing yourself and loving the people.  And another.  Stay cheery!  That one got me especially.  That's what you always told me to do.  If we go and love the people and are excited about what we have to share, I'm positive they'll be far more excited to hear about it.  If you went up to somebody and said "Oh hey, yeah...  I've got this orange.  It's pretty great.... I s'pose.  Want some?" they'd probably refuse.  Psh, it's just an orange, whatever.  But if you went up and were super stoked, "HOLY MAN, this orange is totally delicious.  You'll never have any sweeter!"  Now that's intriguing.  Right?  Makes sense to me anyway.
Aha, I never heard of that Hugo movie you went to.  Has it been that long already?  Oh my gosh.
I'm glad Jeremy enjoyed the shirt I made him.  Sorry I didn't get anybody else anything.  And speaking of gifts, the Goeders gave me a $100 cheque.  THANK YOU!!  I have no idea how to cash it, so I'm sending it home in a letter.  Whamo, you're going to get a letter.  Be excited.
Speaking of letters--did I mention this already?--it'll be far more practical for people to just email once I'm over there.  mailto:     Letters would still be nice, but I doubt it will take any less than two weeks to get there.  Heck, I sent a letter and it took 2 weeks until...the person whom I sent it to replied. 
Thanks for all your letters, by the way, and your support.  You are all the greatest!
I'm definitely going to miss our District when we finally get there.  We've got such a fantastic District.  You hear all the stories from other Districts and it sometimes shocking really.  Everyone in ours gets along, we keep our humour appropriate and don't insult each other or stuff like that.  And Elder Mower is the best.  I hope I'll get a companion as good as him.  I doubt it's even possible to get any better.
But, we'll see I guess.
Zombies, by the way.
I just glanced at Elder Mower's screen.  His title of his email is "yarrr, Mateys".  Oh my gosh.  He is hilarious.
It might be too late to send photos in the mail.  I might just wait until I have access to a real computer and just email them to you when I get there.  Is that possible.  By golly, I sure hope so.
I finished the Book of Mormon just the other day.  I started it the...1st or 2nd week we were here.  Pretty good, eh?  I think it almost took me a year to read it the first time.  It was great reading through it again.  I feel as though I've learned so much!  About the stories, the characters, the doctrine.  It's got to be the only book that you can read through literally hundreds of times and get something new each time.  But you have to be looking!  And praying.  Something to think about.
Ik zal jullie in de Netherland zien.  Eh?  De volgende keer ik zal jullie schrieven, ik zal waffle eten.  Ooo, en chocolade ook!  Leker.
Did I tell you that this is the only mission where you're encouraged not to wear a bike helmet?  Isn't that weird?  I heard it's because people will throw things at you if you do.  Hey, I'm not complaining, but it's kind of strange.  I hear when you come back as well, all your suits reek like pot.  There's something to look forward to.  Go to hug me and all you get is a noseful of stink.  Mmm.  I'll probably buy a new suit over there if it comes to that.  You can get them relatively cheap, no?
By the way, some words to remember.  Leker--tasty (more versatile than our word).  Leuk--cool.  Geweldig--awesome.  Uitsteken--fantastic.  Jammer--pity/unfortunate.  Sjonge jonge--oh boy (negatively).  There, expand your Dutch vocabulary.  Impress your friends!  Sound cool.  Graag gedaan--you're welcome.  It's geweldig when somebody speaking a pretty language like French or Spanish says "gracias, Elder!", and you reply with GRAAG.  *flem*-raa-*flem*.
Anydoodles, see you guys later!  To Holland I go!
As always, love yah all.
and don't have too much fun without me.
jullie geliefdste, Elder Burgess.

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Monday, 26 December 2011

Vrolijk Kerst!

Merry Christmas!  Secret surprise email, ho!
Man oh man, it's totally Christmas day!  I miss you guys all so much, I hope you don't miss me too much.
Thank you so much for all the gifts!  You're all so thoughtful!  Those Buckyballs are the most entertaining/addicting thing ever.  I didn't even know you knew I was interested in them!  Thanks so much!  Uncle Ted and Aunt Rosemary, thanks for your gifts as well, and the other Burgess family, thank you too!  I loved your poem and the pictures you sent.  Uncle Dave, that's one doozy of a fish, 35 pounds?  Holy Moses!  Though, I think I hold the Burgess record for the biggest fish still.....even if it's a sturgeon.  When you catch a fish that's over 8 feet long and weighs 150lbs I think you deserve the title.  One day you might beat that.  Probably not soon though.  It's great to hear that Kavlin is preparing for a mission.  Let me know the moment he gets his call!  I'm eagerly awaiting. 
Man, that ping-pong paddle, play-doh replacement me is so funny.  I laughed pretty hard at that.  I found Travis in the line for Christmas lunch and asked him about it.  Fun times.  That replacement cat is super cute too.  I can't wait to meet her.  I hope you're still giving the old cat attention too.  Sometimes, even old things still require some loving.  Just look at Brett.  Heyyo!  Kidding. I?
Man, your gifts are so great!  Did I mention that?  I never realized how important pictures were to me before this Chistmas.  Honestly, the thing I was most stoked about were those photos.  I'm glad I can show off my family.  Out of all the things we have,  I think it's almost always appropriate to show off how great of a family you have.  And with a family this great, why not let the world know, eh?  Thanks for the pictures, everyone.  I'm glad I have a photo of every pet of the Thompson family too.  I think... 
This computer is ridiculous right now.  It freezes about every 2 seconds, so I can't see what I'm typing.  Luckily, it will still register what I'm typing, but it's super frustrating not being able to see what you're typing--or more importantly, the mistakes you're making.  I apologize.
Did you guys get some good loot this year?  What did Mom get?  Did she take it back?  What did Mia and Jeremy get each other?  What could Brett afford to get you guys?  I guess I'll have to wait until the mail room is back open to find out.  Don't hesitate to send emails, especially when I'm in the Netherlands.  It'll be far easier than sending letters.  What did you guys do for Christmas?  Where was Christmas dinner?  Who all came?  Did you do anything exciting with the ward?  Ah!  I want to know so much!
I can't believe I'm gone in less than a week!  Isn't that unbelievable!  I have so much candy that I still have to eat.  More than before, in fact.  Yeah, I just finished that huge bag of corn nuts when WHAMO I get another huge back of munchy deliciousness.  I'm sorry to say, I might have to leave some of my goodies behind.  Sorry guys, I'm only human.  I can only digest so much.
Speaking of digestion--and what an awful segway--Elder Burton has been feeling super sick lately.  Our instructo even told him to go back to the slaapzaal to rest for the day.  He's toughing through it like a champ, but a person can only take so much.  I hope he's good enough to fly out.  To make things worse, the doctor is closed for a few days, so he can't go there for remedy.  I hope he gets well soon.  Instead of praying for me this week, please pray for him.  He needs it more right now.
How was Christmas without me?  You know, it was definitely a different experience, but I don't really feel homesick.  I'm sorry if that makes you sad in any way.  I miss you all for sure, but I don't really feel any nag for home, you know?  It feels like I'm surrounded by family here, and the love is just as strong.  One Christmas in the MTC is all I need though, guaranteed.  Can't wait to celebrate it with you guys once again.
You know the only good thing about this computer freezing is the fact that everytime it freezes, so does the timer.  I've been typing for about 20 minutes now and it only registers 10.
Anyway, I'm hope you guys aren't sad that I didn't get any of you presents.  I don't think anybody wanted MTC shirts or American candy, sorry.  Maybe when I get to Belgium, or the Netherlands I'll send something home.  I hope it's not too expensive.  Besides chocolate, what would you like?  I'll try and find the most European/Netherlandic thing and ship that sucker back home.  We'll see.
So today, we had the priviledge of hearing from Elder Bednar, of the 12.  He's a great speaker.  He spoke for an hour and a half and I took a page of notes--somehow though, I can't remember anything off the top of my head.  I'm still the same guy you know.  We also heard a presentation from the motab choir.  It was excellent.  Did you hear it as well?  I highly recommend it.  It should be somewhere on the website.  Take a look.
Last night we watched the Christmas Carol movie or whatever it's called.  The Charles Dickens one.  Bah, humbug.  It was a great movie, though not as good as the Muppets one.  Still, it was awesome to watch a movie.  They gave us popcorn as well.  I mentioned it briefly before, but we had our Christmas dinner at lunch today.  Turkey, smash potatoes and stuffing.  Not nearly as good as home, but better than the regular menu.  Tonight we get to have sack dinners.  Yay. I'm just glad the workers get to celebrate Christmas with their families.  The workers are great people.
What else should I say?  I've got 15 whole minutes left.  Gee whizz.
I'm glad I can be an example to those youngins' back home.  Start preparing for your mission now, that's my most important piece of advice.  I felt so unprepared--like I had to learn the things everybody already knew.  Read the manual, get to love the scriptures.  Do everything you can.  I guarantee it will improve your MTC experience.
I've got to go now.  Maybe I'll have time to squeeze some in later, but for now....
Merry Christmas to you all!
Love yah lots,
Elder Burgess

Wednesday, 21 December 2011's almost Christmas

Hoi jullie!  Hoe gaat het?  (hey, how's it going?)
So guess what day it was yesterday?  Magic Tuesday, yay!  We led on the andere Dutch so well--they thought they were going to see a General Authority or go to temple square or something.  They all wore their fancy ties and clothes and brought their cameras and stuff.  It was hilarious.  They weren't mad at us at all, which was awesome.  They came to lunch and more or less congratulated us on our leading them....astray.  When we did ours, everyone kinda did it at different times throughout the day.  The new Dutch missionaries had to wait until that evening--all of them.  That's right, four elders ruining our washroom all at once.  They weren't discreet about it either.  Fun times.  Aw, one of them got me to take a picture.  That's right.  They held it under the stall door.  Talk about kernasty.
I heard about Twyla from Cassie.  That sucks; I hope she gets better soon! 
Oh, and thank you all so much for your letters!  It's always the best to get letters from family, but I daresay it might be better to get them from friends.  Ah, don't hate me for saying that!
I love hearing your stories about what's going on, what with the Girlies, Jeremia, the replacement cat and everybody else!  Keep writing, all of you!  I'll do my best to write you back.  Eventually.
I can't believe there is less than 2 weeks until we leave.  It seems so far yet so near.  It's as though I've been here forever, but not enough.  Make sense?  I'm so excited though.  I can't wait to get there--to eat REAL food.  I also can't believe how fast Christmas is coming up.  Back home, everything seems to re-remind you of Christmas, what with the lights everywhere, the commercials, the flyer's, the music on the radio.  We've got none of that.  Elder Mower told me today that he was doing something (can't remember what) and was suddenly reminded that Christmas is in 4 days; the thought just struck him.  It's definitely a different atmosphere here.
I hope none of you forget the true meaning of Christmas this year.  Yep, here it comes, my spiritual rant!  Elder L Whitney Clayton of the Seventy spoke to us concerning the matter.  The very first, and most important gift ever given was Jesus Christ.  How profound is that?  God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.  And Jesus gift to us was the redemption of all mankind.  Sister Clayton also told us of how important it is to accept gifts graciously and with sincere gratitude.  I think this is no exception.  I hope we can all appreciate how great a gift was given on the first Christmas.
Speaking of gifts, I got the packages you sent me. I got the first one Monday of last week but decided until Wednesday to open it (after I had sent my e-mail).  Holy Moses, have I told you how much I love you lately?  THANK YOU SO MUCH!  I couldn't have asked for anything better!
That's crazy what Sister Courtney Smith said about those missionaries in Brussels.  It's amazing how the Lord takes care of us.  He works in mysterious ways, that much I've learnt, but he's always looking out for us.  I hope Sister Smith's mission is going great.  How long does she have left?
The language is coming along very well.  I think I have a pretty solid grasp on it, at least how the grammar works.  I don't feel as though I know especially much, and I'm terrified for that first time I hear a local speak while I'm in the Netherlands, but I'm optimistic as usual!  What else can you do?  We're going for 100% het Netherlands now.  We slip here and there, but I'm impressed with our language all the same.  It's amazing how much we've learnt in just 2 months.  Craziness.
I've been playing volleyball pretty consistently.  I guess I'm hoping one of these days it will really picks up and we'll have an amazing game.  I'm pretty sure my spike and approach have gone down the drain by now.  Still pretty fun though.  There are two four-square courts, but one of them is in the volleyball space and consequently cannot be used, the other is in the middle and usually has a huge lineup for it.  Looks pretty intense, I hear people talking about it all the time.  I think I'll stick with Volleyball though.  They just opened up a exercise room in 2M (that's the post office building).  It has machines and weights that you can use.  Ooo, also televisions and headphones you can luisteren to talks with.   I haven't been down there myself, but it sounds like a heel leuk place.  Maybe one of these days.
Ah, as for Christmas.  We got our schedule, and we're having a huge sacrament meeting Christmas day.  All 2,000'ish of us.  Wow.  Then we have personal planning for a while and stuff, not entirely sure.  What I do know, however, is that we're having a Christmas lunch--kind of like tijdens thanksgiving.  Then a sack dinner.  There aren't going to be staff at dinner because they want them to go home to celebrate with their families.  Aaand there's some other stuff, not sure what.  I'll let you know next email.  I also know that we're going to have somebody from up top addressing us.  Probably an apostle.  I'm hoping for Elder Uchtdorf (spelt right?) personally.
Hey, that's great news about Braden!  I hope his job brings him joy.  I have some advice for him, and anybody else.  Never forgot who you are.  Never forget about God and Jesus Christ.  Love your family with all your heart.  I hope whatever path you take, please stay faithful.  Braden, you have the greatest faith of anybody I know.  I hope you have success in your life, but more than that, I hope you always remember God--and all he's done for you.
I encourage all the young men to look forward to their missions.  I'm super happy to hear about their progress.  I don't want to discourage anybody, but Satan will try his hardest to keep you from going on a mission.  He does everything in his power to stop the truth.  This is the truth.
Oh hey, I'm happy to hear about Brett as well.  I'm glad he's finding his way with his music career.  I really am.  Keep going, bro!  I hope Jeremia are happy too.
Since the post office closes in two days, I don't think there will be enough time to send me any more letters or packages.  I don't know when it opens again, but I doubt anything would reach me before I left.  Continue using though.  Perhaps, if there is anything you want to send to me, wait until I'm settled in the Netherlands or Belgium.  I'll forward you my address and what not.  Also, if you're emailing me, send your address in the email.  I'd love to write you back at some time, but that's a difficult thing to do without addresses!
I'm also grateful to hear stories about Sasa, Greg and the girlies.  It means so, so much to me.
Well, goede gelukkig, don't have too much fun without me!
Merry Christmas!
Love you all, SO MUCH.
I was thinking of Papa Joe and Mama Jean the other day.  I hope I'm doing them proud.
Tot volgende keer,
Ik houdt van jullie!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Thank you for your letters

Thank you ALL so much for your letters!  It's so great to get something from every one of you.  Warms my heart.  I may not be able to reply individually, but know that I appreciate you all so much!  Keep writing me, please!
First off, The MTC isn't accepting packages after December 23rd, so if you feel oh so inclined to send a package, you might want to do it soon.  I'm not sure how long it takes to send something, so... Not sure when they're accepting packages again either. 
So anyway, I've been seeing a lot of Bieb's lately.  His lunch is 20 minutes before mine, but his group takes forever to eat so I can usually catch him as he's leaving.  Just a "hey, how's it going, was sup?  How's the language?" kinda thing.  I think he's enjoying it here.  Looks like he's having a blast with his companions.
Our district might be the best ever.  Just saying.  We have a blast all the time.  We've got a top-notch group of spiritual guys here.  None of us have really had any issues with each other, as far as I can tell anyway.  I'd hate to have somebody in my district, or especially a companion whose guts I hated.  I'm going to eat those words, aren't I?
The language is still coming along of course.  Every week seems like a huge improvement of the language.  We get to go to a thing called TRC every week (have I told you this yet?), where we teach either member Nederlander's or return Dutch missionaries.  It's a great experience for both them and us.  Anyway, teaching them is so much more comfortable than it was the first time...... holllllly.
Als het een schlang was, zou het mij hebben gebeten!  Sjonge jonge!
I hope life is still kicking along fine over there.  Man oh man, I know so much more than I did before!  Mia, I think I could actually answer all the questions you used to throw at me now.  I'll tell you right now though, all the things you want to know are in the Book of Mormon.  Seriously.  That's got to be one of the most important things I've learned.  The Book of Mormon wasn't given to us as a mere suggestion.  "Here's a book, might help a bit."  No no.  It will help.  It contains all the answers.  Ever.  Or at least ways to find them out.  Isn't that cool?  Als jullie vragen hebben, ik nodig jullie uit het Boek van Mormon te lezen.  Het bezacht alle antwoorden.  Clear?
We heard from Sister Elaine S. Dalton last night.  She's the Young Woman's General...something er' other.  It was a good talk.  Guess what she talked about!  Yep, missionary work.  I'm beginning to see a trend here.  It was a good talk.  I don't have my notes with me, but essentially, she told us to put our complete trust in the Lord.  He knows what's best for us and cares and loves us.  He'll take care of us if we trust him.  He'll help us feel comforted when we're sad and pull us through tough times.....and stuff.
As far as a phone call home goes, I think you know more about it than I do at this point.  I'll certainly try my best to call home while I'm in the airport--or at least when I arrive.  Somehow.  Don't you worry.  Just keep those few days free so I don't miss you.  I'd hate to call and receive an answering machine.  How much fun would that be?   None.
So I heard a little rumour.  But as rumours go in the MTC, they're usually fake.  ANYWAY, I heard that Elder Holland might be speaking to us on Christmas day.  They say it's a tradition they have here.  I kinda doubt it, but it would be cool all the same.  We've already heard from 2 apostles already, but who knows?  Maybe it'll be 3.
What is still a chore and my volleyball approach is going down the drain.  You know, the usual.  I'm not sure how much weight I've gained--that scale is all over the place.  I weighed myself and was about 154 or so.  Weighed myself the next day, 150.  Hmm...  I'll have to try again tomorrow.
We're getting new Dutch missionaries today.  That's so crazy to think about.  It's like we're receiving a whole new influx of us.  The other Dutch group seemed so much better than us, as far as the language goes.  I hope we'll be able to make as much of an impression on these young'ins as the other Dutch did on us.  We're going to try and speak as much Dutch around them as possible, thereby increasing their respect for us.
I'm still optimistic as usual.  What else can you do, right?  I hear other missionaries worrying over the language or certain doctrine that is confusing to them.  I just shrug my shoulders.  I'll learn the language with time.  I'm not expecting to be fluent in just 2 months.  As for Doctrine?  As one elder in the district said, some things are just beyond us.  In which case, and taking advice from Sister Dalton, you just have to put your trust in the Lord and have faith that things will turn out for the better.
Did I mention I'm thankful for your letters?  I truly am.  Nothing bores me--I want to hear about everything that's happening back home--or as Sister Stout says "the haps".  What movies are coming out?  What's happening around the world?  I heard Belgium finally got a government--and had a grenade attack a few days ago.  Craziness.  What games are coming out?  What are you guys doing for fun?  How's school, how's life?  I WANT TO KNOW IT ALL!
And I'm super stoked for everyone that's planning on going on a mission.  I heard in a talk (and I think I spoke about this already) that Satan will try his best to get you NOT to go.  Pull through.  I guarantee, GUARANTEE, it'll be worth it.  Heck, I'm not even out in the field yet and I know this is what is right for me.
The temple is a great place.  When you go, you will be blessed.  After I went I received an answer to a question I'd been having.  It's an awesome place. 
I've also been reading about the afterlife, and kingdoms of glory.  We are expected to live up to God's commandments if we are to inherit His kingdom.   It was a difficult trek to get here.  And I've learnt so much already!  My life was pretty comfortable before, but I went out of my comfort zone, and was blessed for it.  I invite those that are thinking of going on a "go outside their comfort zone" too.    
I love you all so much!  I appreciate your support!
Until next time, totziens, en ik houdt van jullie!
Elder Burgess

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Halfway there

So guess what?  I came back to the slaapzaal latste nacht, and peeked my head into the temp rooms.  I was going to ask "Anybody seen a Bieber here," when WHAM, there was Travis!  Craziness, eh?  It's awesome that he's finally here!  I can imagine how excited he is.  We talked for a good half hour or so last night before I had to slip off to bed.  I don't think he's going to be staying in the same room as me during his stay here, but fingers crossed, right?  S'good to see somebody from home.
Thank you all for your cards and letters!  Especially to you, Biebers, for the money!  Thanks a b'zillion!
So now I'm up on the top bunk in my room.  I decided to let poor Elder Mower have the bottom bunk for a while.  Plus I'm hoping it'll make him wake up earlier and to also make his bed.  His excuse was always "it's hard to make it up there" (and it is), but now he has no excuse.
I can see how greatly my Dutch is improving with each passing week.  We have SLY Saturdays, where daar is geen engels (where there is no English).  Most of the time we end up speaking English, but it still amazing how far we can get along with how much we've learnt.  We're trying to speak as much het Nederlands as possible during the week.  It's a difficult adjustment, but I think it's for the best.  I'm optimistic that I'll know enough Dutch to get comfortably along when I'm finally out in the mission.
So I just asked about the Christmas phone call.  Unfortunately, they said no.   However, we can call from the airport, so expect that call to come sometime early January. 
Last night we had Elder Snow from the Seventy and his wife talk to us.  They were both great talks about the importance of missionary work.  One thing that Sister Snow said in particular caught my attention.  She said something along the lines of "As we help save other people, we help save ourselves."  That stuck out to me because I'm interested in stories in the Book of Mormon where the Lord says to his prophets that they are blessed and will be saved for their obedience and work.  It's awesome to think of missionary work like that...  Neat-O.
So Elder Burton (the other Canadian in onze district) was released as our district leader.  Well, it's not technically a calling, but you get the idea.  Guess who got called as our new district leader!  If you guessed me - you're wrong!  Dear old Elder Mower is our new district leader.  I'm actually stoked about it.  Because now I get to go check the mail with him every day (which is exciting) without having to go to all the meetings during the week.  Yay!  Elders Burton and Andrews were called as our new Zone leaders.  Not quite sure what that means, but again, glad it's not me.  Is that bad to say?
How's life back home?   How's my boy, Angus?  Still whiny and such?  Tell the girlies to behave themselves or else.
I always forget the letters and stuff that have questions all over them.  In my defence though, I just came from the temple.  I love the letters you guys are sending.  It means a lot to me, even if I don't respond.  I'll try to actually send a letter one of these days.  I have neither stamps nor envelopes though, so I'll have to get those first.
Did you ever send me my book stuff?  I guess if you don't think I need it, that's okay.  But I'm trying to write my book and don't remember much of the things that I wrote down.  Could you send my plannings in either an email or a, alstublieft?  I'd greatly appreciate it.  Still, no worries.
How's the ward?  Any adventures happen during my absence?  I hope not.  Exciting things cannot happen when I'm gone!  You know how I hate missing out.  All my love to you guys (the ward)!  I'll try to make you all proud.
I feel like I'm making progress in the gospel.  I said a sincere prayer one night, asking how I could improve and stuff and the next day I delivered my message to our investigator so well.  It was like everything I learned just came together.  And likewise, when I give no effort or am not so sincere with prayer or scripture study, I can feel the lack of energy or spirit in the lesson.  It's crazy how truly noticeable the Holy Ghost sometimes.
Weeks are starting to fly past.  Someday's it's like the same thing happened as the day before.  My journal entries aren't so extravagant either.  Days feel like weeks and weeks like days I suppose.
Oh yes!  I played with some pretty good players Monday night for volleyball.  Half the team seemed to like setting for me and were halfway decent.  I got some great hits, which absolutely made my day.  It feels good to drill a ball and have the other team say things like "Gee, calm down, it's just MTC ball."  That means you're awesome and they know it.  Anyway, I'm going to try to play with those same guys who set me more often.  Hopefully we'll get some good players on a transfer day one of these weeks.  You know what would be great?  If Travis's gym time was the same as mine.  Holy man, that would be sweet.  Chances of that are very slim though...
Food's still the same.  They've served us hotdogs at least...8 times now.  Unbelievable.  And corndogs too.  What's even better than that is what I found in my powdered eggs one morning.  An ant.  Yep.  That's right.  A squished up ant, chilling in my eggs.  I thought the eggs were bad enough to begin with.  I think I'll stick to bagels and cereal for breakfast from now on.  Gross.
I can't wait to get out to the field where I can eat real food.  Mmm.
On a slightly sad note, the Danish Elders are leaving on Monday.  I'm going to miss them.  On the other hand, we're getting 9 new Dutchies.  5 sisters, 4 elders.  Ooo, we're going to have fun with them come Magic Tuesday.  They're also getting 7 new Danish elders, so I guess the ones we got now will be more than replaced.
Well, that's about all the time I got.  I love you all so much!
Till next P-day, totziens!
Elder Burgess