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Monday, August 6, 2012


[These are answers to a list of questions that we sent to learn more.  Sam wrote the answers and mailed them home – snail mail.]

Dear Everyone!
      Thanks for the SASE’s and such. The questions too. I’ll answer all of them and add in any other info. I feel is necessary. Thanks for doing this.
      To begin—thanks for the 14th mention of the lack of photos. I have no way to send them home. So . . . . yeah. You will get them when I can get them to you.
      And 1 more thing before I start the questions—Alma 18:
“A Wild King Lemony appears!”
Go Ammon!
Wild King Lamoni uses Meditate!
Wild King Lamoni’s spiritual defense was raised!
Ammon uses service!
Wild King Lamoni’s spiritual defense harshly fell!
Wild King Lamoni flinched!
Ammon uses mind reader!
Wild King Lamoni’s spiritual defense cant go any lower!
Wild King Lamoni became confused!
It hurt itself in its confusion.
Ammon uses testify!
Magnitude 10!
Critical hit!
It’s super effective!
Wild King Lamoni has fainted!

I hope some (all) of you enjoyed reading my interpretation as much as I enjoyed writing it.

How are the shoes you got with Grandpa? Will they work?
The shoes Grandpa and I got work great. They look good and fit fine. They will totally work, but then again the MTC is not the streets of Vegas. So we will have to see.

Do you need us to send you the other shoes?
I don’t need the other shoes. But hold on to them. I am actually super disappointed in the “missionary shoe” shoes. I have to shine them almost 2x a week because they don’t stay black. . . It’s almost scary. It might just because I am praying so much that the toe of the shoe makes more contact with the ground than my sold does! That’s just how it feels sometimes, although I do pray a lot.

Is the MTC food getting any better?
The food here is not getting better. I am just learning to use it better. If that makes sense. [Bobby] Fisher has always had the same pieces, he just has practiced and can use them better than anyone else. Not saying I’m anything like a chess champ, but I’ve found what to eat and what to stay away from.
      We have been writing some Psalms & Proverbs for the MTC and the first and greatest is “Thou shalt not eat roast beef.” That is always a sure fire bet for an upset stomach. Recently, they had mac & cheese, which was pretty good but that has only been once.

What have you been eating (still PowerAde and salads)?
For every meal, I drink 3 glasses of water except at breakfast I drink another glass of milk and the meal after gym I drink Powerade and the other meal I just drink another glass of water or apple juice. The good is pretty random but I usually go for the pastas above other things and sometimes the asian(ish) food is not bad at all. Our zone sits on the far, far right of the cafeteria, which is where the leftovers are so when pickings aren’t very good, I can just get some rice and then top it with soup or soy sauce. Exciting, eh! J

Do you need a bathrobe?
No, I don’t. It’s too hot here and I dry super fast and I just throw on shorts and a shirt if I need to cover up. I’m fine on the bathrobe department.
      Side note! Everyone here wears lava lavas. My floor started as a Spanish speaking floor, but each week new islanders get here. Pretty soon we will be the only ones left who speak English! So I’ll then wear lava lavas but lots of other missionaries do as well on P-Day. I was talking to a miss. From Africa and he almost verbatim said, “I like the breezes on my privies.” It made me think of you, dad. [This is a reference to a passage in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire].

How many are in your district - that has won the clean classroom award 2 weeks in a row? Only 5 in my district which is such a blessing. It makes class the easier and my DL [district leader] duties way easier. We don’t have the big friend group, but the 5 of us are really really close. We always eat our meals and do everything else with our sisters. They bring a great sprit and lots of fun.

How is your P-day time broken down – you have to be all done by dinner and you get 30 minutes on the computer and you do laundry – what do you do the rest of the time?
Today was the first time we got to go to the temple, so usually it is just laundry @ 2:15 and then class @ 5:30. We but than now and we do a session in the temple @ 7:00 am. Today we did one and then did an hour or so of service in the temple laundry room. That was a great experience. The rest of the time we study or eat or write or take naps. P=Days are actually more stressful b/c there is so o o o much I want to write to so many people!

What is the deal with Carlos and Tito? Are they real investigators or just “actors”?
I’ll do my best to better explain. During class time, we often do role plays as investigators. Our teacher will make up a persona or we will watch a short clip about them. WE also have “investigators.” They are not real but they are real people who our teachers taught and have been given permission to act as. We are supposed to think, pray, fast and treat them as investigators, to make the experience more real for all parties involved. I have often heard stories of the last day having the convert (ex-investigator) call in to talk to the class.) I’d love to meet Tito & Carlos.
      They are my teachers, acting, but it’s super serious.
      We also teach real members and less active members too durn TRC. Later we will get to teach paid actors for a few lessons. So no actual investigators but it still feels like it and we study like we are in the field. Real stories, real spiritual experiences, but actors.

Where did you find them?  . . . they found us J

Where do you teach them?  We teach them in classrooms set apart to be member houses.

What do you do on Tuesday &/or Friday for your service?
Tuesdays we usually clean bathrooms. It’s not that bad really. I’ve definitely cleaned worse. Fridays we don’t do service but I think we might keep doing an hour of service in the temple laundry room.

Have you seen anyone else that you know?
I’ve seen a few. A few from my BYU ward and few others that I recognize but not too many people.

What are your duties as DL? 
Meetings. Trigamys. Meetings. Meetings. I’ve got like 4 meetings during the week but I have to interview my comps and I have to interview w/ the zone leaders. Then on Sundays all my personal study time is used for branch council and leadership training. I’m always super busy but I’m learning and people look up to me and there isn’t much better than that. And I get to serve a lot too.

You leave the MTC on August 28 or 29th?   Do you have any more info about that?
August 29 is my date as of now. I’ll know more the week after next when I get my travel plans! I can’t believe I might be leaving; it seems like I have been here for 23 years.

Are there other LV missionaries in your district?
Nope! Sister Nilsen is going to Reno, thought. She and I are pretty close. As close as elders and sisters should be. I promise that’s not a King Lear reference or anything weird.

Have you seen the missionary from the airport (you met while standing in line from Texas) that is also a LV-Spanish speaker?
 Yup. I saw him once. No good stories there.

Where else are the missionaries in your district going? (Noyes - SC, Harvey - TX,
Sister Neilsen from Colorado (Denver area) and Sister Ishan from Seattle. They are both cool. They aren’t too girly, or silly, or serious or anything so its cool to have them in the District. They are both super hard workers.

How do Sundays/church work there?
For me it goes Branch Council, Priesthood, District Meeting, temple walk, Interviews, Dinner, short meeting, fireside, movie. Lots of meetings for me!

Have you had any firesides?
 Yeah. Every Sunday. Jenny Oaks Baker was fun, but the Best was this poet, actor, dude, guy, brother who recited/acted out the journal of the scribe of Joseph Smith. Very touching, very powerful. Awesome. I don’t remember the other ones.

Is any part of your day not in Spanish?
Only when I’m being “disobedient.” Or with people who don’t speak it. And Hermano McCleve said I could tell jokes in English b/c I’m not as funny in Spanish L but J.

Is gym only with Spanish speakers?
Yeah we travel and do all that kind of stuff with other Intermediate and Native Spanish speakers.

How are your volleyball skills coming?
I like playing volleyball almost as much as much as I like serving the Lord. I also like poopies. I’m getting way better. My bumps and sets are coming along and I’ve been doing way better at spiking too which makes the crowd go wild. The crowd is just the voices in my bead but they like it.

Do the new watch bands fit?
They do! I only have 3 extra holes but I’m not too fat, yet.
Hermano Urquhart who weighs about 120 now said he gained over 30 pounds on his mission b/c every time he said no someone got offended. OO I’m scared. But I’ve been losing a lot of weight here. Like 10 pounds the first week. My clothes are pretty loose. Not for long I guess.

Does the alarm clock work?
I haven’t used mine b/c Elder Noyes’ is super loud and obnoxious so I didn’t want to add to the chorus.

Any special requests for the iPod music?
 Idk. Class would rock. . . . J but movie soundtracks would be great too. Grandpa recommends Johnny Cash hahahah. Idc really I am just so sick of MoTab. Like it actually upsets me. I’ve heard that Oberheezer songs like 75 times this week.

Have you taken any pictures?
I’ve taken a few. My comps have done most. They’re gonna email me when that can the ones they’ve taken. I’m still taking some too.

What is the one thing you would use, that is in the room with you right now, in case of a zombie apocalypse?
The railing for my bed. I could do some serious damage with that thing. Light, aerodynamic, sharp and hard. It would also help that the zombies would be distracted most of you . . . mom cough. Cough!

How are your clothes/ties working out?
Good! I’d like to have more ties but it’s no biggy. I definitely went too conservative which is fine. President Brown wore a pink tie today at lunch. Clothes are all too big but it’ll be fine once I re-inflate.

Kate wants to know why you are so cute?
? She taught me how? P.S. to Kate: I talked to the work out missionaries on my floor. They said I could take pictures if I wanted but I said I didn’t want to get into the pornography business. But they all smiled. I told them they couldn’t write you.

What at the MTC smells the worst?
The walk to the mailroom. Remember in Napoleon Dynamite when he’s tasting the milk and he says “taste like the cow got into the onion patch? It kind of smells like that. But the cows also ate those rotten starfish from Mexico and then died. Old onions, curdled milk, salty death, fecal matter, rotting meat, and Indian food. I’m pretty sure it’s the same perfume they use in Anchor Man. It’s horrible.

What is YOUR ideal band?
Well obviously, Jesus on the double next electric guitar. Whiney the Pooh [sic] on the Synth. Octomom on the Drums and my man Elton John on the vocals & piano. It’s called Angel Tears.
But there are others I’ve made too.
Jacob—your band rocked.

Love you all so much!
      (elder) Sam

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