Elder Fleming

Elder Fleming

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Letter Dated 1-28-15

My district and I got to help direct traffic today as new missionaries arrived. It was pretty fun! I got a cool vest and a walkie-talkie, so I was pretty happy. :) While I was directing traffic I started to think that I've already been out for almost a month. That's crazy! It feels like I've only been out for a week or two! Maybe it's because the days all runt together so much. :) One month down, 23 to go. Not too bad. :) (So far, and hopefully it will stay not too bad.) I saw a couple of friends from before I came on a mission today. It was both of their first days here. It was really nice to say hi and to catch up a little bit with how they were doing.

On another note, in a sudden decision to be obedient, we got rid of our Nerf guns. I have very mixed emotions. On one hand, I want to serve the Lord and be obedient as I can to Him and the mission rules, but on the other hand, I really want to have some fun with Nerf guns. Our Branch President saw them one day and "suggested" we should get rid of them. I tried (and am still trying) to be happy as I obeyed. :)

Well, I love you and miss you all so much! You are all wonderful example to me and I love you all so much. I am super grateful for your love and support. I am so lucky to have you. Love you all!! Mni 8:3!

Elder Fleming

Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 3ish...I'm losing track


It was so good to hear from all of you throughout the week and today with your emails! As always, I love hearing news and what's going on in your lives! 

I feel like this week has been fairly uneventful. It was pretty good, though. :) My district and I have been getting into idioms and laughing about how funny some of them are--there's a lot of them that really don't make any sense! :) ....Maybe it's just that we've been at the MTC too long... ;) 

We got an assignment to help people on Wednesday. My district is in charge of directing traffic. I am excited to help welcome newcomers to the MTC! We haven't been able to do any hosting or anything yet, so this will be pretty cool! :D

I am still enjoying my time here and am having a great time! Our zone leaders left early this morning. Saying goodbye to them yesterday was really hard and sad. I am going to miss them; they were really good examples and were always a lot of fun! It's sad to think that it's only going to get harder and that I will eventually have to say goodbye to my district. :(

Oh well. Anyway, I don't think I've told you this, but I have an Elder in my district who is from Australia!! :D I love his accent so much! He hasn't seen snow and stuff before much, so when it snowed and there was snow a couple of weeks ago, he got super excited and stuff, it was really funny! :) Today, there  was frost on the ground and he got so excited! It cracked me up!! He bent down and felt the frost and was really fascinated with it. I wish I got a picture or something, but we were going to the temple and I didn't have my camera on me. :/

We had some spare time the other day, so we watched this super goofy 30 minute show called "the call" it's a BYU video so it's on LDS.org and that's why we were able to watch it. It was made in the '80's and was so ridiculus it was funny! :) It was kind of like Johnny Lingo but bad and goofy! :) It's about asking people to go out on dates and stuff. Very funny. If you have 25 minutes to waste sometime and you want to watch something weird and funny, I suggest that movie. :) Then again, be warned, because it might have only been funny because of the amount of time I've been at the MTC. :) 

Other than that, I don't think there is a whole lot to report. No insulin overdoses this week, yay! :) We have the same meals every day (the meals change day to day, but we have the same things for lunch breakfast and dinner on every Monday and the same things each Tuesday, if that makes any sense...) The Elders that just left said that they had memorized what the meals were on the days they served them. That's going to be me... :| 

I hope everyone is ok! I am praying for all of you!! 

Love you all!!! 

Elder Fleming

When our zone leaders left, they left behind a ton of army men with that blue tac stuff on them, so we stuck them on our wall and ceiling in a battle! :)
Another picture of our army men. Haha, so awesome!! :)
Nap time! 
I think I'm going to try to make an album of all the pictures I take of everyone sleeping ;)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Letter Dated 1-20-15

"I'm so glad to hear you are all doing well! :) ...I'm still not sleeping through the night, but I'm not too worried about it and I'm not usually exceptionally tired during the day, which is good :). My companion is from Las Vegas. my entire district is going to the Taichung Taiwan mission which is so cool, because I'll be able to see them at zone conferences and stuff!! "

"We had a devotional today because that's what we do on Tuesdays and M. Russell Ballard spoke. It was really cool and the Spirit was strong. :)"

"So last night was pretty intense and a little scary. My companion and I were writing and preparing for bed (It was around 10:35 or so), and we heard a commotion outside. Someone was running around, panicked, asking for a knife. Confused, my companion came out to see an Elder in a chair across the hall. there was a bunch of other Elders around him and some more standing around in the hall. Apparently, the Elder had taken the wrong dosage of insulin (he's diabetic), and needed help. Someone found a knife and he began cutting his leg to let the blood go because it's supposed to help reduce insulin levels that way. We called the paramedics by using the emergency phone in the hall. Then, we decided to give him a blessing. fortunately, one of the Elders knew how to do it. The Elder that needed the blessing looked right at me and asked me to participate in the blessing. There were about 10 or so Elders that laid our hands on his head, and we blessed him. The Spirit was so strong as we gave this Elder a blessing, and all I could think was: "Wow, how fortunate to have this many Elders, called of God with the authority and power and the willingness to do this very thing!" The other thought was that I really needed to memorize how to bless for the sick. It's in our "white Bible," so I've been trying to memorize it now. Right after we finished the blessing, the paramedics arrived. We went back to our rooms and said a prayer. We went back out a couple minutes later to see if the Elder or paramedics needed any help. They said if we could give him sugar it would help. We came back to our room and grabbed some candy and my companion grabbed some cans of soda from his stash. We took them back to him, and he drank them. I think he recreated the definition of "chugging!" He downed about 4 cans in under 30 seconds! Transportation to the hospital arrived shortly after and again, he looked right into my eyes and asked me to go with him. I got him to the vehicle and he went to the hospital with his companion."

"Crazy story, right?! it was scary, but also pretty cool, and the Spirit was so strong. He made it to the hospital and was ok. :) I guess he was scheduled to leave on his mission today and he even was able to leave today! Anyway, I am out of time, so I'll leave you with Moroni 8:3. :)"

 Fang Zhang lao" (Elder Fleming) :) "

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 2 at the MTC

I loooove hearing from all of you so much!!! :D I look forward to reading letters and emails every day. I am glad to hear that things are going pretty well with all of you. :) I want you all to know that I love you so much! I am doing well here in the MTC still. We have been having problems getting visas to go to Taiwan apparently because of something going on with their government. Some of the Elders and Sisters that have been scheduled to leave now have been re-assigned for now until they can get their visas to Taiwan. Hopefully the problem will be resolved soon, because I want to go to Taiwan when I leave the MTC! I don't want my Chinese to slip and then have to go to Taiwan or anything. We sang the song "I'll go where you want me to go" the other day though, which really comforted me. Even if I do end up going somewhere else temporarily, I will be following the Lord and by being obedient and not complaining, he'll make up the rest and bless me. :) 

I am excited to see who wins the Superbowl! 

We had to get blood drawn for our visas on Tuesday! BLOOD DRAWN!!!!! :O Like, from out of our bodies!!! I freaked out and would have left, but I REALLY wanted to serve a mission. And that's how you know I'm dedicated to this ;) I think that the spirit kept me there, because my brain was screaming to run away and just go home! :) I prayed and really felt the spirit. there was also a poster on the wall saying something like, "Fear not, I am with thee" that really gave me comfort and peace. I was able to get my blood drawn and be ok. They needed three vials for testing our immunity before entering Taiwan. If our immunization count is too low, we need to get re-immunized. That would stress me out, but it would be ok. :) Thanks to the nurses who were good and the spirit, I didn't pass out or anything, although I did hyperventilate a little bit. :) They gave me gatorade and I was ok. :) I think that the Lord really wants me to go on this mission because he gave me strength to do that!! :) Also our investigator ended up being our teacher. I wrote a letter that should explain a little more about it. :) I figured he was a member, but I didn't guess he was one of our teachers (we have two apparently and he's the other one and we didn't know that we had 2 teachers). :) Anyway, I think my time's up and I have to go get my laundry.

I miss and worry about you guys every day. I pray for you all at least once a day :) I hope my emails aren't too confusing, I am trying to reply to all of them and stuff and I'm a little scatterbrained :) hopefully I get it down soon, though :) love you so much!!!! :D Also, Fang Zhang Lao: Fang= Fleming Zhang Lao= something like spiritual warrior (that's the literal translation, pretty cool, huh?) :) but it is Elder Fleming 
My companion taking naps.

Nerf gun Russian Roulette!!
My district on our Sunday temple walk.
Copy of "Bathroom Battleship" (for long visits to the bathroom :) )
Nap buddies :) After a long day of study. 

Excerpts from Letters

"Thankfully, we are pretty busy during the day, because that way I don't think about home as much...I think I'm about at the point where the language teaching caught up with my knowledge so far. :( We are learning new words and I am struggling to memorize them...We had our first lesson yesterday (our 3rd day). It was rough and he didn't understand a lot of it and we couldn't understand him very well either. He is from China and only speaks Chinese. Because he is from China, he has no knowledge about God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost or even the basics about our gospel or any other Christian gospel. We tried to explain prayer to him, then asked if he would pray with us. He laughed out loud, then said he wouldn't. That was a real mental slap to the face for me. It was then that I realized that this is the real deal! Especially when we get to Taiwan; if we mess up and scare or confuse an investigator away, that's it! I look at that story as a funny learning experience and not as discouragement, though. :) Today we had to teach him again and this time we were better prepared. We planned out our lesson much better and reviewed it more thoroughly. I now have a testimony of planning with my companion and a stronger testimony of prayer!! Today we explained everything better and were actually able to pray with him! It was rusty, but we will get better. :) I hope you guys are well. ...I'll be praying for you! I have to end here now, because it's way past bedtime! I love and miss all of you!"

"Today was my first P-day! :D It was lots of fun and it was so nice to have a bit of a break from the routine...It was great to be able to email you and instantly let you know what was going on! We had a couple Elders leave today, which was kind of sad. I don't know them that well and it was still sad to see them go. Goodbyes are going to get harder and harder. It was pretty cool though, because when an Elder leaves the MTC, they pass on certain things to others who aren't leaving yet. So today, I got a bunch of food and candy, woo hoo! We also got Nerf guns!! :D We had a Nerf war during free time in the residence today, which was really fun and kind of reminded me of home. It was really cool to just have some pure fun and bond with some of the other Elders in our zone.

I really hope things are going well for everyone back home!"

"It was so good to receive a package from you!! Thank you so much! It was a huge morale boost for me! I don't think that I'm struggling here, but the care package was great.

I think that I am starting to get the routine down besides waking up at 6:30 every day. :). I haven't been able to stay asleep an entire night here yet; I keep waking up in the middle of the night 3 or 4 times per night. It's weird, I've never has this problem before. :) Maybe it's just the Spirit waking me up. :) The Spirit does keep me awake during the day, though. It's really good, but also is kind of a bummer. Sometimes because I'm really tired...My companion falls asleep during the day a lot. Whether we're in a devotional, in class, or wherever, he will fall asleep almost at least once a day. I took a picture I can send of him sleeping.

I'm happy here right now. The Spirit is so strong and it's really been strengthening my testimony. My testimony got stronger in this last week than it would in a month at home! I love the atmosphere here and how friendly everyone is. I also like the supportive nature of the people. I'm going to miss having that out in the field! ;)

It was really cool (and a little sad, too), to know that a week has already gone by. It was cool to greet new Elders and Sisters as they entered the MTC for their first day. I didn't get to receive new missionaries this week, but we will do it about our 4th week in. My branch president is really cool and nice. I look forward to getting to know him and the rest of the presidency more! Sunday was different and good. We actually had a fairly busy schedule on Sunday, but we did have a little free time. We had a great devotional and the Spirit was so strong I almost cried! I don't feel the Spirit that strongly very often, so it was really cool. Converts got up and bore their testimonies and shared some stories, which was very cool. I haven't been able to sleep during the day except for sacrament meeting. I got my sacrament nap still, hehe. :) I don't know what it is about Sacrament Meetings!

Well, I love you all and hope you are good back at home. Moroni 8:3 :)"

Monday, January 12, 2015

Greetings from the MTC

Zack's piles of study materials
His MTC district on their Sunday temple walk.
Goofy companions in his district.
"Hobbit holes" Random places missionaries leave random toys and things behind.
Nap time after a hard day's work.
MTC Zone on Sunday temple walk.

Email sent 1/12/15:
 I don't have a lot of time to type emails, so they will probably be shorter. I will write longer letters. I like it here, I like my companion, I feel bad for him because he doesn't have a background in the language. I am trying to do what I can to help him and keep his spirits up. People are really nice and friendly here. Im having a good time, the food's good. I am making typos because I;m trying to type fast and this keyboard is a pain so hopefyully you can understand what I;m saying. :) love you lots! I miss you too! I'm having a great time here and goyt to go to the temple today! I hate this keyboard ;) I'll probably send shorter email but longer letters due to time. I hope you got my other emails with pictures. I can only send 2 per email which is hard, so maybe I can send you guys some pictures with email. 

I get along pretty well with my companion and I am loving my district! I have been here for five days now I think and I still have no idea what I'm doing most of the time! :) I'm learning a lot and seem to be picking up the Chinese pretty well, but I'm a little nervous about keeping it up. 

I did have a devotional and the spirit was so strong there! It was amazing; I had to hold back tears at times! It was pretty intense. My testimony is strengthened and I have more of a desire to follow the gospel. That's really cool of people to ask about me! I am glad to hear I have support from the ward back home. :) the MTC is really cool, I'm really busy but it's good that way because it keeps me from feeling homesick. I thought I would miss video games more than I am, but maybe it's just cause I'm busy :) 

I think I have to do a physical or something tomorrow for my visa application :/ Thankfully, I'm actually doing pretty well! :D  I love hearing from you guys, especially through dear elder, so if you ever want to send me something--a care package, a letter, an email, a dear elder-- please do!! I miss you guys and even though I'm doing pretty well here so far, I LOVE hearing from you! I need to go now, but I love you lots. Breath mints are good, though! :) love you lots!  

 Letter sent 1/8/15
"I don't know if you'll get this letter before my email on P-day (Monday) or not, so you might read some of the same stuff both times. Bear with me...I also want to let you guys know I made it to the MTC and that I'mm till alive? I met my companion yesterday (day 1) and I really like him! I am so relieved and grateful that my prayers were answered about my companion. I am getting to know my district a little bit better (that's the smaller group of us), and we were lucky to get a couple of sister missionaries in our group who are fluent in Mandarin. My companion is from Las Vegas and has no background in Chinese. I am trying to help him learn as much as I can, but I don't know how much he is actually processing. I am also still a little concerned about the language, because it's only day two and I already have a list of words that...I'm unfamiliar with in Chinese. I am also nervous because we are teaching an investigator in Chinese already tomorrow. Im a little freaked out because I know so little Chinese.

I love hearing from all of you so please don't hesitate to send me letters or emails, especially over Dear Elder, because I won't be able to read your letters to me every day in the field. I can't respond to you as fast as you send letters to me or as often, but please don't hesitate to send letters. I look forward to hearing from you.

Lastly, I want to give you guys a scripture. It's the one the Balls gave me; it's Moroni 8:3. That scripture fills me with the spirit every time I read it. Remember this scripture if you miss me, and I am always keeping this scripture in my heart as I think of you."

Moroni 8:3 I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day 4

A picture of Zack arrived in a text today. It was such a wonderful surprise to see Elder Fleming at the MTC. The other person in the picture, Austin, used to live down the street from our old house. We assume he must teach at the MTC since he went on a Mandarin speaking mission.

Zack said Austin is not his teacher, but he teaches a couple classrooms over. Zack sees him almost daily and is happy to see a familiar face.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day 1

Elder Fleming in front of the Provo temple
Elder Fleming arrived at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Provo this afternoon. A kind missionary from Australia whisked him away to start the next 2 years. He will be in the MTC for approximately 9 weeks.