Elder Fleming

Elder Fleming

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 7 :)

Yay, I finally know what week I'm on! ;) Whoa, it's so weird that I only have a little over 2 weeks left! :o I feel like I need another 9 weeks because I don't feel like I know anything yet! 

 It was awesome to get some snow on Saturday night! My district ran outside and played for a while. It's always funny to watch people who don't see snow much when it snows. :) It will be good to have some snow to hopefully ski on when Kip and Brian come out. :) 

Thanks for taking pictures for me! I really appreciate it!! :D I will let you know what happens about getting reassigned. I think that I am allowed to email you right when I get my reassignment so I can let you know what is going on, which is really nice. :) [visas to Taiwan are backed up and missionaries have been reassigned until the visas go through.]

Haha I'm not to the point of ramming my head against the wall yet, but I have laid an egg. ;) I think I gave you all that picture and story. :) If not, let me know and I'll tell you. :) It's really repetitive here, which is both good and bad I guess. :) It's hard to get up at 6:30 every day and not being able to just sleep for a couple extra minutes (or hours) ;) I'm doing really well here and I am just trying to learn all I can and be obedient as possible so I can qualify for the Holy Ghost to be with and help my companion and I. :) I LOVE my district! :) They are all so amazing and I really like all of them! I get along well with all of them and they are all really cool people. :)  Sometimes I have a hard time with them and it can be frustrating, but it doesn't last long, thankfully. :) I feel like I am steadily learning the language but I don't know anything I feel like! :o One of my favorite parts about being here is the Spirit and the Devotionals on Sunday and Tuesday and the amount of time we have to study the Gospel. :) Least favorite would be being inside all the time. Our residence is in the basement and our classroom is in the basement and we don't get fresh air very often. :/ One thing I would want to change I think is to have more personal study time and more gym time :D

I love you all and it was sooo awesome to hear about how your week went! :D I love you lots and you are always in my prayers! :) 

Elder Fleming

He wasn't able to attach pictures to his emails this week. :(

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Weekly Email

 I got your care package on Saturday! It was AWESOME!!! :D Thank you all so so much!! :) It was so cool to get the package! Best Valentine's day ever! ;) I still don't believe in that holiday, though. ;) I loved the card, it was so funny and goes well with how I feel about that holiday. ;) I appreciated the banana bread! 8) I gave Elder Booth the Vegemite and his reaction was priceless! :) I wish you could have been there, thank you so much for sending that to him! :) He was so happy. :) He told me to give you all a kiss for him when I get home. ;) I got a picture of his initial reaction, it was a little blurry though. :) I will attach it in my picture email. :) 

It's been a good week! :) The devotionals we have are always really good and the spirit is always so strong here. :) My testimony has grown so much and just keeps growing; it's amazing. :) 

I haven't given a talk during sacrament meeting yet, but I've been able to bear my testimony (in Chinese) on fast Sunday. :) It was pretty cool and I was nervous, but bearing testimonies is always really good and I think is usually easier than giving a talk. :) I did get to bless the sacrament in Mandarin yesterday, which was both really cool and pretty intense! We are supposed to get the words right and on top of that we have tones that we have to get right! :o 

I have another cool story for you! It happened yesterday. My branch was asked to be a part of an test or a trial for a new classroom setup or something. I'll write a letter with more details, I don't have much time left and I still need to send pictures. We went off MTC area to these weird bubble things (like when they cover the AF pool during the winter) and inside there was a classroom set up and we watched a video of Elder Bednar giving a devotional. No one really said why we were there. It was really cool, though! ...and weird. :) I'll explain more in my letter. :)

I love you all and you are in my prayers!

Elder Fleming

Me after beating my previous pizza-slice record. My new record to beat: 13 slices. :)
Also, other teachers keep taking our Chinese hymn books, so I made a sleeve out of masking tape under my desk to hide it :) 
Elder Booth and his Vegemite. His initial reaction is the blurry one :)
This is the "experiment bubble" we went in. I have to say, it was kind of ominous. :) 
Inside of the experiment bubble--there  were mock classrooms and stuff set up. It was pretty sweet! 
I built the Lego snowspeeder. :D (we sent this in package.)
Pretty outside pictures 8) we are inside sooo much!! :o
Floor plans for the new building(s). I will need to come back here and see what they change. Apparently they're supposed to be huge!
Haha ok, so I had this hard-boiled egg from breakfast that I hadn't eaten yet and so we took this picture of me laying an egg. Hehe. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Letter Dated 2/6/15

Ok, I've got another good story for you :). It happened yesterday...yesterday or two days ago. :). We went to go teach our investigator again and we just can't get him to focus. He is always working, so he's always really tired when we try to teach him. He isn't very focused and I feel like it's hard for him to feel the Spirit. So, we decided to do an object lesson. At first, we thought it was a great idea! He has a family, and we were trying to get him to understand how the gospel blesses and protects and strengthens families.

We took 2 eggs and wrapped one of them in bubble wrap.--Oh! We got the eggs from breakfast; they're hard boiled. Yum! :D Anyway, we test-dropped the eggs multiple times and became confident that our plan would work.

So, the night came that we were supposed to teach him and we took our eggs. We began our lesson. We explained that the egg represented his family. We said that dropping the egg was like running into trials. We then had him drop the egg into a garbage can. (So we could easily clean up the mess.) he drops it into the garbage can, and my companion goes to get the egg. The look on his face said it all; the egg didn't break. I went over to the garbage can and when I went to pick up the egg, I just smushed it with my hand! I'm sure our investigator noticed, because he looked really confused and a little surprised. That's about when I started laughing. Hard. I just started thinking about what must have been going through our investigator's head; things like, "my metaphorical family was fine, why did he just destroy it?" After about a minute, I was able to compose myself a little better. We explained our families, when  not protected by God, (or when a missionary comes by and destroys them) can have problems.

Then, we wrapped our second egg up in bubble wrap. We had our investigator drop it, and then we took it back. Our mistake this time, I think, was asking him if he wanted to open it. He grabbed it, and as he did so, he must have squeezed just a little too hard, because I saw his hand twitch inward on itself just a tiny bit. I also heard a faint "crack!" noise. Uh oh. I tried and couldn't think of something to say as he unwrapped that egg. He opened it up and of course, the egg was cracked. He looked up in confusion at us and my companion's face was priceless. He was so surprised! I started laughing again! He shouldn't have been so surprised--he squished our egg!! Our investigator shouldn't have looked confused, I know he knows that he squished our egg! It was and still is super funny, though. We tried to say "sorry, bad example," in Chinese to him. He seemed to understand. Like you always say, good stories don't come cheap. :) I figure I can either be mad about our lesson and that it was so awful, or I could laugh about it and try to learn from it. :) My companion has sworn off object lessons forever. Haha! :)

The unseasonably warm weather has been great! My companion from Las Vegas thinks it's cold, though. It's kind of annoying, honestly. It's been like 70 degrees!!

I hope everything is still going well for you there! You're always in my prayers and I always keep you in my heart! Love you!! Zai jian! :)

Elder Fleming (Fang Zhang Lao)

Letter Dated 2-3-15

Today was Tuesday, so that means another devotional! It is such a blessing to have church leaders and general authorities come and talk to us!

In my fast, I kind of included 3 things: my companion, you, and me. I asked that my companion would be blessed and have more of a desire to follow the rules and stuff. I was concerned about him. Next, I prayed that you would be ok and watched over and protected, especially while I was on my mission. I asked for you to be watched over and guided and stuff. Lastly, I asked for help for myself. I asked that I would get along with my companion and that we would get along with each other and develop more unity. I asked for gift of tongues and some other stuff like that, too. :)

Well, on Sunday, my companion got called to be the new district leader (it changes once a month here.) He pretty much immediately started working harder, trying to be as obedient as possible with me and stuff like that. I knew Sunday night that my prayer was answered. We also started talking with each other more and stuff which was really good. :)

I also had noticed a few days ago that I wanted another devotional, and wanted some motivation. I definitely got it on Sunday; we had our mission conference, devotional and testimony meeting in our branch. It was really good and I felt like I grew a lot spiritually.

I think that was one of the quickest and most noticeable times Heavenly Father has answered my prayers. My testimony was definitely strengthened a lot.

I love you all so, so much! I miss you lots. Moroni 8:3! Love you!! Zai jian! (see you again)

Elder Fleming (Fang Zhang Lao)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 5 or Something

Our zone on our temple walk :)
A sister had her birthday while here in the MTC, so we made her a donut cake with a "candle" :)
We found some of those clown balloons one day and almost gave ourselves aneurysms by trying to inflate them. Haha! :)
We finally were able to blow them up, though, yay! :)
So, one of the Elders in our district really likes those helicopter seeds. Over the past few weeks, we have been developing this game where we try to keep one of them in the air. It's a lot like hackey sack but with a seed that spins around and we hit it with our hands instead of our feet. :) We call it helo-seed. :) Some of the games get really intense! :)
My name tag. :) I don't have the one with all of it in Chinese yet, but when I do, I'll send a picture of it to you. :)
We left a little surprise for one of the sisters. It's this little rubber hand that Elder Williams received in one of his care packages. :) We gave her chocolate afterwards, so she forgave us. :)

I heard in Taichung in the south it's supposed to be warmer than in the north. I am excited to see all the palm trees, though!! :) (This was in response to the fact that it was warmer here than in Taiwan on Saturday.)

Yeah, I'm doing fine here. :)  If you wanted to send me some pictures of things that are going on there and of what you are doing every once in a while, that would be awesome! I like to see the pictures that go along with the stories you tell. :) I don't think that I can get them from the computer, so if you emailed me some like you did this week and then maybe every once in a while send me some hard copies, I'd really appreciate it. :) 

 I really miss you all! I remember the blessing when I was set apart that you will be blessed and protected and that really helps. :) It doesn't stop me from praying for you all the time, though. ;) We had a devotional last night and the speaker showed us pictures of missionaries before they left and after they got back. The change of their countenance was amazing to see! I wonder if I'll be like that! :) 

 I love you all and miss you a lot but I know that you're being protected and blessed!! :D You're always in my thoughts and prayers! :) Love you so much! :D

Elder Fleming

Monday, February 2, 2015

This Week 2/2/15

Hmm, I don't know really what to say and what I've already said in previous letters and emails, so I'm sorry if you get the same information two or three times. :) I love you all so much and you're always in my prayers. Today this morning, I got to participate in sealings. That was soo cool!! :D 

Woo! Go New England! :) I agree, I like Seattle's coach a lot, but I just don't like the team. I'm still bitter about Sherman and when they beat the 49ers. :) 

Thanks for the care package, it was awesome!! :D I'll have to take some pictures of me with the legos! :) 

If you do send another care package at some point though if you find any vegimite at the grocery store or anything, Elder Booth in our district is from Austrailia and really likes it and is running out. :) I think he'd appreciate it. :) I got to direct traffic on Wed. and I would love to to it again, it was super cool and fun!! :D I got a sweet vest and a radio, so I felt pretty cool. :) I think that one of my coolest experiences this week was fast Sunday and seeing my fast and prayers get answered. I can tell you more about it in a letter. It was pretty cool, though! :) I love you all SO much!! :D I love hearing from you and I hope to continue hearing from you! :) You're always in my prayers! :)

Elder Fleming

We found balloons one day an made an effective use of study time. ;)
Elders Williams and Chen having an intense balloon battle over what looks like a tired Elder Booth. :)
My district on our temple walk. :)

Letter Dated 1/30/15

I'm still well here. I don't really know about my favorite pastime; I don't have much fee time. I spend a lot of free time writing you and in my journal. :) I like talking with my district. I think I am understanding alright now [the language], but when I hear native speakers talk at their regular pace, it's hard to understand. I also don't know enough vocabulary to carry a regular conversation. I can teach a little bit in Chinese, though. :) We are just learning the language. I really want to learn about the culture a little bit, too, and hopefully we will at some point. :) I'm pretty used to the schedule--I'm even starting to remember what meals we have on what days! :O I am so happy I have time to exercise!! When I got here, I weighed 130 pounds and the other day I was 135. I really hope that it's muscle weight from working out every day and not fat weight from sitting in class all day, so I've been running a lot more. I run most of gym time (about 1 hour) and I'll try to do some ab workout and stuff as well.

Best wishes; I'm with you all in spirit! I love you all so much! Be safe and stuff! Zui jian! [good bye or more literally, to "see again"].

Fang Zhang Lao [Elder Fleming]