August 2004


Original article posted by chamblin:

I’ve been sending your comments by snail mail, so he doesn’t always get them immediately. Rest assured that he does get them and he appreciates them.

So do I

Greg’s Mom

Original article posted by Greg:

Dear home.

please send multivitamins.

In other news there was a typhoon that blew through town yesterday. It was cool because it was the first ‘real’ typhoon I’ve experienced here. There are trees and signs lying in the streets. Also there are bycycles bent up in the parking area of this computer joint. Apparently there were a few people who didn’t feel the need to leave Ragnarok online or whatever during the storm… and apparently they’re still here.

It was fun. Typhoon = wind and rain. I guess if we were in a country where every building wasn’t made completely of concrete it might have done some damage or been scary or something. But no. Just windy. And rainy.

My favorite part was the big black dog that just sat in the middle of an empty parking lot by the church, just looking around. ho hum… gale force winds… ho hum…

I have a goal to ‘pre-CM’ a week from tomorrow. I am lacking in self confidence. I’m not sure I can do it. But I’m going to try. It’s hard to get up in the mornings to get those studies in. Then it’s hard to stay up and continue studying.

Today we will go into the mission office and pick up a package for my companion. I guess that’s just fine since we really can’t think of anything else to do. Feels like a bit of a waste of a preparation day, though, since we’re going into the mission office tomorrow anyway.

Hmm… looks like it’s raining outside… still..

I’ve fallen into the habit of turning to my companion at regular intervals and saying, in a brittish rock-star accent, “Oh yes, you’re an idiot. Love, Sting.”

I have no explaination for that behavior.

There’s a boy to my left who has apparently rented 2 computers here so that he can play two characters at the same time. Though one of them tends to stand around a lot.

I’m really out of stuff to say.

Mission news: We had a 60 year old man get baptized last saturday, and this saturday we have an 80+ year old and a 65ish year old getting baptized. Me and elder Rowberry apparently have some skills with the old folks.

Tomorrow is interviews with the president. I am excited, as it’s always a spiritual uplift.

Alright, I’m really out of stuff to say.

You’re an idiot,
Love,
Sting

Orginal comments:


Nickname: Stephanie
Re: Online games make me sleepy…
hello Greg san
what is your favourite kind of american candy? I forgot.
I’m working 2 jobs at the moment, so not much time to do stuff. But Blaine and Kayeleen and I went to a movie a few weeks ago, that was nice.
I’m working on saving $5000 at the moment. In about 5 months time, I will be applying for a working holiday visa to go to new zealand. wish me luck. or something.
I have a baby kitten, and I named her Jezebel. You would like her. And call her a devil.
Man I miss you
hope you are doing well, wish I could write more. Sorry i’m so lazy in writing you. You actually win by lots the award of the missionary I’ve written most to. Congratulations.
love
Stephanie

Original article posted by Greg:

Well friend, it’s been another week. Nothing exciting as far as the ways of the world goes has occurred. Minus the most sissy typhoon in the history of me being in Taiwan.

Freakin’ sissy.

My sister has some big news, but I’ll leave it to her to post here if it is her desire.

My mother’s car was struck by lightning while driving across the Arizona/Utah border. I guess I wont have my very own outback when I get back.. hmm…

Zone training was last week. It was pretty okay. My notebook of thoughts fills up by the day.

I find the ailments of age are sending up warning flares now that I’m here. I’m beginning to detect a future involving aching knees and poor vision. Or that could be because I’m outside in the sun riding my bike every day. I am also gaining weight, but that’s just because I’m a freakin’ pig.

I continue to get along well with elder Rowberry. He’s a funny funny man, with a history of fistfights with his brothers. He says the first thing he wants to do after walking into his home when his mission is over is start hitting is older, stronger brother as hard as he can.

That to me is comedy.

A lady in the elevator said to us “Oh, you’re that religion that always wears the big yellow robes, right?” Um… no. “and you’re the ones with the pony-tails, right?” We look at each other… Um. no.. “and You guys all have like four wives, right?” Um… no… “Oh… well, never heard of you, then.”

And so it goes.

We have several people who are very excited to join the church, and several people who are excited to avoid us. It’s a strange time to be in right now.

It’s impossible to do this missionary work and not think about the people in the world.. and the human soul… free agency, and destiny, and the like. There are many times when we meet a person who so desparately needs some direction or something to believe in, and I can’t help but wonder why they would reject even hearing this message. But I guess I understand. Sorta…

Well, i’m off to Ximen to look at expensive american stuff and cheap taiwanese stuff.

Endlessly seeking truth,
-Elder Hamblin

Orginal comments:


Nickname: Cornelius
Re: psychosis of the liver
Well now…Lacking post from me huh? That’s no surprise…I haven’t written you yet. At least not in the form of pen and paper. I do, however, try to post comments on your letters as much as I have something to say. I do have actual news this time. I “found” my shots record. This has allowed me to give my papers to my new bishop. (they redrew the ward boundaries and I ended up in another stake) He said everything is in order and he will send it to President Grant. They should be in the mail within a week. We hope. Also, I will be ordained an elder soon. How soon I don’t know. But soon. I have plans to involve your family when I go to the temple, but so far I don’t know when that will be. That’s all for my news.

I like the choice of Alfred for a hero. Not only do you get the rewards of helping someone, but you get some of the satisfaction of seeing Batman’s results without taking the beating that Batman gets. gl hf!!

-Blaine

Original article posted by Minty:

“Gaping Maw”

The typical human being is a carpenter

For our minds are more wells then libraries.
They reacha nd fall into something
not unlike space…the inner plane

Hammers sound as headaches and the tile is laid
and the hardwood polished.

Unaware of the deeper waters,the glooms of infinity
people carry on with the deadly business of living

though I have a floor it is pock-marked with holes
and at times, a gaping chasm.

And I look down
terrefied into myself

Original article posted by Greg:

Got letters from home yesterday, including something from my little sister and a package which included blueberry muffin mix. Huzzah. Now I just need one of those big boxes full of american candy and cookies and ez cheez. mmmm… easy…

Not that I’m hinting.

Well, this week I’ve been slacking on my note taking, so I’m not sure what to report about. I can’t remember much. We’ve found several familes who are interested in learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It’s amazing how much a person is capable of loving everybody around him when he spends so much time thinking about Jesus Christ and trying to understand the teachings of the gospel.

But that’s a conversation for another day, when it’s just you and me. Not for online.

Today we ate breakfast on the roof of a 26 story apartment building. I could see most of my old area (holy. cow. it. was. huge.) and all of my new area. Banqiao is beautiful… in comparison. Nice, clean, big streets, lots of stores, great fun for all… except those who never have time to enjoy it – such as, oh, missionaries for example.

Bent a wheel on my bike while doing wheelies the other day. Drat. I guess I better get that fixed.

What else is new? Elder Rowberry and I continue to get along pretty well, despite different backgrounds. He says I’m a geek – which is true, maybe you’ve seen my website – and then he says that he’s become one on his mission. His brothers will probably beat him up when he gets home.

Everybody wears pink here. Is that happening in america too?

Notes:

Rodney: Of all my friends, I am lacking post from you most of all. Rectify.
Blaine: Of all my friends, I am lacking post from you most of all. Except perhaps rodney. Repair.
Stephanie: See above and modify accordingly.
Tom: Thanks for the mail, but I don’t have time to write back lately. Please continue to make efforts at bombarding me with mail. And weird newspaper cut-outs.
anybody: Please send pictures of alfred for me to post at my desk.
Jodie: About time.
Kaye: Still haven’t recieved the promised letter, but I bet it will be good.
Parents: I have found previously mentioned bag here for 60 dollars. Will proceed with purchase. More money down the drain, but probably needed. Along with bike repairs of about another 20-30 dollars. Drat. Thanks for muffins. will eat someday. Be nice to hamster and please tell maryn and jenna and tom and every other visiting relative hello for me. Every other visiting relative: Hello. Please write. Aunt and Uncle Thompson: Thanks for the letters. Maybe I will be able to write back someday.

That’s all for this week. I’ll try better next week.

-Elder Hamblin, the mighty conquerer of the northern realms and holder of the third mouldy tangerine seen in the vision of St. Studly.

Original article posted by Stephanie:

He’s arriving in 12 hours. Wait, make that 11 and a half hours. Yes, I’m counting down. Yes, I’m nervous as anything. Yes, I’m so excited my skin is hardly containing me.

It’s only been a couple of months, but I’ve missed him more than I thought possible. And the thought of seeing him makes me shiver. It’s all I can do not to drive down to St George right now to await the plane.

He’s not going to be here long, mostly time to relax again in each other’s company until he’s whisked away again. I’m so sick of it all. The endless waiting, the anticipation building to the climactic arrival. Then the despair and the disappointment when one of us has to leave. I just want him to be with me as a constant.

I want the pain of seperation to end, or I feel like I’m going to burst. But I know that no matter how hard it gets, I will wait. He’s worth it to wait. He’s worth it to work 2 jobs and have no life and no friends for a while. What we have is far more valuable.

For now I really don’t want to think about the ins and outs. I just want to revel in this part of it all. The excitement, the anticipation. The random smiles and the dancing, knowing that in just a few short (achingly endless) hours, he will once again be mine only.

Original article posted by ravenpaine:

Entry 71 – August 11, 2004

Before I get started on some needlessly complicated bit of babble that I spew for a combination of public inquiry and personal aggrandizement, I want to point out that today was a special day.

The Wendy turned some age today, she can tell you what age if she cares. But I would like to take a moment to say that I appreciate the Wendy as a friend and as a compatriot on this planet. Though I have known her for almost 4 years now I am saddened by how little I know about her and I would like her to know that if given a do over of the whole thing I would have spent more time with her and a helluva lot less time being self-absorbed and whiney.

Just because.

Now that you’ve been thouroughly confused and distracted by my cheery prattle I’ll let you in on how things are really going.

Fine.

Maybe even peachy, which is what I most commonly say when someone asks me how I am. The answer works in nearly all sitautions because if I’m doing well it covers that by being a fruit and a pleasent smell. If, as is often the case, I am feeling poorly then “peachy” can be seen to describe a furry object that will spoil and smell awful and in the center there is a rock hard pit that can sprout a whole tree of mixed metaphors.

I think the description is perfectly apt. Apt, I say.

And then the stand-up comedian says, “But seriously folks,” and we all nod and await the next hackneyed, possibly cliche bit.

With white knuckles and frothing mouths. The waves of laughter starting at just below the navel and swelling and building and constricting as it flows up the torso to the head where it will produce laughter or sneers. I leave you to decide which you prefer.

Me, I’m a snarling sort. I blame the see and Blaine, but not in that order and not for any good reason.

Tomorrow I pay for summer tuition and then settle down and wait for the summer to end and Fall semester to begin. Just this one last year and I get to go elsewhere to be annoyed by the peoples of that place to.

I’m not all that negative, and I’m in a good, if not somber mood. All reflection, however, requires that I calls it as I sees it, and the world as rarely been a place where I can make overtly generalized positive statements without being visciously stabbed.

So I will say the overtly negative things which will conjur up less karmic retribution and you can all pretend that I mean some degree of good or bad, positive or negative, black and white according to your personal moral barameter.

I’m sure that given the amount of time I’ve been around here that one of your assumptions will be correct and the other will be correct eventually. Be content with the fact that you have won. Perhaps not today, but someday and maybe even more than once.

I wish I could simply level with you all about a number of things that have been biting at me lately, but I do not have the words because I haven’t really been learning anything for the last 5-6 years and I feel the atrophy settling in.

I’ll give you a better rundown, a promise that I intend to make good on, in a future time (roughly three weeks from now) when I’ve jump started my brain with information and facts and ideas. Some of which will definately not be mine.

Rodney TGAP
Bonne nuit, bonne nuit to you all.

Orginal comments:


Nickname: thewendy
hmmph
old. very old.

Original article posted by Olorle:

Steel across asphault
accenting paint-can bongos.
Traffic humms counter-point
for faltering guitarist,
shirtless lead.

Footsteps miss no beat,
tapping or crunching past.
No time to waste on
childish games.

Except stolen glances,
secret smiles, dreams
half-remembered, quickly
re-lost. No time for dreams.
Just fast food. The back
to work.

Orginal comments:


Nickname: thewendy
Re: Lunch Break
hey cat- sorry i think i missed you in slc.
i have been in the desert. just got back today.

i like the images in the poem.
don’t think there is a smooth transition between the second and third stanza.
childish games may be a little cliche.

hope the summer has been treating you well!
misses the cat.

Original article posted by Greg:

My companion, elder Rowberry, is a super-nice guy who I have been getting along well with. I appreciate very much how patient he is with me. He is a humble, and hard working missionary. He also likes to have fun. There’s a t-shirt that says “They Call her Diamond Jones” that he really wants to buy. So, for the past week, we’ve been saying things like, “Diamond Jones could get us into this apartment building.” Or “Diamond Jones knows how to spread the gospel.” It’s stupid and funny all at once. Especially when you add on the funky bass guitar and brass section after everything that Diamond Jones says.

Baw! Dee dee wah Bah BAH!

We were trying to find people to teach in an apartment complex when a guanli, or security guard for the unenlightened, came up to us and asked us to leave. I was about to say “Okay, bye, sorry for bugging you.” when elder Rowberry said “Nope. We have to share this message.” Then the guanli, a concerned citizen (nozy lady) and the head guanli proceeded to argue with me for about 15 minutes while my companion continued to buzz doors and ask if anybody was interested in hearing about Jesus Christ.

So I ended up speaking chinese for 15 minutes to 3 people who wanted me to stop what I was doing, or at least stop my friend from doing what he was doing. I’m pretty impressed with myself.

They ended up following us upstairs to find out if somebody had really let us in to talk or not. The head guanli even went so far as to push shut a door in front of me while I was talking to the lady who lived there.

That made me mad.

Afterwards I was riding home trying to decide how I felt about it. We did find some people who wanted to hear more, but we also made some people mad at the church. My companions standpoint is that this message is too important to just back down whenever a guard tells us to go away. I decided I felt good about that interpretation. And I figure that he gets to be Batman right now, and its my job to cover for him while he goes out and fights the forces of not-so-good. Even if that means arguing with people in Chinese for 15 minutes. In other news, we had my first really good thunder storm here a few days ago. I decided tropical storms can be pretty cool. It was a lot better than the typhoon – which amounted to sprinkles and a breeze. The thunder storm rocked. It even blew up a building a block or so away from where we were riding our bikes at the time. That was loud. Zone conferences were on Monday. It was incredible. I gained a new appreciation for Joseph Smith. And for other prophets. I can’t imagine having enough faith to endure what these men of God endure. Especially Joseph. That man had a hard life. And he accomplished a whole lot in the 20 or so years of his life from the start of the translation of the Book of Mormon till the end of his life. When you compile all he did and said into one place, it’s absolutely amazing.

I love being a part of something so spiritual and enlightening that it leaves your body exhausted afterwards, even though you didn’t actively do anything other than maybe listen and take notes. Wow. And in a final note, yesterday I learned that there’s no convenient place to dispose of pornography in Taiwan when you’re a missionary.

I know because a guy decided he didn’t want to have that filth in his house and he gave us two big bags worth to throw away for him. The problem is there isn’t such a thing as a public dumpster or trashcan, and we couldn’t really justify keeping it at our house until the off-chance we had the garbage truck run by. So we pitched it over the wall of a paper recycling yard, and hoped that nobody would dig through it before it got recycled.

I guess porno and missionaries just don’t get along.

And on that note, good bye for another week. As always, your letters or notes are appreciated.

-Elder Awesome in the 24th dimension.

Orginal comments:


Nickname: Cornelius
Re: Not to worry. I’m a professional.
Well Elder Awesome, I’m glad to hear that you are getting to be Alfred after he became your hero. I have also been using my powers for awesome. I got the last piece of what I need to defeat my enemies and send in my papers. We “found” my shots record. w00+ x3.

Kentucky was fun. It was more fun the farther from it I get. There are only a few things worth mentioning. #1 is that I learned much about how the regular Army and the National Guard function while activated. I think that if a suitable career does not present itself reasonably soon after I return from the mission, then I will probably go regular Army. #2 is the story of the exploding gun gag and the cadets who fell for it. While we were giving our safety briefing, someone inside the gun turned on the exhaust fan (which is loud, but harmless) and started yelling “Turn it off!!! Turn it off!!! Run!!!” Then the crew comes piling out the back and we take off for the woods. It’s amazing to see what someone can do if they are running for their life. We had a lot of fun doing that.

That’s all I have to say about that. -Blaine

Original article posted by ravenpaine:

Entry 70 – August 1, 2004

Though it seemed at times like the end was nowhere near and that I’d have to suffer eternaly it appears that things are calm and somewhat back to normal.

Peace and joy may not reign here but they are back from an exile with tales of a vast outside world.

I’m too tired to say much more than that.

Tomorrow this article will fill with details, facts, and humorous super allusions, some of which will not be FF XI related.

Rodney TGAP
Si bonne nuit, si bonne nuit to you all.

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