Original article posted by chamblin:

Well friends, Roman, countrymen, it’s been another week of classes and colorful 19-year-olds.

Um… not that there’s anything wrong with 19-year-olds. Or younger.

Chinese remains a challenge, but my listening comprehension is slowly… slowly… increasing. I remember when I first arrived, teachers would stick their heads into class and jibba-jabba to our teacher. We had no idea what was being said. But now we understand! It’s always, “Hey, do you know how to say _________?” “No, I don’t.” “Oh, okay. See you at the meeting then, urinating dog.”

I may be wrong on the translation of that last bit.

A great lesson I’ve learned here is to “Liken.” Meaning take a scripture, or a talk or something, and liken it to my situation. I actually have been doing this for years, but I’ve reached a new level, of likening here. An uber-liken, if you will.

For instance, some prophet once said that the addictions we have in this life will be multiplied in their intensity in the next life. Perhaps due to our inability to fulfill those desires without bodies.

So: Likening this teaching, I could say I’m already IN the next life. Moved on past the things of the world. This, then, explains my burning desire to go to Disneyland. My springtime addiction is not being fulfilled!

Here at the MTC we have what are called Large Group Meetings. They’re basically 1.5 hour long PowerPoint presentations on various gospel subjects. My branch has created a point system. If the speaker gives you the microphone, that’s a point. If you can be a volunteer in some lesson, that’s a point. If you can shoot down somebody else’s answer to a question with your own answer and have the speaker agree or say “good insight” that’s 2 points. The idea is to outscore those people who just LOVE to share their opinions. Also it’s kinda funny.

Did I tell you that the Chinese have no words for “yes.” Or “no.”? Yeah. So, sometimes they’ll finish a sentence with “hao buhao?” which is basically “good not good.” To which you reply “hao.”(pronounced how). Perhaps it is hoping too much that someone will say, “hao white man” while I’m there.

I managed to get my district to join the MTC choir, so now on Sunday during dinner and Tuesday night between transfiguration and potions we go into the gym and sing for an hour. I don’t know how long we’ll keep going.

I have some more character revealing stories about my companion and roommates, but I’m feeling rather gregarious… or gregish… so I’m not going to go into anything that makes them look bad. Really, they are improving in their attitudes and behaviors. By the time we are about ½ through the mission they will be ready to serve good missions. *wink*

I kid. I kid. Let me put it this way.: These are 3 types of missionaries – the good, the bad, and the in-between. The in-between don’t stay that way for long. WE had all 3 in my room at the beginning. That’s all.

Finally, my friends, a note about the chokitude.

Thanks to Rachel, Parental units 1 & 2, Kayeleen, Heidi and Sister unit H.H. All else are in danger of condemnation. Yea verily.

To avoid condemnation either A. include me in your prayers, or B. write a letter. To not only avoid condemnation but gain salvation (from the chokitude) do both.

-Elder Hamblin
Elder Greg Hamblin
MTC Mailbox #33
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Orginal comments:

Nickname: Cornelius
Re: Greg Letter March 5, 2004
For those of you who do not know, the comment of the chokeitude will be explained hereafter. While I was in basic training I wrote a letter to Greg/everybody that chewed everyone out for not writing me. In that letter I said the following: “I just learned hand-to-hand combat today. Those of you who haven’t written to me will get an excellent firsthand demonstration when I get home. This demonstration can be expressed best by one of my bogus mathematical theorems. The Chokeitude of person U is inversely proportional to the Mailitude of person U.” This means that if you write a lot you’re safe. Otherwise, you could be hurt, or dead. Please mail Greg.