Original article posted by Greg:

Where to begin?! My day today is so full of frivolity and mirth I wish I could combine the two in my descriptions and call it mirvolity! However, that sounds more like a dangerous field of science… Besides that, it would actually be dishonest since I’m not feeling entirely mirvolous right now, just mostly so. A high level of mirvol.


And why, you ask? I shall tell thee. I today have received mail from my best and most beloved friends! Thanks to Rodney, Stephanie, and Kayeleen. I have other best and most beloved friends, but they failed to organize the delivery of their mail with R.S., S.J., and K. J., who are now so cool and awesome (nigh unto coolsome!) that they can only be referred to by their initials. (note: my parents reached coolsome levels last week when they sent a rice-krispy treat Easter Bunny. Wootski.) Each of these nigh-coolsome chums will receive a personalized letter from me, except R.S. whose address I am yet lacking… Oh yeah. It’s my old address.

I will now relate some thoughts and experiences.

First I would like to speak about one of my heroes. He is a being unlike any other. His arrival into the world was unique. His kindness was unending. His example turned many from works of evil to righteous doing. His power is unmatched. He died and then returned to life. I speak, of course, of Goku.

Am I the only one seeing it? And people ask me how I can like Dragon-Ball Z. Hello, McFly, can you say messianic overtones?

So yeah, this week I really noticed the eerie similarities in certain cartoons to the message of Christ. See what happens when you’re a missionary?

In unrelated new: We had the chance to teach and be taught by native Chinese speakers. Or more correctly, native Chinese speaking people – not their speakers. But that could have been cool… Anyway. It was interesting. I understood a full 15% of their words to us.

Have I mentioned Chinese is slightly difficult to learn? ‘Cause it is. The filthy Italians (we call them that because we are jealous that they get to learn Italian and only have to be here 8 weeks. Jerks.) came by last night and practiced sharing their testimonies. Now, I have never studied Italian, nor heard much of it, but I understood at least as much of their Italian as I do of any slow-speaking Chinese person.

Very slow speaking.

So my ire towards all romance-language speaking missionaries is piqued. Or irked. Or wrathed-up. The upside is I plan on coming home in two years and learning like 5 romance languages and call it easy.

Am I being prideful? Probably. Oh well. I should be over it after 2 years of Mandarin-flavored humble pie. (with mint frosting.)

My friends, I miss you. It was good to get some print-outs of the SixMileVillage stats and see that people are participating and being participated at. I encourage heavy comment leaving. Not that the comments themselves should be heavy, but that the quantity should increase. Back to the main point of this paragraph: I am most happy to hear that adventures, misadventures, mishaps, and haps are still being had by all. I invite any and all interested to mail print-outs of any good entries to me during my next 3 weeks zai MTC.

Next news item: We had a fun Chinese activity the other day where our morning teacher told us the story of Abinadi and King Noah out of the Chinese children’s (not Chinese children, but Chinese language pause children’s) Book of Mormon Stories picture book. What a confusing sentence. I suspect Chinese grammar structure is touching my brain. Anyway, afterwards we tried to tell it back one person, one sentence at a time. When it got to the sisters in the room they said, “What is this story again?” It turns out they didn’t know the story at all.

Okay, this was going to end funny and insightfully, but my companion and a roommate are running around like this is a high-school locker room, so I left the room and I lost my train of thought. Suffice it to say that our poor morning teacher was so overcome with astonishment that we could not continue.

Okay, that was lame. I feel like the world has lost something through my sharing of that story. Wow. Let’s move on to something else less… not good… as that was. Yes.

After General Conference on Sunday a choir led by a mad-eyed, bald conductor visited the MTC. They did a nice presentation about Christ with acting, pre-recorded music, and film clips. And I thought of countless performances I’ve seen and been involved with where the goal was apparently “good enough.” And there, watching what was essentially a group of very self-oriented college students sing something they thought of as good-enough, I realized I never want to get involved with anything where the goal is only to surpass mediocre.

Which is too bad because sometimes it would seem to be unavoidable.

With one exception, every organization is only the sum of its parts. More specifically, every church but one is only what it’s membership makes of it. The exception is the true church of God – because that organization is what God makes of it and also happens to include room for its membership.

Now, it is my testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints its that one true church of Christ – of God. That’s why I belong to it. Sometimes there are members who obviously don’t care. Sometimes there are church members who think that “good enough” is really good enough – when in reality the honest in heart know that it can never be good enough until it receives that divine stamp of approval from He who is the only “good enough” person. Yes, there are idiots among us , and sometimes each of us will fill that role and proudly point the fingers at others. Yes, I see the mediocre member, and the out-right apostate. And if this were any other organization I would leave it. But it’s not like any other church on the planet. The LDS Church is not the sum of its parts, but is part of the only lasting truth and light that is.

I realize the membership pushes many away. Because many, like me, don’t want to just surpass mediocre – they want to find excellence. They want to align themselves with all that is good. And it’s hard to think this church might be it.

Well, it is. I know that the only place we can reach our true and full potential as individuals and as families is within the true church, the true organization of God. And that organization is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Now having said all that (which I never intended to do when I started this letter) I invite you to read and sincerely pray about the Book of Mormon, which is the physical evidence of the truth we profess. If the Book of Mormon is of God, as I testify it is, then this church is true. If it is false, then the church must be too. If you want to go beyond all you think is possible, this is how to start.

Well, I just wrote a speech instead of a letter, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I shall end now, with my thanks and love to all my friends.

-The Cool, Soothing Relief of Everyday Irritation,
Elder Hamblin