October 2004


Original article posted by Greg:

Really, I’m realizing she is the female Linkin Park. Not that I think about stuff like that here. Ever.

So some more about Jian. (that’s gee-ahn) Lately the temperature has been between mid sixties to upper seventies. I point the finger of mockery towards all who have had to deal with snow and/or frost already this year.

The environment is really a lot like Hemet, California. Now that’s obscure. Tom might get it.

My companion, for those in the know, is quite a lot like Jesse Arbogast. In frightening amounts. I wonder if he’ll read this site in later years and come across this and wonder who Jesse Arbogast is. Well, not to worry, he’s a stud.

There’s a dog that sleeps right outside the door of the apartment building. He gets up and runs with us every time we leave to proselyte. Apparently he’s been hit by more cars and missionaries than you could count on your fingers and toes. We like him a lot. It’s nice to have somebody excited to see you, even if it is an animal.

Actually, we have lots of kids excited to see us, but the parents almost never are.

Elder Taylor just recieved a letter that was sent in the beginning of September. The reason it took so long is because the sender wrote in cursive.

A. The chinese people don’t often read english anyway,
B. English cursive is more like ancient mesopotamian snake worshipers’ secret scrolls of knowledge and favorite cookie recipies of the chief high potentate than English to the average chinese postal worker.

So, if the holy spirit moves you to send a letter, please do not hearken to the spirit which teacheth a person to write the address in cursive. For you must not write in cursive.

The work is going pretty okay here. We have lots of people who are really good, but have serious smoking problems. We keep running into it, and haven’t been able to get anybody to overcome it yet. I can’t imagine how hard it would be. I’m trying to break my habit of popping my fingers, and that’s hard enough without the added physical addiction. So. Don’t smoke.

I’m sorry I don’t often include spiritual things in these emails. I just imagine that not a lot of people are interested. But maybe I’m wrong. Let me know. Also, it’s hard to be spiritual with some rich teenager screaming “Is this what you wanted?” over and over again.

Notes:

Rodney: I hear there are some interesting changes in life as of late. Please relate. Also avoid rabbits with plumber snakes.

Tom: Thanks for your much support. I have a picture of the “Palm Canyon Drive” ad on my wall. Keep it as real as possible.

Russ: Sorry I’ve still not written. But now I’ve written you a note. Does that count?

Kayeleen: Thanks a bunch for that last letter and added stuff. You are far too nice to me.

Blaine: I’m out of time to leave you a note. Too bad for you.

Original article posted by jMichelle:

Life’s finally calming. Woot! Because of lack of time I’ll make this long story short. Here goes: Dumped long time more than craptacular loser boyfriend, started dating new guy (way better great guy… a lot like my dad), got engaged, got married this last friday the 15th. Woot again! So there’s your shock o’ the day for those of you who might not have known. For those of you who don’t know me, don’t worry about it.
So now my name is Jodie Michelle Hamblin Moser. Yes, I’ve heard all the jokes about the name. There’s a reception in Kanab at my home (1306 S. 175 E.) on Sat. the 23rd from 2-4pm for anyone who wishes to come and get free food.
The best to all of you,
Jo

Original article posted by Greg:

So I’m currently in Jian. It’s a nice place. Reminds me of Heber City, Utah in a lot of ways. Like it’s the first city I’ve been in that has straight streets. Also lots of small shops, not highrises. And the current temperature is about like those high elevation towns in August or September. Nice.

The town is situated between these gigantic mountains and the ocean. It’s basically the garden spot of the island. Lots of thick plantlife, rice fields, discovery channel type animals, and heavy construction.

My new companion is Elder Taylor. I can’t really tell what he’s like so far since I’ve been here for about 1.5 hours.

The downside of the Hualien area is that any mail sent will take a lot lot longer to get to me. Please don’t send any eggs or milk. Probably wont make it intact.

The other downside was getting really sick in the taxi as we wound through the forest canyons. But then they pushed me onto the train and said “We’ll meet you down there!” and brought my luggage down while I slept on the train. So, not so bad.

My last week in Banqiao was pretty uneventful. Brother Jin, one of our new converts, ditched his wife on the side of the road somewhere on his way to church. And he had a big smile on his face when he told us about it. It made me and my companion really mad at him. He keeps complaining about his marriage, but then refuses to try to improve it, and even does stupid things to damage it.

But surely I’ve ranted enough about bad relationships in the past, no? Yes.

There’s something about a 6 hour road trip that sure takes it out of a guy. By which I mean me. I am that guy. And it’s been taken out of me.

Can’t think of much else to write about. Still not convincing, but maybe someday. (but not too soon, or they might decide to call me as a senior companion, and then what would people think?)

Decently modern,
-elder hamblin

Orginal comments:


Nickname: Thurfir_Hawat
Re: Hey taxi.
Hey Greg. Just wanted to say hi. Haven’t visited six mile village in a while. After waking up in the middle of the night rolling about and chanting, “Guido, Guido, Guido…” I thought I ought to see how you are doing. Erin and Sophie (the kid) say hi.

Jared


Nickname: Thurfir_Hawat
Re: Hey taxi.
Addendum: Sophie doesn’t say “hi” as much as “coo”, but I think you get what I mean.

Original article posted by ravenpaine:

Entry 78 – October 18

Bjork, one of the true and endless loves of my life has a song entitled “I’ve been thinking again.’ So I’ll use that as my launching point as I attempt, not for the first time to pull an all nighter, not because I need to, not because I’m such a night person that i simply cannot sleep, but only for the experience of being up and about when so many other people are not. It is at these times that I start to feel things and think things and experience the world as if through some sort of cosmic focal lense that forces all the drudgery out of the way and only relevance can exist in a pure crystaline form.

Now is a very dangerous time for someone of my often fragile psyche to be putting too much thought or opinion into anything. Now is the time that my mind is most open to all suggestions and many thoughts and nothing is seen with darkness or anger until after it makes its way in. Then, and only then, are the censors turned on and the things which have wandered into my brain and into my soul given such scrutiny that they scream in a combination of pain and remorse.

There are many things to be learned from the screams of ones enemies and allies alike. There are things that can be learned from screams that no man should know and that knowledge should never be shared. I’m certain that there are things within the night that are becoming commonplace enough to be a threat to everyone. There are things that we should not know that we have unending curiosities for and those things are gathering power through belief and will eventually, if not sooner, come for us in the places and at the times that we are most vulnrable.

None of which really has to do with what I’m thinking tonight. Those were simply idle thoughts that needed to be put down for some puropose or time.

No, tonights excursion into the skull is a little more personal. You might have seen some of the posting my life long friend Greg has been making. I have sent him no information in something closing in on six months. I worry my good friend because there is a vast amount of information I could impart to him none of whcih will brighten his day or assist him in his chosen life.

I give this same sort of excuse for most of the reason I do not write regularly. I either have nothing to say or nothing to say that cannot be said better by someone else. The things that I do have to say and that should be said by only me I tend to hope that I never actually have to say them. A combination of fear of success and need not to burden others with the trials and pains of my own life combine to create a foolish blend of silence and enraged blather.

I apologize for any writings that you read that you feel you would rather have not read. I’m there with you on most of those occasions wishing that I had not felt justified in telling you these things or worse, I just did not care to spare you the burden of them. My pain will be shared, nay, thrust upon you and you will bear it because I’m not always the nicest of people.

I do things that I regrett, as many people do, but unlike so many people, I do not let these things go. I harbor each of my sins in a sort of mental clipboard damning myself until I have made amends for each of them.

I have made amends for a great many things in my life, I assume that I have a great number more to put to rest between now and an eventual end to all things. Which I have no concluding statements about. I say these things but I really have not deliberated on them to any real ends.

I simply mention them as a matter of course.

I do not have much to say tonight. I have whimsy and regrett. I have doubts and hopes. I have a drive and a passion to accomplish certain tasks and an unrelenting gnawing terror of what will happen if I do.

And I have an audience, whcih means that I have a purpose.

But what purpose? What purpose, indeed.

Rodney TGAP
Bonne nuit, bonne nuit to you all.

Orginal comments:


Nickname: arylaina
Re: One night only…
“I either have nothing to say or nothing to say that cannot be said better by someone else.”

Yes. See, see, this IS one of those things I could say myself, but you just said it better, so I don’t need to say it. This is why I have not written much in over two years, when writing used to be an abiding passion and hobby of mine. I simply don’t do it much anymore, and when I do, I usually destroy the product shortly after creating it.

Perhaps when I get very tired and drifty, I need to sit down at my computer instead of staring at my blank walls.

Original article posted by Greg:

Elder Rowberry got to see his flight plans today. And now he’s staring at a picture of his dad’s new truck in his front yard. I’m hoping the anti-trunky drugs work okay.

After emailing last week, we went to eat a nice big lunch with some super-nice members. While there, a crazy lady came into the building asking if we could either give her money or go with her to the hospital in Danshui. We said no, but offered to walk her to the train station or give her some food. She said no, she could really use some money. We gave her some curry rice.

A few minutes later she was gone. Then sister Anderson noticed so was her bag with all her cash, cards and important “Hey-look-I’m-an-american” documents in it. Elder Rowberry and I dashed outside, searched the station, searched the streets, searched the parking garage. I knew she couldn’t have gone far with her limp and extreme baggage, so we checked the stairwells. We ended up walking into the 3rd floor, which is a Japanese Buddhism (different from chinese, or indian, or taiwanese) church. They said nobody had come in there, but one of the ladies said she was sure she saw somebody go into the restroom. But the other ladies said no.

We returned to the 4th floor (our chapel) to see that they still hadn’t found her. Then my companion saw the elevator doors open with the crazy lady inside. He yelled, she pressed the “close door” button and started down. My companion and I dashed down the stairs. She wasn’t expecting to encounter our loyal army of buddhist secretaries on the third floor, though. Four women snatched her as soon as the elevator doors had opened and brought her right up to us.

Well, long story short, she had gone into the 3rd floor restroom and dumped out everything but the cash, which we found in her bag. But it took about 3 hours to get it back due to this, that and the policemen.

The next couple of days were relatively uneventful except for meeting a person who wants to get baptized. Which was pretty eventful in my mind, since that’s kinda what I do.

Saturday was spent with the ward at the Stake Exercise Big Meeting. (I love chinese.) I competed in the block run, which we dominated in, and my companion competed in both block run and relay, which we also dominated. Banqiao went away with the gold for the fourth or fifth year in a row. The best part was seeing a lot of our new members and investigators there enjoying, and competing.

On sunday afternoon we like to go to the park to contact. Because most people like to go to the park on sundays, often with george. (Ask jared about that one). It was breezy and cool and just great. It’s a park that stretches along the riverbank from Tucheng to inner-Taipei. That’s probably over 20 miles of un-interupted park. There are street hockey rinks, rollerskate parks, bike stuntparks, open fields, running tracks, basketball courts, bike paths, remote-control car tracks, soccer fields and so on. That day there were tons of kites flying overhead. It was just cool. Then we met a guy who was beating up a little tree with a stick. He was cool.

On monday I “pre-CM ed” Which is a neccessary step in CMing. CM stands for “Convincing Missionary” So I guess right now I am “Preconvincing.” I actually went into the mission office today to try and CM, but 1. we ran out of time and 2. My chinese still needs some work. But I feel great about that because it will keep me learning and stretching.

I decided I really like to improve myself. I keep picking something I’m bad at and working at it to make it better. And it’s turning out to be kinda fun and… rewarding? Yeah. that’s it.

I hope I can keep that outlook when it comes time for me to retake a couple of math classes in a few years.

I most likely will move on monday. So… that has nothing to do with most of you.

In a final note, we were called over to a grocery store by a big policeman who spoke english like an italian. He demanded we talk with him about our church. He was really nice, but really distracted. As we were wrapping it up, I asked if I could teach him how to pray. He said “Oh, we don’t have time for that! We would have to prepare the candles, the napkins and the tomatoes!”

I didn’t know what to say to that, really, so there it stands.

To all: Please congratulate my sister on her upcoming thing of excitement and life-alterations.

Lots of whatever it is that I have,
-Elder Rock and Roll

Original article posted by ravenpaine:

Entry 77 – October 12

There exists a school of thought that states always begin with a joke, but right now I’m feeling somewhat less than funny. In fact I really feel like ripping apart secions of the cosmos and letting lethal doses of radiation permeat the world just to see what would happen. I know what a radiation burn looks like so this is not an idle thought or a simple need to lash out with grotesque imagery.

My intellecutal palate could use some cleansing, as could my emotional stop-gap response system. I’m freaking out again over a variety of things both spirtual and mundane and all of them demand startling and dramatic changes but without any sort of guidance or goal.

Almost every system in my body wants things to be other than they are and none of them is about to tell me what things to change.

I recognize this phenomenon as “the Fear,” which is not an isolated incident in my life nor is it an isolated concept to feel as a human. Hunter S Thompson felt “the Fear” many times and coped with it the same way i am, typing angrily and quickly while I still can in hopes that by the time I’m done everything will have coalesed even a little and I will have a form of patience and a conscience again.

I still predict that overall it will go poorly. I cannot afford to have a mid-semester freak out, I do have one every semester so I should just be used to the timing and do my best to get through it quickly. However, as I have already had an early semseter freak out I thought that I might be able to skip the middle one just this once.

There are few things in life more horrible than to constantly ask yourself if you can be trusted. If perhaps anything and everything bad that has ever been said about you is true and to begin sacntioning yourself in case it was true so that you can isolate the porblem and stop the spread of damage. I have felt this way too often for my short number of years, and yet I have to maintain a powerful and overbearing ego just to stay alive from day to day. This causes the occasional, regularly timed, freak-outs that I experience.

But mine is a mind both creative and logical so I will sit and postualate about what I am doing and how I feel hoping that answers will become, if not apparent, than at least locatable. There have got to be solutions for some of these issues somehere within me and I will find them or die. And the death thing is constantly looming ever closer. I can feel certain higher functions shutting down and section of me just ceasing. I no longer want to live under the burden of my own past and memories.

Which I do not think is an uncommon thing. Many people wish they could undo the harm they have caused but as I get further along I simply don’t want the impact of my own actions to exist anymore. I believe to deeply in Fate and causality and my ego is much too large for me not to assume that all situations are not influenced by me to some degree and I watch the worlds that are created from my deeds and sometimes I just want to wipe it all clean and start over.

But that is all needlessly Nihilstic. I dont’ feel that much oblivion at the horizon, it is simply something that I contemplate from time to time. The issue that actually bothers me at the moment is how little consistency I can maintain in life. I can do a startling large amount of work in a single day and then do nothing for nearly a month. The world will not let me work in my own time table so I must obviously adapt to the worlds time table, but the question is should I do as much as I am capable of each day or should I simply do what is necessary and move on.

Either solution will create problems for me and I cannot see which path will create more problems for others. And now I’m simply egrandizing myself as if my decsions had any bearing on anyone elses life.

Long live the asshole.

The Bastard.

The guy who thinks and therefor has problems

Rodney TGAP
Bonne nuit, bonne nuit to you all.

Orginal comments:


Nickname: Cornelius
Re: Languish not, toil often
Doing all that you can each day just so you can say you’ve been busy leads to the crazies. If doing a thing is important to you then you should do it. If you are doing a thing for someone else out of unselfish motives, then you should do it. If you are doing a thing just so you can say, “Look, I did a thing!” then maybe you should re-evaluate why you’re doing it. Some things, while considered noble in general, are not worth the effort for some people to do.

Original article posted by Greg:

So he started “freezing” hands and organs and things like that. And then cutting up whole bodies and freezing them like that. So theres these people that look absolutely unraveled – limb, joint, muscle, nerve and whatnot all stretched out for yards in every direction, so you can look all the way into and through a person. We also saw bodies with everything but the bloodstream or the nervous system removed. Weird.

Cool, but eerie to look at these things and then remember that this is somebody’s uncle Jeff split open for the world to see his gallstones.

Also there were babies, but that was truly disturbing and I don’t want to think about it. So there.

In more uplifting news, the mission has reached another phase in the roll-out of the new ‘preach my gospel’ program. We got the new missionary guides, which absolutely ROCK. They are so helpful and exciting and other things that nerdy missionaries would say.

The past couple weeks I’ve been thinking about marriage a lot. Not my own, mind you, but others. For example, we had a reception at the church here for a man who is a member, and his vietnamese wife, who is not.

He called me yesterday and said “can you elders come over on Friday?” I said “sure, why?” He said “To teach my wife the gospel!” and I said “How will we communicate with her?” To which he said “I don’t know.”

We’ve been telling him for months that if he marries a girl who doesn’t speak Chinese, and he can’t speak her language, and she’s not his religion, and he lives with his parents who hate his religion, it leads to a LOT of problems.

Nevertheless, he decided to marry her.

And it still hasn’t sunk in that we can’t help her learn the gospel, and hasn’t sunk in that he has to stand up to his parents and just take her to church despite their objections.

He wants a lot, but doesn’t seem to see the obstacles that need to be overcome.

There’s another guy in the ward who, many years ago, married a vietnamese girl. She’s now gone for about 27 days out of the month, living with her boy and girl friends somewhere else. But occasionally she comes back to see her two kids.

Then there are some who do it right. Who keep what is important to them important. Who don’t give up the things that make them truly happy for somebody else – but add somebody who is already happy to their lives. Some people do it right. (like my little sister, I bet.)

We visited an old singe guy the other night. He said – “I’m facing a lot of strangeness right now.” He drew a line, “This is the path that leads to God.” then he drew a box with many lines coming out of it, “This is where I am now, and I don’t know which way to go. This way,” He labeled it, “leads to pain. This way,” he labels another, “leads to Satan. This leads to hell. This one leads to temptation. This one leads to Japan. And I don’t know which way I’m headed right now.”

We can only hope it’s not to a foriegn country.

Notes:

Mom and dad: Thanks for the package of goodies and the John Deere dealership card.
Kayeleen: You are a great leader and a great person.
Jodie: Hee hee. I know what you’re getting for your wedding present from me.
Blaine: Thanks for the note. and I hope that someday I will thank you for settlers of catan. *wink*
Teah: Thanks for the letter and say hello to everybody. By which I mean your husband.
Rodney: Please begin work on a “Rodrigo Family Christmas Letter.” Especially finding the old family and what they’re doing. It would be good for all, yes?

It’s okay, I ate Subway today.
-Elder Hamblin

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