January 2005


Original article posted by Greg:

Apparently my mission president told my parents I’m an exceptional missionary. I have my own thoughts. And they are “NyQuil, NyQuil, NyQuil, We love you.. You giant Q.” Which may be a sign of lack of focus on my part.

I had the opportunity to read some governmental forms about piracy between china and taiwan. I don’t think it’s normal to let foriegners read these things, but they wanted help translating them from english. We did pretty well, I think, but had trouble with the sentence “He said the shipment arrived in Shanghai, but really it’s all bosh.”

Bosh… bosh… good word.

Last week I experienced the lowest numbers – that is, the numbers that reflect work done by my companionship – since my arrival on island. It was not a pleasant experience. The twin devils of Doubt and Fear have, therefore, been able to sneak their way into my previously doubtless and fearless mind. And while some of the lowness in numbers can be attributed to meetings and a 3 hour bike ride, all of which took away from the work time, my fear (there’s that word) is that it reflects lack of aptitude on my part.

Or maybe it’s just all bosh.

Friday night a member called in a pretty stressed state of mind. He was from my first area. He said he was in a hospital in a place called Shou Feng, and asked if we could visit him. We didn’t have anything saturday afternoon, so we said okay. So at about noon we took off for Shou Feng, about .5 hour away by bike. The problem is that Shou Feng is a really big area of land. This member had said that the hospital was just inside the shou feng area, but it turned out to take us 1.5 hours to get there. So that was frustrating.

He’s going through some kind of rehab right now. It’s pretty rough on him, and he feels pretty lousy about himself. We talked about how we can rely on God for help, and trust him to lead us to happiness – But that the change is usually hard and painful. He cried a lot and thanked us and took pictures with us.

Then it was back to JiAn. I thought that we had an appointment in about an hour and a half from that point, so we went pretty fast and I pushed myself pretty hard. I had been feeling that I kept making poor decisions, or maybe I wasn’t working hard enough. So I guess I just made myself work a little harder that day. It was pretty tiring, but we made it in time to grab a bite to eat and be at the church in time for the lesson.

Probably I should have said to myself: “Self, You have only just got over a cold recently, you should take it slower.” But rather I said “Be sure to drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine.”

Can you tell this is going somewhere?

I should have said “Self, you had asthma as a kid, and even though it’s really warm and you aren’t short of breath, better safe than sorry.”

At about 7:oo that night I noticed a little pain in my throat that wouldn’t go away when I drank water. Kinda like that pain that comes when you cry a lot, you know? Not that I ever cry. Anyway, I thought “Self, the last time you had a pain like this, it got worse and worse and spread all over your body until you went to the hospital.” To which I replied “Nonsense, it’s just that cold coming back a little bit now that it’s night time. You just shut up. I hate you. You’re ugly.”

Sorry.. Self confidence issues.

Well, by 9:30 it was hurting in my jaw, chest, and arms. And quite a lot. “Now you’ve done it,” I said. “Now you’re going to have to call the mission mom and bother her.” So I did. She was woried that I was having some kind of allergic reaction and my lungs and throat might close up. But I told her about the last time it had happened, about 6 years ago. She made some calls to the mission doctor and to my mom, which culminated in her calling me back and saying “Why don’t you go to the hospital and have them diagnose it.” So my companion and I went to the hospital, where people speak a great form of medical english.

They were just as stumped as the american doctors the first time, so they stuck me full of some kind of liquid and made me lie down on a bed. They left the needle and tube thing in my arm for easy access, which made me feel really important. Like at any moment somebody would say “Hook him up to an iv, quick, we got to stabilize his system.”

But nobody did.

But a lady came over and put a blankie on me.

Anyway, the drugs worked fast and miraculously, but they made me stay until my blood tests got back. When the head doctor lady came over with the paper, she said “Look! Your blood is really quite beautiful!” Then gave me a paper that I didn’t understand at all. (not because it was chinese, but because it was in doctor.)

Anyway, the after effect was some pretty major exhaustion and a resurgance of the cold, with which I do mortal combat to this very hour.

So sunday I was very beat up feeling. Plus that was the day we totalled up our week’s numbers. And I lost my voice.

So it was a pretty low day. I thought to myself “Self, not to worry, it can’t get much worse.” Then my pants ripped. (really.)

But since then things have turned in the upwards direction quite a bit. We taught my first “First lesson” with me as senior companion. And it was to a great family. Then yesterday we taught another pretty great first discussion. Plus my companion has been really good to me. So I’m still here and still pretty okay.

I’m even managing to overcome doubts and fear. Which is great. I put a goku sticker on the back of my nametag, and surely that helps some.

Well, my time is up. My love and thanks to: Blaine, Rachel, Ghandi, Russ, Ruth, Tom, and Kaye, all of whom have written to me. (posting comments on the site counts) I really appreciate it, and hope to reply someday. But not now, as the counter on my computer says 2.

Lesson:

Don’t amp it up too much, or you won’t be able to amp at all.

-Style Lizard

Original article posted by Stephanie:

So I’m moving to New Zealand now. Well, not now, in 5 days. I just received confirmation of my visa yesterday, so it’s official now. I’m moving to another country, freaky.
I don’t write on here much. I’ve never felt quite at home here, but I do check in from time to time. When I’m out there maybe I will write more, as I will be unemployed for the next couple of months.
If anyone wants to send this to Greg, that would be good. I am bad and haven’t written to him in a while either, which is no good. But maybe I can do that more when I have more time. And hey, maybe postage will be cheaper when I’m closer. Will I be closer? Hmm….need to look at a map.
Anyway, news is out, I’m leaving Utah *YAY* hope you are all well.
Stephanie

Orginal comments:


Nickname: squishous
Re: Well I’m leaving now
Hey Steph,

this is Russ! Have fun and be safe. I have always wanted to see the toilets swirl in the wrong direstion. take a picture for me!

-Russ

Original article posted by Greg:

Apparently my mission president told my parents I’m an exceptional missionary. I have my own thoughts. And they are “NyQuil, NyQuil, NyQuil, We love you.. You giant Q.” Which may be a sign of lack of focus on my part.

I had the opportunity to read some governmental forms about piracy between china and taiwan. I don’t think it’s normal to let foriegners read these things, but they wanted help translating them from english. We did pretty well, I think, but had trouble with the sentence “He said the shipment arrived in Shanghai, but really it’s all bosh.”

Bosh… bosh… good word.

Last week I experienced the lowest numbers – that is, the numbers that reflect work done by my companionship – since my arrival on island. It was not a pleasant experience. The twin devils of Doubt and Fear have, therefore, been able to sneak their way into my previously doubtless and fearless mind. And while some of the lowness in numbers can be attributed to meetings and a 3 hour bike ride, all of which took away from the work time, my fear (there’s that word) is that it reflects lack of aptitude on my part.

Or maybe it’s just all bosh.

Friday night a member called in a pretty stressed state of mind. He was from my first area. He said he was in a hospital in a place called Shou Feng, and asked if we could visit him. We didn’t have anything saturday afternoon, so we said okay. So at about noon we took off for Shou Feng, about .5 hour away by bike. The problem is that Shou Feng is a really big area of land. This member had said that the hospital was just inside the shou feng area, but it turned out to take us 1.5 hours to get there. So that was frustrating.

He’s going through some kind of rehab right now. It’s pretty rough on him, and he feels pretty lousy about himself. We talked about how we can rely on God for help, and trust him to lead us to happiness – But that the change is usually hard and painful. He cried a lot and thanked us and took pictures with us.

Then it was back to JiAn. I thought that we had an appointment in about an hour and a half from that point, so we went pretty fast and I pushed myself pretty hard. I had been feeling that I kept making poor decisions, or maybe I wasn’t working hard enough. So I guess I just made myself work a little harder that day. It was pretty tiring, but we made it in time to grab a bite to eat and be at the church in time for the lesson.

Probably I should have said to myself: “Self, You have only just got over a cold recently, you should take it slower.” But rather I said “Be sure to drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine.”

Can you tell this is going somewhere?

I should have said “Self, you had asthma as a kid, and even though it’s really warm and you aren’t short of breath, better safe than sorry.”

At about 7:oo that night I noticed a little pain in my throat that wouldn’t go away when I drank water. Kinda like that pain that comes when you cry a lot, you know? Not that I ever cry. Anyway, I thought “Self, the last time you had a pain like this, it got worse and worse and spread all over your body until you went to the hospital.” To which I replied “Nonsense, it’s just that cold coming back a little bit now that it’s night time. You just shut up. I hate you. You’re ugly.”

Sorry.. Self confidence issues.

Well, by 9:30 it was hurting in my jaw, chest, and arms. And quite a lot. “Now you’ve done it,” I said. “Now you’re going to have to call the mission mom and bother her.” So I did. She was woried that I was having some kind of allergic reaction and my lungs and throat might close up. But I told her about the last time it had happened, about 6 years ago. She made some calls to the mission doctor and to my mom, which culminated in her calling me back and saying “Why don’t you go to the hospital and have them diagnose it.” So my companion and I went to the hospital, where people speak a great form of medical english.

They were just as stumped as the american doctors the first time, so they stuck me full of some kind of liquid and made me lie down on a bed. They left the needle and tube thing in my arm for easy access, which made me feel really important. Like at any moment somebody would say “Hook him up to an iv, quick, we got to stabilize his system.”

But nobody did.

But a lady came over and put a blankie on me.

Anyway, the drugs worked fast and miraculously, but they made me stay until my blood tests got back. When the head doctor lady came over with the paper, she said “Look! Your blood is really quite beautiful!” Then gave me a paper that I didn’t understand at all. (not because it was chinese, but because it was in doctor.)

Anyway, the after effect was some pretty major exhaustion and a resurgance of the cold, with which I do mortal combat to this very hour.

So sunday I was very beat up feeling. Plus that was the day we totalled up our week’s numbers. And I lost my voice.

So it was a pretty low day. I thought to myself “Self, not to worry, it can’t get much worse.” Then my pants ripped. (really.)

But since then things have turned in the upwards direction quite a bit. We taught my first “First lesson” with me as senior companion. And it was to a great family. Then yesterday we taught another pretty great first discussion. Plus my companion has been really good to me. So I’m still here and still pretty okay.

I’m even managing to overcome doubts and fear. Which is great. I put a goku sticker on the back of my nametag, and surely that helps some.

Well, my time is up. My love and thanks to: Blaine, Rachel, Ghandi, Russ, Ruth, Tom, and Kaye, all of whom have written to me. (posting comments on the site counts) I really appreciate it, and hope to reply someday. But not now, as the counter on my computer says 2.

Lesson:

Don’t amp it up too much, or you won’t be able to amp at all.

-Style Lizard

Original article posted by 1066ad:

Saw the following paper, written by a student at an undisclosed university. Seems like the grader needs to take a spelling class or two, and work on their penmanship. Maybe we really are “Top 10 in Quality and Value.”

Original article posted by Cornelius:

The address is:

Blaine Anderson
222nd Field Artillery BN(C BTRY)
Bldg 2490
Camp Shelby, MS 39407

The promise is that if you write me a letter, then I will write you a letter. There will be a newsletter-thingy posted here to keep you informed, but I would appreciate all the support you can give me. Perhaps the management would consider adding a topic for me, as I don’t have my own? That would be really cool.

Well, so long everybody.

Original article posted by Greg:

Move calls did not come in until Saturday, and move day wasn’t till today. So that’s why my latest message is on time rather than early.

On Saturday morning the phone rang. I assumed it was move calls. In addition to move calls, President Perkins has to personally call anybody who is being called or released from any special callings, such as senior companion, district leader, zone leader, Assistant to the President, or any office staff position. Well, anyway, it wasn’t move calls, it was President. But he wanted to speak with my companion. So Elder Taylor found up his DL time was served and he was free to move to TaoYuan. Which he just did this morning. Then President hung up and we waited for move calls to tell me who my new companion would be and who our new DL would be.

I think that because I have made this into an adventurous story kind of thing rather than just telling you how move-calls turned out you probably know what happens next.

The phone rings again, but it’s not move-calls. It’s President again, and he wants to me.

President Perkins likes to play with my mind.

I told him that he tricked me because by hanging up I figured I was in the clear for another move call. He said sorry, but not true. So he called me as senior companion. I said okay, and he gave me a bit of advice which I do not remember in the slightest because at the time I was thinking “Crap, I can’t even speak Chinese. What am I going to do now?” Then he said “Okay. Oh, wait, one other thing.”

President Perkins likes to play with my mind.

So now I’m senior and DL, too. I’m not too worried about the DL stuff, but the whole leading of this companionship thing gives me the shakes. I guess we’ll see what happens. I only hope it turns out I can manage to shake off the habit of not converting anybody to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that seems to have followed me around for the past 4.5 months.

Elder Frazier, my new companion, is a USU student (piano major) starting
his 4th movecall here. His Chinese is pretty good. He at least seems
to know more vocabulary words than me, which is good, cause I may need his help in that area. He seems like a subdued kinda guy. Other than that I have no idea what kind of person he is. I’ve only known him for 2 hours.

In other news, if anybody is interested in moving to Taiwan for 6 months or so, I know a lady who owns a kindergarten who wants an American to come and teach english. The requirements are that you have to (A) look like an American, and (3) you have to be able to be here within like a month or so. You don’t have to speak Chinese, as all the teachers speak pretty okay english, and there are 2 American couples here teaching already who can speak Chinese. Also you have to be willing to live in this Hua Lien area of Taiwan for half a year or so. But they tell me the pay is pretty okay, for Taiwan, and there’s always lots of chinese people wanting to take you out to eat.

So anyway, I guess let me know. Or have your people call my people. But mainly it would require getting a Visa ASAP, which I don’t have any idea about.

So what else is new? The puppies in the weeds across the street all
vanished about 4 days ago. We figure somebody took them. The mother dog follows us around whining and howling, as if we’ll be able to lead her to them. I feel really sad every time I see her. I know it’s a stupid thing to get sad about, but I do.

Our only progressing investigator, Mr. Lin, is in the habit of playing
bomberman online till about 4 am every day. So getting up for church
is a challenge to him. He even went so far as to tell us last friday that he simply will not come to church. We tried everything we could to convince him to come, but he said no way. Then on sunday morning we arrived at the church only to find him there already. Good feeling.

Other than that, I can’t think of much to say.

My heartfelt thanks to all those who have left me notes. I love to get them, and never have time to reply to them. But thanks, nonetheless.

I just used two words I don’t really know how to define in a dictionary. Heartfelt, and nonetheless.

Please send pictures of yourself doing foolish things for money.

-Elder Awesome

P.S. Happy birthday to all who have one within 4 weeks of this date. Especially Julia, because she didn’t get anything from me.

Orginal comments:


Nickname: Cornelius
Re: New jobs for all. Then drastic pay cuts for all.
You owe me a letter. Also, thanks for the happy birthday and my address is changing. Send further correspondence to HCR Box 500 Garrison, UT 84728. I have an address where I will be training, but I don’t trust it to international mail, as it’s on a military post. That goes many times extra for Iraq. This is where my parents live. It’s not going to change. Ever. Have fun being DL and senior whatever. I will try to send you pictures of me doing stupid things for money, but most of the stupid things that I will be doing (or for that matter, have ever done) will be classified. Sorry.

Original article posted by gandhi2:

I have been drawn towards news of the Sumatra tsunami of late. As some of you know, I have spent some time in Thailand. Most of this was spent in Bangkok, ostensibly going to school. Before this, however, I was vacation, mostly in South Thailand. In two seconds of footage, I was able to recognize one of the places that I visited, the Phi Phi islands, nested about halfway up the leg of Thailand by a small bay of land. The island that I stayed on the most, Phi Phi Don, is about 2-3km across, and about 3-5km north to south. From the footage, I could see the exact bungalow I slept in for 3 nights, the place that I had some tasty fish, the boats that taxied visitors in 50 miles from dry land, the dozens of outdoor dining areas. When I went there a couple years ago, I guessed around 500-1000 tourists/natives workers were on the island at any given time. Nearly the entire thing was covered by more than 50ft of water.
The other major place to get hit was Phuket, another small island but big tourist site. I remember distinctly visiting Patong Beach, on the west side of the island. There was some really good sushi, lots of fake Armani suit vendors, and British guys hitting on the local transexuals. There was a strip of beach more than two miles long where vendors would go to sell some ripoff cheapass product for 1/10 the American price to tourists. You could walk to the beach from the open-air market in less than 20 paces. I’m guessing conservatively that over 750 natives made a living on that 2 mile+ long strip of land, and considering the time of day, were there when the waves came rolling over.
Fortunately, the two main places I was originally concerned about were not hit so hard. I stayed with a friend’s family in the small, mostly Muslim town(I can’t remember the name) near Patanni, in the far south of the leg of Thailand. Her grandmother was really funny and, I kicked her tubby little brother’s butt and DDR, and her mother’s Arabic coffee that was served every morning for the 3 days we were there… I’ve yet to find a worthy substitute in the States.
The other place that I was worried about was Bangkok. Again, this area was sheltered from the waves by the leg of Thailand. Most of the deaths are on the west coast. I haven’t heard much from the friend whose family took me in and supported my freeloading American ass for six months. Apparently his mom, dad, and little brother are OK.
Anyways, I know that Greg is pretty far away from the direct effects of the quake, but it’d ease my mind to hear he is OK.

P.S. It appears that I’ll have to keep up on this site if I want to hear the latest in people’s life. Sometimes I get quite caught up in the routine dull drudgery of life, parenthood, school, work, etc. MOST of you(who would care) have my phone number. Consider this an invitation to call and let me know personally how you are doing.

Orginal comments:


Nickname: Cornelius
Re: When Something Hits Close to Home
Greg is fine, just so you know.

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