Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Freaking out!!!

 I have a bunch to write.
 Hold on.
I'm senior companion as of today. 
My new companion is Elder Zhu.
He is from Taipei. 
He is Taiwanese.
He is taller than Tyler Haws.
I am now north of Taizhong in Tanzi (Tantzu).
I'm freaking out.

I don't know my area, my ward, my own name. My Chinese is still not where I'd like it to be, but that's not gonna change. I got the call on Saturday. I fully expected to continue with Elder Huang for one more in Dali. But SURPRISE!!! On your 5th move call you are going to be senior. That doesn't happen very often. I am one of three people out of the 15 that came with me from the MTC that is going Senior. I'm also going senior with most of the people from the group before me. I fell in love with Dali. As soon as the Move Call came Sat night, I sat down, and literally started crying. I did NOT expect that. I have felt like the weakest, most unable missionary the last two weeks. But near the end, I figured it out, and felt like I was going through a bunch of small silly trials in preparation for something. Yeah, going senior. Too early, mind you.
I have no idea how to be senior. I wasn't expecting it, so I didn't even think about preparing anything. I'm fresh of the airplane, and I'm being put in charge of thousands of people. And taking care of 30+ new members. AHHHHHHHHH!!!! Responsibility?!!! WHY?? I don't like responsibility. But I'm taking it with a full heart and a willing mind. DEFINITELY a broken heart and contrite Spirit. Yes, I'm nervous. But Elder Zhu is a super good missionary, so I'll be ok. Being with him for a short time today already makes me feel like I'm being trained again. Here we go! I've served a fourth of my time on island now, and the halfway mark is coming up in March/April. Plus, this move call I get to call home. Won't that be nice?
Uh.... shirts are perfectly fine. I bought a couple of smaller long-sleeve (3$/each) shirts, since the ones I came with are WAY too big. And I'm gonna need to get my suit altered. And my pants. My suit is way to big. Everyone says I look like I'm wearing Elder Pei's suit. Clothes are ok. Will need new running shoes soon. Starting to fall apart. But I'll let you know. A very light, black jacket would also be good. Cheap. Just to keep me warm in Dec and Jan. Don't know if I need it. Just if it's convenient. I already have a sweater, so probably don't need it actually.
Could use 20$ to buy Chinese materials at the big mall in Beiqu. Have a good book or two there that I would like to buy. Cheap, and eternally useful. I would LIKE a translator, but that involves hundreds of dollars, so that is a big want, not need. And I'm ok without it for now. Plus, I get to carry the cell phone now, (and keys) which has a mini dictionary in it, so-- ok. :D
I need more pictures! :D Most important are good pictures of me, as well as pictures of the family to let people see. They all ask, and I never have one. :D Thanks.
I'm getting Jean's letters :D I love them!!! Thank you!
Thanks, Dad, for getting me those pictures. I appreciate that.
Life's good, but I'm gonna need some tips on transitioning into becoming senior companion. Especially this early.
CAMILLE LEE?!! Sweet!!! I will definitely see her around! She is PERFECT for this mission. And I'll be going home before she does, but not by far! How cool is that? So good! She'll fit right in, no mistake. I might even get to serve in the same district/zone with her! How fun would that be? Tell her to get working on Chinese, and not to worry. Sisters BAPTIZE TONS in this mission. I don't get it.... :( ;) (For those of you who don't know, we've known Camille and the rest of her family since before she and Elder Carter were in elementary school! Camille has been called to Taichung and will be entering the MTC next February. So AWESOME!)
I like Thanksgiving because everyone gets together, and we eat a lot of food. And it puts a break in the pathway to Christmas to remind us to be grateful. I like the history it represents, and the best part is having family together again. Those times are always my favorite times! But, other than that, not much. Turkey isn't even my favorite food... or meat. :P
Stuffing is good.
I don't get to see snow. Meh.
Guess you could say it feels cold. It is a bit chilly right now, but not bad.
I might be wanting to send stuff home this move call. It's building up a little bit with all the study materials and other stuff. So I might need some money. I'll let you know.
Can't wait for Shelb's letter. Love her to death. Life's good. And I miss you so much Shelby!
A new phase of missionary work is about to start. Has started. I'm gonna have new strains, stresses, and breakdowns. I'm already super nervous. But, because Elder Zhu so so awesome already on his 3rd move call, I'm pretty sure there won't be any problems :D.
Luckily, God blesses us with trials and then blesses us with a million ways to handle those trials. The real trial is to find those 'million ways'. It makes life worth it. If we can work through the little things and strive to be obedient and love those around us, everything goes right.
I left my heart in Dali. And I'm pulling at it hard! To get it to come up into Tanzi. It's tough. The members over in Dali were great, and they are already writing letters to give me as well as all the stuff they gave me when I left. You'd think I'd be going home soon with all the stuff they gave me. But it's all cool, useful, and fun. You'll all get to see it in about 16 months.
Stay strong. Keep it real. Love everyone! That seems to be the best and only way to get used to change. Especially when everyone you knew and loved disappears from your side. :D But Elder Durham is now my Zone Leader in North Taizhong, so life will be grand. :P Tell everyone I love them. And I'll talk to you more about Christmas call. Right now, it looks like it'll be around the 26th or 27th. Depends on whether you want a morning or nighttime call. We'll talk more when I get more info.
May God be with you all, and wish me luck in trying to take the place of Elder Zhu's trainer. Ahhh!! :P

-Elder Carter

"Hurrah for Israel" (An Elder Byerism)
ps- Starting to plan for more people to write letters to. Yes this includes females, and no, I won't be losing focus. Yes this includes Lindsey.
Thanks to Lindsey for taking care of my sister. You're great! I miss you, too, and WILL be writing you today. With a letter full of secrets.......... ;)
Lol, Love you all. Make it real. And I'll tell you more about the last couple of weeks in a letter, Mom and Dad. Ok? LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!! Get as many people as possible to the house at Christmas!! And I need to know which number to dial. As well as what you guys think will be the most convenient, loudest, long-distance telephone. I'll get details later.

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