Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 2010

William Preston Vernon

to me
show details 12:38 PM (3 hours ago)

Well, life at the MTC rolls on. i think I'll try to compose a short poem describing how the MTC feels
Halfway through..... already,
It's P-day again....already.
TA again....already.
pizza again.....already.
new missionaries coming in....already.
Old missionaries left...already.
Is these alreadies dripping with sarcasm?
The honest answer is I don't know....already,
for already my mind has lost grasp on all time and all bearings of the outside world.
Julia is getting married! Already!
Elizabeth's going to be at home! Already!
I'm learning the second lesson in Chinese, Already!
As a man in a cave knows not the hours of the day,
So is the Willi in the MTC, knowing not the day nor the hour...or the month, already,
For my watch from wal-mart is broken... already.
Don't worry I have two.
Really though. Time is crazy here. I can't even describe it. The days are very long. It seems like I've been here for a year. But then when I try to describe something that happened before I left, I accidentally go backwards from the time I entered the MTC because it's so surprising that 6 weeks have already flown by. yeah. anyways. You probably want me to say something serious like I had some real good devotional and now I changed my whole mindset and focused on helping others and Love the Gospel and start crying while I write my e-mail home because I love bearing my testimony to my family. Well, It's all kind of true. So don't worry. I did send letters to some of my siblings. i just don't hear back 'cept from Elizabeth and Julia!
Julia's getting married! Aghghghgroghgoghaieieieieie! That's so weird! I still thought it was six weeks away. Is Elizabeth home yet? Is Julia all stressed? Getting pounded hittle bits? How's Parley? How's Mommy and Daddy? Did Daddy go on the train to colorado? Last night in the fireside the wife of the main speaker spoke, and gave us an analogy about how we should all become like french ribbons. She runs a floral design company I think, and so she said french ribbons are those ones that have two little wires in both sides so that it can be bent and stay in that shape. So we should all be like french ribbons, so that we can be shaped by the lord and then stay that way! I thought y'alls would appreciate that at this time.
Sorry I didn't put forth a lot of effort into this e-mail. I hope you enjoy it anyways. Today i'm a hittle bit grumpy. I'm okay though! I have a testimony! I have good teachers and good companion and a good language! At least this is the true church, because If it wasn't this would be no fun! I realized that the MTC is so perfect because it teaches you to feel the spirit. If you don't feel the spirit here it would be really miserable. If you do, it is the greatest experience ever. Right now I feel like I'm hiking Lone Peak. That first part of the big dirt road switchbacks isn't very pretty, or very fun. In fact it's almost the steepest hardest part of the hike. And sometimes you get a little annoyed and think "Why don't they just let us drive up here?" But eventually you get past those first switchbacks to the first hemmangog and everything is prettier, and you realize that the first switchbacks tested you to see if you were actually going to make the hike. If you were determined to do it.
I love you all! Thanks for the support and prayers! you're probably the greatest family that's ever been!
Elder Vernon

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Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

I just did some temple work for my dead ancestors. It was amazing. I felt the spirit so strong!!! If you have any more male names, go ahead and send them to me. I watched Mountain of the Lord last night, I had forgotten how good that movie was! It made me appreciate temples so much more, and I remember how one of my favorite experiences ever was going to do an endowment session in the Salt Lake city Temple. It also made me really homesick when I heard all the funnies from that movie, hahaha. "AH think..." and "Nay, tha's old man's work." But, truth be told, I've actually never been homesick at all. Somehow I just don't even really think about home. I realized today that i was actually going to Taiwan for two years. Weird how some things we know for a long time, but don't actually know them until we experience them. I think it's that way with almost everything. I realize how much I don't know as I practice to teach investigators. This week is going to be our first that we teach in only chinese. I'm excited. I realized that I probably know more chinese than I realize because it's getting easier to say things almost all the time. I enjoy the language a lot. When you learn the literal meanings of all the words they are either really funny, or really cool. For example Atonement is shuzui(2 4), and there are no two syllable words in chinese, just two words stuck together in a compound word. Shu - redeem and zui - sin. so you can say, Jesus christ for us shuzui, or Jesus Christ shu 'd our zui, or a bunch of other stuff. missionary is chuanjiaoshi (2 4 4) or spread church person, and prophet is xianzhi (1 1) or first know .
Anyways, I'm having a grand ole time here at the MTC. I had a thought the other day, of how families are blessed while they have a missionary out in the field. Ever wondered why that is? Because missionaries always pray for their families! And they are righteous, and the prayer of a righteous man availeth much! So we're both just praying for each other, it reminds me of the amazing story President uchtdorf told of the Brothers who each tried to give each other a portion of their wheat or grain in the middle of the night. They finally caught each other and started to cry because they had so much love for each other. I love serving people. It's a little harder here in the MTC, because there's only like 5 real chinese people. But, at least I have a companion to serve, and a district.
So all the older missionaries are leaving today or tomorrow. Whew, finally get rid of them, and start our own precedents for hard work and speaking chinese. My district is full of amazing people. we are really tight and really special. Elder Tito and Geddes were called as the new zone leaders, I'm glad it wasn't me. they'll do great. Also I enjoy the big free piles all the elders leave because they have too much junk! I now have a bunch of Tagolog books, and also even a German preach my gospel! What i'm going to use them for, i don't know. It just makes me happy that I can open up the german preach my gospel and basically pick out what the words mean. I love learning languages. Why don't i just learn eight languages like my hero William Tyndale that D. Todd Christofferson talked about in conference. Amazing!
Well, this'll make y'all happy. I played violin in the fireside last night! It was a lot of fun. I was planning on playing the song I had played at my farewell, but that was a little bit too long, and I didn't know which part to cut out! I was kind of frustrated, and I prayed a lot, and I got the thought to just play Nearer My God to Thee, but I thought, they already have the other one in the program. so I ignored that prompting and played the longer one and messed up really bad in front of the whole MTC!!! aaaaaah, Kai wan xiao(1 2 4) (just kidding)!!!!!!! Just kiddding, I followed the prompting and played a simple beautiful Nearer my God to Thee, and the spirit was really strong. I was glad I got to play before all of the older district and my friends left. I felt the spirit and it was really good for me. I still haven't decided if I'ma take scoggins to Taiwan though.
But I did make one big decision! I decided what my name would be for the next two years! My teachers and everybody have been calling me Wei Zhanglao, but I changed my name to Wen. Wen Zhanglao, Zhongwen de Wen. so, My whole name would be Wen Weilian. I like W's. By the way, Wen is my last name. It's so much fun. My companionship is really strong, he turned out to be a very spiritual, great teacher and companion. We have some funny times together. Today we have to move up a floor though so that isn't much fun.
Bubye! Love you all a big bunch,
Elder Wen.
p.s. I feel better because mom sent me a bunch of fruit and I ate it. But even better, I don't eat any meat, and no greasy entrees at all. All I eat is grape nuts, salads, and rice mostly. And some fruit and vegetables. It's even possible to be healthy here, and I feel the spirit so much more it's amazing. All yua'll eat healthy foods mmkay!!!!! bubye
wo ai nimen!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

So, I finally got to play my violin yesterday. I appreciated my violin very much, after playing on the MTC's, mine sounds like a strad. Anywhays, I played the same song I played for my farewell for the music lady. Thanks so much for bringing it over Dad! I felt like it was a real blessing, because I wasn't going to ask the lady about it, because I knew she would say no, but I felt like I should ask her if it was possible to play on a different violin. I'm not completely decided about taking him to Taiwan yet though. He would probably be tou'd (steal in chinese is tou, first tone), or broken. Danshi, I know that if this is of the Lord, which I think it is probably, then he will protect my violin, and help me not be stupid and set it down somewhere or something. He'll provide a way. So I haven't quite made that decision yet, but that's so great that president Hoer would allow it! It really can bring the spirit so fast. Nobody in my district understands, they say, "why would you bring your violin? that's retarded." Oh well.
As for me, I'm doing well. I'm enjoying myself. I am scared that I might be going along for the ride and not working as hard as I can to prepare sometimes. So I'll try harder I guess. I also have had a nasty cough for the past three weeks, and a runny nose, liu bi shui (literally: flow nose water) off and on. It's hard to eat healthy here. I've started getting fat. those pants we bought two sizes too big are getting pretty comfortable. Haha, I actually haven't gotter very much bigger. I just don't look as healthy. I run a mile every day in gym and then go play volleyball or basketball. But this wednesday the field opens so that should be fun!
It seems really weird that BYU is just right next to me sometimes, thinking about all the times I walked up to the temple from heritage, or drove home from college in Subart, or ran up to Grandpa and Grandma's house to say hi to them. That was really fun. Oh, I snatched up a nice Tagolog dictionary that we could give as a present to Leeeeeta that a missionary left. I am in the dorms with a whole bunch of Tagolog Elders. Cumusta! Ma buti! Salama! That's all I know. So I'll try to send that sometime.
The BYU men's chorus came and sang a musical fireside last night, it was really amazing. They sounded great.
Well, thanks for all your letters. The most recent one I got was from J-Bop. Please don't send anything sugary. Or any food at all, except fruit. maybe green drink.... :). You have no idea how much garbage food every other missionary has that I can eat if I want. haha, I also got the wedding announcement and pinned it up. I thought it was real good-looking and Julia looked real pretty. That's real exciting that little bump is gonna get hitched.
Hi Parley! wheet. I sent you some fatty pictures I hope you got them.
I love you all, (haha we watched legacy last night, but they didn't have enough time, so it was played at about 1.3 speed I think. It made me laugh. but it also made me homesick because I love quoting legacy with my family. Rrrravenous WOLVES!)
Zai Jian! Wei Zhanglao
p.s. I am able to listen to conference because I go onto So, I can listen to the music over and over and it's great. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 5th letter!

General Conference was absolutely amazing. I felt the spirit so strongly throughout, but the very most during the hymns. I loved the hymns so much! The pristhood choir was really quite good from BYU, and I've never heard the Mo Tab sound better than when they sang "This is the Christ." That was amazing. My favorite was How firm a Foundation. I loved that they sang two of Parley P. Pratt's hymns in a row! and then they sang Abide with me 'tis eventide, and also I wonder when He comes again. It was just suba-spirit-goodness! My bottom hurt real bad though because the seats are hard in the gym where we watched them all. I had one fun experience when we were all watching the spoken word. The choir started singing the Hallelujah Chorus, and I looked around to see if anyone was standing up, and a couple missionaries were, so I stood up and made my companion stand up. It was like wildfire! It took about ten seconds for the entire body of over two thousand missionaries to be standing for Handel's Messiah. It was a really really powerful feeling. Most of them didn't know why they were standing, so when they figured out it was just for a song, they sat down. But I stood up the whole time, and it I felt the spirit of the Messiah once again. Made me a little bit homesick. But don't worry, overall I haven't been homesick at all.
Sorry I realize that my writing in these e-mails is really bad, but you must realize that Chinese grammar is a little wonky. And I am racing against my half hour!
Chinese is a very simple and easy language, except for three things: Characters, tones, and grammar. My Chinese hasn't been progressing as quickly as I thought it would be. It makes me sad. All the other missionaries in my district tell me about how it'll be better once we're all on the same level and can talk to each other. I don't tell them that that is even more super annoying because I don't ever want to be on the same level as them! That sounds prideful, but it isn't. I worked hard to have a head-start when they didn't, so don't ya think I should progress at at least the same rate, if not way faster than they do? ugh. well, I guess I could just put more effort into it.
I'm also amazed that the Lord calls nineteen year old boys to do his work. A lot of them are very stupid. Me too probably, but not really. It's just a testimony to me that the Lord will equip the missionaries with what they need. How could somebody fail with the tools that we have, especially the spirit? I'm realizing that the Lord doesn't send missionaries out at age 19 because that is who would be most effective, (although they amazingly can be most effective in a lot of cases), but rather that it is such a pivotal time of growth and development in the person's life. And generations will be blessed because of the growth and dedication of a missionary, in his own family tree.
Mom, the bad news is, I played on that MTC violin. It sounds like Enoch's. ... okay not quite that bad, but it really is a honker. They only have what somebody donated a long long time ago. But I went on thursday and auditioned for a chance to play at a devotional or fireside, just by myself.

The good news is, the lady loved my song.. I'll play sometime in the future, AND, she said that I could play on my own violin if you want to come drop it off. PLEEEEEASE! So, you could come by anytime, even today, and drop off my violin at the front desk in 1-M, and they'll lock it up, and then I can go check out my own violin to play rather than the other. And nobody else would be allowed to play it. Isn't that great? i'm excited to get my hands on it again. good news eh?
Listening to conference. And how EVERY SINGLE TALK talked about raising your family and testifying to your children and telling them the stories of Jesus, and having a good atmosphere, and reading scriptures and stuff, I realized that you parents did exactly that. You both exemplified what the modern day prophets and apostles were teaching. I was very proud. Any of my success is from that, and not from me. What a firm foundation. I love you!
Elder Vernon