Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 7th email

Hi! Thanks for the address (she asked for the Stake President's address). Hopefully, I'll get that off soon. Speaking of letters, you might not get one from me for a while but I'll hopefully be sending one tomorrow... it might not be very long but it has pictures. The last couple of weeks have had very busy Monday's and I don't have much control over that with it being a new area and a new companion etc. It's quite the adjustment just having language barriers. It takes us a long time to understand each other sometimes, but it's getting better.

(I was eating fruity pebbles when I last wrote her and randomly asked if they had them in the Philippines)

There are no fruity pebbles in regular areas and at the SM which is the big mall they have in really big cities (areas where we usually have zone conference) I haven't seen any either but last time we were there I did find some fruit loops and I bought them! haha, kind of expensive in pesos but it was a splurge I don't take often, haha. I think what I miss the most is chex with bananas and BYU creamery chocolate milk. Pretty random but it was one of my favorite treats at school. Of all the wonderful fruits and vegetables they have here they seem to eat only meat! It's crazy to me.

(I had commented on the simple and in many cases poverty level living the people have there yet they seem so happy)

I see nothing wrong with making money, having money... but then you have to remember that we really SHOULD be living by the law of consecration although most people are not ready for it so instead we live the law of the tithe etc. As we try personally to follow the law of consecration we live in a medium level with all by giving our extra to others in some form or another... sometimes that form ends up being by serving a mission. This thought was lead to me once again because of my new Mission President. They are both originally from Burley, the Andersons...hmmm? They had a nice big piece of land in Farmington with beautiful trees, a beautiful home, lots of children and 30 grandchildren now who would have parties there, their ward would come also etc. So their story goes they were serving at the Bountiful Temple every week but started to feel like they needed to do something more and so they put their names in at the temple and a week later (in the middle of a bad time for selling homes as you would know) someone just showed up at their house and asked if they could walk around (the house wasn't for sale either) and after he made an offer President said he couldn't refuse. They realized this was an opportunity to be free of the large land and serve a mission! They sold their home of 20 plus years and bought a smaller home that would be easy to maintain and rent while gone, near to their daughter, and received soon after a mission call as a couple to Africa. Not long after that he got a call and they were asked if they would be able to come in for a preliminary interview and were told that their names had been put in the temple. Later Elder Eyring’s secretary called them and they went in to meet with him one stormy day. He informed them that they would be serving a three year "English Speaking" mission -- and they both accepted. At the time they were not told which mission! They were told that a regular letter, similar to my own, would be coming with the exact assignment. Well they had booked a cruise a year before and during the next three weeks that's where they were. He said he was not much fun on that trip and wished they didn't need to go :) They were anxious to know where they would be going and he had it down to London, California, Arizona etc. as the openings in "English" speaking missions. Finally he was so anxious he called home for five minutes, costing thirty plus dollars on a boat, and his daughter opened the letter for them. They couldn't believe that they had been sent to the Philippines. They don't speak English there do they? Haha. “They” might not but the President does :) Thus, they are here. He is an older man, he misses his 30 grandchildren and Sister Anderson said her great trial so far is getting used to carrying around a cell phone all the time and learning to text, it made me think of mom :) Texting is very important in the Philippines so she'll be a pro soon.

We actually had interviews with them on the 4th of July. Elder Queathem was very excited to show me his Flag tie -- but we were really the only ones that cared it was the 4th of July. Besides that the day went just as normal. I also received the letters with pictures from Andrea's wedding. How pretty! It seems kind of not real that they are actually married - it wasn't quite so strange with Shaela for some reason. Maybe in part because I know Luke also and I went through all the years of their relationship growing and changing etc. I was also there for Shaela's wedding and not there for Andrea's so maybe it won't be real until I get home. I really can't imagine what my life will have to offer me after so it's good I have a long time left to NOT think about it :)

I will probably get your written letter at Zone conference. I don't remember when that is -- a couple of weeks more. This mission of mine has given you the great opportunity to graduate before me – haha. If that's the course you end up going for. My emails probably seem odd and mixed up sometimes. I always read them all then respond so I answer some stuff from what Mom said here but I'm going to write another quick email to catch anything from hers I missed. Everyone just reads all of them right? Right, okay, good, whoever wants to.

Want to know what the most random food was I suddenly missed the other day? Grilled cheese and tomato soup - let's just scream college student diet :) Of all the great foods to miss. I didn't miss food too much until I was put into a district with two other American Elders who like to talk to me about the great foods they miss, haha. Elder Bench was sent some bit sized twizzlers! We all really enjoyed them and our companions though they tasted like medicine -- fine with us, more for us!

My last district/zone was very "together" you might say and just a great hard working group -- a lot of them at the end of their missions and still working really hard, really good examples etc. This new zone is a bit rowdy you might say so that is an adjustment I'm trying to cope with at the moment and move forward happy in the work. The work in my area right now is kind of slow so I feel like I don't have many fabulous stories. I'm still really enjoying my scripture study and as for language -- the magic veil has not lifted, it's still hard... but it's getting better. Everyone says you really just have to suffer through sixmonths of confusion - hopefully sisters go a bit faster :) Already I think I'm a little bit faster but six months -- ask me again at your birthday and hopefully I'll be beautifully fluent. It's funny how all who do not serve missions foreign really just think it's magic to some extent, I sure did... I thought it would come so fast and I don't know I just remember how I felt when writing to my friends who served foreign missions, they probably laughed at my letters when I would say things like "you're probably fluent now!" It's truly amazing how much we Americans have learned already, Elder Collins is only a transfer behind me so we're going through the same stages "Sabay Kami" which would mean at the same time. Anyway, it's still a miracle but all of us sent foreign have something to learn and sometimes maybe it just comes slow so we can struggle through, be humble, learn to be happy in confusion :) learn to rely on others instead of being "independent" that one of course should ring a bell for you as rather difficult for me.

I love you all



shawn said...

i am so amazed. at the way you take everything in stride. nothing is recombant or trivial. (sorry about the spelling.)

i am interested in the minutia of your daily experiance? that is where the culture exist.

what do people do everyday?

what do they have to do ? and more importantly what do they want to do?
when you understand that, you understand them. it makes them a part of your life.
you will remember small detailes and peoples faces for the rest of your life.

godspeed sister landrum

Cheryl said...

Britney, We are so thrilled to hear you are serving a mission! We have always thought so much of you and your sisters. We sure love your family. Your dad was our home teacher back in the Summerfield Ward and he is still magnifying that calling, by following the promptings of the Spirit and helping to carry us through trials. Thanks for letting us sneak a peak at your life as a missionary.
Love, Cheryl & Ryan Lundquist

Taylor & Jodi said...

I had no idea Britney was on a mission! She's probably the most amazing missionary. I don't know if she reads this, but I'm assuming the family does? It has been years, but I hope you are all doing well, Mike & Wendy, and Britney of course.