Monday, November 30, 2015

"Next letter will be from Panama...finally!"

It's Christmastime at the MTC!

This will probably be my last email before I leave. I get to the train station at like 5 tomorrow morning, so expect a call between 6 and 9.

This week has been super fun. Heck of a lot of passing of things down. I finally was able to pass down the “Orb of Light” which is near about the size of my head now.  Thanksgiving was awesome too, best food I’ve had here yet…then lots of sleeping on the floor afterwards. Drinking eggnog is naturally just a bad mistake after eating as much food as I did.

Sleeping off too much Thanksgiving dinner.

My last "Passing Down"

We also had in-field orientation, which they tell you isn’t as bad as you think it is, but is definitely as bad as you think it is. You sit in a giant room and one guy talks, then you break off into different smaller rooms and another guy talks, then you go back. Also I was tired as flip which makes everything difficult… like breathing. I get so tired here I forget to breathe. I did meet a girl, there, who grew up in Panama! She said you can’t leave your windows or doors open for long or giant snakes and monkeys and wild dogs get in your house—ha-ha—so I am stoked for that.

This is Dr. Wooley. He's the missionary health and safety guy
and says we should "carry a small bar of soap with us at all times".

Yesterday I had to speak in sacrament meeting. I made it nine weeks without having to do it but we had a traveling branch councilor there and he asked me at the pulpit if I had given one yet so I couldn’t lie. I didn’t really have anything planned so I just ‘wung it’... Winged it? I don’t know. But it was good. I felt like a freaking foreign person though because I like couldn’t speak English. I’m too used to saying church words in Spanish, so now I have to translate back.

After sacrament, me and Elder Farley were out shredding because it’s been snowing like heck. So we were running and jumping onto these metal tables and sliding across. Super fun, until I jumped on this one that had ice underneath the snow, and I gripped up and fell off the table onto my face super hard ha-ha-ha. So, my face was fine but I cut the palm of my hand really bad and I was soaking wet so I had to go back and change. So freaking funny. First time I’ve felt the pain of eating it in a while, but it reminded me of skating, so it was kind of a thrill. Then we went to the temple and ran and slid down the giant hill in the back. Literally got a crowd watching us because we were killin’ it. So going to miss this snow.

Been up since two dropping of Farley and Rogers for Ecuador and saying goodbye to more Costa Rican friends. I’m pretty close to being done packing so this is going to be an easy day, except I’m still super beat from that fall. And, I’ve had a cold the last few days, but I totally prayed it away, so I am ready.

I’m not really nervous about leaving…I have a super fun group and we’re all friends so I feel good. Our plan is to get Jamba and Krispy Kreme for breakfast at SLC, then Panda for lunch in Atlanta. And, also bring Panda on the plane. (We all really miss Panda.)

Next letter will be from Panama…finally!

Our final selfies in our favorite classroom with a mirror
Of course I couldn't resist filling a toilet with snow...

A Christmas gift for my two new favorite elders...a banana in shaving cream!

Love y’all!

Elder Green

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"I’m gonna pack early and just wear the same outfit for a week so I’ll be ready..."


Super jealous that you’re going to Carp for Thanksgiving. That last time was fun when Diego realized his love for raccoons and had a shirt made and everything!

We got new guys this past week!! The zone has been super empty, for a while, but all the rooms in our hall our filled again and it’s freaking fun. There’s two new districts and they both have my two favorite teachers, Hermano Figueroa and Hermana Boza, nativos.

They call me Abuelo because I’ve literally been here forever. I’m a legend here f'real. Like people come up to me occasionally and ask if I’m Elder Green.

Anyways, it was our Branch President and his wife's last Sunday this week, before they got released. The Doman's are awesome, I’m glad I’m outta here soon too. I think I can say I’m their fav because I’ve been in their last 4 departing districts. We had a meeting with them in the morning and for the opening hymn we watched and sang along to that Emily Brown "I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus" video I sent you. Then later I taught priesthood and we did it again. We literally love that video so much. I’m playing it out loud in the computer lab right now. It’s our zone video now. I showed it to all the new classes and it is now a common thing to hear it coming from multiple classrooms during study time.

Our new Branch President served in Sao Paulo and has only ever been over Portuguese zones here, but he seems cool.

After church we always walk around the temple, and this time me and some guys just went looking for hispanohablantes (Spanish speakers) to practice our Spanish on, and I found two sisters going to Panama! They literally thought they were alone here, like everyone that gets called there—haha-- so they were super stoked. They’ve only been here a week so I won’t see them there for a month…or two if they get lucky like me.

Monday morning the district I’ve been in peaced out which was a bummer. They went to New York, Dallas, Redlands, San Jose, and Bakersfield. So, that means I get to change rooms again! I’m moving in with Elder Rogers and Farley who are dope and both going to Ecuador. This will be my 3rd room, 4th district, and 5th companionship since I’ve been here. But my ‘solo sticker’ lets me do whatever I want so lately I’ve been bouncin around to whichever district has study time or wants me to go teach a lesson with them.

Also Carrie is my favorite aunt. She sent me a box of 12 different types of Clif Bars this week. Literally opened it a little after looking at a picture of the Clif Bars that were stolen by seagulls on Catalina this summer. Literally it’s a miracle that Scotty, SCODE, and I are alive.

I’m gonna pack early and just wear the same outfit for a week so I’ll be ready.

Love y’all.


Elder Green

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Va a recibir bendiciones"

Okay, so yeah I guess you heard before I did, but one more week...added onto the the other two. (Taylor's Mission President will be at a conference the week of the 23rd, so the missionaries will not be going to Panama until December 1st now, so that he can receive them. That makes 9 weeks in the MTC for Taylor.) I'm not really bummed, I feel like I had been expecting that anyway. It's just kinda funny. I like it here, though, so I can do a while longer.

This week only two people left but they were like my two favorite people! Hermana Hulme, the last one from my district and solo sticker buddy, and Kaufusi. Monday morning a couple of us got up at 3:00 to walk with Hulme and it was raining like heck outside. I helped this one girl with her bags and totally spoke like solid Tongan with her. Seriously so fun. After that we went back and played Tenzi and ate hot pockets for like an hour. At 4:30 we had to go wake up Kaufusi and everyone. They slept through their alarms- haha- that would have been a disaster. By that time it started snowing! So we were running around outside until he was ready to go then we took him to the travel office and all the Hermanas met us there. It could have been sadder but I think I'm used to it by now.

My preferred pose for the more smiles.

That was like the longest day here so far. I've been keeping my old room because nobody's moved into it yet, so we've been having slumber parties there. We have a pile of mattresses in the perfect napping position, so we all just went in there and like knocked out all through breakfast until class started. More Tenzi too!  It always reminds me of the Hanson's.

Slumber Party!

Later that day Elder Tolman had a doctors appointment, which we got to leave campus for! Literally like 100 feet up the street to the clinic to pick up his prescription. But as we walked back, it was weird. I felt like I was actually a missionary and like super vulnerable because if somebody asked me a question I'd like have to talk to them. We were only walking through the Wyview apartments though, so I think I was pretty safe. I don't think I know how to teach in anything but Spanish. It's so much easier because all you say is "Va a recibir bendiciones". (You will receive blessings.)

You're going to think this is weird, but yesterday Elder Hewitt and I did a hot chocolate cleanse, for our happiness. We partook of nothing but hot chocolate at every meal, and it was hard, but after the last cup of the cleanse, that's when it hits you. It's just extreme giddiness and laughter from that point forward. Literally I cannot even explain. We just laughed at everything and spoke so eloquently. Literally insane. It still makes no sense to me.

Kim B. Clark spoke last night and it was awesome. He looks kinda like Brother Merrill so that's all I could think of the entire time I was awake...It has been a tired week. He spoke a lot about how the Lord will guide you where you need to go and in what you need to say, so there's like nothing to worry about when I get to Panama...right?

Also watch the 1980's version of Johnny Lingo on, its awesome.

This is our other favorite video. We watch it like five times a day.

My Band..."The Last Supper"

Keep walking Fitz and feeding Little Foot. I miss them so much.

Love y'all!

Elder Green

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"God puts people in your life for a reason..."

The Slick Coat Crew. I found mine in the trash and now everyone is whippin out their raincoats.

It was another sad week, as we had to say goodbye to the other district that came in the same time as us. They all went to Costa Rica except for two who went to South Carolina.

My old district.
At the temple with my district.

Probably my best friend here so far, Elder Downing, got changed last minute to leave Saturday morning, so we got up at 5:00 am for that. Monday Morning we got up at 2:00 to take Elder Clawson to the travel office, then at 5:00 to take Elder Donaldson, then at 6:00  to take Elder I got no sleep that night. Then, I was companions with Elder Millet from Gilbert that whole day.

On Tuesday morning we got up at 2:00 again to say goodbye to the Costa Ricans and then Elder Millet left at 3:00. Me and one of my new companions, Elder Hewitt, went with him and when we got back to our building we realized neither of us had our keys, then it started hailing and we were locked outside. So we banged on windows for half an hour until we heard somebody leaving on the other side of the building. So no sleep again that night- haha! I haven’t missed walking to the travel office with anyone yet, it’s super fun and sad and definitely worth not sleeping for.

Trying to get back in the building.

I’m in the same zone, but I had to switch rooms across the hall with Elder Tolman and Hewitt, who are going to Bakersfield and Dallas. It’s too hard to move all my stuff, so I just sleep in there and then have all my stuff in my old room. We’re keeping it to have slumber parties in.

I am a solo missionary now! I get a sticker that literally means I’m exempt from all the rules. Not really, but I get to go with any companionship I want or I can be with two sisters. Hermana Hulme is the only other left from my district and she has another week for Visitors Center training and gets a new companion today, so I’ll hang out with them so I don’t have to re-learn Spanish in the beginner classes. But other than that I’m with my new roommates most of the time…who are awesome!

Flying Solo!

I’m trying not to waste my time here so I’ve been going into lessons with the beginner guys to help and literally my Spanish is like unto a freaking rabbit. So fast and I can understand everything. It’s so fun!

Elder Kaufusi, who’s been teaching me Tongan, got his departure date moved up a week for El Salvador/Belize so I’ve been trying to help him with him Spanish because he doesn’t know squat. We went to the native speaker floor and talked to people and I found a few going to San Fernando, so I told them to go to Woodland Hills. Then after that we played a game where one of us is blind and the other has to guide you around the MTC describing what’s around you all in Spanish. It worked until I accidentally punched my friend Hermana Laursen who walked in front of me and I got scared.

Oh My Gosh… Kate going to Tonga is the best thing ever. Tell her to start learning Tongan right now… I have a book I’ll send her. There’s no easy way to do it, you just have to start because it’s all phrases and no conjugations. I love being white, but I think that I am a Poly at heart. I’m friends with all of them here and they come to our building at night to play uke and sing, its super fun. I still don’t know a lot of Tongan so my default phrase when I’m stuck in a convo is "faikava", and everyone like cheers and laughs. It means "lets drink kava". Which is, as they describe it, a cultural drink that makes you chill. It’s basically alcohol that you get from a root or something. But literally, Tonga is so cool and like half the island is Mormon and you have to catch every meal. I’ll probably live there someday so that I don’t have to pay taxes or have any responsibilities.

Also it’s snowing like heck here!!!!!!! Probably not to the people that live here, but to me it’s a freaking blizzard. We had snowball fight on the way to the temple this morning and it was so fun. This was probably the reason I’m here for two more weeks. Actually, I know why I’ve been here so long. I’ve just really noticed since I’ve gotten here, that God puts people in your life for a reason. I could have left 4 weeks ago and probably would have been fine, but I’m super stoked that I’ve met all the people I have here because of my extension, and they’ve all really helped with my testimony and with just making me happy. So Instead of being bummed about things like being here for eight weeks, I found out that it’s better to focus on the blessings I’m receiving from it.

Elder Hewitt about to eat it on the way back from the temple.

First snowball fight of the year!

That’s it for this week.

Love you,
Elder Green

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"I’ve decided my Spanish is good enough, so I’m learning Tongan..."

Hey y’all!

This week was one of the most fun and definitely the saddest yet.

It’s our new tradition that whenever a district leaves we have a White Elephant tie exchange. Remember this name because I might have a tie company someday and that’s what I’ll name it. We all choose our crappy ties and wrap them up with whatever we can find, then open, and steal, and whatnot. I stuffed my brown and blue striped tie that I found on the side of the road long ago into a roll of toilet paper. It was super fun.

White Elephant tie exchange.

The sad part was the district that came a week before us (aka “our new best friends”) left! All of them went to Argentina except for two who went to Ecuador. They passed down a few things that night to us like a bacon slicer and the tree of chastity. I literally didn’t sleep that entire night, like I never even got in bed. I was going to the travel office with Elder Roberts and Prestwich, the two going to Ecuador, at 2:00 in the morning, so I just wandered around the dorm and talked to people until then, and then for several hours after that until it was morning. It was a sad morning. I shed several tears. We talked our teacher into letting us out of class at 8:30 to say goodbye to the rest of them. The MTC is like empty now! Probably because there were like 100 people who left for Argentina but also because I like hung out with these guys 24/7. We’re getting like ten new guys today, so it’s okay. We already got a new one yesterday. His name is Elder Grey and he’s from American Samoa…and he’s super cool.

Travel Office at 2:00 AM to send off our friends...

Also, I’ve decided my Spanish is good enough so I’m learning Tongan with the help of Elder Kaufusi and all my new Tongan friends. I’m basically fluent in saying hi to people now. It’s super fun! I’m going there as soon as I’m back from Panama, no doubt.

That’s it for this week. I’m becoming a solo missionary when my companions leave on Monday, but I still have to be with other people all the time, so it means nothing. I’ll have been through five companionship's by the time I’m out of here.

A few little drawings I made.

My teacher said that I had to cut off my face so that the girls would stop talking to me.


Elder Green