Brandon sent one final snail mail letter before he left the MTC. The phone calls he mentions are regarding the traditional call home the missionaries make on Mother's Day (Brandon's call came when he was leaving the states). A "trainwreck" is one of our family breakfasts that Brandon enjoys. He writes:
Thursday, May 14, 2009
To Huffaker Haven,
So, I think UPS is faster than the USPS, but we can't conduct a true study unless you send 'em in the same day. I actually got the first package (being as your next comes tomorrow) before the big letter you wrote trying to compare them. Have you checked the missionary mall online yet, for those pins? The MTC bookstore is about as big as Families Forever in Lewiston. They have a lot of language stuff, food, commodity stuff and some misc. I picked up a german hymnbook for myself as well. I'm in the middle of "translating" for hymns I know. The German BoM's are hardbound & more expensive than the ones at the Distribution Center. Granted we do get a discount on 90% of the stuff they sell. It's like 20% on missionary stuff & 40% on general. However there are a few things they don't discount.We're required to get haircuts on the p-day before we depart. I told them to cut it as short as possible, I still think it's too long (just got it cut). Yes, haircuts here are free & yes I'm sure I'll be paying for them there.
As far as mail goes, yeah the DL picks it up, but because Elder Tracy is the DL & I'm his comp, I'm with him to get mail 95% of the time the other 5% is when we're on exchanges. Yeah we check mail twice a day. The Dear Elders usually come after lunch & before dinner.
As far as what I need, I can get everything before Monday. However I might send a few things back. I'd send my robe if I can find anything else to send with it, otherwise it's pointless. I did get Josh & Ryans emails, just didn't know if it was .com or .net. Thanks for the confirmation.
As far as email goes, it's for immediate family, but I added a few extra. And I'm sure they don't care too much. They just prefer immediate family. As far as I know, I can use my debit card at the bookstore, but haven't had to yet, plus they got an ATM machine nearby.
Time really does fly here. I got here yesterday & I'm leaving tomorrow. The first three days are the worst, but then it goes by like nothing. They don't really train us for culture or anything except a few health things. There is a teacher who did serve in Jamaica, so Elder Tracy & I ask him some questions.
Yeah, can't really call from the MTC. Just imagine 1600 missionaries tryin' to call home. But yeah Elder Tracy & I are planning on calling home at the airport terminal in Florida. We have a layover from about 9:30 to 12:30 so 5:30 - 8:30. You better be awake on Tuesday morning. (That is, if this letter reaches you by then) I already emailed you my itinerary, but I have yet to receive my passport with visas.
Wish I could've been there for the trainwreck. They don't really serve trainwrecks here at the MTC. The MTC is really enjoyable & you better take as much in. Tell that to the departing missionaries. Really, I've snail-mailed you guys only. But I'm gonna try & get a few others out today.
Glad Cameron had a good b-day. Yeach, I've got a German hymnbook & I'm in the middle of finding the hymns I know. I refrence them to find the ones I know. Sounds like Boogs is doing good. Yeah, Alyssa told me she's running, best of luck to her.
If you're thinking about re-titling "my" blog that's fine. I don't care what you do, but here's a few suggestions: Elder Huffaker's Bogus Mission, Elder Huffaker's Excellent Mission. Or Jamaica Impossible. HaHa. Like I said, it's up to you. Don't worry about duplicating questions, I'm sure I've duplicated answers.
Alrighty, now I've answered your questions. Time for my news.
So, they're remodeling the gym, so we only get to use the field across the street. They also use the gym for firesides & devotionals, but now they're using the chapel strings (some chapels are connected, so they turn chairs for larger audiences. When you dropped me off, we sat in one of the two chapel strings.) & the cafeteria. Elder Russell M. Nelson & his wife spoke last Tuesday. I stayed awake for all of that one! As well as a few other things.
On Sunday, the missionaries can walk over to the temple grounds, so I got some photos of that. Elder Tracy & I also ordered mission shirts from the MTC bookstore & got pics of us wearin' them.
The RC was crazy (referral center) in that some lady called in & immediately wanted to talk to the supervisor. Well she called in on my phone so I got to pass it off & listen in. She was not a happy camper at all. Apparently the missionaries in her area left a pass-along card in her door & she didn't want ANY contact & so she was pressing legal issues for harassment. She had her membership infor removed & is dissatisfied. Kinda crazy yet saddening. So yeah, such is the days.
So other than that, that's what's been goin' on. Two districts gone. Two have arrived. My district is next. Elder Tracy & I leave Monday night, Elder Lusk leaves for Toronto at like 4:00 a.m. Tuesday & the others leave for Sacramento later on Tuesday.
But yeah, writing letters usually happens in the laundry room while waiting for laundry. Thanks for the photos. I'll send my memory card or find some way to upload them within my half hour time limit. We'll see what happens. Like I said, I'll send some stuff home if I can find some other things to send with my robe.
Awaiting a reply in Jamaica
P.S. I'll send the ward and branch letter once it's P-day and I'm in Jamaica!