I'm sorry if my last letter caused you any worry. In my forever to write you, I may have overblown the situation a bit. In short, I am not a heap of sad, so don't worry. Sure, there are some times I miss you like crazy but I'm not all sad all the time. It hasn't been distracting me so much as to take away from my training. It's mostly those quiet moments as I drift to sleep when I think of you living just down the street who wishes I was there and needs me. In any case, most of my worries I've taken to Heavenly Father and asked him to take good care of you while I'm gone. I figure he'll do a pretty good job. But yes, I am fine and studying hard at everything here. Even though I miss your warm hugs and snuggles, I know they're worth the wait.
I had an interesting thought though. So you know how Sisters aren't asked to go on missions but Elders are? Sisters who go on missions do it out of love. Elders go on missions to make ourselves worthy to even marry one of you wonderful women. I hope and pray that when I return, I'll be good enough to be deserving of you. You're a wonderful wonderful woman. and I want nothing more than to be able to be wonderful enough for you too.
My shin splints are gone! They only lasted a day or two anyways. So woot! In other medical news, Elder Jones continues to have a wonky ankle. Today we're escaping the bubble to go see some orthopedic podiatrist or whatever. In the past week we've gotten 2 x-rays at the BYU Health Clinic, an MRI at Central Utah Clinic, and an Ultra Sound at Intermountain Hospital (yay ER trips), not counting the 8 doctors visits and how loopy he is on hydrocodin. So yeah, we've been having adventures. It is SOOO nice to get out of the MTC though. You have no idea. I really don't like all the 'bubbles' we're in her, cut off from the real world, ugh. I can't wait to get to Korea. In any case we're halfway there now, so that's exciting.
That relationship timeline is pretty ironic. The way I see it is this. It didn't take either of us very long to realize each other was "the one", but it'll take four years of refining and trials to make us into the best couple we can be. Just think of how we treat each other, how we love each other. If that carries over into our marriage, we'll have a wonderful one. Just think about when we disagree on something, we discuss it rather than argue. Rarely, if ever, do we let anger some between us. Think of how much that will bless our marriage if all we do is love and care or each other. In today's world, that's simply amazing.
On a random note. Singing in Korean is so much fun! I love it! But yes, to answer your question, Church is a little different here partially because it's spaced out. Here's how the typical Sunday goes. Breakfast 7:45, Branch Council (because I'm a district leader) 8:30, Music and the Spoken Word 9:30, Relief Society/Elders Quorum 10-11:00, Lunch 11:30, District Meeting (Sunday School) 1:15-2:00, Sacrament Meeting 3-4:00, Dinner 5:30, Fireside 7:00. So yeah, it's kind of nice, Sundays are actually pretty relaxing here.
Congrats on the happy grades! I'm sure that makes you feel a lot better. Wow you have over 100% in a college course?!?! Holy Popsicles! Maybe going on a mission was a good idea for other reasons than just for myself.
Ah yes, funny stories. I have LOTS of them. First off, Elder Jones is hilarious when he's loopy and on his pain medication. Since they affected his focus, he now only takes them right before he goes to bed so it's easier to sleep with the pain and all. So these in-bed discussion get pretty great. For example, last night he started out singing the entirety of "My Humps" while dancing in his bed. Some how this led to guns. He said we're starting a company called Heathcote & Jones and we'd make guns that shoot guns, chainsaws that shoot knives, and guns that shoot chainsaws. He the proceeded to pretend to be an eel. For a few moments we discussed how we know more about space than the bottom of the ocean. He suggested making a giant Dyson vacuum, sending sea water to an orbiting satellite, then raining down the water through a giant filter the size of Africa to bring water the the Middle East. Two days ago he talked about sending a bomb to Kim Jong Il for his birthday so he'll die and North Korea would be open for missionary work. In his reasoning, if there was no return address they wouldn't know who sent it, but we would put "Happy Birthday from the Taliban" on it. So yeah. Freaking awesome conversations.
On Sunday, our fireside was about not being stupid. Stephen B. Allen of the Church's missionary committee told us a ton of stories about missionaries that had gotten killed, put in jail, or made mission work in an area halt because of them. The one that made me facepalm the most went something like this...
Some missionaries in North Carolina or Virginia or something had gotten together for a zone conference. 4 Elders who knew each other got together to talk about old times and just to see each other. Some how the discussion turned to something they all used to do. Blow stuff up. They decided "Hey, let's make some bombs and blow stuff up." So, being dumb, they did. They went to the middle of the street and blew one up to see if it working, little did they know that the Chief of Police lived housed down. He came out, arrested them and then went back to their apartment where he found several more bombs in various states of completion. He also found (as in every missionary apartment) a map of the area with pins and labels on houses where investigators lives. You can guess how that all added up. Bombs + Map of marked houses in the area = Terrorists. Yeah, face freaking palm.
Hmm, funny Korea stories. So, public bathhouses are everywhere in Korea. The old kind where everyone is naked. And yes, sometimes missionaries go to them. They're not co-ed though, so no worries. But yeah, imagine contacting people, naked, at a bathhouse. Plus, Koreans have like no hair, and they are very fond of any white people that go to the bathhouses. Koreans are also VERY touchy-feely. Needless to say, I'm going to be a freaking bathhouse celebrity. I'm tall, white, American, and hairy like a bear. So yeah, If you get a letter from a very disturbed Erik due to all of the touchy-feely, don't worry (well maybe a little) it's just the culture. Speaking of bathing, in Samoa they also have bathhouses except they ARE co-ed. There was a former missionary I talked to who went there who said that the Bishop's daughter, who was VERY attractive, would purposefully shower next to the missionaries. Yeah, that's just mean.
-Elder Erik Heathcote