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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Week # 3 Tuesday, March 26, 2013

First off, If Courtney didn't get her letter I wonder if Bryson got his because they were in the same envelope, and if he didn't get a letter than I also wonder if Jenna, Kenny, or Mary got a letter from me. I apologize if you didn't get a response from me, I promise I sent it my entire district was there when I addressed the letters and sent it, so it really happened....I guess I might be re-writing those letters today. 
 (funny thing, we have been on a scuba trip and I wrote Brandon before I checked the mail...Debbie) 
OK, so we'll start from last Tuesday. We had Elder Whiting from the seventy speak to us on recognizing the spirit. It was kind of funny what happened before hand, I was planning on going to choir with Elder Niko, my companions have decided they aren't to fond of going to sing in the choir, so I have to go on splits with either the Elders in my district or Elder Barr who is in a different district but came the same day as our district. Well, Elder Niko and I had gotten there right around the time I usually show up and there were no seats left. So I couldn't sing in the choir last Tuesday:(. Then Elder Johnson and I (another elder in my zone who is way awesome and we tend to end up on splits because the others have stuff to do) went to go wait in line to get into the Devotional and it was super crowded (and hot)!!! It is usually never that crowded but there was a rumor that had been circling around since Sunday that President Uchtdorf was coming, most of us had decided it was a rumor because it happens almost every week that someone spreads the rumor and it's not true. I overheard one Elder saying "I don't care, I'm gonna shove anyone down so I can sit in the front row, I'm not gonna miss my chance to meet an apostle." I kind of chuckled about that, I thought it was funny how some people will act non-Christ-Like to meet someone who is practically one of the most Christ like people in the world. The devotional was great, my entire district had so much to talk about afterwards (we have a District Meeting after Tuesday Devotional just discussing the Devotional)
The next day I got Michael's Letter (if I can call it that, he didn't say much) it had all of the friend's blog posts. It was kind of hard to sort them, because they printed all together, and the  mail place kind of just mixes them up, but I did it. After reading it, I found out in the field we will get 2 hours of email time, and we will be aloud to email friends, so that's good. Jordan already emailed me so he has my email. I also found out that transfers happen every 4 weeks, so that will be crazy.
So one of the older generations left today, so a lot has been happening with them. That generation is like us and almost all were going to Taichung. I grew really close to a lot of them, mainly because they were my neighbors in the sushe(our rooms) and they always came to visit us and help us with the language. One of them is Elder Alcocer Seone and we all call him Ai Zhonglao, because we can't pronounce his name at all. He was way cool, he and I became really close, we found out we have a lot in common. He was known all around the MTC because he was so kind to everyone. Everyone who didn't know his Chinese name would just call him scarf man because he always wore a scarf. On Sunday, he passed his scarves down and he gave me one, said that I was such a great friend, and I of all people deserved one. The good news is he's going to Taichung so I'll probably see him quite a bit when I get there, maybe some transfer we might be companions.
Good to here the scuba trip went well. I kind of forgot you were going until I read your letter.  Oh dad, I don't know how well you know the heart surgeons in the area but one of the counselors in the Branch Presidency is a heart surgeon, I want to say at timp, but I could be wrong his name is Brother Frischniect (I have no idea how to spell that) but he is great, has a lot of great stories.
So Sunday, I went to choir and got in (hopefully I can get in tonight) and the song we sang was "Joseph's first Prayer" I've decided I love that song. I really do love the story of the First Vision. It really is one of the best lessons. I'm glad I have it memorized in Chinese. I memorized it by the end of my second week here, I'm the only one that has that memorized, and I've used it probably 5 or 6 times since. I feel the spirit so strongly when I start recounting Joseph Smith's words to any of our investigators. The funny thing is, I realized Sunday, I have never actually remembered the account in English, funny how that works out.
Michael, I assume your gonna get your call tomorrow or next week but I have something I need you to do. I know you've already planned to tell Jordan first, but you should definitely tell me 2nd or at least 3rd. I won't take being #54 (after you read it to a large group) so dearelder me, have it up ready to send, all you have to do is type where, what language, when and then hit send, it's that easy, plus if you're already sending it to Jordan just copy paste, I'll get it sooner if you dearelder than email.
Keri, for the record, I am the best at finding people in the MTC, 1) The spanish missionaries tend to share the same lunch as us too) I just keep looking until I find them.  If anything I'll find you Sunday. Which brings me to the advice you'll here a thousand times, wait until the Sunday and it'll be great. I agree and concur, you might be fine anyways, you already know a lot of the language, but just giving you a heads up. If you don't find me, I'll find you.
I think that's everything that I can think of. Love you all, best of luck, Michael I'm still waiting for a real letter from you. The book is blue the church is true.
zaijian(directly translates to see again)
Elder Brandon Bean

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

week #2 Tues. March 19th

Hey family,

It's been a crazy week, lots of growing, lot's of high's and low's. First of all let me start off by saying, i do love the MTC, I love how spiritual it is. I seriously do feel the spirit everyday. I always seem to be changing and growing everyday. So idk if I mentioned this but our class was filmed from the time we got here until now, they didn't really explain what this was for but we think it has something to do with our teacher because she is so amazing. They interviewed us yesterday, everyone was so nervous except for me, because I had already been interviewed a year ago for youth conference. I also was able to just talk and talk, I'm sure they'll use a lot of my talking in the documentary or what ever this is for.

I have been getting the DearElder's keep using them, it's great to get letters throughout the week, It's always nice to here about the family, my friends and everything. I love all the letters I've received and I'm trying to respond to each of them, I probably will be able to I think I have like 5 hours of free time this afternoon. I said bye to Elder Thomas yesterday he is in Elder Scmidt's zone so I found him, and Kallie and we talked for like 10 minutes it was great to here how everyone is doing. And for the record Michael what Kallie said is true.

Being district leader has actually been a great learning experience. I will admit that it has helped me so much. I'm learning to trust in the Lord and follow the direction of the spirit. The responsibilities may be putting me behind on learning the language and preparing lessons but the Savior takes over on that side of the MTC experience. I somehow am able to still find what to say during lessons, I'm able to follow the conversations during the lessons, and I'm able to feel him lift me up. If I thought the Lord had helped me before I entered the MTC, then currently he's not just helping me, he's doing everything for me.

My district so great, we all of grown so close and I'm so lucky to be able to serve them. I've gotten close to the older generations in our zone as well, they've really prepped me for the MTC, I'm probably going to use what they teach me throughout my entire mission.

I did get the package yesterday. I loved everything in it, I've been rationing the brownies but they are amazing. Colby and Mckay's were awesome. One thing that would be great if I could get Elder Larsen's, Elder Casper's, Elder Knudsen and Elder Erekson's blog posts I haven't heard anything from their blog's since I left, I also have no access to Elder Thomas' email's. so either Lisa, Kallie, Michael, or anyone else who is getting those email's if you could mail me those that'd be great, if not I understand.

I've been doing the MTC choir, and I love it, between singing amazing music and hearing great uplifting stories I always feel so excited to serve after I sing in choir. I wish I had more time to practice the piano, I got some time Sunday and it felt great to play piano again. Although I realized I don't have Jon Schmidt stuff anymore:( I was trying to play All of Me but I couldn't remember it. Got a haircut today and I guessed right on all the lengths so it looks good (yay). Finally saw Brother Moody yesterday he teaches the other district that came the same week as me.................I can't think of anything else so love you all, I'll try and finish my letters, keep sending me letters I love them.

Elder Brandon Bean

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

week #1 Tues. Mar. 12

Hey everyone,

So it's officially my p-day, and I'm already loving that (i say that like it's been a long time it's only 8:30). So it's been a crazy week. So I have two companions, like you know, Elder Wootan, is from Layton, UT and he knows a ton of Chinese because he lived in Shanghai for 5 years, he says he doesn't know much gospel conversation, but he is very conversational, so that helps out when we are teaching our investigator and he tries asking us questions, or we try and get to know him. Then their is Elder Ko, He is from Twin Falls, ID, he never really took a class or anything so he kinda is learning on the spot, he's our senior companion, (having 3 elders in a companionship kind of messes with the whole 2 by 2 stuff) but he has been working so hard to catch up with everyone, after lights go out and I finish my prayers, I turn around to see that Elder Ko has a flashlight out and he is studying Chinese, he says he usually is up until 11 or 11:30 but he doesn't Know that I see him studying each night. So we only have 3 in our room, we have 6 beds (3 bunk beds) but I guess our room is just empty:/. We'll get a new generation of elders in 3 weeks so maybe then we'll be more crowded.
So I saw Sister Quincy Ellsworth (from Vegas) on Sunday, she actually was the one who recognized me and when she pointed out she knew me, I was like "Qui-Sister Ellsworth" (we aren't supposed to call people by first names at all, and I struggle with that a lot, especially since so many people I know are here in the MTC. I've seen Elder Scmidt a few times, he's doing great it seems, he's always way excited, so I feel like I'm being pounced by a puma when I see him. He took a picture of us so I'm sure Sister Scmidt will have it sometime around now.
 Ummm, so ya I'm district leader, a little daunting, at first I was way overwhelmed but then when we were at choir practice and I was reading the words of the song we were singing (reedemer of Israel) I was reading the 3rd verse and I got to the part that says "our enemies celebrate our downfalls but Israel will shortly be free." And I realized there's no point to be discouraged, I may have a daunting task, but I can do it, with the help of the Lord and with that help, Israel, or God's children, The people of Taiwan will so shortly be free, they will have the gospel in their life.

P-days are actually just made of amazingness. You just have a few things to do that day and everything else is personal time. We woke up at 6:30 went and did laundry, I wrote all my letters during that time. While I am on the subject of letters, guess who sent me a letter. Brad Wilcox, he asked for some basic information at the end of the semester, and I guess with that information he came up with the address to write to. That really shocked me but I was so excited to see his letter even though he wrote it all in cursive, and I struggle with reading cursive. After laundry we kinda just chilled in our rooms my companions slept, I think the schedule really takes a toll on them, I wasn't so much tired, I just used my time to address all my lettters, iron all my shirts, I had to go buy stamps, I don't think I packed the ones you gave me mom, I think I left them on my dresser. We finally got ready about 11:30ish and went and got some lunch. After I finish this letter, we are gonna go to the temple, and after temple we eat dinner, then we have choir practice at 5:15 but they say to show up at least 15 minutes earlier to get a seat, because it fills up so fast, on Sunday we barely made it in to the choir (only because we sang as tenors). The director is way spiritual and tells some amazing stories. After choir practice we have a devotional of someone who is a 70 or higher. There are always rumours that it's going to be the prophet but we'll see. Then we end with a district meeting (which I lead:/) Then the elders in our district go and take down the devotional setting, because that's our assigned service.
So a few things I do have to tell you guys. So we have our investigator Li DiXiong(brother), and we've just been teaching him the lessons in order, Elder Ko and I just tend to read straight out of our notes or Preach My Gospel because we struggle communicating with Li DiXiong, but the last lesson I asked if we read the Book of Mormon and he said yes, and then he said he had a question, he opened it up to the introduction asked about Joseph Smith, I taught him the first vision during the last lesson, but I decided to re-explain it in my own words, and I did, without notes or any help. It felt so great to talk in Chinese and not to just read notes from before.
 Dad, you should write me and I'll tell you about how we conquered the cereal towers, it's hard to type in 30 minutes, but I can spend my whole p-day writing basically.
Thanks for buying the Hymn book, I think that'll be great, tell everyone I love and I miss them all, Can't wait to see Mckay in glasses, just like me huh bud! Tell Colby I love him!
Elder Brandon Bean
P.S. Sister Amanda Burr is in my district, she's Mrs. Burr's daughter (my chinese teacher)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

1st letter from the MTC

Saturday, March 9th, 2013
Hey family,
Sorry, this is gonna be a short letter, I only have 5 minutes to write this. It's not my P-day but they are letting us write home since it is our first week. The language has been very hard, but my teacher says that we are progressing and she says we do have the gift of toungues. We taught our first investagator yesterday, I have no idea what he said... lucky for me I have a companion who is pretty conversational in Chinese. While I'm on the subject I have 2 companions, my original one never made it to the MTC so I got paired with Elder Wootan and Elder Ko. Anywho gotta go.
Elder Bean (i'll write again on tuesday)
9 hours later (same day)
Hey family
They gave us a little more time so I'm gonn try and explain everything as best as I can. So after you guys dropped me off, I got dragged around the MTC got a bunch of teaching materials, Pinyn versions of the book of mormon, Preach My Gospel, and other stuff. It did not come with a pinyn hymn book though so if you come across one it'd be great if you could send me one, I can get free embroideries when I have that:). I hope I got at least one of your emails right, make sure to send a list of emails of you guys so I actually know who to send it to. When we got to class we found out that we are going to be filmed while our teacher teaches us (she's apparently really good.) We've already learned so much. I'm not that good, I struggle with tones a lot, luckily (like I said in my last short letter) Elder Wootan is very good at conversational Chinese, he knows how to say most words, he only struggles with gospel terms. We seem to never have down time. We are always studying, or walking, or learning, or practicing our Chinese. Dad I definitely agree with the analogy of trying to get a drink from a fire hose, I seem to only grasp so much, but all of the older generations of Mandarin tell us that it gets easier, so I'm looking forward to that day. So on Thursday we met our Branch Presidency, and I got called as District Leader! I was really shocked at first, and I still feel very overwhelmed between the calling, trying to learn Chinese, and trying to allways follow ALL the rules, they have a lot more rules in the MTC, then outside, I think it's thanks to missionaries like Dad(:p) I got to see Elder Jared Larsen on Friday and that was probably one of my highlights, he already had a letter for me when I got here, I was really shocked. I also saw Elder Andrew Thomas, and but I didn't have the picture on me so I have to find him again. I also saw Kallie while she was doing dishes, I was as excited to see her as she was to see me, but I was very cautious not to pull a Elder Thomas and hug her;). Well my times up, sorry its so short, I'll have a full letter on Tuesday, I promise.
Elder Bean
ps mom make sure to put this on the blog, I'm pretty sure Michael is missing me and wants to hear from me.