From Elder P.J.:
How's it goin'? Sorry this is a super late email today. We've just been busy. I got my haircut this morning and then I had to do laundry and wait for 2 other haircuts and then we got dressed, wrote some letter stuff, went to lunch and the temple, got back and Elder S had a doctor's appointment for a weird fungal thing on his foot (he's fine), then we went to dinner, and then we had to run to the BYU health center to pick up his prescriptions. And now I’m here typing. Long day......
So now for the exciting stuff… I'm supposed to get out of here at 5:00 am on Monday morning.....if I have my visa. I just talked to the travel office and they said they wont know until Friday, so keep your fingers crossed that I either have my visa or that I'm getting reassigned to Portland for a few weeks. I was kidding around to Jake about that and we both thought it would be awesome. It would be the best of a bad situation. Actually, if I have to go stateside I hope it's somewhere cool. Like Oregon or the east coast somewhere.
So travel plans.... we got them last Thursday and it's been so hard to wait until now to finally tell you guys about them. So.... drum roll please...We leave 5 am to go to Salt Lake, and fly out at 8:36 to Minneapolis, MN and arrive there at 12:15 (I’m assuming that that's 12:15 in Minnesota...not mountain time). From there we hang out until 5:30 at the airport and then we hop on a plane and take an overnight flight to............PARIS!!!!!!! We fly into Chas De Gaulle at 8:00 am and then catch the plane to Zagreb at 9:45 and arrive in Croatia at 11:45 am. So yeah.... I’m going to France, even if it's just the airport. Isn't that awesome?
So about calling. Don't worry. I want to talk to you guys. I was thinking about calling you while I’m in Minnesota between 12:00 and 5:00 pm. Let me know what time works out for you and I'll make it happen. Email me back with a time before 9:30 and I’ll get back on and find it and schedule it in my daily planner......I have one of those now.
Thanks for the package. [see picture above] It's pretty awesome. Everyone else was pretty jealous. I just finished the last package last Thursday and I got this one on Saturday, so it was perfect timing. It's cool though. I tried to ration the other packages, but this one has to be gone in 6 days, so I’m just going through it. I also have a bunch of other candy that we've scavenged. They have free-boxes on each floor that people put stuff in that they aren't taking with them and the Russian speakers that have been here since December 20 just left and they left a mother load of popcorn and candy. We're having a celebration party on Saturday night. We're just gonna go through all of it. Speaking of which, I found the funniest toiletry bag ever. Well they kind of have a naughty abbreviation and it's just the same acronym all over the bag..... so I want to keep it....but it's kind of bad for a missionary. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with it. But everyone thinks it's pretty funny.
This week's been pretty boring. TRC was a train wreck. We teach member volunteers as themselves and we had Nikola (a native Serbian convert that's going to BYU) and Austin (an RM that went to Serbia). They're both way cool, but it was ugly. We had an object lesson that was kind of lame that we were just going to bust out as a last ditch effort to kill time. This last week it was a 40-minute lesson about how to receive answers to prayer. So that being said, we didn't really look up the necessary vocab for the object lesson, because we were hoping that we wouldn't have to use it.....well, about 20 minutes in, with a bunch of other material to cover still, Elder R says, “We have an object lesson for you." Elder S and I exchanged terrified glances and just went with it. The object lesson is too abstract (one of it's many issues) for email, so I won't explain it, but it was ugly. We still don't know why he busted it out. We all had a good laugh about it afterwards though.
Everything else has been pretty ordinary. Oh yeah... Do you know who Alex Boye is? He's one of the 3 black guys in the Tabernacle Choir and he's done a bunch of solo stuff. He's pretty young and he's British (not that that matters at all....just giving a background). Well anyways, he was the speaker at the fireside on Sunday. He performed a couple of songs and talked about his conversion story. He was so funny and so uncouth for the MTC. For example: "I used to scrap a lot when I was younger. That means fight. But it wasn't that bad. I would just get black eyes every once in a while. Not that you could tell though." When talking about how someone invited him to a church activity by asking if he liked chicken "Of course I like chicken. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess that a brother likes chicken." His piano player was a black friend of his and he said he was like a Mormon Stevie Wonder. When he said this, the camera went to the piano player and he started playing through squinty eyes just moving his head around the room. It was so funny. He also mentioned that his piano player served a mission in Arizona 20 years ago and that's why he's so tan and if you're going to Arizona, you'll get that tan. It was so funny. A good breath of fresh air from the usual.
So some bad news....I was hosting last week and jumped up some steps to catch a closing door so I wouldn't have to slide my card to unlock it and my foot caught on a step, I tripped and fell, and may have put quite the rip into my suit pants. Please don't be mad.....I feel terrible. I tried sewing it up, but I don't think it's reparable. So at the moment, I'm wearing mismatched suit jacket and pants. I'm going to try and match a black pair of pants once I get out of here and see how close I can get. I still have a bit of sick feeling in my stomach because they were expensive. Sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!
So we were at dinner the other night and Elder R said something to the effect that when we see good looking sisters we wonder what's wrong with them and why they aren't somewhere else married and pregnant. One of the Polish-speaking sisters at the table called him an a-hole with no censorship. We found out that the next day (Monday) she was turning 27....oops. But I’m not the one who said it, so I’m not on a hit list. I still laugh about it though.
I’m gonna put a package in tomorrow with some stuff to send home like my watches and blessing and stuff....so look for it eventually. I'm not sure when it will actually get there.
So this will probably be the last time I email you for a while...depending on when my new p-day is, but I’ll be talking to you on Monday. I'm looking forward to it. So, until later on tonight, or Monday, I love you guys!!!!
From Me (his mom):
Ahhhh!!!! Loved your e-mail. So funny and soooo P.J.!
Holy Smokes!!! Your traveling schedule sounds brutal! But then again, after being in the MTC for nine weeks, I bet you don't even care.
You just e-mailed….gotta go.
The phone card will be great, although I should have just bought one here. I could get like 300 domestic minutes for like $3...but oh well. And the tie will be great. Supposedly the church in Serbia is starting to grow like crazy. They have a new door approach where they don’t introduce themselves. They just start talking about the gospel. That way they don’t reject the missionaries. They reject the gospel. Supposedly it's working. It's pretty cool. I wont be able to read anything after I read this, so you'll probably just want to dear elder anything else. Sorry, I have to go, but I’m excited for Monday!