Hello Family! :)
This week has been another REALLY great week here! I'm definitely ready to go! I think (I will know for sure on Tuesday), but I think I hit my weight goal! I've lost over 15 lbs here and I feel GREAT! :) That may just change with Michelle sending me the delicious treats she did this week though! :b Thanks for that!! I love the treats but even more than that, I loved the family pictures!!!! So I got my flight Itinerary.... :) I still wont know if I have my visa yet until maybe Thursday or Friday, but they told me, no news is good news! So I'll be hoping and praying that it comes through because there are a lot of Elders that have to wait for visa's and that would be rough. So here's how my flight will go...... see if you can do the math and figure out how long it will be because I don't know the exact time difference between here and AU. But I leave SLC airport at 5:22 pm. Stop in LA at 6:30 then get on the Flight to Sydney at 10:30! That will give me a lot of time to talk to people there and maybe hand out a pass along card or a copy of the Book of Mormon! :) Then I will arrive in Sydney at 8:40 on December the 12'th. So I think I lose a day because of time change, and I think I'll be traveling for well over 24 hours, but maybe if one of y'all could find out exactly how long I'll be in transit that'd be great because I wont know until I get my flight ticket next Monday. But I'm sure it will be a LOOOOOONG flight to say the least! I'm glad I get to go to the airport in the afternoon though rather than 4 AM like the Hong Kong Sisters. They get picked up here at the MTC at 4 AM. that would be REALLY rough haha! Especially because their flight isn't all that short either, it's pretty comparable. I will be calling home from the SLC airport I think. So I will call y'all at........ I'm not sure exactly when..... Because I get picked up by the Shuttle at 1:30 here... then about 30 mins to the Airport. maybe 45-1 hr for check-in and Security? so maybe call you about 3 pm my time (MDT) or so? That sounds about right to me. So if you could try to be at home about that time that would be good, and then If something comes up, at least you'll be at home and I can call later before I jump on the plane. If worst comes to worse, I will call in LA about 6:30 pm your time. But I will really try to call in SLC so I can chat with you ASAP :) Have any family that want to be there please be, but any friends they encourage me to not talk to, so its best if it were only family there :) Today I'll need to be doing some packing and cleaning up my shoes and stuff, so I apologize if I don't send any written letters to family until maybe in AU because next Monday will be even more packed with me trying to pack the last couple things and make sure all is in order. I think this was all the "business" portion of my letter :) The Christmas Devotional was awesome!! I definitely was thinking about Mom and Dad being up at Laurie Kinsey's! It was really good though! Everything here is! :) My companion I can tell is starting to stress out about me leaving. For some reason he thinks he may not be able to function without me helping him with Cantonese and such, but he will be just fine! :) The language is really coming along well I feel like for our whole group. All 6 of us are really progressing because we are really dedicated and I attribute much of it to the prayers I know you are all offering in my behalf. I am really excited to have my first conversation with a true native Chinese person! :) I'll most likely choke up and forget everything I've learned, but I hope not! Also, try to think of some random sentences you may want me to teach you or you can try to test my language ability :) also, Mark, Mom, Dad, and Chris: I would love some ideas of casual conversation starters for on the airplane, in the airport or just mingling with others. Preferably what would you say if you only had 1 minute to get to know someone and invite them to meet with you? I'm not afraid to talk to people, I just want to make sure that I am saying the right thing and allowing them to make an educated decision whether or not they would like to hear more you know? So any help here would be greatly appreciated! I've gotta jump off, please make sure you don't send me anything past Thursday because I wont get any dear elder's past receiving the ones from Thursday and the Mail, I wont get anything past Saturday. So just no more letters or Dear Elder's after Thursday okay? :) Otherwise, you'll just be paying for extra postage hehe.
Love you all!!!
Elder Phelps and I. He's going to the Philippines and is SUPER good at basketball. He taught me a lot :)