So this is what a Naked Mole Rat feels like…

March 30, 2016

In our classroom with with all the missionaries in my district going to Taiwan Taichung. (Pre-Haircut)Mar 30 2016Week3

​Sister Jackson and I. She leaves for Tallahassee next week, so all you ‘Noles watch out for her around town this next year and a half!


Hey Y’all!  Another week in the books here at the MTC!

So this week was pretty eventful for MTC standards! We were incredibly lucky and blessed to have an apostle of the Lord, Elder M. Russell Ballard, come and speak to us Easter morning. He spoke about the importance of the Atonement and being disciples of Christ. He also told us how important our job as missionaries is in bringing others unto Christ. He also challenged us to find the beauty in our everyday lives, like to stop and admire at the flowers every once in a while.

This week’s entertainment comes in the form of having fun with our Chinese and messing with other missionaries here. So yesterday, all of the Chinese missionaries that came in January left to go to their respective missions, as their 9 weeks of training here were finished. Only one elder, Elder Hill, had his flight to Vancouver, BC leave this morning, so we got to hang with him all day yesterday. Elder Hill is from Idaho and of course speaks perfect English, but his mom is from Korea, so he looks very Asian. So back story time… when you get to the MTC, they give you your name tags with orange circle stickers on them (nicknamed dork dots) to indicate that you are new that day, so people can help show you around.  Backstory part two… at the MTC there are groups of “fast track” elders and sisters, these are missionaries who get called to speak their native language, and only come here for 2 weeks instead of 9 because they don’t have to learn a new language. Usually these “fast track” missionaries are straight out of Taiwan or China, and are all Asian.

Well, Elder Hill had saved his orange sticker, and put it back on his name tag, even though he had been at the MTC for the full 9 weeks already, and as it was his last day here, we decided that we were going to pretend he was a fast track elder straight out of China, who spoke no English at all. So at dinner, we planned this all out, we were going to go up to my friend from BYU, Sister Jackson (the one going to Tallahassee) and her district of 10 English speaking missionaries, and introduce our “fast track” Elder Hill who was new and spoke no English at all. So we go up to Sister Jackson and her district, and we introduce Elder Hill, and he starts speaking in straight Chinese to them. Of course, Elder Horton and I know everything he’s saying, but these English speaking missionaries have no clue at all. Sister Jackson goes “doooo youuu understanddd englishhh” super slowly like you do when you’re not sure if they speak the language, and it took every fiber of my being not to die laughing on the spot. I looked over at Elder Hill and he is trying his hardest not to die laughing as well. Well, the conversation lasted for another 10 minutes with me translating back and forth between Elder Hill and these English missionaries. The highlight came when they tried to get Elder Hill to say “Tallahassee” and he kept on trying to pronounce it as “Tarrahashe” like in the most stereotypical Asian accent ever, and they congratulated him like he was really trying his hardest. I died laughing at that point and it was super hard to not break character with Elder Hill. We said our goodbyes and went on our way. Later that night we saw them again and told them the whole thing was fake and that Elder Hill is from Idaho and not China, and they were shocked. Now that Elder Hill is gone, we have no more Asian missionaries that aren’t legit fast tracked, so I’m a little bit bummed we can’t mess around like that anymore.

The Chinese is coming along extremely well, I can pretty much carry on full conversations now, and Elder Horton and I teach in full Chinese for about an hour every day. My teacher said that I am progressing much faster than normal, and that he wants me to do extra work so I can keep myself challenged. On top of the vocab and grammar I already know, and on top of the stuff we learn in class daily, I have made it my goal to learn 40 new words and 3 new phrases every day. Needless to say, I am keeping myself busy here.

Last night the cafeteria served fish. I knew this would only end badly, so I advised everyone not to eat it. Unfortunately for one of the elders going to Hong Kong, he didn’t listen to me, and he got food poisoning. All I’m going to say is that I can’t wait to get to Taiwan and eat chicken testicles, because it will be better than anything they serve here.

I go back to the podiatrist tomorrow to get my foot checked out again. Hopefully he says I can get off the scooter and put weight on it!

Also I was told my hair was too long, so I just went to the infamous MTC barbershop like an hour ago and got my hair destroyed. Elder Horton and I went in there and asked for bowl cuts and they said no and got mad at us for not taking our appearance seriously. She then asked what I usually get and I said a 5 out of 10 on the sides and back, and scissors blended really well on top. I was then informed that the longest guard they have is a 4 out of 10 and they didn’t have scissors. So I currently have a #4 buzz cut. Thank you MTC… not. I’ll send pictures next week when I don’t look like a naked mole rat.

I love you all!!! Thank you so much for the letters and packages! They are awesome and make the days 100x better! Please keep sending them!

Hope you all have a great week!


Elder Stroud




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