Time for an April Fool’s Joke

So, as we are deprived of all forms of media here except email on Wednesdays, my district and I have begun to talk about movies and music from our pre-mission lives in order to stay sane. This week I thought of my probably second favorite movie behind Miracle of course, The Dark Knight Rises. During the film, the main antagonist, Bane, is fighting Batman in the sewer system of Gotham City. Bane has the total upper hand on Batman, and is just destroying him in this fight. At the apex of this fight, Bane lifts Batman over his head and says “I’m wondering which would break first, your spirit, or your body?” as he then proceeds to snap Batman’s back over his knee, breaking his body.

I’d like to think of myself as Batman and the MTC as Bane. Not only does the MTC have the total upper hand here, and is destroying me every day, but Banes quote has proven to be true! As I broke my foot the third day here, the MTC ended up breaking my body before my spirit! I can proudly say, even though my spirit has been diminished since I got here, it has yet to be broken!

As far as weeks go, this one was pretty much like every other one here!

This week’s antics: As the old Mandarin districts from last week reached their 9 week mark, and they departed off to their respective missions, we got a whole new batch of Mandarin speaking Elders and Sisters in our zone. My district is no longer the babies here!! These elders and sisters are all going to the Taipei Mission, and one of them is going to Australia Sydney, Chinese speaking, so that’s cool! But anyways, they came in Wednesday night, and were just fresh faced little missionaries, unfazed by the 16 hour day grind of the MTC. On Friday, Elder Horton and I had to go to the podiatrist during everyone else’s gym time, and we ended up being the only ones in the residence hall for about 10 minutes. Well our fresh little batch of missionaries were so excited to go to their first gym time, that they forgot to close their automatically locking door. Amateurs. Elder Horton and I looked at each other, realized it was April Fool’s Day, and knew what had to be done. We stealthily went in their room, and saw not one, not two, but THREE alarm clocks, all sitting out in the open. So naturally we did what any companionship would do, and set the clocks to go off at 1:30AM, 2:30AM, and 3:30AM. Our plan worked perfectly, and the next morning these new elders were complaining about how they started getting ready at 1:30am because they thought it was it was 6:30am, and how as soon as they fell back asleep the second alarm went off at 2:30am, and then it happened again at 3:30am. Mission accomplished. They have no idea who did it hahahahahaha!

 

Week4

We ❤ Mandarin. Also apparently in Taiwan everyone when taking pictures does either the peace sign, or the “handsome” sign like this. That’s what one of the legit fast track kids told us. Maybe hes just messing with us to make us look stupid… idk

Week4 two more weeks of scooter

The scooter isnt quite like biking, but it’s pretty dang close.

week 4 character nametag

We got our full character tags this week! Usually you get them like week 6, but we got ours last Thursday, so that was weird!

Foot update: The podiatrist said the break has gotten bigger, but my foot is healing as normal. So I have to have the scooter for another two weeks until I can get off of it, and then ill most likely be in a boot pretty much until I leave for Taiwan. Good news is I don’t have to go home to let it heal. Unfortunately for an elder in the other Mandarin zone, he wrecked the cartilage in his shoulder when he tripped playing FOUR SQUARE at gym time, so he left this morning to go home and have surgery and a two month recovery time before he gets to go to Taipei. I count my broken foot as a blessing knowing it happened when it did, and I don’t have to go home. Oh also my milk intake has increased like 300%

Chinese update: The language is coming along nicely as always. We are pretty proficient in speaking at this point, and I can understand maybe 90% of what our teachers say to us. But there is always room for improvement, and we work super hard every day to be ready for Taiwan! My friends who left last week for my mission said that its super hard to understand what people say over there because of accents and how quickly they speak, so I know I need to do whatever it take to minimize that!

GENERAL CONFERENCE!! General conference was sick and I hope you all watched it!! If not go check it out on lds.org and pick out a talk to watch! My favorite was definitely Elder Holland’s just because it related to my life right now so much. I was also cool to see Gerrit W. Gong of the Seventy speak because he literally came and spoke to us at a devotional like 2 weeks ago and I shook his hand and talked to him in Chinese! He served his mission in Taiwan like 40 years ago so that is sick, and he really knows his stuff since he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, so he’s pretty much a genius. Go watch his talk as well, it was good.

As always, thank you all so much for the letters and packages! They rock, keep them coming!

I love every single one of you so much, and I would love to hear from you all! We’re in the dark here, so emails once a week are pretty much all the news we get from the outside world! Keep me updated on your lives!

Hope you all have a great week!

Love,

Elder Stroud

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