Oh boy so I only have 11 days until I leave for Korea. I don't think I've ever been more excited in my life. I expect the first few months to be full of being totally confused, having to eat things that just thinking about makes me want to throw up, having a lot of Korean people laugh and me, and totally enjoying every single minute of it. I can't wait until I get there. I also can't wait for the fact that I will be able to teach the people there about the gospel and bring the happiness that I have found in my life through it.
So we are kinda just going through the motions right now. We are all studying really hard because we can't speak the language at all haha. So yesterday it was the birthday of an elder in my district. He got a huge cake in the mail which was really cool. But the funny thing was that 5 other members of my district including me got a bunch of stuff from home as well. We put everything that we had together and there was brownies, cinnamon rolls, cake, doughnuts, and a lot of candy. There is no wonder we have all gained like 10 to 20 pounds from being here. Haha we have one Elder who always misses things because he is the zone leader and it's kinda funny.
This week we got a bunch of native speaking Koreans. There all all super cool and it's nice because we kinda know enough Korean to be able to say some things to them and ask them questions. One thing about them is that they are all so so skinny. Like they are tiny!!! I can't wait to lose all this extra fat I have in Korea because the eat so healthy over there.
Not really much happened this week. We just study really hard every day and gain a deeper understanding of the gospel. I love studying the gospel so much. Reading from the book of Mormon in the greatest thing in the entire world. Our teachers are super great and they inspire us to study hard and have a love for Korea.
Sorry I'm really boring this week. Just wait until I get to Korea and i'm sure you'll here a lot from me about everything that going on.
I love being here in the MTC but I just can't wait for Korea. I love this gospel and I have never been to Korea but I just love all the people there already. I know the church is true. I love the Lord and can see his influence in my life more and more everyday.
I love you all and hope you are all doing well.
Elder Daniel John Meeks
Sunday, January 19, 2014
So how's everything with you? Washington D.C cool? How are you students liking it? Anything crazy happen while you're there? How's Jess like it? She like her first plane ride? Have her tell what to expect because I still haven't been on a plane!!!
Hey so Elder Bednar came and spoke to us and guess what he said? He said that the Seed is not faith and that it's the word of God. I totally flipped when I heard that haha. It's kinda cool to have an apostle back up what your dad has been saying for years. Would you send me some stuff so I can talk about that more and understand it better? Still working out. I actually don't think i've ever been as strong as I am now in my whole life. Lots of pushups, running, chin-ups, and machines that are at the gym. You really need to work your butt off to get as strong as I am.
I am working really hard. And trying to be the best missionary I can be. The language is still really hard but i can get it and I will. I love studying the gospel. Can't tell you how much I love reading the Book of Mormon.
Hey I hope you're doing awesome and that everything is going well
Well I don't think I'll have time to write a big letter to everybody this week, Just tell everyone that i'm doing awesome.
So this week we had Elder Bednar come and speak to us for the second time while I have been here and it was really cool. My district got to usher too so we got to sit really close to the front. Also a group of 33 new missionaries who are going to Korea came in on Wednesday. We are now the oldest group because the last one just left so the new group thinks we are super cool because we know some of the language. They'll figure out soon that we almost the same amount as them haha.
I saw Dalyan here, ( the girl I took to prom) and we got to talk for a little bit. Also I've seen Ben Westbrook around a few times and had a chance to talk with here for a little. He seems like he is doing awesome.
That's super funny to hear about your new Chinese Boy. make a man out of them haha.
Thanks for the DearElder, It's nice to get something in the middle of the week to read. I can't really remember all that was on it because I don't have it all in front of me right now. Are Jess and Dad is In D.C,? How is it having them gone? I think you said that work was going alright so that's good. Keep telling me things that go on at home. It's nice to hear all about everything.
Everything here is really great. I'm still the district leader. It's kinda weird because you're only supposed to be a district leader for 3 weeks and I've gone way longer than that. I kinda realized that i'm not very good at being the spiritual kind of leader. When it comes to getting everybody to absolutely love me I'm not the best at it. I think the leader that I am most like would be Ender from Ender's Game. I'm not nearly that good, but that's kinda what I think of when I think of myself. It's kinda funny because that's not really the leader they are looking for out in the mission field. It would work great for the rest of the world though haha.
I'm glad you and Dad raised me to be a man. there are a lot of wimps here in the mission field. I got pretty sick a few weeks back. Nothing too bad just like a little bit of a Cold. I always tried to be happy and if people asked how I was doing I would always say I was great. There are elders here who won't go to class if they are coughing a little bit and when people ask them how they are doing the will complain and complain and have everybody feel bad for them. Haha it's kinda funny that i'm complaining about people complaining. So I guess thanks haha.
Still going to the Gym? We should do a family Half marathon when I get back or something. That would be super cool. There are some elders here who have gained 20 pounds so far, Crazy.
I still am doing the no sleep thing when I should be studying and it really works. I'm learning so much and I love studying the gospel. Book of Mormon is so Cool.
Hey i'm about to run out of Soap and Shampoo. Could you send me some that you think I'd like? Don't really care what kind. Also, If you could get Jessica to make me some Brownies I would be soooo happy! I really miss those brownies haha. Would you email Andrew's letters to me too? BTW the BYU shirt you sent me is my favorite shirt.
Thanks for everything and tell everybody I love them. And tell my little Bro and sis to email me.
Love ya and Miss ya,
Elder Daniel John Meeks
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Not gonna lie... This one made me cry. So incredibly proud to be his mom.
Nothing really crazy has happened over the last week or so but it's just been super awesome. I once heard that while in the MTC the church wanted to have everything be consistent for the missionaries. Well that really hasn't been my experience. For about the first week and a half we had a really amazing teacher whom everybody in my district loved. Well it was the holiday season so he said that he was going to be out of town for about 9 days then he would be back. No big deal right? WRONG! We found out a few days later that he was not going to be coming back to work at the MTC at all. This made everybody in my district really sad. So the next 2 or so weeks we had a lot of substitute teachers that we really liked but could never really connect with because we only had them for a little bit. Just this past week we had our entire schedule changed. Before we had study time in the mourning and then our classes in the afternoon and evening. Now we have our classes in the mourning and afternoon and our study time at night. We were getting really good with our old schedule and then they decided to flip everything around and mess all of us up. I guess the entire MTC schedule is based off of the teachers school schedule and the change in semesters really messed it all up.
We have had really only one consistent in our lives. His name is Brother Campbell. When we first got here he was the investigator that we practiced teaching and planning for. After a week and a half or so he became one of our teachers and he is the only one that has stuck with us for the entire way. He is such an amazing teacher and example to all of us. We have teachers that will have talk to us in English just about random things and stuff that like, but Brother Campbell has never spoken a whole sentence of English to us in our 5 weeks being here. In class he is 100% focused and corrects bad behavior in the best way possible. We can have normal conversations with him, but it's all in Korean and he helps us become better with the language all of the time.
If you know me well then you know that I really love to sleep... A Lot! So this story may come as quite a shock to you. So for the first month of my stay here I was really tired all the time. We would have an hour of personal study time in class and I would take a 20 minute nap for that time. Well I realized that that is not the kind of missionary I want to be. So for my new year's goal I decided that I would never sleep and concentrate really hard on studying and never sleep when I shouldn't. I have kept this goal so far and I'm really feeling the power of the spirit help me stay awake and focus on what I need to do. I've come so far with the language and with the gospel just from the new year because i done this. I still get tired but when I do I just start to work harder or focus on why I'm on a mission and it helps me to stay awake and gives me energy to do what I need to do. A little while back our district talked about why we are here. I've realized that I'm not out here for myself. Everything we do here is to help the people come to the knowledge of the gospel. This is a time to be selfless in all that we do. I know that now and when I'm tired or if I don't want to focus or study the language I think about that. I think about that, think of something I need to do, and do it. The Lord will help us focus if we just put forth as much effort as we can.
I've started to love reading the Book of Mormon. Holy cow it's like the most amazing book in the whole world and it's so fun to read. There is so much to learn from it and it's just a really good story. My personal study time is one of my favorite parts of the day now because I can just read and study the Book of Mormon for an hour. So Good! Also, my journal is like my best friend now. I basically take it everywhere I go. It's just really nice to be able to write down thoughts and insights you're having.
Korean is still way hard and it's really frustrating sometimes, but we have learned a lot. Korean is a strange language. There is like different forms that you have to talk in when you are talking to certain people. There's High form, middle form, low form and then like low low form. It's super confusing but I don't see why, with some really hard work, I couldn't get it.
Well my group is about to be the oldest group and we have a lot of new Korean speakers coming in next week. It will be super great to be the elders that know what's going on and the elders that are super good at the language even though we are terrible at it.
Only a few more weeks until I'm going to be in Korea. It's going to be the greatest time of my life. When it's hard here I just think that i'm going to be in Korea in like 23 days and i feel better.
This is the so great and I know it's the work of the Lord and if you trust in him he will help you. The church is true and I love being on a mission.
I miss everybody and I love you all.
love,Elder Daniel John Meeks
Dear Family and Friends,
These past 5 weeks have been some of the most amazing of my entire life.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Merry Christmas Family!!!!!
Hey you may have thought that you weren't going to here from me on Christmas but I'm up way early and here I am. Well I hope you all are having a fantastic Christmas. It's been really amazing so far for me. Last night a bunch of Elders stayed up and we got out some really nice music and talked and had a really nice time. The lack of music here is not normal BTW. It's really weird not being home for Christmas. This is the first time in about 18 years. Crazy!!!
Everything is great here, I just got called to be the district leader and so now I have another thing on my mind. I think it's an amazing opportunity and I'm really excited about it. I know just from a couple of days that there are going to be challenges, namely the zone leader, but I'm super excited.
Thanks so much for making me fat. Really though we have so much junk food that it's kinda ridiculous. My room and I LOVED the camal corn and I was really selfish and didn't share with a lot of people. Guess that's something I can work on.
I just want to let you all know that I know that being here is the right thing to be doing. Right now I seems like the MTC is the only part of my mission and I get just a little bit down. Then I here one of my teachers talk about Korea and I see that they are just 100% in love with the country and the people and I hear their testimonies and I want to have all of that for myself. The spirit is so strong and I can feel my testimony growing every day. It's not easy and I'm not saying that I'm a perfect missionary, but being here is so great and I am really excited to be out here.
I love you all so much and I love hearing from you,
Elder Daniel John Meeks
Well it's been just a little bit more then a week being here at the MTC and i'm loving it. I feel like I have been here for so long but at the same time it goes by so fast. Every day is scheduled down to the second and i'm really glad that everybody in my district is really hard working and we all are good friends now.
We have four elders in my room. Me, my companion and another companionship. My companion, Elder Fowler, is a really nice guy. He was from Idaho and was homeschooled for his whole life. He is younger than me and about my same height and size. He grew up working in construction and riding motorcycles so he is isn't a wimp. We get along really well and have a really good time. One of the other elders in my room, Elder Demille, is from Salt Lake City and he is super cool. He is the guy that was friends with everybody and is amazingly funny. His companion, Elder Shaver, is from Canada but he doesn't really talk like he is. He is really nice and has a good spirit about him.
My classes are really long and very mentally draining. We have 4 hour class blocks and when we are studying Korean for the whole time it feels like my head is going to explode. But our teachers are so amazing. They are the most genuine guys in the whole world.
We have three teachers. Brother McArther is our main teacher and the only time he speaks in full English is when he is explaining something really difficult or when we are having a super spiritual moment. He is so nice and really patient with us. Brother wade is called a zone resource which means that he goes around to different districts and helps people with questions they have, and he can talk in English. I have never seen someone who is so passionate about something in my whole life. The way that he talked about Korean, the Korean people and about the gospel just brought the spirit into the room so strongly. We have been practicing our language by teaching an "investigator". We knew that he was a member but he was acting like somebody he taught when he was on his mission. We just had our first real class with him and a know he is going to be a good teacher.
The dorms are not anything like what I expected them to be. We go back to our dorms at 9:30. I thought when we got back there would be a quiet peace where everybody was talking about spiritual things and getting ready for the next day. I was really shocked when I went back and elders were playing soccer in the hallways and talking about video games and girls and other things that a bunch of normal teenage guys would talk about.
Korean is so hard I want to shoot it sometimes. It's so different from Chinese that it hasn't helped me at all. I wasn't feeling bitter about speaking Korean and not Chinese but it was just kinda hard to go so far with Chinese and then have to start back at the beginning with Chinese. When Brother Wade was talking about Korea I realized that I needed to not have that attitude about Korean and focus on doing the best that I can with where I am at right now
But with all the fun and hard work there has been many spiritual moments. There is a talk that was played on Sunday by Elder Bednar called the character of Christ and it's probably the best talk I've ever heard in my life. All the guys in my district we're crying at some point of that talk. There are too many experiences to talk about just know that the spirit is very strong here and it's the best feeling in the world
I love it here but I miss a few things, music and guitar being one of them. I know that being here is the right thing to do and I can't wait to go to Korea and teach the people there. Only 8 more weeks to go.
I miss and love you all
So I kinda don't really know any other email accounts of anyone other than this one. So if you could everyone in our family could send me a email that would be awesome.
So these past few days have been really crazy but I really like it. There is so much to work on that your mind is just filled up with the gospel and the language all the time. I'm really tired every second of the day but i guess that is alright. My companion is really great and all the people in my district are amazing. Korean is really really hard. I love the spirit here.
Anyway there really isn't much to tell so far but if i could get all of your e-mail's that would be awesome.
I love you all and you'll here a lot from me in my next letter
P.S. if you guys ever send me a package, that big brown blanket would be really nice to have.