My companion's name is Elder Stowell, and he is 18 from Cottonwood Heights in Utah. He and I are both going to Toronto, and we are the only ones in our zone going to Canada. I'm pretty sure we're the only Mandarin Missionaries going to Canada, which is odd because there's like 8 going to Virginia.
I guess I'll just respond to your paragraphs individually :)
Mom - It is mostly good. Its been a huge adjustment to go from being a normal guy to being a missionary, but I like to think I've done it well :) I love that video from Acts, and you may want to know that it's pretty much Brother Butler's favorite thing the church has made. I've actually read a lot in Acts while I've been here, because I feel like the apostles were suddenly thrown into a whole new world of preaching, not with Christ by their side physically, but knowing that spiritually he was always there. I especially appreciate the part (I think it's in Acts 2) where they start teaching and everyone in the town hears them in their own language. If only Mandarin were learned that easily :)
Hayden - Thanks so much for writing! I really appreciate it. Well, if you want to know the basics about my companion, just look up at Mom's letter, but you should know that we're getting along great. He plays soccer, and he really loves the gospel. I'm sorry I don't have a picture, but I'll send one next week :) And it is very fun learning Chinese, thank you for asking.
Ash-lay-ga-ha - My companion is super dope. But not quite as super dope as I am. No I didn't narrate everything in our lives and act Australian at first, but mostly because we met in Chinese class, and I didn't even know he was my companion until about halfway through. Tell Dad that he should run for president and make lots of racist comments. He'll get it :)
Hadley - Tell Ashleigh that my companion's name is Tom Daily, and he finally decided to join the church after competing in the Olympics. She might like that. Also, I don't have a picture yet, but I will send one next week. The camera hasn't gotten a lot of use yet. Thanks so much for writing!
Dad - My companion is awesome, right now he's sitting next to me writing to his family, or maybe his girlfriend :) He is going to the same mission I am, and my teachers are awesome. My Chinese teacher Li Laoshi (Laoshi means teacher) speaks 100% in Chinese in class, and although it is super hard to listen, I am also learning a lot. We have had to teach an investigator already (not a real investigator, but a really good actor) and it had to be all in Chinese which at first was super daunting, but has actually become one of my favorite parts of the day. The other day we were teaching him, and there were a few minutes where the Chinese just started flowing super easily, and me and my companion looked at each other with huge eyes. It was pretty awesome since our Chinese normally consists of saying something, then flipping through a dictionary for 8 minutes. The spirit is definitely helping me here :)
Ellie - I got your separate email, but I just thought I'd respond here. I am having a ton of fun learning Mandarin Chinese, and the MTC is awesome. All the teachers here could be EFY speakers, and even the choir director makes things spiritual. I did find the sticky notes, and I really appreciate them all, although I think Elder Stowell is starting to wonder why I have sticky notes in the front pocket of all my white shirts :)
Emi - WHO'S A GOOD DOG!? YOU ARE! YOU ARE! YES YOU ARE!
Anyway, my time here at the MTC has been amazing, and I've loved every minute of it. So far we've had Stephen Allen (Jeff Allen's dad) speak to us and we've had an amazing choir practice that felt more like I was listening to a talk that occasionally involved us singing. Also my district is super awesome, and everyone in it is so great! By the way, Elder Jackson (Parker) is in my district, and he seems to be doing really well. I love you all, and I'm having a great time here. Thanks so much for writing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!