Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 2 from the MTC

Hello everyone,

   I write to you today through the daze of cold medicine. There are over two thousand missionaries living in very tight quarters so disease spreads very fast. We have all taken to calling it the "Plague" and this week my whole district caught it but most of us are on the way to recovery so that is really good. 
   Several of you have been asking about Cantonese and it is honestly the most difficult thing I've ever done. We spend about 13 hours in a small classroom a day. In which we are given about 50 vocab words a day. Which is crazy. Also we are not taught characters but we are taught to read "Pingyham" which is a romanized written language I'll see if I can attach a picture of it. But it is prettymuch impossible to read. It was designed in 1980ish and the language has evolved but the pingyham has not so half of the letters are silent and Ngho is pronounced "O" and N = L and j some times makes a j sound and sometimes it makes a ch sound. So it's ridiculous to read. However that being said I am learning at a surprising rate. The "Investigator" I talked about last week accepted our invitation to be baptized so that was an awesome feeling even though it isn't real.

   We got a second teacher this week. She is a native from Hong Kong and it is intense to hear her speak at full speed and not going easy on us. She is really nice though. Her name is Lou jimuih. Our regular teachers name is Baak Hingdai.

   I was going to send home some photos but I don't think that this computer will let me. So I will try from a different computer later today. (Photos attached at end of post)

   Also the food here is really good and there is a lot of it. I think that I've gained 6 pounds already. So we will see how that goes. We get an hour of gym time a day so I think that will help. We also learned that we are the largest shipment of Elders and Sisters to go to the China, Hong Kong mission ever. I'm beginning to realize the truth behind something our zone leaders told us on day one. He said: "The days are long but the weeks go by fast". The 16 hour days seem to drag on (Especially if you are sick) but it seems crazy that It's P-day again. 

  Every Wednesday we get a new batch of Missionaries to the MTC so it is fun to see the fear in their eyes and to welcome them. We can tell that they are new because they have a green sticker on their name tag. It's just a really cool thing to see. 

   Also a few of you were wondering again what my mailing address is:

Elder Gordon Conrad Walker
2005 N 900 E Unit 178
Provo UT 84602

The fastest way to tell me something though is through "Dear elder" I will get that the same day that you send it. The fastest response from me will be through mail so if you want me so send you mail tell me your address and I'll write.
(from Mom: if you go to and write a letter to Gordon, they will print it and give it to him the same day instead of him having to wait until Monday to read it online.  He still won't be able to respond until the next Monday. YOU WILL NEED TO KNOW HIS UNIT # 178 AND THAT HE IS IN THE PROVO MTC)

Love you all,
Elder Walker
Chinese style from right to left:  Me, Elder McGowan (companion) Elder Gibson from Utah and Elder Huang from Taiwan

Our nametags

This is what Pingyahm looks like
Classroom with Hong Kong flag (left) Macaw flag (middle) and Chinese flag (right)

My room
One elder is going to Canada so he made his own flag!
My desk
My closet (he's using his laundry bag!)
My district by the back of the Provo Temple

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