Saturday, June 28, 2008

Stories from the MTC- c'est choc!

I have a little time today, so I'm going to tell you one of Collin's stories... once upon a time, WAY back in the MTC, Collin told us a funny story about this man here - He is in the bishopric in Collin's branch in the MTC. His name is Brother Matage (pronounced ma tong ee, but I don't know if I spelled it right) He is from Samoa. I'll let Collin tell the story in his own words from a letter he wrote us back at the end of May:
 I got a letter from Aaron  and he's doing well.  He's super choc ( the awesomest French Islander way to say cool) So... oh yeah I actually have a story about that word. K so one of the teachers went to New Caledonia and my teacher was telling us about him and he always does the hang loose sign thing and says "c'est choc" all the time and my district decided that was the most awesome thing ever so we do that constantly.  Our branch president's counselor is from Samoa and so he's like super cool and laid back and so we asked him to say "c'est choc" and do that sign and he was like ok... shaka? (choc is pronounced shoc with the o being like chocolate) And he told us the story of the hang loose hand signal...
  In Hawaii there was this fisherman who was attacked by a shark (shaka) and it bit off his 3 middle fingers. So when he waved at the tourists, he waved with only his thumb and pinky, and they'd ask "what does that mean?" And because he didn't know English he'd just say Shaka, which means shark. :) So people started waving like that and stuff. Anyway, it was awesome. It's just a coincidence that choc rhymes w/ shaka, but it was funny anyway.
  When I can, I'll tell some more MTC stories. bye.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What Collin did after calling us at the airport

Anyway, I'll tell you everything I can think of that has happened thus far. After I hung up with you guys on the phone, I ran up to the gate and was second to the last person to get on the plane, and the lady was really surprised I got there. I run up and they were getting ready to load the next plane, and she's like are you going to Atlanta?? So I said yes, am I too late? And she said No, but we're doing very last call right now so you better hurry. And I said Okay! Thanks! and I hurried down the ramp. Luckily there was still a few people in line to get on the plane still, so I wasn't missing much. The problem was, however, that there was almost no carry-on space! Lots of people apparently had put their personal item in the top racks and I had nowhere to put my little rolling bag. So I sat there in the back of the plane and waited for everyone to sit so I could get to the front of the plane where the only last little bit of space was, and then when I got there it was all full! So I just stood there and I'm like ah, crap. But it wasn't just me, there were about 3 other people with the same problem. The flight attendants announced for anyone who put their lap bags in the overhead space to please take them out so we could put our crap up there and actually leave the gate on time. (it was getting down to 2 minutes before departure) so everybody did that, and I found basically the last remaining space and I took it. Fortunately there ended up being just enough space for everyone, so nobody had to check their carry on bags, and we took off right on time. On the flight I ended up sitting between an RM and Elder Flanagan. He eventually fell asleep and I eventually got to sleep as well. I'm glad I did, I only had between 1 1/2 and 2 hours sleep the night before. Unfortunately though, I didn't get to preach to anyone on the plane, which was something I was looking forward to. When I woke up I messed around a little bit with the screen thing on the back of the headrests, where usually they have movies, tv, and games. I didn't have any headphones so I wasn't too tempted by anything. I watched probably 2 min of CNN without sound, and I read a little bit of the scrolling stuff on the bottom. They also had a section where you can see exactly where the plane was in the states (tracked by GPS), what the speed, temperature, miles travelled/to go, came from time and destination time, and estimated arrival. That was very interesting and I watched that for a few minutes, but after that I made my way to the games section. They had an inflight trivia that you compete against others on the plane, and I decided that was the only thing I could justify within the rules, so I gave it a shot. Some rounds I actually did pretty good, but most of the questions were geared for older people, with like older movies, tv, and sports so I had no idea for a lot of it. However, one game I ended up getting about 3rd place on the high scores list (just for that flight). But that was pure luck. I didn't know any of the answers and just ended up randomly clicking the right ones for a long streak.

I ended up travelling with Elders Flanagan and Haws, and Sister/Hermana Howard. Me and Flan, obviously, are waiting for our New Caledonia visas, Elder Haws is waiting for a Tahiti visa (also through France), and Sister Howard is waiting for a visa from.. Somewhere in South America. I can't remember exactly where. But anyway, we got off the plane smoothly and went towards baggage claim, which was about a half mile walk. They literally had a train that went from one end of the airport to the baggage claim area. But we just walked and took the moving sidewalk things. Our APs for the mission met us there, told us about our companions, and drove us to our destinations. It was about a 45 minute drive from the Airport to my apartment, and that's where I said goodbye to the other elders and the sister. Since it wasn't a normal transfer day, I didn't get to meet the mission president like most new missionaries do. I was the only elder going to that companionship/area/apartment. They were originally a threesome, and I broke it up into two pairs. My companion is Elder Lewis from southern California. Like, really really southern. He says it's 7 miles from the ocean, 7 miles from the border. He's been out 18 months. He's really chill and I get along with him great. The other two elders are Elders Tigges (tigger without the r he says :)) and Allred. Elder Tigges (pronounced tiggis) is from North Carolina and Elder Allred is from Salt Lake. Those two elders get the car, and me and my companion get the bikes. That afternoon I unpacked and took about a half hour nap, went to wal-mart and bought some food (they gave me 160 dollars.. apparently they usually give the visa waiters like 30. awesome!!) and then we went out to visit a family. They are a black family a few miles away from our apartment, comprising of Pearl who just got baptized about a week before I came in, and is divorced. She has a daughter from her ex-husband and two sons. The two sons are 16 and 18 and are named Kaliid and Jabrii. The spelling is a little different, but I can't remember. Her two grandsons who are from her daughter also live there and they're named Ray Ray and Didon. The two older kids are getting ready to be baptized on Friday, so we went and taught them the fourth lesson, or the commandments. They seemed to be a little bit queezy when we taught them about chastity and the word of wisdom, but they seemed to accept it. They are reading and going to church, and haven't had much chance to go to young mens activities, but I think they will start going soonish. The next day they had their baptismal interviews, and it turns out Kaliid (the 16 year old) doesn't feel ready to get baptized on friday, so it will just be Jabrii. They're all really cool and really nice and Pearl works for Great Clips. Ray Ray is super friendly and is always really excited to see us. He is sadly addicted to video games, and has been playing Grand Theft Auto, so he talks a lot about killing cops and running people over, and my companion tells me he can have quite a mouth, but I haven't heard it. We're not sure if he learned it from the video games or other people or both, but GTA is famous for its very very course language so I wouldn't be surprised either way. He is a pretty good kid and Pearl tells us he gets up some days and really wants to go to church, and she has to tell him to wait until Sunday!! He's really cute and I'm excited that he's so excited to go to church and read from the Book of Mormon stories book. I think he isn't allowed to play the violent video games anymore since pearl got baptized, but I don't know how well that is working out so far. He still has a ton of potential though and I'm sure he'll turn out to be a good kid with some help from his family. He likes to pray when we come over and it's so cute. Heavenly Father, thank you for family, help us be good, name of Jesus, amen. :D awesome kid. Didon is 8 and wants to be baptized (grr, i keep typing baptise because of french.. Il veut que se fait baptise. wait, is baptise a word? blah.) and we're waiting on his Mom to receive the lessons, and apparently she's very willing and interested, but the missionaries in her area are slacking. Grr. They're great people though, and I'm happy to teach them. I'm still a quiet shy sidekick missionary right now, but I'm warming up quick.

We also visited Eugene and James King, who are a family that live a little closer to our appartment. Every time we come over they're just chilling out on the porch smoking. I wanted to tell you about them, but interestingly enough, James (I think he's 20) showed up at the library and talked to us for a little while. He's a funny kid.  I like him. I wish he would keep his commitments because I think he would be a good investigator, if he was willing to progress. Eugene is his dad, an older guy who has been a trucker for a while. He has a really thick southern accent and I can't understand half of what he says. But he's interesting. He has a long beard and smokes a lot, but he's still cool. I'm not sure what the deal with the mom is there, I think she lives there but I don't know if they're divorced or what, but I'll find out later with more time. I can't just like go up and ask these things, ya know.

Today we went to a restaurant about 15 miles away from our appartment with a member, who is very interesting. She's a chiropractor from the area and before that she lived in Minnesoda. She says that she knew some Wingets from there who actually pronounced it our way! It was cool to hear that! She said Hi Elder Winget (pronounced right) wait.. is it Wing-it? I was so surprised. It was cool to hear someone pronounce it right the first time!

Right now we are at the University of West Georgia at their library. And this brings us to now. :D I set up my email the way I like it and looked at my Picasa site and posted something on my blog, and now here we are. :D I sent a letter to Aaron and Janae today, and I think I'll send a little snail mail to home, but it will be short since I have sent this ridiculously long email! :) I put my addresses up on my blog, so if y'all wanna send stuff, send it there!

Well I guess this is the end, i hope you have enjoyed this!

Elder Winget

What a surprise!!

Wow! We actually got a surprise visit from Collin himself! That was unexpected. He emailed us from a library in Georgia, and thanks to his computer skills, posted on this blog! Now I have to put up some decent things here since I know he might check it from time to time.  His p-day is Wednesday, BTW. If you want to leave a comment on this here blog, Collin will probably read it next week.  He says he doesn't know if he will be allowed to do this when he gets over to New Caledonia, so send in your comments, folks, because we don't know how soon his visa will come in and the rules may change.  He sent us a really long email telling us what he's been up to since we talked to him from the airport, so that will be the next post...
(This is Channing) I would like to announce that i am NOT a crazy cat lady, and I usually look normal. This is just soon after I rolled out of bed to talk to Collin. ^^ 
  Our stupid cats wouldn't get out of the way for us to type, so we took a picture to send to Collin since we were discussing this whilst chatting with him. We think Charlie's depressed because he misses Collin, but since he's a stupid cat, we don't know for sure. But he does look depressed, doesn't he?  Okay, next post: news from Collin.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bwa haha!

Guess what? This is ELDER WINGET typing on my own blog.

I know, it's strange. But you like it.

Anyway, I'm here in Carrollton Georgia right now, just chillin at a public library. Things are great here. It is so green everywhere. We're teaching some awesome people and the work is going great.

I was super bummed when I heard i wasn't going to New Caledonia right away, but I like it here so far, so I couldn't have asked for a better place to stay while I await my visa.

My companion is Elder Lewis from California. We share an apartment with two other Elders named Elder Allred and Elder Tigges. (Sp?) They're cool too. Anyway, I am going to go email some families, but in parting I'd like to tell you my address for the time being. Remember I could be leaving anywhere from a week to 3 months, so if your mail gets returned, it just means I've gone on to Fiji.

Elder Collin Winget
104B Danny Dr.
Carrollton, GA 30017

Monday, June 23, 2008

Crazy changes for Elder Winget AGAIN!

Hey all you loyal Collinheads! The crazy changes just keep happening lately!  I  have just spent the last week running around, getting the last minute things Collin needed to leave the country for Fiji 2 weeks earlier than expected. Just when everything got all put together, with his flight plans finalized and everything, he got another surprise! His visa hasn't come in yet, so today he is off to the Georgia, Atlanta mission until his visa comes in.  Apparently they are pretty picky who they give visas to these days, and France likes to check things out pretty thoroughly before they let people come over to New Caledonia. We have no idea how long  it will be until he leaves for the Pacific Islands, but Collin is ready to go, where ever and whenever he is sent. I think he was going a little stir crazy at the MTC , sitting in classes for 12 hours a day! So he is looking forward to the adventure of teaching the gospel in Atlanta.  We were lucky enough to talk to him twice on the phone in the past 3 days, so he could inform us of all the travel changes and where we could reach him. It was so good to hear his voice!! He sounds wonderful, same Collin as always, but now he has the added bonus feature of being able to speak and  bear his testimony in French! He told us he bought an extra Book of Mormon in english and one in french, just in case he got to talk to anyone on the plane :) 
  We are not sure how to reach him in Atlanta yet, but we did a test letter from the DearElder website and sent it to the Georgia, Atlanta mission. I'll let you know how that worked out.
 I have some interesting stories that Collin has told us during his adventures in the MTC, but since I'm not quite smart enough to figure out how to put multiple pictures on one blog post, I will do them seperately.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Some exciting changes for Collin!

Collin just emailed us on Friday to tell us that he will be leaving for Fiji in a week, instead of July 7th like originally planned.  He will leave on June 23 and fly to L.A. where he will have a 3 hour lay over. He will be allowed to call us from the airport, so we're really excited! Then he will fly straight to Fiji from there. I don't know if he will be staying in Fiji before he goes on to New Caledonia, but he said he would be in New Caledonia by the 28th. He's really excited to go. He's been getting tired of spending 12 hours in class every day, and is ready to go out and teach the gospel.
  So, we all have just one week to send Collin anything at the MTC, and after that, it's going to cost quite a bit more! The DearElder website doesn't deliver to New Caledonia, so we have to use U.S. postal service,I guess.  If you try to send a letter to Collin in New Caledonia via DearElder, it will cost the mission home in Fiji a lot of money to forward it on to New Caledonia, so they have asked us to tell everyone NOT to send mail for Collin to Fiji. Don't worry, I will post the address for the New Caledonia mission home, and the rules for mail there, and the approximate costs of sending stuff there in the next blog entry.
  Collin wants to thank everyone who has written to him so far. It really means a lot to him to get your letters! 

Monday, June 2, 2008

Collin sent new pictures today!

Collin is posing with  Jean-Luc Picard that Channing made for him. ( Will he ever make his bed?  oh well) He is doing great! Take a look at the new pictures he sent us -Channing will post a link to the left called" MTC part deux" Check it out, there's some good ones.
  Here's some quotes from Collin's latest letters:
"MTC is great, but I can't wait to leave!"
"I'm so excited to go to New Caledonia that it's ridiculous.  On Sunday I decided that we are just going now, even though we're by no means ready."
"Thank you for all the prayers. I am getting along great here and I know it's because of your prayers and everyone else's :) Thank You!"  And last but not least, "Oh, and nobody from the ward ever writes me... Why?"
  So, come on everybody, let's all send Collin letters!  Just click on the link to the left -, and you can send him a free letter.  It only takes a few minutes, and the letters get printed up and delivered every weekday at noon. the Elders in the MTC get their DearElder letters delivered to them while they are eating dinner, so it's pretty fun for them.
 Well, enjoy the pictures!