I'd like to thank everyone for your concern and advice for the trouble I was having a couple of weeks ago. I've heard half a dozen different explanations for the behavior of my companion. Let me first make sure there is no misunderstanding or mistaking the situation, as may have happened due to my limitations as a writer; my few letters over the past two months must naturally give the reader a distorted and sensational glimpse of my time here at the MTC, just as relying on front-page headlines would give us a distorted perception of the "real" world. The truth is, Elder Evans is a great missionary. He has been since the beginning of our time here, and I know that he will become better and better throughout his mission. We have come to respect and love one another and, for the most part, to understand each other. By following mission rules we've been able to work through the issues that naturally occur when two young men from opposite sides of the earth, with completely different personalities, choose to undertake a work in which they must spend almost every waking moment in one another's presence. We've learned a great deal from one another, and if I had the choice, I wouldn't have wanted to spend that time any other way. So I hope you will not misunderstand when I express frustration with any person or situation here. I am happy to be serving my Heavenly Father, and would have it no other way.
On to lighter subjects, I got my travel plans this week. I leave for Paris on Monday, 17 Oct. and arrive the next morning, Paris time. [James's new address] Somebody tell Jameson Veit (Heather's brother) that his friend, Elder Babcock, moved in next door to our room, and is in our branch, learning French like a champion.
I just had an interesting experience that illustrates the point I was mentioning earlier. I got called to the front office, which is a pretty rare occurrence around here. So I was wondering, did somebody in my family die? Did I dod something to get in trouble? Did my VISA get rejected? But no. Apparently I mentioned getting sick (runny nose) some time ago and then last week I mentioned being a little sick (cough) in my letters home, so my Mom called the MTC to find out if I'm okay! I guess she figured I'd been confined to bed for several weeks or something. See how easy it is to misconstrue the situtation based on so little information? How embarrassing. Ah, well, it's a mother's job to worry.
When I get to France, I'll see if I can post to my blog directly or use email. If not, it may be a couple of weeks before you get your next update.
[James, I hope you were able to get the info you needed from your Mom! I didn't get your letter until the afternoon of Oct. 17th so I didn't have a chance to warn her to be prepared.]