Excerpts from both:
"Sooooo, I share my floor with a ton of awesome Polynesians and they're having this contest right now where they do a handstand and try to knock each other other. So I'll try to churn out an inspiring letter, but I guess we'll see. :)
The rumors are true! The two elders that picked me up too me to my room, and then they dropped me off in my classroom where nothing but Indonesian was being spoken. I kept telling myself "Just smile, nod, and act like you know what they're saying, and listen." If there's one thing that I learned today, it's that I need to become a better listener. Because from that first class session and from another exercise where three "investigators" asked the audience legitimate life questions, I've learned to really care about the people I talk to so I can answer their questions and speak from the heart.
It's been an overwhelming first day, but seeing Elder Peters and a couple other people from high school and college helped me out. Elder Murphy is my companion or "Rekan" and he's way tight! He's a short guy, but he could probably beat me up, so it's a good thing he's the nicest guy in the world. I'll send pictures during my first P Day next week.
It's really weird, Mom, but Sister Sheffield is like an exact replica of you if I could have seen you as a missionary. Totally weird. She's always optimistic, upbeat, a tad sarcastic, and even snorts when she laughs, like you.
I wish I had a bit more time to write, but they have us busy from 6:30 am until 10:30 pm, doing stuff. The gospel is the reason I'm out here. I want the Indonesian people I teach to be able to have the absolute pure joy I've had with my eternal family through the blessings of the temple.
The Church is true!!!! If it wasn't, I have no idea why 3,000 18-21 year olds would come together to prepare to go out into the world. I'll hopefully send more letters with substance and spiritual content, but today's been one huge blur. I love you all and will make you and the Lord proud!
Saya Mengasihi onda! Saya tahu bahwa keluarga saya adalah kekali! (I love you! I know that my family
PS I think I'm here until July 8th. 9 weeks. I might need some reinforcement fruit snacks before then. Seriously, those things have been manna from heaven so far. "
Sister Sheffield is related to me--her great grandpa and my grandma are first cousins, so I guess the genes are pretty strong!!! Even down to snorting while laughing!
The traditional picture in front of the MTC
The host elders help him with his suitcases and he's off. Then turns around for one final picture.