Saturday, August 29, 2015

Only 2 and a half more weeks until it gets really exciting!


Dear Family,
I'm sorry I've been writing so short, but I am really not sure what to write about. That is really annoying that everything got stolen from the swim lockers.  You have to be a real jerk to pull something like that.  
I really want to just go to Korea right now.  I feel like the only thing to learn at all now is vocab, at least in the MTC.  We have gone through basically all of the grammar forms, and so I feel that the only way that I can speak a little better is to just go out there and figure it out.  Yesterday, Driggs 형재님 told us a little bit about the culture there in Korea.  They have two different number sets, a Chinese and a normal Korean one.  The Chinese set was pretty easy for me to learn, for obvious reasons.  But, the Korean numbers are a bit harder to figure out for me.  There similar to the Spanish numbers in the way that you count with them.  Anyway, our teacher was telling us that one of the things that the Korean numbers are used for is age counting.  The only way that you can call someone an actual friend is if you are the same age in Korean.  I am technically 19 in Korean, because they count by birth year, and not birthday.  They still celebrate birthdays, but they don't mean anything special.  It's the older people that are super honorific in Korea.  Some of them will go and make a big deal out of their age, and our teacher said that when they do that, even if you don't understand what their age is, you just say, "Oh," and bow really low.  
This last week, we had TRC again on Friday.  If I haven't told you, TRC is when we teach people that volunteer from the outside world.  On Friday, we taught the same person that we taught last week.  We had a lesson prepared on missionary work and temple work.  We had him read a scripture and asked him how he felt, and he was all like, "I don't know," and it totally confused us.  He then told us he was an investigator.  I don't think he is one, though, because I believe I recall him telling me he went to Hong Kong on his mission.  Anyway, we completely dropped our entire lesson plan, and taught him as if he were an investigator.  It went quite well, to be honest.  
Yesterday, we got new missionaries in our branch.  These ones are going to the same missions as the people at our age or whatever (level of experience is probably the best way to put it).  It feels really weird, because that makes us the oldest district now.  To be honest, I still feel like I should be the youngest district.  The MTC is going by really fast, because I also feel like I just barely got to know the missionaries that came in less recently.  We talked to the new missionaries last night, and they seem to be pretty cool.  
I love Sung 형재님 so much.  He is probably one of the greatest people that I have ever met.  He is so fun to have as a teacher.  Even if what we are learning one day is going to be really boring, like yesterday, he makes it enjoyable still.  He got sick this week, right after he got back from Korea, so I kind of felt bad for him.  However, he did come yesterday, even though he was taking like four pills or something to make him feel okay.
Something new that I have found that I like to do is to play four-square.  It is so much more intense than it was back in fourth grade.   We played it with our district this morning, and it was pretty even.  One of the rules that I don't like is that it's not supposed to go over another person's head, and I like to smash it a lot, so I get out a lot because I do that.  I hope this e-mail was better!  Only 2 and a half more weeks until it gets really exciting!
Elder Tyler Conley

Rex Kwon Do


That's awesome to hear so much from you guys!!  I can barely think of how to respond to so much information.  Thanks to Dad for the tips on staying awake.  I think I'll start taking those vitamins that you sent with me now, and also do a small workout before bed every night.  This week was pretty fun.  I started learning a little bit of Tae (Rex) Kwon Do from Elder Peterson, who is an elder from one of the older districts.  I can't learn any more from him now, sadly, because his last gym time was yesterday.  Yesterday, our district had the opportunity to help the new missionaries with their "How to Begin Teaching" class, where we were missionaries that started off a lesson and a group of about 50 other missionaries took over and finished.  I did see Calvin there, but not for very long, because he wasn't in the group I was helping with.  I actually also just barely saw him, and he wanted to hear some Korean.  So, I bore my testimony to him in Korean.  He was quite impressed.  I haven't actually had enough time to have a real conversation with him, but it's still good to see him.  Those pictures that you and Dad sent me are awesome.  I especially like the one of the waterslide and Chad in it, because of Drew's face in it.  Spencer's job is seeming to be really fun... not really.  That sounds more like a pain.  Just so you know, junior year was my favorite year out of all three at Sky View.  It was also the hardest academically, but it was great.  I don't have my travel plans yet, sadly.  I don't get them for another 2 weeks or so.  

Thanks for the emails!! They totally made my week!

Elder Tyler Conley

The best gift!


Hey, Family buddies!

I have been working quite hard this past week.  We learned so much new stuff about Korean this week.  The most interesting thing we learned about is called gerunds.  Basically it allows you to put more than one verb in a sentence.  English has them too, but I had never heard of them until I learned about them in Korean.  I have been very tired lately.  Does Dad have any suggestions for staying awake during personal study?  Because I don't ever totally fall asleep, but I nod off quite a bit.  I haven't seen Nathan at all since he's been here, but I've seen Carter like three times at least.  I always love to see him.  I am so excited for Calvin to come!!  I have missed him a lot.  My Korean is definitely coming along.  I actually get the grammar very well, so right now my problem is mostly learning vocabulary, which is a little tougher for me to do.  Yesterday, we taught Brother Driggs as our investigator, and it did not go very well.  The Korean was fine, but we couldn't figure out what he needed to hear.  We kept telling him that following God and Christ would make him happy, and he kept saying that he already was happy.  We talked about answering that question after we taught him, but I didn't feel like the question was actually answered very well.  I am getting very anxious to fly out to Korea.  The MTC is getting a "daily grind" type of feeling, except for the fact that we've gone through about 9 teachers because both of our main ones left on vacation at different times.  I am glad that I am already on my fifth week, though.  It does not feel like it has been that long.  A little over one more week, and we will be the oldest missionaries in our zone.  That's weird, because I still feel like the youngest ones.  

On Tuesday, I got a cool mission T-shirt.  I would send a picture, but I left my camera in my classroom.  On Wednesday, I got one of the best gifts I have ever received from Shawn, the janitor for our service building:  A parachute soldier!!  It was Shawn's last week here, though, which makes me kind of sad.  I am sure it makes another elder happy, though, because Elder Jenkins in another district had to clean toilets three weeks out of the four that we have worked there.  I suppose that this concludes my email for today.

Elder Tyler Conley

P.S.  Thanks for the package.  It made my whole day better.  I have made sure to share some with my district.  The cookies are in perfect shape still. 

Great, kid! Don't get cocky.


 Yeah, it's been real down here.  Chinese is not coming out so much anymore, but it is helping me more now.  Apparently, the Koreans use different Chinese characters for the days of the week, as well as the character for love.  Everyday we take a quiz on them, and everyone groans because they don't want to take a quiz, and I just ask, "Do I even have to take it?"  Then my teacher gives me this look and says no.  I really enjoy being taught by Sung Hyeong Jae Nim (That's the romanization for the Korean word for Brother).  He left this very morning, and our other main teacher doesn't get back until tomorow, so tonight we are being taught by Campbell Hyeong Jae Nim and Punk Hyeong Jae Nim (His real name is Brother Reynolds, but we call him that because Sung is always calling him a punk, because he speaks low form to some of the teachers).  Also,  P sounds like the Korean word for blood, so we always call today Blood Day.  I've seen a couple people I know so far.  I actually just barely saw Chaylee Chadwick from colorguard walking into the lab.  I have seen Ryan, but I think it was like his first or second day or something.  I have also seen Josh Von Niederhauser, who is a person from my school.  As of yesterday, we are no longer one of the youngest districts in the branch.  Three brand new districts of missionaries arrived yesterday, but sadly, they don't even have the same residence hall as us.  

Yesterday, we were eating breakfast with the sisters.  They asked us what we planned on doing when we got back home.  I said I would reacquaint myself with a friend, but I was referring to Emmett.  Sister O'Loughlin asked if it was a "special" friend.  I was all like, "Yeah, I guess so.  I guess he was basically my first high school friend,"  and I totally missed the actual point of what she was asking.  She said, "Oh, it's a he,"  and I soon realized my mistake.  Ha Ha!!!  :)

On Tuesdays we have different General Authorities come speak to us in the devotional.  This last week,  we were told that we would really want to sing in the choir, because they were going to record it and blast it out to every MTC in the world.  I was already planning on it, because I have been in the choir the whole time, because it isn't audition anymore.  Anyway, the speaker turned out to be none other than now-President Russell M. Nelson!!  That was pretty much one of the greatest moments of my life.  On Sunday we heard from Sheri Dew, who I was told by Sister Fields is a great Time Out For Women speaker.  I have to say, she was amazing.  

I am glad for this chance to serve the Lord in Korea.  Korean is finally making sense grammar-wise.  Thank you for supporting me in this decision!

LOL (Lots Of Love),
Elder Tyler Conley

I failed to mention that I also have seen Elder Watts here as well.  

I also failed to talk about our service assignment.  Basically the janitors in the building where we do our service are a bunch of goofballs.  The head janitor has a tall head, and a really low, but obnoxious voice.  He is one of the funniest people I've ever meant.  The other janitor that we work with is a ginger, and he pretty much just hates on all the Elders in a really funny way the whole time.  Yesterday was an eventful service day.  Previously, Shawn (the head janitor) found some Goofy String and a bag of parachute soldiers.  He told us that the hardest working elder would get the goofy string and a soldier, and the second would get just a soldier.  While we were working, Shawn unlocked the door to my companion's twin brother's room, just so he could prank him.  At the end, after Elder Littlefield and I finished cleaning toilets (bleeahhh), we had a huge ceremony, seeing who would win the prizes.  Shawn had taped the goofy string and the soldier to the mouth of a rubber chicken, and pretended for it to slowly gravitate towards the winner, who was some Japanese Elder who I did not know.  But, Elder Baird won second, so now our room has a parachute soldier in it!! 

The routine and the guilt trip :)


First off, I'm going to answer Tate's question that he sent in the mail:  My companion's name is Elder Polley.  He is from Las Vegas, loves Smash Bros., and marched trombone in the marching band for four years.  That's mostly why I said he's basically the same person as me.  Usually in the MTC, we wake up at 6:30, except on Saturdays.  We go to gym time, where we usually play volleyball, either indoor or sand.  We then get ready and have breakfast, then go to 4 hours of studying, which include personal, companion, language, and extra time that we can spend on whatever we want.  We then go to lunch.  After that, we have class time until dinner, then more class time until bed.  My teachers are so awesome!  Well, right now, we are switching teachers up a little bit, because we are getting some more, and one is going on a vacation.  The one that's mostly teaching us right now is Brother Sung.  He's a really funny person.  He speaks way more English than the American teachers, and he's Korean.  I think that that's kind of funny.  I know that he totally cares about us, almost as much as his family.  I'm not really feeling neglected right now, although I wouldn't mind you sending some treats ;).  A lot of the other Elders in my residence hall get a bunch of treats from their parents.  Elder Littlefield actually got two packages each week for the last two weeks, so whenever that happens, we always say that it's Christmas.  Also, if you could send me some more normal socks, that would be much appreciated.  They don't even let us listen to music in the MTC, so that is not necessary.  I'm really enjoying my time here, and I'm grateful for the chance I get to serve in the Lord's name.  Thank you for your support!

With love, 

1st email!

So exciting to get the very first one!


Tate and Grant had better watch out, or else they'll become MTC Presidents.  All three of them went on a mission to Brazil.  My companion's name is Elder Polley.  He is a tall volleyball player-like person.  But, besides that, him and I are pretty much the exact same person.  He loves Smash Bros., and there were more reasons why, but I can't remember them right now.  Chinese didn't really help me until recently, with learning Korean numbers.  In fact, it confused me more than anything.  Every time I would try to speak Korean, Chinese would almost come out.  Also, we had to teach a lesson every day to an "investigator" in Korean!  Basically, we read the first 3 lessons out of a book, and improvised the last 2.  The last 2 went really well, I think, because we got to say what we wanted to.  It was super stressful for me, and I think the stress momentarily threw off my urinary tract.  I had to pee about every hour for the second and third days here.  This first week went by SO SLOW.  Each day seemed like an eternity.  I really love every member of my district.  Their names are, besides Elder Polley and I:  Elder Baird, Elder Littlefield, Elder Litster, Elder Sabey, Elder Rees, Sister Fields, and Sister O'Loughlin.  I have a picture of all of them, but I forgot to bring my camera today.  I will show you next week or later today.  Elder Littlefield and Elder Baird are companions, and they're our roommates, so I've gotten pretty close to Tristan during the last week.  He is one of the most awesome people I've ever met.  Elder Littlefield and Sister Fields studied Korean extensively before they came, and they had a huge head start on all of us.  Sister O'Loughlin is a really funny and spiritual person, but she is also very quiet.  Elder Litster is half-Korean, so all he really needs to learn is the sentence structure, which is soooo weird.  It goes Subject, Object, Verb.  Anyway.  Elder Sabey went to China for a while before he came here, so he knows a little bit of Chinese as well.  Elder Rees is a super study man.  He taught himself Korean really well, really fast.  All of them are really awesome people.  That's all I can think about right now, so I guess this concludes my email.

With huge amounts of love,

And we got a bonus - pictures!

I asked Tyler what he was doing in the first picture.  His response was, "it's the pose that all Asians do when they take a picture."  I thought he might not know what he was talking about, so I asked my Japanese friend about it.  She said it's true.  Well the peace sign part, anyway!

He's Off

The big day finally came!  July 15, 2015!  We were pretty busy that morning, but had time to have a nice breakfast together.  And we actually left pretty close to the time we were planning to, which is kind of a miracle at our house.  Tyler seemed nervous, but okay.  We got to Provo in time to take some pictures before our final goodbye at the MTC.

Brett and I said goodbye, too, but apparently no one took pictures of it.  I wish I had taken a picture of him walking into the MTC.  I can see it in my mind, but I wasn't thinking clearly enough to take a picture.  What a day of mixed emotions!  Part of me was relieved to finally have everything done and have him off, part of me was so very sad to say goodbye, and part of me was so excited for him to go out into the world and have an amazing growing experience!  It's exhausting to feel so much in one day.


Tyler's farewell was on July 12th.  Most of our family was able to come and many of his friends.  He did an excellent job giving his talk, and we performed a musical number in sacrament meeting.  We'd been working on a barbershop version of "Master, the Tempest is Raging" off and on for a few months, so we were glad we got to sing it together before Tyler left.

We had a whirlwind couple of days getting last minute things and packing, and other important things like taking the family to see "Inside Out".

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Call

Tyler's mission call came on April 9, 2015.
We had an anxious wait of several hours before he opened it.  Grandma and Grandpa Perry came, along with Ryan and Stacy and their family, Joe and Sandra Fife (our Young Men's President and his wife, Rob and Joanna Mantz (our long-time home teacher and his wife),and some of Tyler's good friends: Calvin and Sam (Billy) Mikesell, Emmett Johnson, and Ben Stapley.  We had many other family members on the phone listening.

I had been very anxious after Tyler put in his papers.  All of a sudden the world seemed like a big, scary place and I worried about where he would go.  That night when the Fife's came over, I introduced them to my parents and they started visiting.  They discovered that the mission my parents were going to (California San Diego mission with special assignment to an institute in Chula Vista) was the same place that Joe Fife grew up.  They visited about that for a little bit and then I mentioned to my parents where their son, Christian, was serving his mission.  He's is Tacoma, WA, the same mission that my Uncle Bruce and Aunt Linda are currently serving.  They visited more about stories that they had heard from that mission.  Then came the time for Tyler to open his mission call.  When he read that he would be serving in the Korea Seoul Mission, Joe Fife said that is where he served his mission.  I feel like the Fife's presence that night was a gift for me, a tender mercy from Heavenly Father.  After so many coincidences, the world didn't seem nearly so big and scary.  I felt good about it.  I could send my boy to Korea.

One funny thing from the night: When Tyler opened his mission call, there was a lot of excitement and everyone was talking, hugging, etc.  Then Tate said, "Wait!  Isn't that country our enemy?"  He was apparently worried that Tyler would be going to North Korea.  I was impressed that a nine year old paid enough attention to the world around him to know anything about North Korea.

When news started traveling about where Tyler's call was to, we discovered more people who have served in Korea (not necessarily the same mission):  my uncle Todd Perry, my cousins' husbands, Ron Case and Steve Hansen, Scott Nelson, Scott Jones, Joe Fife, and John Humpherys.  Also, there's a young man from our ward, Matt Dewey, currently serving there.  It's a small world after all.