Monday, December 26, 2011

Answers to the Universe and Everything

Dear Family

Still no Photos - Camera Problem--although I think I've belabored that point.

Christmas is in less then a week, which is weird because I swear that Halloween was yesterday, but anyway. Expect a call from me sometime on Christmas Day, kthx. I'm not skyping, though we have permission. Why? I hate Skyping almost as much as I hate jeans.

What was the weirdest thing that happened this week.

This is more just a funny/feel good thing, but it also was pretty weird. We went to dinner and were sitting around the table afterwards. One of the daughters was running around the table and climbing on the back of our seats, where we would grab her and keep her there for a second or two. It
was great fun. She runs behind my chair and I snag her arms and keep her from running. I let her go and she runs off. Her mom calls her into the kitchen and she runs in, saying: "I couldn't get away because his muscles were so strong!!!" It came from a 3 year old, yes, but it was still pretty happy.

What was the thing that made you the happiest?
We went to zone conference this week, up in willow. It lasted all day, and was amazing. We talked about using the Christmas message to greater effect, especially through this season. At the end, I broke out my Ocarina and some
of the missionaries started crying in happiness. They, as well as President/Sister Beesley all broke out cameras and recorded me. It was pretty awesome.

Tell us about the clothing that you are wearing and how many layers to keep warm.
It's me, come on. I wear my shirt and my rain jacket. I wear my underwear and my pants. I wear my socks and my shoes/boots, depending on the temperature. If it's warmer, I wear my boots for the waterproofing. I wear
my skullcap and gloves when we're going to be outside for longer than a few minutes at a time. On service days, I wear my Heck-spawned Jeans (no, they haven't gotten any better) and my hoodie, boots, gloves and hat. I normally
wear one layer of clothes and am quite warm therein. On the really, really cold days (-10 or below; we haven't had one in several weeks) I wear thermal legs under my pants. Besides that, no changes. I'm still wearing short sleeved white shirts under my rain jacket.

Your typical day is like what?

I'm sending you a planner so you can see. Don't lose it. A typical day is filled with dropped appointments and people canceling and a lot of study.

I love my mission so much. It makes it better that I have great people at home who are backing me up, Except for those people who don't send me email addresses, despite me asking for them repeatedly and frequently (I'm
looking at you with my stern face, cousins)

Is Sister Darcey seriously not able to keep her diet???? This is not good at all. I like her hair, and would rather it stay upon her head.

Speaking of people in the Stake, you need to look up Elder Lee, of the Brook Hollow Ward. He's been out here 20 months and is my Zone Leader. Works with the Hmong speaking people. Turns out we never met before getting sent out here, yet we're in the same stake. He's awesome, so you need to find and speak with his family. kthx.

Not much more to say, seeing as I'll be taking to you in a few days. Love to all, Prayers to all, and I'll see you in 669 days. (Honestly, I'm not counting on purpose.)

Hugs, Elder Darcey

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Christmas Riddle

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm sorry. I can't do this anymore.

I've been up here for one full transfer, and I can't take any more of this.
I'm done. I've had no success up here, and I can only blame myself.

I can't focus anymore. Everything just seems blurry and unreal. I've tried
going from different angles, ideas, everything. Nothing works. Everything
is so beautiful, but I can't see it anymore.

I know that I shouldn't be comparing, but it's so hard to be
so unsuccessful while everyone around me is doing so well with their
efforts. We both approach something the same way, but they always end up
with something incredible and inspiring while I just fail miserably.

Every day I've tried harder. I strive to work harder, longer, smarter.
Nothing is helping. I try a variety of different ideas and attitudes,
but everything fails.

The worst part is that I'm completely alone in this. No one else is having
the same problem as I. There isn't anyone who I can relate with, or even
anyone who can empathize with me.

It's with a heavy heart that I write this, but you all need to know what
I'm feeling.

I've spoken with my companion at great length regarding this, and he agrees
with me. I've spoken to the Zone Leaders and other members of the district
and they also have the same recommendation. Finally, I've talked to
President Beesley and he, after considering with me, has come to the same

I'm telling all of you now that I can't go another day out here and am
coming home...

Elder Darcey

...unless... Read the next letter to figure out what he may be talking about. And what Dia and Derick didn't read until later in the day. Elder Darcey must have a death wish and he may still be on the Hong Kong Hit List for weeks to come. Read Sister Darcey's heartfelt response here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Riddle PART II

Yup, I'm coming Home...

...unless I can get a new camera.

[Google *Troll Face* and insert the image here please, mother]

Were you thinking of something else?

Got you! I still love it up here, and the mission goes great; I just need a
new Camera. There are such beautiful things up here, but I can't get
pictures of any of them. Do you realize that my camera can only take
4 mega-pixel shots?

Ridiculous. Anything with a flash becomes static and unreal, and anything
without is blurry and dark. If I'm going to make it through Alaska (I'm not even in the beautiful areas yet) I'm going to need a better camera. I realize I told you all that I didn't need one, and that I could make it with my decade old, piece of junk, but that was then, this is now. It first hit me when I was taking pictures of the temple last week. I couldn't get
good shots (I'm even using *good *very broadly here. Here, I define good as: not blurry, not dark, and not something my father would be embarrassed to even look at: {"That's not my son! No child of mine could take such worthless pictures!"}) to save my life, while everyone else was getting these beautiful pictures, even without flash, in the dark; however they took them, they ended up great. I can only take video for a minute at a time, and it takes thirty seconds to save so I can take another. It takes ten seconds to recharge the flash.

So, my question: Should I just get a camera up here, or can I get you all to send me a better one? I can be
pretty patient, so long as I know not to get one because another is on the way. It would be pretty embarrassing to buy one, only to have another show up in the mail the next day. So, please get back to me on that.


I was happy to get Christmas packages from Mom and Aunt/Uncle Jan/Tom and the Atkinsons and Braydon (soon again to be Elder) Gardner. No, I didn't wait until Christmas to open them. NO REGRETS. When on a mission, It doesn't make sense to not use something that might be of value to you right then.

That said, thanks for the cookies and crackers and pretzels and the tie and the Reeses (Atkinsons, did you actually individually wrap all the reeses you sent me??) and the dancing flower and penguin (they just make me depressed, to tell the truth. They haven't moved since I got them.) and the CTR ring (AMAZING) and the mixes and the popcorn and the hot chocolate and the food and the letters.

(Connor Atkinson: I give up. I've been trying nonstop to make your invisible ink visible, and I've got nothing. Water, nothing. Heat, nothing. Water and Heat, nothing. Saliva, nothing. Light, nothing. Fire, nothing. I give up. Please tell me how to visible-ize your letter to me.)

Unless, it too is a joke.

(Brock, Thank you for telling me nothing about Skyward Sword. That lack of knowledge made my day. Continue to not tell me anything and there will be Northern Light pictures for you, assuming I get a better Camera.)

(Cami,Thanks for telling me the date of your Endowment. I could go through the temple with you in my mind. The only problem was that you didn't tell me which temple to go through, so I got lost in my mind somewhere between
Idaho Falls and St. George. Please Advise)

(Mati! You're doing so good and you're not engaged and that makes me happy! I'll get back to you later as
soon as I get envelopes!) and all the other things I forgot to mention. I'm sending you a package myself, so I'll send it as soon as I confirm the locale.

Hugs, Elder Darcey

Monday, December 12, 2011


Hello all.

Not much to report up here, so I'll just get into it. Weather has been super warm all week; mid 20s. Yesterday another Chinook rolled in and put us in the mid 40s.

Then it started raining. And raining. While the rain came down, the wind came up. To about 120+MPH. Seriously, if you jumped vertically, the wind would push you down the street. Then, following that, it got cold enough to start snowing again, so we woke up with six inches on the ground.

I love Alaska.

The people here are still so fun and great and kind and considerate. We're working so hard with our investigators (both of them...)

and our Less Active Members (all million of them).

Wednesday we had a baptism! (insert link to Ode to Joy here, Mom.)

For an eight year old. (Ode to Joy abruptly cuts off.)

Oh well. It was nice. Her family had just moved in a few months ago, and the father (less active) deployed on Friday, but he made it to the baptism. It was great. we had good speakers and a great spirit, and it was completely worth it for me and Elder Ivan to get there 3 hours early to fill up the font.

Mom, I got my Christmas package and I opened most of the presents already. NO REGRETS. I needed the crackers for sacrament anyway.

Wednesday we also got to go to the Temple! (Ode to Joy starts up here again)

If any of you want to go to the Anchorage Temple, just go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. That temple is just two Anchorage Temples put together. Also; CAMI! Did you get your endowments yet?

My companion has the gift of tongues so he was able to translate the letter from the ward member who sent it in cursive, so tell Sister Peel thank you for the lovely note.

One night a Viking named Rudolph the Red was looking out the window when he said, “It’s going to rain.”
His wife asked, “How do you know?”
“Because Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.” -- Boys Life

This Joke Wins Forever!!

I hear that Aidan is practicing hugs, I have one last comment: Height matters, but what's most important is the encompassing-ness of it all.

This week is zone conference, and next week is transfers! It's weird to think that I soon won't be the youngest group of missionaries out here.

We went to the Dentist today, because our dentist is the new Elder's quorum president, and he gives us cleanings for free. Apparently I have too many cavities than can be conveniently counted, but I'm working on it. Most of them can be closed up with just a little bit of extra work. Personally, I blame my orthodontist. He made it impossible to floss and ruined my "no cavities in adult teeth" record.

I get a lot of flack for never dating, and in fact never kissing or getting kissed by a girl (unrelated to me). Then one of the Elders in our district got Dear Johhned, and I could point to him and say: "That's why". Poor guy's a mess.

I can now solve a Rubik cube. you may all applaud.

That's all I can think of again, so I'll talk to you all later. Send to me when you'll be able to talk on christmas, so I can call you and have maximum cousins/Sister Darcey talkings.

Elder DArcey

I'll end here because I'm out of things to say. Cousins send me your email addresses.

Love and Prayers to all,

Elder DArcey

Avatars in the Scriptures

I thought of this while in Weather Quarantine, and I need to share it with someone before I die Aidan!!

Oh, and Happy Birthday, and Greetings to All others reading this letter! (Brock, Connor x2, Jake, Derick, Etc...)

I have had another thought, which, if possible, exceeds the awesomeness of my last thought and here it is:

I was thinking recently about Avatar TLA recently. Then my mind switched over to the Bible, for that's where a missionary's mind should be focused.

In the process, A magical FUSION took place in my brain.

My conclusion to this thought was: The Prophets and Judges of the old Testament are benders, and in some case, the Avatar Himself. My proof of each Prophet/Judge is as follows.

Moses: The Avatar, born as a Waterbender.
Most people only remember Moses as a waterbender; e.g., he parted the Red Sea, or smote the rocks and made water come forth. HOWEVER, people neglect his other miracles which fall into the other bending categories.
The Plagues of Egypt involved:
Turning water to blood (water/bloodbending)
Smiting Cattle of Egyptians (Airbending. He either conveyed a germ through the air, or simply sucked all the air out of the cattle's lungs.)
Smiting the dust of the Earth and bringing forth lice (earthbending)
Taking ash and scattering it, bringing boils upon egypt (earth/airbending)
Calling down thunder and fire and hail (fire/waterbending)

Plus, let's actually look at the Parting of the Red Sea. Exodus 14 states that: 21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the asea; and the Lord bcaused the csea to dgo back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea edry land, and the fwaters were gdivided.
So the parting of the Red Sea wasn't actually, Waterbending; it was Airbending!

Joshua: The Avatar following Moses, born as an Earthbender.
At first, I thought he has just an earthbender based on his taking down Jericho (the walls came tumbling down because Joshua bended them down), but further reading shows that he's in control of other elements as well as earth, making him the avatar. Parting the Jordan River, stopping the sun in the sky and sending hailstones on his enemy qualify him as the Avatar.

Deborah: Waterbender. check out Judges 5:4-5

Sampson: Not mearely an Earthbender, but a Metalbender as well, shown by his taking the gates of the city. Earthbending the columns apart in the house was pretty awesome too.

Samuel/Issiah: these Avatars were best known not for their bending, but for their sojourns into the spirit world and the knowledge they gained herewith.

Elijah: The greatest of the Fire-born Avatars in recorded history. Most of his bending involved fire in some way, but he wasn't limited to fire alone. From sealing up the heavens from raining (water) to multiplying the widow's flour and oil (earth/water) to being taken up in a whirlwind (air/fire), to his spiritual prophecies and guidance, he was one of the greatest of the avatars.

Elisha: in the avatar cycle, air follows fire. Elisha was an air-born avatar. It was hard to tell what preference he had until you look at his bending style. Check out the Bible Dictionary: He was of a gentle and affectionate disposition, and without that fiery zeal by which his master had been distinguished. Elisha's bending revolves around curing sickness (water) and causing it (air), as well as his share of earth and firebending. The best example of his Airbending is found in 2kings 7:6

Ezekiel: Airbender and Spirit World dweller, but not necessarily the Avatar. Evidence of his bending is found in Ezekiel 37:9: Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the awind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind[...]

Shadrch, Meshach and Abed-nego: A nice trio of firebenders. Daniel 3.

Last but not least, let us not forget those who didn't possess bending ability, and yet still did amazing things. As The Last Airbender had Sokka, I give you...

Ehud: The Sarcasm-bender. Let us never forget his classic line in Judges 3: ...And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.

21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:...Classic. Pure. Comedy. Genius.

Anyway, that's my thought for this week. If any have questions about how I came to these particular conclusions (or just wants to tell me how awesome this is, or to get back to work), send me an email.

Mom, make sure you call the people I'm sending this to and make sure they read this

Elder Darcey

Monday, December 5, 2011

Haiku and Parables on Obedience

Dear Family,

OK, seriously. This week has been ridiculous. We've been stuck inside for the past three days on President's orders. "Why?" you may ask. "Was there a huge storm blowing through or something?"
Pfffft. I WISH.

We in Alaska have been a victim to the Pineapple Express, a current of warm air that moves up from Hawaii and makes us up here miserable. (See also Chinook.)

You may ask, (fiddler on the roof, anyone?)
"But Elder Darcey! How is warm weather a bad thing?"

And as I have so much time, I will tell you in parable format.

There was a lot of snow everywhere. Like Verily, six or seven feet of snow. Then came a warm wind, indeed,there was a warm wind that came up from the south, melting a lot of the snow. However, the warm weather passed really quickly, leaving a lot of water freezing everywhere really fast.

That wasn't much of a parable, was it?

How about a Haiku?

Snow melts all around
Freezing into solid Ice,
Cars slip off the roads.

Much better description.

So anyway, with the roads gone to 4311 (H-E-2x Hockey Sicks), and we were ordered inside. For three !@##%$@#. DAYS.

It's hard to get the Lord's work done when He orders you inside and tells you to not get any work done.

In retrospect, though, it was a great blessing to get some rest, as the entire mission was practically shut down from sickness anyway. Even I, with my strength and fortress of immunity, was almost overcome.

(I totally did get sick, but not nearly as bad as everyone else)

Elder Ivan (you know, my companion) was up at two in the morning throwing up. He continued to throw up every half hour until noon. No joke; every half hour. The Zone leaders almost couldn't give him a blessing because they were also sick. Almost the entire mission around Anchorage shut down from this illness going around. The rest that we have been forced into could only have been a good thing.

The days stuck inside also gave me time to catch up on my reading. I finished True to the Faith, Elder Hansen's Missionary Journal, Our Heritage, The Book of Mormon, Answers to Gospel Questions-Volumes I-V (these are seriously amazing books. Go get them and Read them. They're by President Joseph Fielding Smith), and Jesus the Christ, which is one of the coolest books ever. Talmage is a Genius. CAMI: READ THIS BOOK BEFORE YOUR MISSION.

The work still went on regardless, in spite of our quarantine. We started teaching Roger, our new investigator.


Seriously, Roger is the husband of one of our members, and he is incredibly knowledgeable about the church. He's taken the discussions multiple times and knows things up and down. He also doesn't believe in God, and doesn't believe that he's ever gotten an answer from prayer. He doesn't believe in things that he can't prove, and he gets bugged with things that we say "we know" when, according to his ideas, we can't actually "know".

He's incredible, though, despite everything. We're going to really work with him and try to help him get his answers that he's been searching for.

NON SEQUITUR AKA Key Change for those musically inclined...

I'm getting a Christmas package? Really? Awesome! I'm getting so much from all you people. I got a letter from Sister DArcey, three packages from you family, (plus boots, which I picked up and love) and letters from many others.

To sister P____(Sorry, I couldn't read the name, because I am cursively challenged, but she sent me a letter on the back of a ward program, and it was really nice. Dear Sister, you know who you are, even if I don't.), thanks so much for your thoughts. I really appreciate them and they came at just the right time.


How did you make Giant Reeses? Those were AMAZING.


How on Earth are you now thirteen, my little brother?????

And that's... all I have to say about that. (Forrest Gump?)

Weather's slowly getting back down to it's nice, cool state. there's now ice all over the roads, but it's not nearly as bad as an OK ice storm; mostly because AK is ready for it. Dirt and Sand are getting poured everywhere, so if you have four wheel drive, you're mostly OK.

I'm going to finish now, so I will.

With love and admiration,

Elder DArcey


I got cabin fever it's burning in my brain
I've got cabin fever it's driving me insane

We got cabin fever, we're flipping our bandanas
Been stuck INSIDE so long that we have simply gone bananas.

We got cabin fever we've lost what sense we had
We got cabin fever, we're all going mad

My sanity is hanging by a thread
Since we're going nowhere
I've gone out of my head
We were sailing sailing over the bounding main
And now we're not! Ha ha heh!

Grab your partner by the ears
Lash him to the wheel
Do-si-do step on his toe
Listen to him squeal

Allemande left, allemande right
It's time to sail or sink
Swing your partner over the side
Drop him in the drink

We got cabin fever
No if's, and's, or but's
We're disoriented
And demented
And a little nuts

Ach du lieber Volswagen car
Saur braten viener schnitzel
Und a vunder bar

We were sailing, sailing the wind was on our side
And then it died

I've got cabin fever
I think I've lost my grip
I'd like to get my hands on
Whoever wrote this script

I was floating 'neath a tropic moon
And dreaming of a blue lagoon
Now I'm crazy as a loon
Cabin fever has ravaged all aboard

This once proud mission has become a frozen psycho ward
We were tracting, tracting, headed who knows where
And now though we're all here
We're not all there

Cabin fever!