I've survived 1/3 of my MTC experience so far, so yay! It's crazy how fast and slow the time goes by. I feel like it was forever ago when I said bye to you... :(
We started TRC (Teaching Resource Center) where members come in and we teach them as members and have discussions in Mandarin. It was pretty cool, and they were really helpful. One guy actually brought in a nonmember so we got to teach him. It's neat to have discussions about the Gospel, in Mandarin and to share each others' experiences and testimonies.
One of our districts leaves today/tomorrow (Elder Francis is going to Auckland, and everyone is going to Taipei and hopefully Sister Jackson gets to go to HK (health problems)). It's kind of sad because they're like our big brothers and sisters. Our zone has become so close this last week. We're just one giant family. We also got a new Taichung district on Wednesday, so we're no longer the greenies. But it's been fun hanging out. We all work out together, eat meals, and 'study' during additional study time. We said bye to Elder Francis today and the whole zone gathered around to send him off, and we had zone prayer. The spirit was so strong...I just can't wait to go to Australia and serve the people there!!!
I learn so much everyday. My notebooks are filling up with scriptures, insights, and revelations. This week, most of our lessons that we've been teaching and studying for have been focused on the Atonement. The Atonement is such a powerful tool. In our district meeting yesterday, Elders Heaps and Elliot talked about the importance of faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was really good. I think sometimes we think that the Atonement won't work for us, or we just don't deserve it, but when we think about it, that's just really selfish to think that. Christ suffered for everyone's trials, pains, sickness, afflictions, and sins. To not accept it is basically saying that we're too good for Him and that he suffered death for nothing. I love the Atonement, and studying it this last week has been super inspiring.
The language has started coming along this week. I feel a lot more confident in my Mandarin. No where near being fluent, but I can have actual conversations, so that's a start. I started reading the BoM in characters, to pinyin, to English, and although it takes FOREVER, it's been really beneficial to both my language and spiritual learning.
I'm starting to get more comfortable with teaching investigators...but it's still hard because I can barely organize my thoughts in English...having to do it in Mandarin takes 10 times longer!
Another focus this week in our class was learning how to study, plan, and teach according to our investigators needs. I liked the way Tan Lao Shi phrased it, as missionaries, we sacrificed our agency for 18-24 months. Everything we do, during planning, individual, companionship, and language study is all for our investigators and their needs, and ultimately for The Lord.
The mission has been such a humbling experience. "Forget yourself and go to work" is the best advice for a mission. my focus is on my companion, the people, and Heavenly Father. As representatives of Christ, we need to obtain his character, and his character is to turn out and reach out to others when the natural man inside ourselves would turn in and be selfish, something I know I need to work on.
One thing I've really learned is to study and prepare well and then listen to the Spirit...without one or the other, we don't have a lesson.
In the devotionals and talks we've had this week, the main focus was on exact obedience and to love the people you serve... I feel like that's all anyone talks about, so I guess it's pretty important.
I've never been so tired in my life. It's just so exhausting every day, but it's good. Life with a 24/7
companion is a little tough, but I do love Sister Fisher.
I ran into basically half of my freshman ward this week. Most of them are on West Campus but they come up here for P-day, so that's been fun.
I hope you're all doing well!
Love and miss you all dearly <3