Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 4 In the MTC

Elder Sng with the girls and Elder Musgrave awkwardly on the side

Ni Hao!
I can't believe how fast this week went by...

That was a rough day...however it got better by the end.
Elder Wheeler was really sick, to the point that if he wasn't better by today, then he would be sent home, so we fasted for him as a district. I also didn't sleep well at all the night before. So I was tired and hungry. Then for some reason, everyone was just kind of in a 'gloomy' mood, so that didn't help. The stress of learning Chinese and studying the Gospel caught up to me for the day...but it's all good. I don't necessarily know why it was as bad day, but it was. Until Devotional at least. 

Elder and Sister Groberg spoke about bearing our testimony. It was really good! Elder Groberg told incredible stories about his mission in Tonga and we watched a few clips from The Other Side of Heaven. I really want to watch that again...guess I'll have to wait 17 more months. Afterwards, I went up to them and introduced myself and Sister Groberg was telling me about how the last time she saw me, I was a baby and that she couldn't believe I'm old enough to be on a mission. Then she told me how her mom and Nin Nin used to go to the Temple together. I thought that was really cool! 

The Taipei missionaries left that morning, and it was sad but exciting to say goodbye to them. Sister Jackson ended up getting released and going home so her back can heal.  Hopefully she'll be in HK in 3-4 weeks! It's weird without them...but we've gotten closer with the other districts. The Taichung district leaves next week...which means that we'll be the oldest!! That's crazy... Saturday is hump day; I can't wait! 

Elder Wheeler came back and started feeling better. The power of fasting and prayer is REAL. 

We also hosted (new missionaries) for the first time. 2 of the 4 girls I hosted were in tears...it was kind of awkward. One of them, I don't remember her name...is going to the same mission as Michaela Forte! Perth, English speaking!! So my dorm has an elevator, which makes moving nice...I had to lift 3 heavy suitcases up 3 flights of stairs...without help. It was lovely....not. but the girls were so nice!
I also ran in to Jacob Dyer, from Shanghai! He's serving in Riverside, CA speaking Mandarin. It was cool to catch up with him. 

Honestly, I don't remember the days anymore, everything just kind of blends together. But Sister Fisher and I taught quite a few good lessons this week. Most of our lessons with our investigators were about prayer, Christ's earthly ministry, and the Plan of Salvation. Most of them were improvised because of the questions our investigators would ask. But we did surprisingly well...at least I like to think so. It's cool being able to talk about the Gospel in Chinese without having to read out of a book (like we did the first two weeks). Sister Fisher and I realized we have the problem where her gospel knowledge is so much greater than mine, but my Chinese is a lot better than hers, so during our lessons, we have to take time to translate her answers and then I say them.
The best part was cinnamon rolls! THANKS MOMMY! <3 those were delicious! Also, thanks for the package with lotions, chapstick, and stickers! :D  

We had TRC which went really well. It was a long day, but it was good. I love my teachers, Wu and Tan laoshi! They're always so full of good insight and help me learn and see things in a different perspective. Tan lao shi shared a scripture, which I just love. It's D&C 45:62, which basically says 'great things await us'. We've talked a lot about enduring to the end this week. I've learned a couple things that I never really thought about. 1. Great things await us, making the journey worth it, regardless of how hard it may seem. 2. Although we are not perfect, we can be perfect in one thing at one time with every decision we make. We can endure to the end with patience and by doing one thing at a time. We don't have to take on everything at once. 

Fast Sundays at the MTC are LONG. We study from 7:30-9:30, then have mission conference for 2 hours at 10, then have district meeting for an hour, sacrament meeting at 1:30 (testimony meeting), then an hour of more studying, temple walk, dinner at 4:30, more studying, devotional at 7, then movie night at 8, and back in the dorms at 9:30. It was a good fast Sunday. It's cool being in a testimony meeting where everything is in Chinese...well Chinglish actually. A lot of the Taichung missionaries who are leaving next week bore their testimonies. It's kind of sad :( I've become really close with Sister Porter, Sister Murdock, and Sister Turner. Sister Porter and I are planning on living together at BYU when we get back. Also, the elders in that district are way cool! Elder Sng and Elder Cook are like my older brothers. They pick on me, but help me out and give me good advice. They also yell at me when I work out. Elder Cook was in the air force academy, so working out with him is scary and intense.
Me with Sister Porter

One of the themes I noticed this Sunday was 'repentance'. Repentance is such an amazing gift. Although it can be really hard, it's something that can help us become better people.
For movie night, most of my zone watched Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration. I forgot how incredible that movie is! Everyone was in tears by the end. The amount of faith the saints had at the beginning is absolutely inspiring. No one in their right mind would endure that much persecution, suffering, and sacrifice for a false religion. Their faith alone proves to me that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. 

An elder we met last week came up to Sister Fisher and me and bore his testimony out of the blue. He's from Brazil, and didn't know any English before coming to the MTC. He's going to serve in Georgia. He stopped us while we were on the way to the doctor's office and just said he wanted to bear his testimony that he knows that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon is true. It was short, sweet, and beautiful. It was the cutest thing ever. 

This week I've thought a lot about why I'm serving a mission and what do I hope to accomplish. I want to make a difference in people's lives, whether it's converting them, or simply planting a seed of faith. I want to help others recognize the happiness and blessings the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring into their lives. It's such a blessing to be part of something so amazing. 

I think that's about all for this week. 

Me and Sister Akita

Sisters in my zone

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