Ni hao jiating he pengyou!!
Hello family and friends!
First of all, I just got Sharon's card and Betsy's package. Thank you so much!! I love hearing from all of you. Also, thank you Alicia and Kristen and Cheryl Gerdy for your packages last week and Snoopla for your letter! They were much appreciated (: It's nice to hear dad's side of the stories too, so thanks for your letter this week, baba!
Elder Vang left last week. We're gonna miss that lad and his vest haha
Hmm.. Where to begin.. Oh! We'll start with news first. So we got word that our visas still haven't come yet (although if they get here in 30 days, they should be here on the 21st) so we got word that we're getting reassigned. Our names were submitted, the apostles will pray a bit, and we'll get word of where we're going on thursday or friday. From the last batch of missionaries, I should be able to email when I find out so be expecting that. Hopefully we shouldn't be in the states for too long if everything goes well. Honestly, I think my subconscious was preparing myself because I'm not even bummed. I'm definitely a bit nervous to be teaching in English, especially things more complex than "Heavenly Father exists and He loves you!" haha. But it will definitely be a really good experience to get my teaching skills down in English. I may need to buy a coat and maybe some warm tights sooner than I thought though...
I finally got to play the piano! Randomly this week some elders wanted to do a musical number, and I'm the only one in our district who can play the piano, so I volunteered. The first one was in sacrament with Elder Sessions, and he sang "Have I done any good in the world today?" and I think it turned out really good. Then the second one we had to tryout for. I played for Elder Wimmer and his twin (in the other mandarin zone) and they sang "I'm tryng to be like Jesus." SOO good!! They literally have the voice of angels, and it makes it even better that they sound exactly the same! Oh boy. We got to perform for the sunday night devotional with all 2000 missionaries! It was super nerve racking because I think that's the biggest audience I've played for, but it was really cool. We were all feeling a bit fluttery before the meeting started, so we asked if we could go in the room behind the podium (where the speaker chills before they come in) and say a prayer. It was a really good experience. Not to mention, I've always wanted to see what's back there haha. We got to meet the speaker beforehand, and he asked if we were doing the musical number. We said yes, and then he said, please invite the spirit. Umm I'm not sure if that was mean, or he was nervous, but the pressure was on! We went back to sit down, and I still kinda had butterflies though, and while we were singing the opening hymn my heart was pounding in my stomach. Luckily, we sang "Be thou humble" and one line was something like, plead with the Lord in humility. So I silently pleaded with the Lord to calm my nerves and let me play like I know how to do so we can invite the spirit. The second I sat at the piano, I felt totally calm and then everything was perfect. Sometimes Heavenly Father doesn't answer our prayers when we want, but He will for sure answer at the perfect time. I'm so grateful for that, and I'm really glad that He's given me that talent that I can use to invite the spirit. I really hope that I can use my music in Taiwan!
Also, while we were auditioning, Sister Nally (MTC president's wife) was in charge of the tryouts so I got to meet her! I told her that gma and gpa Sumner are my grandparents, and she was so excited to hear that! We're going to take a picture together this week (: I'm really glad that I've had so many connections at the MTC. President Woodfield with grandma and grandpa Sumner, Brother Seow with dad, Brother Averett with mom and dad, and now President and Sister Nally with grandma and grandpa. It's been nice to have a little piece of my family in them whenever I see them.
Speaking of family, an elder from our zone and a sister in our district both had a grandpa die this week, so it's been a bit of a rough one. They're doing good now, but I just hope that strengthens their testimony of the plan of salvation even more. It's almost a blessing to have that experience. I'm so grateful for the knowledge that we have to comfort us during times like that.
Tongbans for life! Okay, maybe just 9 weeks
We got our zhongwen nametags this week! They're so sweet! Although I think we're getting a new English one soon, so that will be a bit wierd haha
Our new zhongwen mingpai!!
houqi shengtu jiaohui
Now our investigators. What a week! I'll start with Liang jiemei. We invited her to watch conference and she did! I'm so glad! But the lesson went on, and it just kind of was bu hao (equivalent of no bueno). Let's just say, the one thing that we can't beat is other people's agency. It's so hard, but I kind of can understand a little part of what the Savior feels like when we don't do what we know is right. BUT. Our next lesson with her was a little better! We had no idea where to go after that, so we figured we'd try and invite her to serve! You have to start somewhere right? I think she'll follow through with it, so we're moving in a good direction.
He jiemei is doing great as always. She just takes everything in so humbly. She also watched conference (YES!) and I think our next lesson we're going to commit her to baptism!! She's so ready. Haha it seems silly to be excited for my teacher who's pretending to be a mudaoyou, but it's just so exciting! I can't imagine what the excitement will be like when it's a real person!
We also got a new investigator, zhang dixiong (wu lao shi in real life). He's also super accepting of everything, but he's still trying to quit smoking. Sister Bowman promised him that if he would try and quit smoking, she'd go off of chocolate. haha I guess if it works, it works! We're also going to try and set a baptismal date pretty soon though so that's exciting!
So I'm starting to become a fan of cereal, soup, or salad. Haha I could pretty much tell you what is for lunch or dinner any day, and I'm just a little sick of it. It's really not bad, but I've just been here for so long! But I still enjoy ice cream wednesdays and sundays. (: The MTC sickness has been going around again, and I think I might have caught it. Just a little stuffy nose and loss of voice, nothing to keep me in bed. Haha and I decided long ago that I'm immune to all over the counter drugs, so I'm just letting it run its course.
We had interviews with our lao shi (teacher) this week, and that was really nice. She told me to not worry about my zhongwen, and then shared the scripture that says pray in your closets, and the Lord will reward you openly. I know that I'll learn it eventually, but it's always a nice reminder to ask for help.
On friday, Sister Bowman and Meyer got to go the SLC temple because they're foreigners (Sister Meyer is from Australia and Sis Bowman submitted her papers in Shanghai) Lucky! I'm glad they got to go though. Also, shout out to Joseph and Lys for their 1st anniversary! Cheers to the happy couple. (two points to whoever can name that movie)
Temple walk! Me and Bao JM still love Sister Olsen and Sister Johnston after all this time!
Too bad they're going to Taichung
Haha so funny moment of the day. We split up our class for wenfa (grammar) practice, and we were with the elders in the trio and wu dixiong was teaching. He said something was 'chabudoa' which means almost, and then Elder Tang said 'chabs'. Hahah It was just funny to hear English slang like totes be put into zhongwen. And our lao shi, who is always serious, totally cracked up and still does every time we say it. Haha ohhh zhongwen...
Luckily, the days are going by a lot faster. Once we've eaten lunch and are in class, I can't keep track of what class block we're in, or if we've eaten dinner yet. Haha it's rough sometimes, but it's nice that the days are just blending together.
You would think we study all the time... :)
You would think we study all the time... :)
I finished the MEMJ this week! Of course, I had to do the Moroni challenge, and let me tell ya, the book is true! I just know it. I've started reading the articles of faith, all the testimonies, and Joseph Smith History. I don't think I've ever really read them like this, and it's actually super interesting! One thing I got from JSH was that the church was meant to be persecuted from the beginning. But as much as Joseph was persecuted, that doesn't change that he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and that the church is still the only true church today. That will never change, no matter how much people persecute the church. I'm so thankful every day to wake up and be a missionary. I can't wait to spread this gospel, and bring its light to so many people. Thank you for all your prayers, I know they are helping me through every second of my day. I love you guys!
Thank you, 8th grade sewing class. And to Sis. Gonzalez for the mini sewing kit!
Two sewing masterpieces!