This week has been the best of my mission by far! So many wonderful things happened!
This Friday is our halfway mark at the MTC and I can’t even believe how fast it is going.
Our teacher Jin Laoshi is basically the coolest. We found out that he translates for General Conference. He taught us a lot about Taiwan specifically this week and got us all really excited.
The 4th of July was a really great day. That night we got to have a special devotional and watch 17 Miracles. Then we got to eat ice cream and watch the fireworks! It was so much fun. Our district had a good time! It was really weird to stay up late though haha.
Yesterday Josh Wright spoke for our fireside and he played for us. It was awesome! Most people probably didn’t know who he was, but I was definitely one of his most loyal followers on YouTube, so I was pretty excited. It was really cool to hear some Chopin.
This week was really great as far as Chinese goes. I’ve been able to reach the point with a few basic things that I don’t have to translate it first, I just know what it means. Most things still take me a really long time, but it’s getting better. On Saturday, we taught three different lessons and I didn’t look at any notes or anything. It felt really awesome. When we went to TRC, we got to teach two different people about receiving revelation through prayer. I was able to share personal experiences and scriptures and I didn’t have to spend the whole time just thinking about words. Instead of being scared of teaching, I was able to rely on the Spirit and focus on helping those people. My vocabulary is really limited, but it’s is amazing how much help we receive when we are teaching the gospel. Mu JieMei and I decided that it’s almost a higher level of feeling and relying on the Spirit because we need so much help for every word. We felt really good after teaching those lessons because we really did feel the Spirit and we felt like we were able to bring those people closer to Christ without worrying so much about the language barrier.
Because yesterday was fast Sunday, we had Mission Conference with all of the missionaries and that was really awesome. What struck me so much was the power of Preach My Gospel in missionary work and how much it can help all of us. I love Preach My Gospel and I love studying from it. They also announced that over the last week, a few new changes have been made with missionary efforts. Before baptism, all 5 lessons have to be taught by the missionaries and after baptism all 5 must be taught again. It used to be just the first four before baptism and they didn’t all necessarily have to be taught again. It’s just cool how much emphasis is being put on the individual coming to Christ now. It’s not about teaching lessons, it’s about teaching people. We also got to watch The Character of Christ by David A Bednar. Everyone needs to hear/ watch/read that talk in their life. He gave it on a Christmas Sunday at the MTC a few years ago. It absolutely changed my whole perspective on my goals for my mission and for my life. The basic message is that the character of Christ is that in situations where all the rest of us would turn in and be selfish, Christ turns out in love and compassion towards others. I am so grateful for His example and His atonement. I’m taking Elder Bednar’s challenge of studying the whole Book of Mormon-and getting a new one to mark up- to find the answer to a question. I’m really excited about the goals I have for my time here at the MTC and the goals I’m developing for my mission and my life. It’s amazing that He will always be there to help us.
Yesterday in Mandarin Sacrament Meeting, I stood up and bore my testimony in Chinese. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done. I really do know that this church is true and Heavenly Father will help me say that to people even if I don’t really know the right words. Wo zhidao Shen shi womende Tianfu. Wo zhidao Shen ai women. Wo zhidao Yesu Jidu shi Shen de erzi. Wo zhidao togguo Yesu Jidu de Shuzui women keyi biande geng hao. Wo zhidao Shen he Yesu Jidu dui Yuese Simi xianxian. Wo zhidao togguo Yuese Simi Shen he Yesu Jidu fuxing tamende fuyin. Wo zhidao Mo’ermenjing shi Shen de hua. Wo zhidao Shen hui huida womende qidao. (I know God is our Heavenly Father. I know He loves us. I know Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I know that through Jesus Christ’s Atonement we can all become better. I know that God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormen is the word of God. I know that God will always answer our prayers.)
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!
(Note from Emily’s mom: I asked her in another letter what was up with all the “peace signs”. Apparently it is an “Asian thing” (her words) that they do in several Asian countries including Taiwan. She says it means a few things: “Yeah! or feeling good”, “Happy”, “Victory”. I guess we’ll see if they really do that when she gets there. :))