This week has been intense, but they just keep flying by. It’s amazing how fast it goes. We’re expecting to get flight plans by the end of next week! The group leaving for Taipei next Tuesday is actually flying straight from Salt Lake to Tokyo and then to Taipei, so no one really knows what we’ll end up doing! I’m getting pretty excited though!
Sorry if my emails seem to get more and more scattered. But some pretty great things happened this week!
Sister Earl left on Monday and I’m SO excited for her! It was also kind of hard though, because she’s been my little piece of Hyde Park home here at the MTC. We’ve been on pretty much the exact same schedule the whole time, and I’ll miss seeing her here. I am so excited for her to head to Cambodia though!
We got to host again! I like to host the international missionaries and those that come in from the airport because they are a little less emotional and removed from the goodbye moment by the time I get there. I got to help with a sister from Ireland and- get this- two twin sisters from Pakistan who will be serving in Temple Square. There aren’t missionaries in Pakistan, but I guess their dad met someone on a plane and they are all members of the church now! Blew my mind!
Our awesome teacher who I have mentioned was talking about Taiwan this week. Like my companion and I, he’s a red head who obviously sunburns very easily. We asked him how much sunscreen he used in Taiwan and he said-NONE. He never got sunburned in two years in Taichung. He said it’s because of the elevation and the humidity and the pollution- the sun just doesn’t reach you. We’ll see if that’s true, but it blew my mind. He also told us that he ate a fried banana spider- like the ones that have legs the size of bananas. So that’s exciting.
Our devotional last Tuesday was really good. Elder Brown who is a former Seventy talked about a missionary when he was a mission president. At the end of his mission, this missionary said, “President, I didn’t waste 5 minutes.” Later in the meeting we found out that missionary was Clayton M. Christensen, who we all know and think is awesome. I’ve really thought about that a lot this week and decided that I can’t be perfect at anything, but I can use every minute to try to improve and to help people around me. I thought that was an exciting and wonderful goal.
I ran across a really great scripture this week. I have been studying Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel on Christ-like Attributes a lot. This week I have been focusing on patience and humility. I feel like I’ve never had to exercise more patience or humility than I have these last few weeks at the MTC attempting to learn Chinese. I ran across Mosiah 24:13-16 in my study and it helped me so much. In verse 15 it says, “The Lord did strengthen them that they could bear their burdens with ease and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.” I just absolutely love that. Every time I feel like I’m not learning enough or fast enough, I just need to remember that I can’t do any of this on my own. But if I am willing to work hard and patiently and cheerfully, He will help me become what He needs me to become, which will always be better than what I want to become.
Our devotional last night was from T.C. Christensen, who did the Joseph Smith movie and 17 Miracles and all of those. The miracles and experiences of those pioneers are absolutely amazing! I am so grateful for all that they did so that we can have all of the incredible blessings of the gospel. He told us to remember those pioneers who went through so much when we have hard days, and know that we can do hard things like they did.
Today I had just about the greatest experience ever. We get to go to the temple on P-Days, which is a wonderful blessing! I love it there! When we got there we saw the wonderful sister from Taipei that we taught at TRC last week! She is literally the sweetest woman I have ever come in contact with. Mu JieMei and I ended up talking to her for such a long time. She shared her conversion story with us and it made my whole week and erased all of my discouragement. She met so many different missionaries when she was in Taipei, but she said she was really stubborn (I can’t really believe that haha, she’s so sweet!). Then she said one elder who was in his very first transfer of his mission who could hardly speak any Chinese at all came along and said, “Wo zhidao Shen ai ni”- I know God loves you- and that changed everything for her. She ended up being baptized and she and her family live here in Provo now. She has five children who have all served missions and they have done genealogy for over 1100 of their ancestors (Chinese genealogy is amazing!) She said that every missionary that she met helped a little bit to get her to that point, and in the end it was an elder who could hardly speak Chinese that helped her make that life changing decision. She just kept saying, “I just love you missionaries,” “I owe my life to you missionaries,” “The people in Taiwan are going to think you are SO beautiful,” “You sisters CAN do this!” It was the greatest. It was absolutely a miracle that we were able to find each other this morning. I am so grateful that I will be serving the people in Taiwan. like her. I know that is where the Lord wants me to be.
I love you all! Thanks for your support!
Oh and tonight we get to skype with a member in Taiwan! I am so excited and I really hope I can understand them!