I’m about to leave the MTC. At 3:30 tomorrow morning we’re heading out of here! Crazy! I’ll land in Tapei at 6:30 at night Taiwan time on the 13th. I am so excited to go! It’s crazy!
We had In-Field Orientation on Friday and it was weird because it was 9 hours of English! It’s for all missionaries who will depart the MTC the following week. It’s especially weird because English speaking missionaries go on day 9, but Asian languages missionaries go on week 9. It was really fun though and we learned some cool things. My favorite was one teacher who went to Korea. He said he went there the first day and he just felt completely overwhelmed. His mission president then told him that it’s good to be overwhelmed, because then you have no choice but to rely on our Heavenly Father. One elder in my district said that he’s so excited to be “thrown in the deep end” when we first get there. It sounds weird, but I am so excited. I know that I don’t know enough Chinese yet and there is so much I still need to learn, but I also know that I will never be alone.
This last week has been absolutely fantastic. I really have grown to love this place. I was reading in Mosiah 18 the other night. Alma had just taught the gospel to so many people and then they were baptized in the waters of Mormon. They are talking about the waters of Mormon and the place of Mormon and about that place they say, “how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer.” That’s kind of how I feel about the MTC. Before this, I had a strong testimony of this gospel and knew that I wanted to share it with others. But in the last nine weeks, I have come to the knowledge of just how much I need to rely on my Savior. I have learned so much here and I am honestly so grateful for the time that I have had here.
Here’s what I have learned/experienced at the MTC:
1- I learned that when you’re in over your head that’s actually a good thing. You realize that you must rely on the Savior because you cannot do it on your own.
2- I learned some Chinese and that’s pretty cool! Last Wednesday our district went a day without speaking any English and that was pretty exciting. Learning Chinese is the hardest, and most humbling thing I’ve ever tried to do. But it’s not for me, it’s so I can communicate with the wonderful people in Taiwan that I haven’t met yet.
3- I know some really awesome four square moves now. Bring it on 3rd graders! Also, Mandarin Sister Soccer Friday improved my skills in that area.
4- I got to have an awesome 4th of July party! With fireworks and a movie and staying up until after 11!
5- I’ve learned that sometimes it’s just best to laugh. Like when you have no idea what someone just said to you in Chinese. Just laugh and say, “ting bu dong.” And it’s okay. Just laugh about it a little and keep trying.
6- We’ve had some great devotionals. My favorites have been with Janice Kapp Perry singing the primary songs, Sister Sheri Dew speaking about the Priesthood, Josh Wright, and Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Neil L. Anderson. It’s so great that at least twice a week we’ve had a wonderful uplifting devotional with all of the missionaries.
7- I have love MTC Relief Society. We watch Music and the Spoken Word and have a speaker and we sing “The Sisters of Zion.”
8- I have learned how to love pushing myself out of my comfort zone. It’s a strange side affect that I didn’t really expect, but it’s true. Hard things are the best things. I think learning Chinese at such a fast pace has done that to me. I love it.
9- Jai you! JUST KEEP GOING.