There are a couple highlights from this last week. First of all TODAY! This morning Sis. Lindsay, Sis. Moe, Sis. Allen, and I went and did Initiatory at the temple. We were waiting in this line and it was my turn (I was the last to go out of us Sisters) and next thing you know, someone is stands up from the line and it was MARILYN JENKINS! We embraced, of course I started crying! I was so excited to see her! We didn't say anything but after we were both done we saw each other again in the dressing room so we walked out together and got a picture! I'm so glad I was able to see her! I couldn't say bye to her before so it was good to say hello and good bye! I love her to death! She is such a great example to me!
Another highlight was that last night's devotional was given by Chad Lewis!! I was like, "OH MY GOODNESS!" I know him! So I told my district how he lived in the same neighborhood as you dad and how you still see him. He gave a great devotional! It was his son's 14th birthday so we all sang happy birthday to him at the beginning of devotional. He's a little cutie!! He talked mostly about letting our light shine--especially while we are serving missions. I didn't know he served in the Taichong mission so that was really cool to hear him tell stories about that. After devotional, my district and I all ran up to talk to him. I was able to talk to him and he looked at my name tag and I said, "I think you know my dad, Paul Haacke!" And he said, "Oh my goodness! I love Paul!" So we talked a little bit about you, mom and dad. He said he would say hi from me to you next time he got the opportunity to talk to you! We took a district picture with him and then a lot of the missionaries learning Chinese also took a picture with him. During the devotional his wife, Michelle, also bore her testimony about how she knows Christ is our Savior. It was so powerful.
Here is the rest of the week:
Monday: We had our first lesson with one of our new in investigators, Lu Jie Mei. She is very shy and is very confused about everything we tried to teach her--not to mention our language ability is a huge barrier. Monday night I also got to sit and talk with one of the Elders in our district, Elder Smith. He is from Arizona and has a lot of the same interests as me! We talked a lot about college football and then schooling--he wants to take over his dad's business. It is a Financial Advising business so I told him about school and everything.
Tuesday: Sis. Lindsay and I found one of our favorite places at the MTC. There are these little classrooms like way small--they are light interviewing rooms. We go in there for companion study now and we love it! One of our teachers, Xie Lao Shi (Brother Chia), taught on of our classroom blocks today and we are so close to him. We are his first district he is going to teach all the way up until our departure date. He just returned four months ago from his mission in Taichong, Taiwan. He laughs at me a lot when I say a word wrong or mess of because I guess I make a weird face..haha. After devotional I saw Sister Stevenson again so she gave me a hug from you all!
Wednesday: On Wednesday during gym I learned how to play Spike Ball. (Bryan did you ever play it?) Its way fun! Sis. Moe and I lost every time when we played against Elder Smith and Elder Butler but it was so fun! Wednesday was also a rough day for our entire zone. The Elders and Sisters that our suppose to be leaving for Taiwan tomorrow morning got reassignments because their visas are not yet here. They were all really excited to get reassignments but it is so hard to learn a language for 9 weeks and then go English speaking for 1-3 months. Sis. Bowman (a sister in our zone, who was also suppose to leave tomorrow morning) found out on Wednesday that she tore her Meniscus in her knee. It was a very emotional day for her. She tore it playing volleyball in gym on Tuesday morning. Thursday she found how she would have to return home to Iowa (I believe) to receive surgery. It was a very challenging time for her but she knows that she needs to go home for a month for a reason. the MTC told her that when she is fully recovered she will be able to go straight to the field.
Thursday: Thursday was defiantly the hardest day I have had here at the MTC. We taught Lu Jie Mei today and she wouldn't listen to our message. We explained prayer for the second time and she was still really confused and didn't know how to pray. Sis. Lindsay and I just wanted to cry. We then had language and coaching with Sis Ochoa (Our other teacher) and then had some additional study time. Elder Diepeveen really opened up to us sisters. He has had quite the life before the mission.
He is very dedicated to this work. Already speaks amazing Chinese and is so knowledgeable.I just cried for him while he cried with us. This is when the tears just flowed. I swear I was never so emotional..I love this work because I love being able to help each other. I abosolutly love my district. They are just the perfect people to be with right now! I have learned so much from them. We have some amazing times together. They are like my second family! Thursday night, we as sisters bought ice cream from the vending machine and just sat on our floor and talked. It was fun and it also gave us all an opportunity to get out all of our stress and concerns!
Friday: Just a normal day..it was a great day! Made up for not having the best day on Thursday.
Saturday: Saturday was our first day doing TRC (Teach Resource Center). We had to teach two 30 minute lessons in Chinese to members. Our first one was a returned missionary from Taichong. He served with our teacher, Brother Chia (Xie Lao Shi) so that was pretty cool. Our second one was a young girl who just started her freshman year at BYU. On Saturday we also had a great lesson with Lu Jie Mei. She finally understands prayer! We taught her about the BOM and she agreed to read Enos! Sis. Lindsay and I did the language computer program for almost 2 hours on Saturday as well! I love this language. It is so challenging but through study we are being able to speak more everyday! I love it!
Sunday: Great day at church. In Relief Society, Sister Linda S. Reeves (2nd counselor general Relief Society) came to speak to us. She talked mostly about serving faithful missions. Sacrament meeting was also really good. We talked about Faith in Jesus Christ. Luckily, I didn't get chosen to speak! (So Grateful!) Choir was absolutely amazing as well!!
I Love you all and miss you so much! You are in my thoughts everyday!!
P.S. This Tuesday's devotional is a broadcast. (I'm not sure if you can access them) but I'm singing in the choir if you can.
Our favorite room.
Most of my district sitting in the shade during our temple walk on Sunday.
Most of my zone during our temple walk on Sunday.
Chinese speaking missionaries with Chad Lewis.
Our district with Chad Lewis.