I loved reading all the family emails today! It seems like you are all doing amazing! I loved hearing all about your experiences at home!
Mom & Dad: Thanks so much for your letters! It seems like everything is going great at home. Mom, your dear elder on Thursday was heaven sent! I definitely needed it on Thursday! Dad, thanks so much for your weekly emails. I love reading them all! They are so uplifting and full of information.
Bryan: You are already done with one transfer in the field?! That is crazy! Time truly does fly by! Don't get frustrated or anything about the language. Last night, the movie that I went to after devotional was a talk given by Elder Holland titled, "Missions are Forever" towards the end of it, he said something along the lines of, 'you have the authority of God, you are sent into the field with that full authority. Your power (spiritual power) comes from your obedience.' Don't worry about the language barrier, just trust in the Lord, focus on the Spirit in the lessons, and everything else will come! One of my teachers always says that...I'm sure yours did too :) I love you! The people there in the Philippines love you. Thanks for being such an amazing example to me!
Marissa: HOLY COW GIRL! YOU ARE AMAZING! You got selected by Seattle Talent?! That just shows how amazing you are at singing. I know you truly have so much talent and I know you will go far with it. Even though it may be hard that you, mom, and dad didn't accept going with them, I also feel really good about that decision. I know it may be SO hard, the Lord will truly bless you. Pray to Him, and He will tell you how you should use your talent. Look for a letter in the mail, I am sending you one today. I sure do love you! I know you are making great choices in your life right now. :)
Lachlan: I loved hearing about your experiences at the Jazz game! You got to sit right next to the team?!? I'm sure that was SO fun! AND you got a wristband from one of the coaches? That is so cool! I sure love you!
Alexa: Thank you so much for the letter in the mail this week! I loved it! It totally made my day! I'm glad school is going well! I sure love you and miss you! Keep having so much fun! I'm sending you a letter in the mail today--make sure you look out for it :)
This week has been pretty much the same as last week, One of our 'investigators', Lu Jie Mei, committed to baptism. I was so happy. I couldn't stop smiling. We are still working on Su di Xiong but he is making progress. Class is great. I learn so much everyday. I absolutely LOVE my teachers, Xie Lao Shi (Bro. Chia) and Ou Yang Lao Shi (Sister. Ochoa).
Sunday is by far my favorite day of the week. Relief Society, Sacrament Meeting, Temple Walk, and Devotional is all so uplifting. Earlier in the week (Either on Tuesday or Wednesday) I was getting a drink during lunch and this cute, little, Senior Elder came over to me and told me how much he loved my hair. We talked for a little bit. His wife and him and going to Mexico City. They are from St. George and have lived in Mexico for many years. Since this experience, I have seen them a couple times a day--normally at meal times. We have talked about life, family, everything! They are so cute and loving! Sunday night during dinner, when I was standing in line to get food, Elder Anderson came and found me and said that he and his wife are leaving for Mexico City on Wednesday morning. He wanted to say goodbye before he left. My heart dropped. I feel like I have gotten to know them so well. Whenever I see them, I always 'light-up'. It brings me so much happiness (for lack of a better word) My district and I sat kind of by the doors where you exit the cafeteria so I was looking for Elder and Sister Anderson because I wanted to take a picture with them. I guess they were looking for me too because I looked up and they were walking in my direction. It was funny though because I asked them, "Hey, I know this might be a little strange, but can we get a picture together?" and they said, "We came to ask the same thing!" They also gave me a business card with their information on it and we are planning to stay in touch through our missions and then hopefully sometime after I'll be in St. George and I'll be able to go say hi. They are like my 'mission grandparents' I love them to death! I also saw them Sunday night before devotional started so I went over and talked to them for a little bit then too. There was this other Senior Elder standing behind him like the whole time we were talking and he looked so familiar. I couldn't figure out who he was. When I was done talking with Sister and Elder Anderson, he came up to me and said, "I don't know if you remember me" and I, of course embarrassed myself and said, "Oh you work with my dad!" and he said, "No, I'm your eye doctor!" I was like oh yeah! So Elder Birch and I talked a little bit. He remembers mom and so we talked a little bit about all of you. :) It is so fun to see people I know. It was crazy that he remembered me! We only see him like once a year! Sunday nights devotional was by Spencer J. Condie and his wife. He talked about the importance of teaching with the Spirit, having unity with your companion, and that we are called as FULL time missionaries not part-time missionaries.
Tuesday was also a day full up Spiritual Uplifting. The entire MTC had the opportunity to walk over the the BYU Marriott Center and attend the BYU devotional in the morning. Elder David F. Evans (the person who in general conference said that we may have our strength faithened in the prayer at General Conference instead of Faith Strengthened--he made a comment about that...It was so funny) He is such a powerful speaker. What is funny is that we had a police escort over to the Marriott Center. The road and everything was blocked off for us. I looked for my friends that attend BYU. Sadly, I didn't see any of them.
Tuesday morning at 3 AM, Sister Lindsay and I also got up to say goodbye to the 9 sisters who left our district. 7 of them are going to Arizona and California to wait for their visas to go to Taichong, Taiwan and the other 2 left for the England Mandarin Speaking Mission. Tuesday night, Elder Golden from the seventy spoke to us. He talked about Happiness and how happiness guides us to the people we need to teach the gospel to.
I don't really have anything else to really add...Chinese is coming along. At times, it is very frustrating but then I am comforted, knowing that the Lord will and is helping me. With my interview on Sunday with Pres. Woodfield, he compared learning a language with climbing Mount Timpanogous. He said that is is normally a 12 hour hike. He said, some come to the MTC thinking they can climb it in 30 minutes to an hour but, much to their surprise, they get discourgaged figuring out that is not possible. He said, "Be patient with your learning. The Lord is proud of you for all your efforts--Keep it up."
I love serving the Sisters in our Zone. Interviewing and getting to know them better is such a privilege. This week, we are getting 10 new missionaries in our Zone and 4 sisters! The Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders get to do activities with them on Wednesday night. Explain the 'rules and guidelines' and make them feel welcome. I'm so excited! The zone leaders we work with are amazing (Elder Liston and Elder Matua). They are so on top of the ball and really care for the success of our Zone.
I'm not sure if the Tuesday night devotionals are broadcast to BYU TV. I know they are broadcast to other MTC's and I have heard BYU TV but I'm not sure...tune in if they are...I'm in the choir. Tomorrow night, we are singing Praise to the Man. It is going to be an amazing piece! I can't wait.
I love you all so much! Whenever I get to read emails and I am so happy to know you are all doing great. You are all so amazing!! I know this church is true!
Our last group Qi Dao (prayer) with the Sisters that left us earlier this week.
Sister Lindsay and I with the old Sister Training Leaders, Sister Chee and Sister Christensen-both going to England-Chinese Speaking.
Sister Lindsay and I with Elder and Sister Anderson from St. George (My Mission Grandparents :) )