Cambria and Dale: Congratulations on your new baby boy, Rocky!!! I am so excited for you! Thank you so much for sending me pictures! Stella and Landon also looked adorable on Halloween! I hope everything is going well for you guys and your family! I sure love you all!
Bryan: Your pictures you sent are beautiful! I am so glad you are doing great and loving it there! Are you getting transferred or are you staying in the same area?
Marissa: Your awesome! I loved reading about singing, and how you organized that huge mutual activity! Way to go Sis!!
Lachlan: Keep being the star on the court! I love hearing how your basketball games are going. AND all your push-ups and sit-ups?!? Keep challenging dad!!
Alexa: I hope your week went well! It looks like you had a ton of fun on Halloween! Write me a Dear Elder and tell me all about it! :)
Thanks for all the letters, emails, and prayers! This week has gone by so fast! It has started to get colder and colder. Winter is coming! Here is a run down of my past week:
I'm going to start with Sunday and work backwards.
Sunday: Sunday was such a great day. The older districts in our zone are leaving tonight and tomorrow so they called new Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. Sister Lindsay and I were called to be the new Sister Training Leaders for our Zone. I am looking forward to being able to serve the Sisters in our Zone. They are all so amazing. It brings a lot more responsibility on me but I am so excited to serve. I know the Lord will truly bless Sister Lindsay and I as we serve His children. Since we were called yesterday, we had meetings all through out the day. Since it was also Fast Sunday yesterday, there is Mission Conference instead of Relief Society/Priesthood. At Mission Conference the whole MTC gets together and the Presidency talks to us. I believe it was President Hacking. He talked about Joesph Smith and the importance of the First Vision and how no one was there to witness it but Joseph and so we have to, through his testimony, have faith and believe to know of its truth. It was a very powerful meeting. The musical numbers are always so powerful as well. Sacrament Meeting was also great. (I played the piano and it went well!--We sang I Believe in Christ, Jesus Once of Humble Birth, and Count Your Many Blessings) The testimonies borne were also very powerful. I could understand most of them so that was nice. After Sacrament Meeting, Elder Crockett, an Elder in our Zone who has been called to the Taichong, Taiwan Mission leaving tonight to California to wait for his visa, went and played the organ so we all went with him and listened. He is phenomenal. It makes me want to try to learn the organ when I get home from my mission! Sis. Lindsay and I had another STL meeting and after we went to dinner with the other new STL from the other Chinese speaking zone. At dinner we sat next to the two interpreters that translate the devotionals for Chinese speakers. Their names are Brother Beck and Brother Xu. They both served in the Taipei, Taiwan mission so they told us all about the field! They were so hilarious! They told us about our mission president and they acted out President and Sister Day for us. I am so excited to meet them and be able to serve under their guidance. They are going to be the best mission presidents! and then when we get new ones in June, they will also be the best! Oh and I almost forgot! Since Sis. Lindsay and I are the STL's now of our zone, we get a cell phone!! We have to carry it around with us everywhere...but, everything is locked on it. So we don't really know what the purpose of it is. We also get to interview each Sister in our Zone every week. I look forward to being able to get to know the Sisters better.
Saturday: A normal day of study. We had TRC in the morning which went well. And in the afternoon we were studying the Book of Mormon as a district in Mandarin. We decided to read King Benjamen's address in Mosiah. The Spirit was definitely present. While we were reading, I learned more about the importance of forgetting myself. It reminded me of an experience when right before I left for the MTC, Austin Johnson had just returned home from his mission. Mom and I were talking to him and his parents right outside the Primary room in the church building and he said something along the lines of, "I think I forgot myself a little too much." (Jokingly--because his accent was really strong? I can't really remember) It made me really want to be able to say that statement when I get home from my mission. Today we also played Simeon Says in Chinese and let's just say...I'm not very good at Simeon Says. :)
Friday: Happy Halloween! I loved reading all about your Halloween. It sounds like everything was so fun!! For us here at the MTC, it was just a normal day. My district, however, had a little fun. Elder Butler sent us a package earlier this week and in it contained some mustaches. So we all wore those for some pictures. We had some fun. After class at night we have what is called Additional Study Time--where you can study whatever you feel like you need to work on. We took a little time out of that and we all "chugged" a Creature in a Jar. We also got those from Elder Butler. They were they most disgusting things ever. We all challenged each other to put the entire thing in our mouth before swallowing any of it. It was so gross. I thought I was going to spit it all out. It was so thick! Everyone all had some good reactions to it-except Sis. Allen. She took it like a champ. We all swallowed them except Sis. Moe-she spit it all out before she swallowed any :). Everyone got tons of candy from home so we all went to bed that night on a sugar high!
Thursday: Since we have been here for a month now, we started teaching each other. Each companionship are investigators and another companionship are the missionaries. We set up times to meet and everything. Sis. Lindsay and I are college roommates who have a lot of questions about life. Sis. Moe and Sis. Allen are our missionaries. I love that we do this. I have learned so much from being in the investigators shoes. Sis. Lindsay and I teach the Elders-there are three of them so it will be a great learning experience. On Thursday, we also had to take our first language assessment. It definitely was much harder than I thought it was going to be!
Wednesday: Wednesday was just a normal day of learning. Sis. Moe got to see her mom!! I was so jealous! She had a doctors appointment in Salt Lake and I guess now if your parent live in the area and the appointment is not in Orem or Provo, they ask that your parents pick you up and take you! So, mom and dad, if there are any doctor appointments I need to go to, let me know! ;).
Tuesday: Tuesday was also just a normal day. A different teacher rather than our normal two came in a taught us about learning our language. It kind of stressed us all out because we are already a month in and she basically told us we have been studying wrong but it gave me some new 'tips and tricks' to include in my language study. Tuesday night, Sis. Lindsay, Moe, Allen, and I all sat on the floor right before we had to get ready for bed and ate double stuffed Oreo's and dipped them in milk. It totally made our day! Tuesday night's devotional was by Rosemary M. Wixom, the Primary General President. My favorite line from her talk was, "Learn to unlock the Redeeming power of Jesus Christ,"
I truly do love the MTC. I have learned so much. I have grown so much. I now just can't wait to leave and serve the people of Taiwan and serve the people where ever I will be getting my reassignment to while I wait for my visa. I know that the Lord truly does have a plan for each and everyone of his missionaries. I am so glad to be 1 of the 88,000 missionaries all over the world!
I LOVE YOU ALL. Have a great week!