Family: It seems like you are all doing great and having fun. Although I am a little jealous you were able to go to the BYU football game on Saturday, I am loving my time here in the MTC. The picture you took across the street from the MTC almost shows the building that I am in everyday, 24/7. You all look so happy. I can't wait to talk to you all in a couple weeks.
Idaho has SO much snow! That is crazy. There is like no snow on the grounds here. The mountains are beautiful though!
Bryan: Sounds like you are doing great. I love reading your weekly emails. FHE sounds like it is a blast there with all the cute kids. Keep having fun. The Philippines are so lucky to have you as a missionary right now.
As for the AMAZING news!!! I am so happy to say that we will be the first group of missionaries going straight to TAIPEI, TAIWAN in many many months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, here is the story. When I came in on October 1st, there was a total of 3 districts (including mine) that came in on that day. There are two in my zone and one in the other Mandarin speaking zone. Elder Dorius is in the other district in my zone that came in on October 1st. He went in to the Travel Office on Thursday and asked them about our visa's. We hadn't heard anything up until that point. They told them that they would look into it and come back Friday morning at 7 and they would tell him. So Friday morning, he, Elder Bates (from my zone), and Elder Anderson (from my zone, different district) all went in and talked to them. They told them that our visa's have a three step process. They were currently on step 2 which is when they are in Taiwan and they were pretty confident that they were about done in Taiwan and they would be sending them back to San Francisco for step 3. They told them that they decided that they would keep us here at the MTC until they got our visas. The crazy thing too is that we had reassignments and they cancelled our reassignments on Friday morning. (The reason why I asked you if you got an email was that some missionaries' families got emails on Friday/Saturday as to where their missionary was going for their reassignment. So I was curious where my reassignment would have been.
Every morning at 7:30, our zone has gym time so we were all told this during gym. I was playing four square when Elder Dorius came over to tell me and I freaked out! I was so happy. I dropped the ball and said, "I'm out!" and ran over to Sis. Lindsay to tell her the news! We were so so happy! People probably thought that we were crazy...but that's alright. :) As soon as we get more information, we will be able to let you know.
As for right now, this is the plan that we will go straight to Taiwan. We are still not 100% positive but we will for sure keep our fingers crossed.
So, here is my week.
Monday: Every Monday night, we get to TRC with individuals from Taiwan. Last Monday, Sis. Lindsay and I were able to talk to Charles Wyatt. He is from Gao Sheng and is 20 years old. Charles was baptized a year ago and is the only member in his family. He was so funny. We would speak Chinese to him and he would respond in English. His testimony was so strong and he loves the gospel. It was so cool to hear how much he wants his family to join the church.
Tuesday: Tuesday night's devotional was by Linda K Burton (Relief Society General President) and her husband, Craig P. Burton. They talked about John 3:16 and Sis. Burton shared the Prodigal Son's Story in Luke 15. (Side Note: What is crazy is that Tuesday morning during Personal Study, I read Luke 15.) I have learned so much more about the Atonement while I have been here at the MTC. My testimony of the power of the Atonement has grown so much. After devotional, we have district review. Brother and Sister Davis from the branch Presidency was in our review with us. Brother Davis served his mission in Peru. He shared about this Sister named Sister Alvarez and how she gave the missionaries so many referrals. He said most likely if you would ask a new convert who introduced them to the gospel, it would be Sister Alvarez. He talked about the imporatance of creating friendships with the members of the wards you are serving in. Bro. Davis also asked us to do some family temple names for him a couple weeks ago. One of them was named Martha Burnett. (She has a sister named Eliza Burnett) I did her temple work for her and the whole time I was thinking, "We could so be related!" I asked him about her and told her that my mom's maiden name is Burnett. We both did some family history research and as far as we know, we are not related but it was cool to talk about Family History with him. I hope someday I will be able to start doing some more family history.
Thursday: Our district and the other district in our zone that came in on October 1st joined together and we split up into companionships and taught each other the first lesson. Sis Lindsay and I taught and were taught by Elder Whitney and Blanscett. Elder Whitney's family has lived in Beijing I think for most of his life so he is really good at Chinese. I learned so much from listening to him.
Friday: Other than finding out about our visas, It was a normal day of class and study. In language we played Charades to review grammar and it was hilarious. Bro. Chia and Bro. Johnson (Resource Teacher) were in there with us and they were laughing so hard at all of us.
Saturday: Sis. Lindsay and I taught Su Di Xiong for the last time. We get a new investigator tonight to practice the first couple lessons again. He finally accepted baptism. We were so happy. It makes me so excited to teach people in Taiwan. I can't wait. We played Jeopardy with Sis. Ochoa to review the lessons in PMG and our vocab, grammar, and tones. It was really fun but super hard!
Sunday: My favorite day of the week (as always). Music and the Spoken Word was fabulous. It makes me so excited for this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas! Our Relief Society speaker was Neill F. Marriott (2nd Counselor, Young Women's General Presidency) and her husband, David. She talked about Using the Spirit in every situation. Listening and acting on the promptings you receive are VITAL as a missionary. She also talked about the importance of giving your whole heart and soul to the Savior.
My district and I sang our own arrangement of 'I Believe in Christ' in Sacrament Meeting. Tomorrow morning at 3 AM, Sis. Moe leaves for New York so yesterday was her last Sunday. I loved singing that song. It truly invites the Spirit. Sadly, yesterday Sister Lindsay and I got released as Sister Training Leaders. They switch out Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders every 3 weeks. I loved serving and getting to know the Sister's in my branch. I will miss it! Last night, our devotional speaker was Stephen B. Allen (Managing Director-Missionary Department) and his wife, Nancy. He talked about how missionaries are the messengers and the feelings of the Spirit is what bears witness of truth. The movie we went to watch after the devotional was The Testaments in Mandarin, Chinese. Almost our whole zone was there. There was English subtitles but we were all surprised by how much we could pick out words and understand. I love this movie. It is amazing!
All in all, I had a great week. I am learning so much and I can't wait to use it in the field.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I am so grateful for you all and all that you do for me! Thanks for all of the love and support I am getting from home. It means so much! Have a great week! Eat some amazing Thanksgiving food for me!!
I love you all and am so grateful to call you my family.
Temple Walk (above and below).
Sis. Moe and I. She leaves tomorrow at 3 AM for New York!