Dear Family and Friends,
I’m officially a 1-week old Missionary! It’s so exciting!! My favorite part of ever day so far is putting on my name tag, it almost feels like I’m putting on my super-hero cape. I love reading “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” in Chinese every time I look at it, it really is so special to be worthy to wear the name of the Savior and it’s such a big responsibility. The schedule at the MTC is busy and a little crazy. Since it’s our first week our schedule hasn’t been super regular but we’ll settle in to our normal weekly schedule starting today. The very first thing we did after getting our ID cards and dropping off luggage in rooms was go to our classrooms. We met our teachers there and it was fun to talk with them in Cantonese and to see how quickly people in my District started learning words in Cantonese. The classroom my District is in is on the top floor of the new building and the view is amazing! They have beautiful murals and paintings on each floor and it feels so open because of the giant windows. We can also see the Provo temple from our classroom windows which is so perfect! I love everyone in my District and it’s been so fun getting to know them! There are a lot of fun personalities and apparently our District is huge because we have 14 people whereas others have usually 6-8 people in their Districts. In the evening we had a welcome orientation with the MTC President and his wife and there were 500 new missionaries that had come in on the 14th. They said that we were the biggest group they’ve had come in all at once, and we were also the first group to have our orientation in the new buildings. On Thursday and Friday we had trainings where they taught about how important it is to love your investigators and to get to know them. They had some “investigators” come in and talk about themselves then they gave us the opportunity to teach/ask them questions. It was really interesting to see how people taught the Gospel differently but all had such strong testimonies that really brought the Spirit. Other than the trainings we basically just go back and forth between eating, classroom time, and study time. The food here is really good and there’s lots of it but that’s not helpful when most of what you do all day involves sitting. Learning Cantonese is going really well, I’m so happy to finally learn more Gospel words and to be able to say prayers and bear simple testimony in Cantonese. I definitely know that this mission and this mission language is the one for me!
My companion is Sister Scott from The Dalles, Oregon. She’s so cute and really fun to talk with! I love seeing how determined she is to learn Cantonese and she is so passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We taught our first investigator Friday evening and it was so nerve-wracking! His name is Tyler and he’s not actually a Chinese investigator but he’s a teacher that we teach the lessons too in Cantonese for practice. It was a bit awkward and his Cantonese is way better than mine but I felt the Spirit so strongly as Sister Scott worked really hard to bare her testimony and teach him and as I tried to teach with whatever Cantonese I had. His hardest question was when he asked me what the Holy Ghost was. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that in English and I had no idea how to how or what to say in Cantonese! The Holy Ghost helped me out and I think I just said that the Holy Ghost is what God gives us to help us feel His love. Overall it wasn’t a terrible lesson and he agreed to try praying on his own after we taught him how so I count that as a job well done! We plan to invite him to read the Book of Mormon when we meet with him again tonight.
On Sunday our Branch Sacrament meeting topic of study was obedience to God’s commandments and laws. The analogy was given about how obedience was like a kite string. To some obedience seems like a restriction, something that holds us back and doesn’t allow us to live our lives and have fun but like the string of a kite it is what keeps us safe from flying away and is what allows us to weather the winds of life and really fly. I love how the Savior Jesus Christ is such a perfect example of humility and obedience. Our will, our agency is the only true gift we have to give Heavenly Father and Christ gave his will completely to the Father. It was also fun to meet with our Branch Presidency, President Newell, President Seow, and President Tuttle and their wives and to be taught by them. Also, Donny Osmond came to speak at our Sunday devotional! It was really interesting to hear him talk about his life and to testify that having a strong testimony was not only for intellectuals but for everyone. After devotional we watched a talk by Elder Bednar titled the Character of Christ. His point was that the true Character of Christ is that Christ turns outward and serves others when the natural man would turn inward. He shared some stories and experiences that really touched my heart. Missionary work really is about serving and loving. Sundays are the best day of the week!
My preparation-days are on Monday which is really nice to be able to go to the temple, do laundry, and get ready for the coming week. We did a session this morning after breakfast with most of our District and afterwards in the bathroom we met a recent convert who was so sweet and just encouraged us to go out and declare the gospel because her life was forever changed by some sister missionaries and the love she felt from them. It was such a loving experience to have her testify to us about how powerful missionary work is. I love seeing how peoples’ lives change through the Atonement and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I know that God loves each of His children on earth and that our worth as His children comes from Him. I love this Gospel, it brings peace and joy and light to everyone who will sincerely study and live it.
I love you all and will try to keep you updated! Thank you for being so supportive of me!
P.S. I was ill prepared and did not get peoples email and mailing addresses! Please send them to me so I can email/write letters to you! Also, I can ready emails and letters any day of the week so go ahead and write to me whenever, I’ll respond on my next p-day.
2. Our District with two of our teachers in our classroom
3. Most of our District at the temple today