Title: What’s in a Name?
It’s been a busy week here at the MTC!!
Last Monday in our evening class Brother Anderson gave us our Chinese names! I’ve had a Chinese name my entire life however it was so exciting to see everyone in my district get their name and learn the meaning. It was lots of fun! In particular, Elder Swenson has been writing the character for “Dragon” on the whiteboard for the last couple of weeks. He kept hoping that the dragon character would be in his name and it is! He was so excited!! His name: Sahm Hei Lohng means delightful dragon but since Brother Anderson is a clever person the middle character also means “to like” so Elder Swenson’s name also means “likes dragons.” It’s perfect.
On Tuesday Sister Scott and I taught one of our new “investigators,” Sister Lam. She has a 4 year old son and is so sweet and just wants peace and direction. We spoke about the Restoration to her and I realized after the lesson that it was the first time that I’ve ever really shared the story of the Restoration of the Gospel with anyone. It was so special to say it in Cantonese and since we’ve been memorizing the First Vision this week, I was able to quote part of the First Vision in the lesson. As I spoke of the First Vision I felt the quiet assurance of the Spirit testifying to me that it was true, that what I was saying was true and that the moment that I spoke of was the beginning of the restoration of Christ’s church and God’s priesthood power to the earth. “This is my Beloved Son, hear Him.”
Another special blessing on we received on Tuesday was the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price in the 3 column language study versions with characters, pinyin, and English. Even though it was in Mandarin pinyin I was so excited to get D&C and to have that as a resource. As far as I’m aware they just barely finished these language study editions and I hope they’re working on the Cantonese version. Our teachers were also excited to see that the church was producing these kinds of language learning resources, especially when they didn’t have them on their own missions. Heavenly Father blesses his missionaries so abundantly.
On Wednesday, Brother Anderson taught us about Hong Kong culture and mannerisms and talked more about his time there. It was so fun asking questions with my district and then watch them incorporate the different culture things they learned into their daily life at the MTC. We also received our new name tags with our Chinese surnames on them! Going to Hong Kong is becoming more and more real and exciting!
On Friday we spent evening class time outside and practiced teaching on the Word of Wisdom. It was so nice to sit out on the grass and study and enjoy the evening air together. We all took pictures afterwards with Sister Olsen and Sister Christensen before we had to return to our residences.
On Saturday Sister Scott and I prepared for our district meeting lesson on Sunday on the topic of Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I focused on the story in the New Testament where Christ and Peter walk on water in Matthew 14:22-33. It’s not strictly a story about baptism but as I was reading and trying to picture the boisterous waves and the stormy winds I pictured Peter as sinking but not only sinking but really drowning, completely immersed in the water. I thought of a painting that I had seen in Institute where the perspective of the viewer is as Peter’s point of view and you can only see Peter’s hand reaching up to the surface of the water and through the water you can see Christ reaching down to pull Peter up out of the water. When we are immersed and then raised out of the waters of baptism it is really Christ that pulls us up out of the water. It was Peter’s choice to leave the boat and to go to Christ but in the end as we are baptized and throughout life it is Christ that makes up the difference and comes to us and we step out and focus on Him and go to Him. I was so grateful for the opportunity to teach this lesson.
On Sunday our district also got a new district leader. Elder Davis passed the torch to Elder Johnson since it’s our half-way mark here at the MTC.
My personal study this week has really focused on 3 Nephi 17:7. It was a blessing to find this scripture and to feel my testimony grow that this is Christ’s church and that He is our Savior and our Gentle Healer.
I love you all!
Pic 1 – Our Chinese Names
Pic 2 – My District