Language Learning Lessons

Another busy week at the Provo MTC! Last Monday during class time we had our first Skype TRC! Sister Scott and I taught Sister Chan who was in Hong Kong and we had so much fun! Sister Chan is about our age and she’ll be going to BYU-Idaho in September. We had some computer and headphone issues when we first started and we had to switch computers twice but we had still had a good lesson on Temples and Family History Work.

We also hosted new missionaries again this Wednesday, there were over 700 new missionaries that came in this week and the cafeteria is so crowded at meal times but it’s fun to see so many missionaries going out. Our zone got a new Mandarin speaking district this week and four of them are sisters! Sister Scott and I had so much fun taking them on a tour and getting to know them, two are going to Taiwan, Taichung and then the other two sisters are going to different missions in California.

On Thursday Sister Scott and I started interviewing the sisters in our zone, we each got to interview 10 sisters and it has been such a wonderful and humbling experience. Some of the sisters in our zone are struggling with health problems, family problems, and language learning is always a struggle but it has been so spiritually uplifting for me to hear them describe what their going through but to also hear and see how they are trusting in the Lord and putting their lives in His hands. I had lots of sweet, spiritually tender moments interviewing them and it was humbling for me to have them be vulnerable to me and to tell me about the hard things in their lives. Missionary work changes lives, and I think that sometimes it changes the life of the missionary the most.

During Thursday class time Brother Anderson had us all write letters to ourselves to be read at the end of our missions. It was really interesting to think about what I want to have learned and the person I want to be by the end of my mission and to write a letter that expressed all of that. It also helped me to see how much the hand of God has been in my life even just by being at the MTC. I’m grateful that Brother Anderson gave us the opportunity to think about the end while we’re still at the beginning and to look forward to our futures.

In other news Sister Scott and I received our first few phone calls on the STL phone. It was almost stressful when the phone started ringing the first time, Sister Scott and I just looked at each other for a second and then answered the phone. I can officially report that we still know how to use technology even after living all summer at the MTC.

Cantonese learning is still going strong as we come to the last couple of weeks at the MTC. One of the Elders in my district was trying to compliment my new scripture case for my mini-quad but by accident he called me pretty instead, flattering, but according to page 33 of the White Handbook, somewhat inappropriate for a missionary. We all had a good laugh and developed a new appreciation for the Cantonese language. A sister in our district was also trying to ask in a lesson “How can you have big faith like Nephi?” I suppose that asking “How can you like Nephi have a big body on top?” works just as well. Brother Anderson also had to teach us the difference between “I’m scared!” and “I’m excited!” One of the sisters has, unfortunately, been switching the two exclamations.

From Relief Society this Sunday, Sister Kimball said that “when we decide we want to know God, we want to change.” She shared the scriptures Alma 22:15, 18 and described the story by C.S. Lewis titled “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” She spoke of how in the story there were people in hell that went on a field trip of sorts to heaven where they were told that if they would give up their favorite sin they could stay in heaven. In the end there were many that decided to hold on to what they had and to return to hell. I know that sometimes change is difficult and scary but we cannot grow if we hold on to what holds us back from progressing. I am so grateful that the Atonement allows us to change and to grow and helps us to be who Heavenly Father meant us to be. I love how this church invites all to come unto Christ and that the Book of Mormon teaches so fully of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I love you all!

Love

Sister Cook

陳姐妹

Pictures:
1. The sun likes to bless us through our new classroom windows
2. The beta version of our language learning game from last week
3. Some of the rules

4. A friendly reminder from our teacher

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