Monday, August 4, 2014

First of all-- 

Happy Birthday Michala!!! Did you open your presents from me?? Whoohoo birthday! I have matching jewelry like you now (because thats just precious). 

And Congratulations to Brian, in whom I am well pleased. Yay for getting into one of the best finance programs in the country! You've worked so hard, and you earned it. 

So roughly five percent of my mission has gone by. I am not a happy camper about that. 
Okay so some things from this week: 

SINGING (and other fun stories): 

So I went to choir (didnt want to go, companion wanted to go, glad I went) and we were in the middle of practicing this power piece when he cut us off abruptly, and then I went HICCUP! Soooo loud. In a crowd of 588 choir members and you could hear my hiccup clear as a bell. He just busted out laughing and said, "Well someone gets to write home and say, 'dear mom- I had solo.'" So.. Dear Mom... I had a solo. 

I also got to audition a piece for the MTC presdient's wife. She said it was nice and to look for a notice in my mailbox of when I'd be singing at the MTC. So I'll probably sing at relief society or a small devotional or something in the next few weeks. 

Elder Groberg came Tuesday and talked about the ways which we bear testimony. Of course singing to investigaors was one of the ways. He pointed out that the savior sang at the last supper- which I had never really thought through before. How cool would it be to hear the savior sing hymns? ??? Cool. It'd be cool. 

The BYU President came and spoke Sunday (which was a little hard for me because he's so awesome and I'll miss BYU so much) and he said, "We can learn through music spiritual things that otherwise would take a long time to learn." 


So you know the investigator thats a Taiwanese native? Well we taught her five lessons, which got progressively more organized (I think she could actually understand us near the end) and then SURPRISE we find out shes going to be our new teacher!!!! We are so lucky. We are the only district that has a native speaker to teach us Chinese, and our Chinese is flying! The first day she went through class no one had any idea what on earth she was saying. We just all hung our sad little heads in our sad little desks and were sad. 

BUT I can actually understand her better than LoaShi Olsen now (our other teacher)! I think she speaks clearer in some ways and she's making us so much better. Seriously, we are the luckiest district to be taught by a native. She says all the words differently than the other teachers and we would have gotten to Taiwan and not recognized the language (which will probably still happen). 

Sometimes I realize what a benefit it is to be a little older. Many of the missionaries cry every day or have break downs and sometimes I feel like a broken record going, "Cmon guys this is great! We have a teacher we cant undrestand, isnt that wonderful?" lol. But really I do feel so incredibly calm about it all. We had a workshop on stress and I was like... stress? Are you kidding me? You feed me and do half my landry and I sit in an AC classroom all day and all I have to do is try my best and the Lord promised me I'd learn Chinese. This is a sweet little gig. 


1. My companion told and investigor that she was a member of the church "since the bain or mortality". So that's inspirining. 
2. The word for sad and believe are the same word, with one slightly idfferent tone. So the investigaoor was saying she believed in prayer, and Elder Redding thought she felt sad when she prayed. So he starts going, "well sometimes I feel that way too, like when I've sinned, but blah balh blah" and the woman was so so confused lol. 
3. My companion was teaching in a lesson and all of the sudden the girl busted out laughing. we still have no idea what she said wrong. 
4. Some of the Elders swapped teaching times with the other sisters, because the other sisters were sick. So they sat down with the investigator and tried to explain that the sisters were coming later because they were sick. But instead they said the sisters were dead. 
The investogaotr started crying. 
5. One Elder tried to stay that "he would owe them a favor" and the word for favor is renxiang. Instead, he said he 'would owe them a xiangren" which is lover. And the teacher was like NO NO He didnt mean that!! hahahaha. We laughed so hard. 

  • So Chinese actually has a lot of french sounding vowels. It doesnt sound like it because we have to say words on tones, but we have to practice some french vowels. Two of the Elders here are fluent in French and things are so easy for them. Maybe I'll work on french when I get back. 
  • There are sisters here who are learning English from South America and guess what? I can remember enough Spanish to speak with them! 
  • You know how I stutter sometimes in English? I don't in Chinese. It's werid. 
  • I heard a girl say Joseph Smiths first vision in Danish at a devotional, and I understood every word. I was so shocked. I turned to Elder Braden next to me and he went, "Ya I heard it to" before I even said anything. It was insane. 
  • So we don't have Sunday School here. Priobably because we have 12 hours of not-so-secret sunday school in Chinese every day of our lives here. 
  • Hey has anyone seen the new temple movie? With blonde Eve and the water colors? Me likey. 
  • Someone send an Elder here a cookbook called "101 Ways to Wok Your Dog: A Chinese Cookbook". lol cleverness
  • I was thinking and I don't think all the effects of hastening the work missionaries will be seen until after this generation raises the ebnxt generation. Can you imagine a whole generation of missionaires taugh by two RM parents? And prepared by their mothers like the stripling warriors? Because oms spend more time with their children than anyone else. And then also the children of the converts they'll bring to the fold? I'm SO GRATEFUL I am here first hand
  • And I'm so grateful I'm born now. Someone told us (I have no idea where he's getting his numbers or if they are valid but) a speaker said that if we filled every chair at BYU stadium, the MTC, the Marriott, and BYU then one of those people would get to be an LDS missionary. How much more blessed are you to be an hastening the work missioanry. I have no idea the answers or how true that is but still.
  • I am so happy that I get to experience missionary work first hand.


We watched a devotinal about the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. It was amazing. His whole point is that Christ always turn outward, away from the natural man and towards others when we would turn inwards. Even as he carries the cross he makes arrangements for his mother and does missionary work to the others on either side of him. He said Satans greatest temptation to all of us is to think of ourselves, use the natural man to think of ourselves, but he promised that if we would turn outward we would become different people. 

I've been thinking about this and I think that soemtimes we understimate our ability to change. I mean really we know that we can repent and make different choices much thats like makeing lifestyle chagnes with our diet or expercise. I think really spiritual expereinces, just like strong physical experinces (like cancer or hormonal changes in our bodies) can change the make up of our character, who we are, to be more Crhistlike. Yes even aspects of what we call our "personaility" just like our body can start growing a different hair color or develop/get rid of certain allergies. To think something else would be to limit the atonement. 

I know we can change our very natures to be differnt, better people. Whoever or whatever the Lord needs us to be, if we will let him and not limit him by our faith. Elder Maxwellsaid "without repentence no one can be saved. Without repentence no one can even progresss". 


So everyone of my favorite missionaries in every workshop are going to Federal Way Washington. I don't know what the deal is or why they are getting such awesome missionaries, but they are. There are two sisters that are dynamite and several elders, espeically a little Elder Grahm. I've never heard a person his age be so involved in what an investigator needs. Seriously they were impressive enough to journal about, and I dont journal. Washington is so lucky.

Okay so our of time, love you all, sending pictures now:

This is the Chinese board I used to teach the five principles of the gospel to Wu Sia Xin

We wrote notes to the elder of all the things they had done well and posted them all over thier desks for some encouragement. Some of the elders still wont take them off thier desks and its been days. Its pretty cute.

This is our district in front of the world! We're the largest district we've seen.

These are photos of our daily life! I stood on some chairs to get these photos. The next day we all got a notice saying no more pictures in teh careteria. My bad. 

This sister and I have become fast friends. She's Sister Ashby from our district. 

On my temple walk. 

                                                                  Check out the swirling clouds... so scary

I spent a good amount of time on my Sunday walk trying to capture this little friend the bee. Pretty proud. 

behold human coatrack

                        Yes, We have a closet full of food. We eat at 4:30 here so we get a little snacky. or a lot. 

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