Monday, September 1, 2014

So apparently I got engaged.

Let me explain (don't freak out Dad). So Brother Stephen B. Alan from the Church Mission Office headquarters came and spoke to us last night for Sunday devotional. Let me explain; This is not a normal Sunday Devotional. There are 2500 missionaries in a room listening to the speaker. Basically, he was having us read Alma 26 as a group, specifically verse 27, about why missionary work was so hard. 

So then, he just picked my zone at random to come up to the stage! In front of 2500 people! And he told us to each say one thing we were giving up. I was third, so I got up and and said, "I'm Sister Wawro, I'm from Dallas (people cheered; I said Howdy) and I'm giving up my senior year of college." Then he starts to ask me some questions about BYU and cracks some jokes about BYU marriage and blah blah. So then he asks, "Okay whats the hardest part of giving up your senior year?" And I said giving up "my relationships with people there." and Brother Alan went, "ohhh BYU relationships huh?  Were you engaged?" 

Now lets just stop right here for a moment. This wasn't my fault. I had meant something completely different. I meant saying goodbye to people- but I see how that could have been misconstrued... through no fault of my own ;). 

So the room went silent, and unfortunately, my mind went blank because I was shell-shocked (2500 people, mind you). And all I could get out was, "Um I don't really want to talk about this." and BAM. Over 2,000 Elders started cheering and yelled congratulations. And before I could correct that, he said, "Well thanks Sister Wawro. Whose next?" and dismissed me! So, I literally walked back to my seat (a very long walk) with my hands covering my face, and I could see all the Elders I was passing give me big thumbs up and whispering "congratulations" "you made the right choice". Oh goodness.

So now all these missionaries keep coming up to me going, "wow that was so brave" "you made the right choice" or some sisters going "I really needed to hear that. What an inspiration!" Now before you think anything... I know where liars go. And I know they aren't carefully lead there... they're thrust. Thrust. Thrust down to hell. But I've given up correcting 2500 missionaries so I just nod mostly haha. 

And that's how I got engaged. 

So anyways, I've got five more funny stories from this week, but first (a) I'm more than halfway through the MTC- halfway point was last week. Holy Moly (b) Does anyone have some gospel jokes? Everyone here has these great Mormon/Bible jokes and I got nothing. I need some ammo to compete with. 

So 5 funny stories from this week: 
  1. So we aren't very good at Chinese... And we were all trying to memorize the first vision in Chinese so we could use it in our lessons. One Elder decided he had it down enough to use it.. and it turns out a glorious pillar and a glorious pig are really really similar words... He ended up saying, " I saw a glorious pig, whose brightness and glory defy all description... it gradually descended upon me." Ya.  
  2. So last week my companion and I put our clothes in the washer while we wrote our letters. We picked these really nice looking washers in the corner that were all newish and we poured some pretty blue soap on our clothes that smelled wonderful. Then we came back and found our clothes were surprisingly warm.. We had put them in the dryer! With all the blue soap dried in and everything! 4.5 combined years of living away from home and we can't do our own laundry -__-. Luckily the soap stains dispelled when we put our clothes in the real washing machine. 
  3. We started competitive snail racing as a district. I wish I had a picture for you. So far, we've beat all the other districts in the morning snail races after breakfast. We're the reigning champs. When our snail wins, then we give him a name. So far we have Scooter, Scooter II, Herbert, Speedy Gonzales, and one less memorable that I forgot. FYI- If you put a Cheerio in front of a snail it will scoot towards it. 
  4. So people in our district think Tang Zhong Lao and I are siblings all the time. They say we make the same jokes, teach the same way, later apologize for the same jokes, and we've started to look alike. I'm not sure how I feel about this, because I've heard owners start to look like their dogs after awhile... Tang Zhong Lao would definitely be the dog. 
  5. Okay so the engagement story has to be one of the five.
Weather- Rainy with a Chance of Snow: 

Okay so we've had the weirdest weather here. It has thundered- like big thunder- like Texas thunder. Then it was cold enough we had to wear jackets two days. Then one morning we got up and there was snow on the mountain! The rain washed almost all of it off by 7:30am but still. What a crazy place. I made some joke about the second coming being near and all these missionaries started listing all the signs of the times that hadn't happened yet... lol. Not exactly what I meant; Just hyperbolizing the weather over here. 

Why do bad things happen to good people? 

So I've been thinking a lot about this this week, especially since the two Elders died this week in Taibei. Our teacher is really sad because on the the Elders he used to go on splits with on his mission, and the other American Elder was a zone leader here. All the teachers are sad. So why do we go through hard things? 

I think we have to go through hard things so we have a greater appreciation of what Christ did for us. Our mission can't be easy, life can't be easy, because you have to understand what it means to have Christ carry burdens for you, or comfort you, or at least have some small taste of what he has saved you from. That he cant right all wrongs or one day make right the pain you feel. So that if you are healed, you can testify of it, and if you are not, you can grow in appreciate for what has been done for you and grow closer to Him. If we have a taste of what Christ has saved us from, when we talk of Christ it can mean so much more and resonate so much deeper. Our message can be real to other people who need that same comfort, and ultimately all pain is to bring us closer to him. And I'm not just talking about missionaries. 

Someone said this week (Si Tu Zhong Lao) that, "A bend in the road isn't the end of the road unless you don't turn.

Teaching at the MTC: 

We teach all the time here of course, all in Chinese, and this time was the first time I didn't use my notes in a lesson! Woot woot! Don't be too excited though because it was one lesson and we only got through two principles lol. 

There are so many people in our district that we've started teaching each other as practice. I started teaching Hong Zhong Lao as practice (Elder Redding) and he made me want to cry. Not really, but no matter what I did he would just say, "You know what, I really respect you and you're really nice, and that's why I let you in. But I'm really just not interested. You can come back anytime to eat or something but I'm just not interested." Its such good practice but he is one tough little cookie. I'm gonna crack him though. Elder Redding is too sweet to keep up this character for long! 

So more about teaching; Here is a clip of my letter to the MTC President of our zone this week:
"I've been rereading the Book of Mormon, trying to mark anything that could be useful to an investigator. I think that it has really (1) helped me help others and (2) helped me see how eager the Lord is to give spiritual gifts and help his people. Above all, I know every time I read the Book of Mormon I feel his love and of his greatness. I feel a stronger testimony of him. 
My companion and I were watching a teaching episode by Elder Bednar yesterday about 'how to learn by faith'. He said we are all acting agents. Since the creation there are certain things that are acting agents (us) and certain things that are to be acted upon (dirt). For example, Joseph Smith was an acting agent. He not only acted by praying, but he didn't pray with the intent to just know what was true; He intended to act and join whichever church God said to join. He instinctively understood this principle of being willing to act as a young boy. We have to help those we teach become acting agents for themselves, because we aren't the true teacher. The Holy Ghost is the true teacher and will probably help them receive an answer when we aren't there- sometime after we have left. We have to teach them how to independently receive revelation, and recognize what that is like. 
This week my companion and I sang a hymn to a progressing investigator. Then when we saw the tears in his eyes, we asked him what he felt. He told us warm. We told him that was the spirit. We used an experience to teach him that that is how the spirit feels for him. I think allowing his to have a spiritual experience first hand, not a second-hand testimony, taught him so much more about revelation. It allowed his to be an acting agent. And now, I think he could recognize the spirit when he studies the Book of Mormon without us." 

So that's about all for the time I have.

Now pictures!

Oh goody. 

Just a day in the life

I'm hiding. I cant learn anymore words. 

Everytime you get a word wrong you get your hands slapped... just kidding. 

Thank you Andrea for the cookies! Ignore those sad looking elders behind me! (coolest way to send cookeis ever)

It takes this much for me to plan one lesson.

Here's my tong ban.

Fire drills.. we arent very good at them

This week we made awards for everyone in our class to lift some spirits. Theyre mostly inside jokes. 

THANK YOU KATELYN! I already ate these... I shared. 

I got my Chinese name tags in!!!

The elders were playing this game of closing their eyes and growing acorns in their mouths. haha
To my friend who suggested the whiteboard. You know who you are. Thanks!

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