Okay, so the beginning of this lettter I really want to write home about some questions yall have asked and I have either forgotten to write home about, or didn't get to in the time alloted. First off, my companion has a really great idea to help us get the most out of our email time. We will jump on and print out the letters you write and then exit out and read them, then answer. So no worries about not writing long emails, keep them coming and keep them long cuz I have quite a bit of time to read letters and then can jump back on and respond! :)
So first off, we go to the temple every monday (p-day). It's always awesome to wake up extra early and be able to go to the temple. I really love walking up to the doors and having it be really dark but the Sky and the Temple are lit up! it's beautiful. I really apprecaite the package!!! I needed those extra shirts. I will have to grab a charger for the Ipod in Australia cuz they dont even allow us to use music here actually. It's allowed in the Mission field, but not in the residence halls here I guess.
Can't believe this friday will make 1 whole month ive been in the MTC. feels like its been barely 10 days! Thanks for all your love and prayers. I definitely know they are helping. I have become a lot more sincere and lengthy in my prayers also. I have come up with a better way to pray I feel. I will pray for many people by name and ask for ways that I can help them or different questions I have, and then when I begin to think of something that I may be able to do, I will get up and write it down in my planner, then come back and continue to pray. This has helped me a ton to remember certain things I need to do and how to be better as a person and as the Lord's missionary. I had this thought in a fireside of when we come prepared to write down the impressions and feelings the Spirit gives us, they will be a lot more prevalent. I like to think of it as this: Why would I tell someone something I want them to remember and have them do if they aren't willing to come prepared and do it. For instance- I wouldn't likely give someone an assignment to go and do unless I saw that they had something to write it down and remember it with. I feel it's the same with the spirit. If we aren't showing Him we are prepared to Listen, why would he bother speaking to us about things He wants ut to remember? we can still feel the spirit and enjoy the meeting, but I know when we come prepared and willing to react to what He specifically tells us, He will speak to us more. I have experienced this a lot and know it to be true.
As for some questions- We dont learn any Characters here in the MTC. Their main desire is to get us to speak the Language as quickly as possible and since that is difficult enough, they have decided to not have missionaries be taught characters until the Mission Field. Therefore, I cannot read the BOM in chinese because they only have it in characters. There is a form of writing called "ping yum" which we use that was created by the british using english characters to best spell out how the character would sound. For instance...... gaaudouh is to teach. If you wrote this word down in the ping yum "gaaudouh" and showed it to a native cantonese speaker they would have no idea what it is since it's english characters. My teacher who is native has a really difficult time writing in Ping Yum because she doesn't know the correct tones since they only have tone markers in the English Ping yum because different tones make it a different word, and thus it is a completely different character to them. Hope this makes sense and clarififies some things as to why I can't read the BOM yet :(
What I love most about the MTC is how well they structure everything to make us completely Dependent on the Lord. They are not here to teach us Cantonese or the Gospel. Everyone here is to help us learn how to better create our relationship with Our savior so that He can help us to become better missionaries. I really like this because they dont say "here is how you should do your language study, and here is your homewordk." They instead say "pray about how best to use this hour of personal study, and here are a couple of examples...." This really helps me to develop a stronger relationship with my Savior. I am His missionary, and He wants me to learn the best way for me.
This week I got a bit of a cold and it turned into a nice cough :) but I am feeling better now and have gained a greater understanding that we are still mortal and subject to the wonderful consequences of mortality even though we may seem empowered and set apart from the world. There are SO many sick people here because of how many people come and go all the time, but it's just another example of how we need to be constantly watchful to take good care of ourselves hygenically and physically. I take my vitamins everday and wash my hands/ use hand sanitizer whenever I see a dispenser, and will definitely keep this trend up because being sick in the MTC is not fun. You dont want to stop doing your work, but sometimes you have to in order to not interefere worse. For instance, It felt really weird for me to have to skip gym and go to the Doctor, but I needed to because I started having chest pain. He assured me it was most likely just inflammation from coughing/ being sick and there wasn't anything to worry about, but still.... I dont like getting out of the routine and not being able to completely dedicate myself to the work.
Oh! news flash! Starting this week I will be teaching alone for some of the Lessons. In order to get more teaching time In, they decided that I could teach alone since other Solo Missionaries have done that before and the other 2 sisters could teach by themselves. I can't wait! :) I have been thinking of so many great things to say and ask my investigators to discover their true understanding of the Gospel. If they think this next lesson is just going to be their average lesson they've got another thing coming! :) The language continues to come along very well. I feel the blessings of the gift of tongues in rich abundance. Every once in a while, I think the Lord shows me what it would be like without His help. Sometimes there is just a word I cannot remember no matter how many times I see it in my flash cards, but Lo and Behold..... the Next day as I continue to strive and struggle, it pops up and I get it perfect! :) In PMG it talks about that to qualify for the gift of tongues, we do have to struggle on our own, and I believe this is what is happening with me. There are some times like I before mentioned where He lets me see where I would be without Him, and then He continues to bless me because He knows my desire to learn isn't for my own well being but for the teaching of His children. I pray very strongly for this. I want to be able to teach and testify with boldness from Day 1 in the Field and I know that I won't be able to understand it all and I know I will continue to have trials and struggles, but I truly want to be THE BEST teacher that I can be. I want to testify and teach of My Savior to everyone who will hear. and even those who dont, I will still proclaim that the Lord, Jesus Christ Lives and will come again unto this earth. His gospel was restored in it's fulness by Joseph Smith the true prophet and that if they will read the Book of Mormon with sincerity, and faith in Christ, with real intent to follow the feelings they will receieve. They will be able to know as I do. We had an awesome lesson sunday about the power of the Book of Mormon, and that no matter what question someone asks us, we can direct it to the Book of Mormon, and nothing can pierce the true and burning testimony to be found in that book. It has been prepared and preserved for this day and there is not question, or deceiving of the devil that will be able to halt it's true gospel and knowledge. I know this gospel is true and I want to proclaim it to anyone and everyone. from a child who is striving to learn to the devout Atheist who think's he/she is wise. I will declare that Jesus is the Christ and my testimony cannot be thwarted. What I know and believe I know and do believe. I am out of time now, so I must go. Love you all so much!!!!