The Lord Answers Prayers
To start off, my favorite scripture ever is Ether 12:27: "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I feel like this scripture really applies to this week.
I spent most of my day last Monday in bed because I felt so horrible from being sick. That night I had to say good bye to District D who were going to Taichung, and I just got super sad and down on myself. I started to struggle and question whether I could really do this whole mission thing. But thank goodness for my sisters, I love them so much. They all instantly started to comfort me and share all these incredible scriptures with me. Sister Murdock (From the Taichung mission) shared Jerimiah 1:4-9 with me. It basically says that the Lord knows me and will put words into my mouth to help His children. It was super comforting. I'm so grateful for the sisters in my district; Sister Strong, Sister Lew, and Sister Fisher. They are all so uplifting and loving.
Tuesday was so long. I didn't sleep the night before and I just felt sick. Wu Laoshi even let me fall asleep in class (I must have looked really bad!). I love my district though. Elder Wheeler gave me a note that said, "there are like 5 studs and me in the room willing to help you if you need anything." The Lord has given me so many wonderful people who all care about it, it's so wonderful. Elder Elliot told us that when he was teaching a gold tag investigator (investigators that walk around the MTC just waiting to be taught by us missionaries) he forgot how to pray in English! That's incredible. I hope I get to that point some day! Elder Jensen cracks me up. We were looking at the bricks in our classroom and he said, "Would you take the ocean over these bricks?! I think not!" Haha! We're still going crazy from being here. District D's flight got delayed, so they ended up going to the airport and then coming back to the MTC. So that sucked for them, but I'm glad I got to say bye to them one more time.
Wednesday was probably the worst day I've had here at the MTC, but it was one of the biggest lessons I have learned so far. I felt horrible and I was grumpy all day. I just wanted me time. I was tired of doing the same thing every day and I felt like I was getting no where. Tan Laoshi told us that if we don't know tones then we don't know Zhongwen. Which meant that I didn't know anything. So I had to start relearning everything that I've learned but with the correct tones. it was super frustrating. That night I had a giant meltdown and I started ranted about everything I was unhappy about. My sisters even filmed me (I'm glad I provided some entertainment for them!) It was bad. The next day was when I learned my lesson. Thursday was a much better day. In our lesson with Zhong Wong Quan I was speaking super slow and choppy because I was trying to focus on my tones. It was super ridiculous and I would forget what I was trying to say by the middle of my sentence. But, despite it all, he accepted baptism! Here is the lesson I've learned this week: NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT ME. Whoa, weird right? I was so focused on myself the whole week that I forgot my purpose; to bring others unto Christ. Even though I am inadequate and I don't know the language and my lesson was super choppy my investigator still accepted my invitation to be baptized. You know why? Because it's the Spirit that converts people, not me. I am merely a tool in the Lord's hands. Even though I want time for myself I need to remember that I am on the Lord's errand and this is His time. When I forget myself and think about the welfare of others only then can I truly be happy. Boy, talk about being humbled! I had been praying for humility, and the Lord answered my prayers in the form of sickness. Had I not gotten sick I probably wouldn't have learned this very important lesson. Trials are blessings in disguise. I truly believe that God answers prayers. Also, Mel you sent me a DearElder and I got it on Thursday. The best part was that I had been praying to get a DearElder or letter from my family that day and I got one! God knows what we need and He does help us!
Friday night I had a dream and one word was in Zhongwen! Not a full Zhongwen dream, but I'm getting there! In class with Wu Laoshi we watched a video about a family's conversion and then how they all went to the temple a year later to be sealed. It reminded me of the opportunity I had to be sealed to my own family. I am so grateful that families are forever and that this Gospel blesses families. As a district we all read 1 Nephi 21 (Isaiah 49). It talks a lot about missionary work and it was super awesome and spiritual. Verse 16 says, "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; they walls are continually before me." Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered for us and our sins. He "graved us" upon His hands. He knows what we are going through and how we are feeling. We can turn to Him all the time for comfort and help. Just like Christ has engraven us on His hands, we need to engrave everyone we meet on our own. We need to think of others and how we can help them. Elder Wheeler constantly tells us that this Gospel teaches a message of hope. It's so true. There is so much to hope for us and through Jesus Christ everything is possible! Wu Laoshi gave some awesome insight: "The greatest act of faith is to accept God's time." God answers prayers, just not necessarily how or when we want Him to. He will answer them, but we need to have the faith to wait. He knows what's best for us.
Saturday we all got our Chinese name tags! So exciting! Our departure is coming so soon it's crazy! After class Elder Perkins and Elder Wheeler though it would be a good idea to try and break a pen. So they did, and ink went everywhere! It went all over Elder Heaps who was watching. It was so funny. Oh, and my sisters and I decided what our them scripture is: Isaiah 55:2. It says, "and let your soul delight itself in fatness." Haha! We're all getting fat here. It sucks. Sunday was good. Cheryl A. Esplin talked to us about how this era ranks with the most significant and important events that have happened in church history! Wow! In Sacrament meeting Sister Woodfield (my branch president's wife) sat next to me and I had to translate all the talks for her! I was impressed with how much Zhongwen I know! The devotional last night was incredible. It was Jenny Oaks Baker. I guess she writes a lot of music for the church and EFY and stuff! She's a fantastic violinist and she kept playing all these songs with her kids. She confirmed my thought for the week by telling us that God answers prayers, but not always when we want Him to or how we expect.
I am loving my time here. I am learning so much; about myself, about this crazy language, and about Christ's Gospel. This life is a beautiful one. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow and for Christ's Atonement so that I can live with my Heavenly Father again. I love you all! Thank you for writing me and especially thank you to those who sent me letters this week! Those are major blessings(:
Jiayou! (add oil; in other words keep going)
Wo Ai Ni!
P.S. Dad, so the word for bishop is zhujiao. But if I say it with the wrong tones it means a completely different word. So I might say, "My dad is pig's feet." Don't worry, I'll be careful ;)
Gangsta Girls (Sister Lew)
I can't wait to go to Taiwan and serve the people