Monday, August 4, 2014

This Is Not My Time
Oh my goodness, this was the fastest week I've experienced here at the MTC. The weeks are starting to fly by! This week was a really good week. Not too many funny experiences to share though. On Monday during class we were playing a game where we have to ask questions in Zhongwen in rhythm, and my companion asked me, "Ni shenme shihou gangga?" which basically means "when are you awkward?" I responded "everyday." I guess she was trying to say "changga" which means "sing" so she was trying to ask me when I sing. Hahaha I love my companion. On Tuesday my whole district fasted for one of our Elders. He had been throwing up for some time and wasn't getting better. I think it's incredible the amount of faith these 18 and 19 year old Elders and Sisters have in the power of fasting. It was a true testimony builder to me (he's better now! The Lord hears our prayers!) During choir practice, our choir teacher asked us "What was your chance of being picked in the pre-existence to be a latter day saint missionary? 1 in 1,000. You were hand picked by the Lord! And what were your chances of being picked as a 'hastening the work' missionary? 1 in 1,000,000!" That gave my mission so much more meaning to know that I was chosen before I even came to this earth to do this work. It is such an honor to be a tool in the Lord's hands to bring His children unto Christ. My testimony has grown so much in the past 4 weeks! I love being here and there is seriously no where else I would rather be! The devotional Tuesday night was by John H. Groberg, the guy who wrote the book "The Other Side of Heaven" about his missionary experience in Tonga! (I heard the movie is really good, so you should watch it! Plus Anne Hathaway is in it and she's fantastic). He compared bearing our testimony to two tuning forks: when you strike your fork (bear your testimony) someone else's spirit will start to vibrate. It was super neat!

During companionship study on Wednesday my companion and I were talking to our Zone Leaders, Elder Ulrich and Elder Nipper, and they randomly decided to give us a short message. They told us that it is important to use our time wisely here at the MTC. Our mission has started; we're not going to get set apart again when we get out to the field. This is the Lord's time and we need to use it wisely. I felt the Spirit so strongly! They are so awesome. I got to host missionaries on Wednesday(: I hosted four girls, and one of them was crying so that was sad. On Thursday Elder Jensen and I started to go crazy from being at the MTC. I was laughing at everything, and he was running around with a giant flower in his pocket saying "Herro, I am your host!" In a strange accent. We're all going mad. In class Tan Laoshi told us that we need to start using our time effectively. We need to act and not be acted upon. We need to take our learning into our own hands. Right now is not my time. I sometimes just want to take a break and have me time, but this isn't about me. This is about doing the Lord's work. This is the Lord's time, and for the next 18 months I am completely dedicated to doing His work. 
Elder Sng I absolutely adore this kid
On Friday I took a language assessment test. I went to the computer lab and they give me a scenario and I have a minute to respond in Zhongwen. Well... I pretty much said "ummmm...." for the whole minute. Ugh. I feel like my Zhongwen has improved immensely since day one, but I still feel like I have a LONG way to go! In class I was being a little hyper and snapping my fingers at Elder Wheeler and Wu Laoshi, who never speaks English, said "Ok, sit down sassy..." haha! I died. He apologized to me after but I thought it was funny. Saturday morning I had my second TRC (Teaching Resource Center). I had to teach two 20 minutes lessons to members. It was really nice! My companion and I got a couple that was from Taiwan and they spoke so fast! When we asked them to bear their testimony I just pretended to understand and nodded and smiled. I'm so awkward. But the next lesson was sooo good! We had already taught the man before, so I was a lot more comfortable! I felt like I could hold a basic conversation and understand most of what he was saying! The Lord is seriously helping me so much here! I know that without Him I am nothing! I am so grateful for His guidance and help everyday of my life! My companion and I worked on our "companionship unity" by playing hymns together. That was so much fun. Ok, so here's a little bit about Sister Caitlin Strong. I absolutely love her. When I first met her, I was a little worried because we are so different. If we were in high school together, we would have been in different friend groups. But over the past 4 weeks I have come to love her so much. She is so wonderful and makes me laugh all the time. We both are learning at the same pace, and she helps me all the time. She has taught me charity and Christ-like love. We already have plans to meet up after our missions and have movie nights and stuff. (She's from Hooper Utah... she gets angry at me when I pronounce it wrong and tells me the 'O's are pronounced like in "hooker" haha!). 
Our district wants to sing in Sacrament, so Sister Strong and I have been trying to work on arranging a song together. We did pretty well, but when we started practicing with our district we remembered that Elder Elliot's dad is the organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and he could arrange a song so much easier. So we'll probably do that haha. Elder Elliot is one of the smartest people I've ever met. He reminds me of Sean T. Burris and he is so sweet. Every day in class he writes random chemistry and physics equations that I can't understand (Everyone in the Mandarin zone is so smart! I don't even understand!). Oh, and Elder Robinson is absolutely incredible at playing piano. He played for all of us Saturday night and it made me miss piano and taking lessons. My district is seriously so awesome!
Last night's devotional was by the BYU president, Kevin J. Worthen. He said this quote (I don't remember who it's by), "Preach the gospel at all time, and when necessary, use words." I love that. We can all be examples of Christ through our actions as well as our words. I watched a movie afterwards; Joseph Smith: The Restoration. Oh my goodness that movie is so good I recommend you all watch it! I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know that he restored Christ's gospel. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and testifies of Christ. I know without a doubt that this church is true. I know that God answers prayers and that He loves all of us. I love this gospel so much. I cannot think of anywhere else I'd rather be right now. 
I encourage you all to pray to your Heavenly Father and tell Him about your needs and concerns and just about your life in general. He cares about you and wants to help you.
I love you all so much!(:

Wo Ai Ni!
Jian Jie Mei

1 comment:

  1. Hi Courtney .... love reading your blog and all you successes and even your doubts about learning a new language, I crack up at all your daily experiences...

    You will be a huge success, God has selected very carefully those who will serve Him with all their might, mind and heart and you are truly a Chosen Angel of the Lord.. My prayers and thoughts will be with you as you successfully fulfill your Mission for God and your service to His children here on the earth.

    My Father and your great grand-father, who was the first in our family to invite the missionaries into our home will be watching you from above and cheering you on... he is probably thinking to him self right now ... wow ... I never imagined how may people this affected when I asked the Missionaries to come and share the Plan of Salvation.. you go girl, the folks over in Taiwan are in desperate need of your faithful service and some day those you will teach the Plan of Salvation too, will look back and say, Oh my ... Look at how many others I have also affected.

    I love you and I will faithfully continue to pray over you and those who you will be meeting so that your Mission will be filled with that success the Lord had in mind for you when He personally came up to you in the preexistence and said, you are one of my chosen and your mission will be to teach others...

    Love Papa Johnson