Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Because I Have Been Given Much

Saturday was TRC, which is when volunteers come who speak Chinese and we teach them a mini lesson, kind of like home teachers. It was cool because we had a native Chinese speaker and she talked so fast! But I could understand 45% of what she was saying luckily. After TRC, the Lord blessed me to understand the grammer concept Brother Thatcher was teaching. I was able to use it with the vocabulary I have learned from flashcards, rather than following the words it suggests in the grammer book. I was so proud of myself. We had lunch and all I could think of is how cool it was that I had conquered a grammer sequence. The Lord did not let me live long without remembering who was really helping me learn the language. After lunch we had class with Brother Townsend and so began the most frustrating class of my life. He taught us a grammer principle. As soon as the class seemed to have a pretty good handle on it, Brother Townsend gave us a challenge. He gave us eight english sentences that we had to translate into Chinese using the correct grammer. I was frustrated and confused. The Chinese language doesn't even have half of the words Brother Townsend used in his sentences, therefore you have to decide which word/s to replace with another word that does exist in English. I was knocked right off of my pedestal, and by dinner I was feeling quite discouraged. As I began my prayer over my food, I started to ask for help understanding the grammer principle we had just learned in class, when it hit me. I had yet to thank Heavenly Father for helping me conquer the gramme section earlier today. No wonder I was was struggling right now. I felt so much guilt because of my selfishness. I have never felt so undeserving of Heavenly Father's help. If I couldn't remember to thank him when I made progress then why would he help me continue? Nevertheless, I am learning this new grammer concept and I will conquer it, but you can bet I will not forget my Heavenly Father when I do conquer it. I would encourage all my friends and family to take inventory of the things they do have and have been blessed with in life before we ask heavenly Father for more. There is a reason when we teach investigators to pray that we say the first thing you do after addressing Heavenly Father is thank him for all your blessings. It is because we have been given much and we must have gratitude to the Father who has given us everything. Hopefully I will be able to get you all some pictures soon.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Roller Coaster of Emotions

What a week this has been! Can I just say how much I love this gospel and am eternally grateful for all that it has blessed me with.
Monday night, Brother Thatcher helped me with my pronunciation one on one and I felt so much better about being able to figure out the words! yay!
So on Tuesday night we had a devotional at the Marriot center with Brother Richardson of the General Sunday School Board. He said, "God has more in store for us than we can imagine." That really hit me and I know that to be true because honestly who would've ever imagined I'd be speaking Chinese in Australia?
Wednesday was hard. Like probably the hardest day of my mission thus far. We started the day off with teaching our investigator and it went pretty well. He committed to baptism, but he "left" for Tiawan the next day and we are hoping he will contact the missionaries there. It's weird, even though this investigator wasn't real, I felt sad when we wouldn't be able to teach him about the gospel anymore, because I could see the gradual change in his behavior and his excitement growing about the gospel. Luckily, we get a new investigator and have already "called" him to set up an appointment for this week. After that everything was downhill. By the end of the day I was wondering if I would ever be able to conquer this language and if I was even adequate to serve Heavenly Father. That night I knelt on my knees and said a "mom" length prayer, (for those of you who don't know, Mom is a very thorough person when it comes to prayer). I felt peace and was able to sleep and wake up with renewed energy and a reconfirmation that I was called to this mission for a reason and that Heavenly Father will help me, all I have to do is ask as it directs in James 1:5. I mean that's what Joseph Smith did right?
The 4th of July was a little weird. I realized I hadn't packed any red, so I felt a little unpatriotic; nevertheless it was America's Birthday and even at the MTC they can't ignore that! After a full day of language learning and scripture study we had dinner and then a special devotional. Our speaker talked about the men and women who fought for our country past and present. I am truly grateful for all those brave young men and women, and I'm especially proud of Bob as he faithfully serves the USA. Thanks Bob. So after the devotional, we were blessed with the opportunity to watch "17 Miracles" which is an amazing movie about the pioneers. Hun Hao! (very good) Then, this part is my favorite, they announced that we would be able to go outside and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks and eat ice cream. My dear Companion Sister Taylor teared up and said, "that is so sweet. They didn't have to do that for us, but it makes being away from home easier." That really hit me. I then said a quick prayer of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with Sister Taylor and I gave thanks for the evening I was able to participate in.
Later on Saturday, I was doing the online computer language study and all of a sudden I could understand everything I had been studying. Heavenly Father answered my prayers! I'm not fluent or anything but I could definitely understand  what I had been working on.
So yesterday was fast Sunday and let me tell you I was counting down the hours until I could fast! I have been wanting to fast all week, but we aren't supposed to skip meals as missionaries. Then fast Sunday hit and I was so grateful for the opportunity to fast and get closer to the Spirit. In the morning I had the opportunity to ready and study the Book of Mormon for a whole hour. Let me tell you, that was amazing. I learned so much and I'm even in the Isaiah parts in 2 Nephi! Then I read the Bible and Preach my Gospel for another 45 minutes. I am learning so much about my Savior and I can't wait to be with him again.
I am currently unable to figure out how to send pictures from the MTC computers, I guess I take after mom a little bit...but as soon as I do figure it out I will send pictures for the blog and such!
Love you all so very much! Please me. (Natali would really love some letters from It is a Quick and easy way to send her emails/letters. She receives the letters on the day you write them.)  They really help me get through the day!
          Jian Jie Mie

Monday, July 1, 2013

MTC Week One

So these past couple of days have been non-stop orientation and class. I am happy to report that I can already pray in Chinese and that I have taught two missionary discussions in Chinese (though I'm not sure how our "invesitigator" is coming along because I can't understand him), and I have made it to a regualr schedule for the next eight weeks.
I can hardly remember life outside the MTC. My phantom cell phone vibrations have almost ceased completely and I don't even remember what it's like to have a decent nights rest. I do miss my pillow a lot, but I am almost able to sleep through the whole night now, which is a huge blessing from the Lord.
So our "investigator" is a teacher from one of the other Chinese classes and he is pretending to be an old man who loves Christ but wants to know why bad things happen to good people. We have to teach in Chinese and it usually is a jumble of words and me trying to feel the spirit so I can say something. Our first lesson went ma-ma (okay). We taught him that Heavenly Father loves us and wants to hear from us because we are his children. Then we tried to teach him how to pray. We taught that you address Heavenly Father, then thank him for your blessings, ask for help, and then close with Feng Yesu Jidu de Ming amen (in the name of Jesus Christ Amen). Then when it was time for him to pray he repeated exactly what we said. He said, "Tianfu (heavenly father), I thank thee for blessings. I ask thee for help. In the name of Jesus Christ amen." That was the end of the first lesson and I felt terrible because he didn't really understand what prayer was yet.
Our second lesson we revisited prayer. As we taught him the format of prayer again we gave tangban (examples) of what to thank Tainfu for and what to ask for help with. Then we asked if he understood more fully. He said yes and then said one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard. I could feel the spirit as he prayed and searched for things he wanted to communicate to Tianfu. It was beautiful and I felt so happpy that he now knew how to really pray! Then we went on with the rest of our lesson and tried to get him to confirm to work towards baptism. That's when all heck broke loose. He asked what baptism was and we didn't know the vocabulary to expalin it to him. So we tried having him read a scripture to explain it. Then he started asking a ton of questions and we simply could not understand. Then he wrote some characters on one of my companions paper (I have two companions btw) and asked us to ask Toa Loscher (Brother Thatcher our teacher) to tell us what it meant. Then we set up an appointment to come back sometime this week. It was kind of a bummer to have such a great start to a lesson and end in chaos. But that's why he isn't a real investigator and we are here learning how to correct our mistakes.
Other than that I don't really have a lot to say. All my days are blurring together. My only peace is when I read my english scriptures and I can understand everything. Then I try to read the Book of Mormen (Mo'rmenjing) in Chinese and I feel lost all over again, though I am happp to say I am starting to recognize a lot of the words. My district is great! My companions and I are with six other elders. Two are going to Hong Kong and the other four are going to Sydney Australia. One of my companions is also going to Hong Kong and the other one is going to Brisbane. We found out we are going to be the first American sister missionaries learning Chinese to go to Brisbane...kinda scary because I am hoping there are some Native speakers who can be my senior companion.