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.

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