Friday, September 2, 2016

Week #7: MTC August 25, 2016 - August 31, 2016
A list of languages taught in the MTC

This week has been quite eventful. We have two teachers, Brother Lee and Sister Hendricks. Both of them served in Taipei, Taiwan. They also had their birthdays this week. One on Thursday, and one on Tuesday. They were both surprised that we knew, but it was lots of fun to celebrate. Then they switched up the teachers, and we got Brother Wadsworth and kept Sister Hendricks. Turns out Brother Wadsworth served in Singapore. It was really cool to learn more about our mission, and he has an authentic Beijing accent. He said that we come in contact with all kinds of Mandarin accents. He also knows some Malay and that was very exciting.

This week we also got 5 new sisters. They are all going to Taichung, Taiwan. However, 3 of the new elders are going to Singapore. While waiting for Sunday Devotional, we met an Elder Christiansen, who is Malay speaking, leaving for Singapore the same day I will. It's been fun to see him around the MTC all the time now. It's been pretty exciting because I've been finding quite a few missionaries from China and Taiwan. I'm impressed by how fast the gospel is spreading. The elders in my district have officially lost it (of course, that's what 8 weeks in the MTC does to you). Elder Barlow started a tortilla eating contest. They roll up a tortilla like a cinnamon roll and eat it in one bite, trying to see who can choke it down the fastest. They are always up to so many different antics. In our classroom, they hung up Singapore and Malaysian flags. That was a pretty awesome surprise! 

Sister Vranes and her district
This Sunday, I ended up giving the talk for sacrament meeting. Like I said before, they choose a sister and elder each week randomly to give a 5 minute talk in Mandarin. Unfortunately, I knew it was going to be me. There are 4 sisters that came in at the same time I did, me included, and I was the only option left to give a talk. My companion was giving the prayer, and the other two sisters are the Sister Training Leaders (whom the presidency never picks while they have that calling). That left me. Luckily, it went well. My district had the idea to try reverse psychology and all of us sat on the front row. Obviously it didn't work because Elder Barlow and Elder Kwok were called to give the sacrament prayer, Sister Nelson gave the opening prayer, Elder Johnson and I were called to give talks. Our district fully participated, except Elder Gould. 

On p-days we are allowed to go to the temple. Our teacher, Brother Lee, is half asian, and gave us a few of his family names from his asian-side. It was cool to do the work for his Taiwanese ancestry! Previously, in a Chinese class, I had learned that the wife does not take on the husband's name when she marries. I was all like, "Yeah! Power to the woman!" Here, I learned that in history, the husband's name would only be recorded. The wife would then be forgotten and is known as "wife of [husband's name]". So the first name was actually the whole name
My view every morning that I run

provided on the sheet. It was a fun and spiritually powerful experience to do such a thing. Hopefully one day, I could find a link to my Chinese ancestry. Ooo, turns out one of the new sisters is adopted from China as well. She was 18 months old (the same age as Sarah)! Another one of the new sisters has 2 sisters adopted from China (both from different parts...I think...)

This past week, all of the devotionals have been about the worth of souls and the impact one can make in someone else's life. In D&C 18:10, it reads, "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God" Like a loving parent, Heavenly Father loves all of his children. He knows every child, and blesses each, one by one. The people in our lives are put there for a reason. In the end, it is to learn love, unconditionally. Whether we know it or not, the small actions we do will tremendously affect the lives of many, and sometimes, even generations. These actions may be bold and grand, or they may be small, such as flashing a smile. They may be to our closest friend or family member, or they may be to a complete stranger. Whatever it is, you make a difference. Be bold, be confident, and learn to love!
Sisters Chambers, Vranes, Pruitt, and
 Nelson pointing to their missions.

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