Monday, July 28, 2014

WEEK THREE: Jiaodao ren, bu kecheng

My subject line says "Teach people, not lessons." I've learned a lot a lot this week; this is just one of the things I have learned. 

We had some crazy awesome speakers at the MTC this week!!! Like Sheri Dew! We also had an entire family of 11 talk to us...a mission president in South Africa and his wife and their nine kids. They each had a common theme: obedience. Out of all of the TONS of advice I got before I left, one of the things that stuck was to be obedient. I can attest to that and it wasn’t just a coincidence that they all talked about obedience because I needed to hear it. After all, obedience brings blessings, but EXACT obedience brings MIRACLES. If anyone needs a miracle with learning this language, I do.

Something that happened this week: I feel like I hit a plateau in my learning. I know words, and I don't know words, but I don't know which words I need to know.

I had an interview with my teacher this week and she said a few things that really lifted my spirits:

1. She thinks that my Chinese is feichung hao. That means really good. That was a surprise.

2. She thinks that as soon as I learn grammar principles, my ability will skyrocket. 3. She thinks that my foundation in the gospel is right where it should be and that she can see my testimony not only in the things I say but just the way I am. This one was really helpful because I've been feeling a little on my own. All of my roommates are receiving answers to every prayer and being given guidance with the language during lessons and I kinda have felt like I haven't had that.

She said it's because I'm where I need to be and I don't need any specific push in any direction at the moment because I'm doing what I need to be doing at the right time in the right place. So that was good. 

Something we talked about in our district this week was that we need to IMPROVE to the end, not just endure to the end. So I just need to improve little by little and I will be on the right track. 

Well we also watched this AWESOME talk by David A. Bednar called Characters of Christ. Basically it was about how if I think of myself and am selfish, I will do no good to myself or others. I need to not be selfish and "Do better good things". Yah what I'm doing is good, but helping others while I do this is even better. "The Lord controls the harvest, but we control the effort." There's a little food for thought for the week. 

Funny thing that happened this week:
Laundry time is right before dinner which is right before class.  We did our laundry late so we had to take it to class. An Elder had to stand on my desk to get something on top of the bookshelf next to my desk, but my laundry was in the way. So he said, "Sister Wright, will you please remove your clothes?" in the sweetest voice you can imagine because he was just being polite. Only after about 5 seconds when we burst into laughter did he realize what he said!!! 

Also, I'M HOSTING NEXT WEEK!! Which means I get to rip children away from their families and give them a new home in the MTC. Just kidding...but I do get to show new missionaries around the MTC AND miss class ;) so I'm looking forward to that haha. I saw Carlan Brandt come in to the MTC this past week...he was the only one I knew out of this last batch, but maybe I'll know more next week!

TRC was this week...That stands for Teaching Resource Center. We have to teach volunteers once a week in Chinese of course. So our first lesson was two old men. One from Taiwan and one from Beijing. Our Chinese is still rudimentary at best so the man from Beijing kinda looked frustrated.

Only after the lesson did we find out he's a Chinese government wonder he was frustrated with our stupidity!! Then the next lesson was 3 teenage boys....two were cousins and one was a friend. So they chattered rapidly in Chinese and we couldn't get them to focus and basically we just kinda had a  conversation the whole time. Haha.

Last week on the way back from the temple, we met a Taiwanese sister who was converted by missionaries. We taught her son for TRC!! So hopefully it goes better next week!!!

Well choir practice was awesome as usual. We're singing “Hurrah for Israel”, which the speaker asked for. We aren't allowed to know who the speaker is yet...but when you type in Hurrah for Israel, the first one who comes up is L. Tom Perry!!! So that's cool. Some people thought it might be Elder Groberg from The Other Side of Heaven...I guess we'll see!! 

Well our zone is 63 people as of this Sunday. We got 16 new elders and 4 new sisters, but 19 missionaries leave tomorrow!! But we're the 3rd largest branch at the MTC so that's cool. Oh and I MEMORIZED the First Vision in Mandarin. It was no small feat, but I did it!!!!! Look it up to see how hard it is...

Ji Jiemei got a blessing this week because her back has been hurting. It was so cool to see all of our elders come together to use their Priesthood power to heal our fellow Sister.

We also taught a new investigator this week, who is actually our teacher. But it went really well. I understood a lot of what she said and we were able to get her to pray with us. Even though it's not real, it helps me see what it will be like in Taiwan. I also sat in on a lesson that some of the Elders from another district gave. I understood ALL of it. It was amazing to understand what was happening in a different language. I am not capable of learning Chinese this quickly on my own and I know that. But through the Lord, I can do it. I don't know how, but it's His work and it will not be stopped.

I'm reading The Fourth Missionary's incredible how the success I have is dependent upon my faith and my living in accordance with the rules I've been given. But it will make me so much happier if I do everything for other people!!! So I'm excited for this next week to try out a new attitude of selflessness. 

SO sorry my email has been sporadic and random this week. Not a lot of time and so many things I want to say! But I love you all and I love this experience!!!! Write me please, I want to hear what's going on!!

Wo ai nimen,
Ren Jiemei

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