Tuesday, August 5, 2014

WEEK FOUR: well we're the oldest sisters now....

This week has been more than amazing!!! a very hard week to be sure, but very awesome. OH AND THURSDAY IS MY MTC HALF-WAY MARK!!!

Why was it a good week, you ask? Well I got two packages from my family and a box of 8 CUPCAKES from my lovely friend McKay Blazian. Shout out to you my friend!! Pretty much made my week and that's a fact. I also got letters from my parents and my best friend Sierra Brooks! shout out to you too babe!!

Well we had 19 missionaries leave this week...meaning we are the oldest sisters!! which means...we are the example and are supposed to know everything. YIKES!

My Chinese Name
MTC Hogwarts Tshirt my mom made for me

Many funny stories this week too...I was talking to my friend about disco skating in Orem, which a lot of my friends did. I told him I knew someone who went who was my friend from BYU and son of a bishop for a YSA ward. 

About 5 minutes later, he turns to me and says "What did he do to you? 
I'm confused about the son of perdition comment."......He thought i said "son of perdition" not "son of a bishop"!!!!

I also had a stereotypical McKenna-moment this week. Some of the elders in my district were laughing hysterically so I looked over at them. One elder goes "Turn on the disco light and BAM!" and makes a motion that, to me, looked like ripping off a pair of those cool tear-away pants that I definitely own a pair of. So I say "are you talking about ripping off your pants??" thinking it would be cool and what not....the room goes silent and everyone turns and stares at me. I came to the conclusion that that was definitely NOT what they were talking about...so yah.

One last funny story...so my companion took sign language in high school instead of spanish or french or whatever. The sign language for "question" is like using your pointer finger and bending it like a hook. So whenever we would have a question in a lesson, she would do that. Well.....in Chinese that means DEATH. So she was preaching the gospel while telling our investigators about death. Yah that and the fact that her name is Mo Jiemei....Mo with a fourth tone is her name. Mo with a second tone means devil. So she introduced herself and Devil Sister and talked about death...that was GREAT!

Well, these stories might not be funny to you, but when you're in the same classroom with the same 9 people for 14 hours or something like that everyday, any change of pace is good. Seriously.

It was also awesome because we got to HOST the new missionaries!!! So we get to rip them away from their families and take them on a new adventure of foreign roommates and 25 pounds of language materials. But it was awesome! I hosted a Sister Reyes, Sister Vea, Sister Eddington and Sister Hannah Ferris from by BYU YSA ward!!!  Connor Kreutz also came in the week, going to Germany! Sister Reyes is going to Japan, Vea is going to Australia, Eddington is somewhere in the states and Sister Ferris is going to Frankfurt Germany! So it was awesome to get them all moved in because I know it makes a huge difference on who moves you in and it helps to have a smiling face. No one cried really...it was pretty nice! I get to host next week too!!! And possibly the week after that, but I hope I get to host August 20th to see some friends come in, including Isaac Wu! I'm giving lots of shout-outs today...

 The Tuesday devotional speaker last week was none other that Elder John Groberg from The Other Side of Heaven!!!! AH that movie was so prevalent in my childhood and I got to see him speak!! it was awesome! We sang Hurrah for Israel!! We should have another cool speaker this week, but I don't know who it is this time since we didn't have choir practice on Sunday because it was fast Sunday. Which was awesome by the way....testimonies in Chinese are still spiritually inspiring!!!

Well Sister Nicole Decker is leaving this week...that's awful. But awesome because she's going to ROME ITALY!!! So I'm really happy for her but also like...I happened to room next to my best friend in the MTC and now she's leaving!! UGH! But it's ok...I have more than enough chocolate and snack foods so I can eat away my sadness.

ATTENTION: my departure date was moved to Sep. 05, so you can put that date on my letters instead!! :) 

 A really cool experience this week: I've been really frustrated with the fact that I haven't been getting any cool spiritual promptings with the language yet and everyone has been sharing all the times that they have. But this week, we had TRC again. Last week was awful, but this week was AWESOME! You wanna know why? Not just because we taught Jordan Chapman who plays for BYU basketball, but because: 1. I understood what everyone was saying. Not like every word though, and that was the cool part. I would sit there and listen to their words and pick out what I know, then a summary of what they said would come into my head. It was so awesome. 2. I was able to read Chinese. We are given copies of the Book of Mormon with English, Pinyin, and characters. Because pinyin is an adaptation of chinese, the pronunciations are really weird and the tones make it 12 times harder. But as I was reading, I heard myself saying the words perfectly and really fast. I kinda had to sit there after I read it and say WOW that was cool. 

Something I've been working on this week is acknowledging God's hand in my life. In every little thing. I had a talk with wo de tongban (my companion) this week and expressed my frustrations about feeling like I was alone in learning the language. She reminded me that every thing that makes me happy everyday is from God. When they are serving the soup I like in the cafeteria, when it rains, when I see my friends on campus out of the thousands of missionaries at the MTC,all of these things that make me happy are from God. I know that I am far from perfect and I have made a lot of mistakes here at the MTC. But the more I give thanks for what I am getting, the more blessings I get, and I know that is possible for all of us!!

The choir director, Brother Egget, always tells us the coolest stories every week. One week, he did the math and told us what the chances are that we were chosen to be a member of the Church on this earth...1 in 100,000. To be a "hastening the work" missionary, the chances are 1 in 1,000,000. So that in and of itself tells me that I am here for a reason. I may not know who needs me in Taiwan or what effect I will have, but I do know that God knows who I am and will be with me every step of this journey. Gosh, I love this church and this mission. It's pretty cool. Every day I wake up and have to convince myself I really am living the dream of being a missionary that I've had ever since I can remember. Thank you all for shaping my life in some way. You are important to me and you are important to God. I know it! 

Wo zhidao gen suoyou wo de zin zhege jiaohui shi zhenshi de. (I know this Church is true with all my heart. It doesn't look the same without tone marks sorry!)

Suoyou wo de ai,

Ren Jiemei

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