Sunday, February 15, 2015

WEEK NINE: where am I going, when am I going?

Best day ever!

Happy missionary!




I'm special!

Sister Princess

Characters: Mulan, Arora, Anastasia & Jane (from Tarzan)


More friends!

Sister Jaina Allen from home!
Sore backs!

Elder Hunter Dance - friends when we were in preschool!
So yes, the questions of when I leave and where I go are still up in the air!! All I know is that it will be somewhere in the States! So.....having patience has been a little bit rough! especially with people leaving this week to Canada and Australia BUT NOT TAIWAN. There's 31 missionaries NOT leaving...that means longer lunch lines, more people doing laundry, less teachers, less classrooms…it's a bit crowded for the Mandarins as you can imagine. YIKES! There's well over 70 missionaries on our zone now!!

And yes we got new missionaries! My friends who came in were Stephanie Williams from BYU YSA ward, Ethan Bliss my second cousin, Ben Law my roommate's friend, Jaina Allen from my home stake, Tanner Ward from Aspen Grove like 3 years ago, and Johnny Gathright who did folk dance at BYU! It was totally nuts to see everyone!!! AND GUESS WHAT?! Johnny, Jaina, and Tanner are all going to Taichung...and are all in the SAME DISTRICT! isn't it crazy when people from totally different parts of your life all come together? It was super crazy and exciting! 

This past week's devotionals were amazing! Some thoughts from them:
Find out how the Lord communicates with YOU.
Struggle, cry, fear, THEN OVERCOME.
The way out of this trial is through it.
MTC= My Time with Christ
Galatians 5:22-25 (fruits of the Spirit)
and watch We Need Living Prophets video.

Just some of the amazing inspirational messages from this week! I love devotionals! Speaking of...there's going to be an apostle on Tuesday!! FINALLY!!! President Eyring is the rumor. Over 2 months at the MTC and we finally get one! I've been here for 60 days. Tomorrow marks 2 months (on the calendar at least). BEAT THAT. 

I went to the chiropractor this week! turns out I have what are called rib head I went in to the chiropractor, and he realigned my spine with a little zappy thingy and then popped my back on an old fashioned person-shaped table. Then I had e-stem, which is just electricity running through my muscles to loosen them. I also was prescribed muscle relaxers...DO NOT TAKE DURING CLASS. YOU WILL FALL ASLEEP. Oh man it was so hard to stay awake. So pills are only at night time for me!! Oh and along with rib heads, I have shin right?? I guess it will be good to have a car in the states for a little while...

My companion finished the Book of Mormon for the first time this week!! So very proud of her and this giant spiritual milestone!!! Yes, things are much better for us this week. I know that praying for her is making it so much better. I am serving her and loving her and it is only making me a better missionary. I promise that if you have anyone in your life that makes it harder, PRAY FOR THEM. It helps. 

Another spiritual milestone in my life...I bore my testimony this week in Mandarin!! It was actually pretty awesome and felt really good! This fast and testimony meeting was also Elder Shoop and Sister Baker's last Sunday (they're going to Canada) so we sang a departing districts song. We sang Abide with Me 'Tis Eventide and God be with You Til We Meet Again. I didn't think I would get choked up, but Sister Teng and Sister Hardy (wives of the branch presidency) were crying and I just couldn't hold myself together! I love everyone so much! Imagine how much love I will have for my investigators...I'M SO EXCITED!! 

We had TRC last Monday night (and tonight) and it was the first time I've done it with my companion! We had a nice Taiwanese lady who actually spoke English and lived in Oregon! She helped us with pronunciation and words! I asked her to read a scripture but the connection was bad and I wasn't sure if she heard me so I started reading it, but we started at the same time! And that happened about 3 times and we DIED laughing in the middle of this lesson!! Haha aw man!

Funny stories from this week:
Sister Griffin got up to bear her testimony after one of the sisters who has only been here 2 weeks bore hers. So Sister Griffin gets up and says "Wow, ni de Zhongwen feichang bu hao" which means "Wow, your Chinese is super bad" and she says it so sincerely!!!!!! You all have to understand though that we say "bu hao" (not good) SO much because the food, our chinese skills, gaining weight, a lot of things are bu hao. and "Bu hao yisi" means "that's embarrassing" or "I'm embarrassed" so obviously we say that a lot. Soooo haha it was a natural thing to come out of her mouth!! but yah she was SO embarrassed and the poor new sister was just like "no it's fine it's fine!" Haha so great, wo ai Geng Jiemei.

We learned how to give directions in Chinese this week! Our new teacher Wen Laoshi is soooo goofy and tells funny stories and is just so unlike our other teachers, I LOVE HIM!! SO we went outside and had to guide our companions to find him....while they had their eyes closed!!! HAHA so imagine 10 missionaries running around with their eyes closed trying to be the first one to touch our teacher, yelling things like "YOU ZHUAN" and "ZUO ZHUAN" and "ZHI ZOU" Hahaha no one died so it's ok, but it was SO great!!!

Ok so the best day I've EVER had at the MTC was Tuesday and I just want to share why it was so great: 
-I got 4 packages from my family, one containing pictures!!!!!!!!! Yes, I showed them to everyone. 
-I saw THREE of my college roommates!! Breanna Brown, Caroline Neville, and McKayla Traub!!! WHAT THE HECK IT WAS SO COOL! I love them.
-I got pictures with my childhood best friend Hunter Dance!
-I took a picture with Nikelle Reese from BYU
-I was told I look like a modern day Disney Princess, like from Pinterest. Kinda the best compliment ever.
-My roommates and I were talking about our childhoods, and I mentioned how I memorized all of the songs on the Disney Love Songs CD and started singing "doo-wop-ba-boo Mickey and Minnie on a mooooonliiiiit niiiiiiighttt" and my companion started singing it too!!! I've never met anyone else who's heard that CD that defined my childhood!!
-Sister Akita has also seen the Ronald McDonald VHS movies. NO. WAY. 
-Awesome devotional!

So yah I was just happy all day long! Except for when I found out that Morgan Freeman died, which is apparently not true. But someone got a Dear Elder that said that, and that's our only source of news! So that was sad, but then yesterday I heard it was a joke? WHO JOKES ABOUT THAT?!

Anyway, I love you all!! I didn't look at my birthday list this week, but happy birthday to anyone who has one this week!! OH AND SHOUT OUT TO MY AWESOME DAD!! Happy Birthday this past week! You don't look any older and that's a promise!!

Well my dearest friends and family, keep being awesome. And if you feel so inclined, pray for me and the 30 other missionaries who can't go to Taiwan just yet. But I do know that wherever I'm going in the USA, there will be people who need me. I want to go to Taiwan yes, but I want to go wherever the Lord needs me more. 

I love you all very much. Wo feichan ai nimen. 

Suoyou wo de ai,
Ren Jiemei

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