Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Shawn Casey, STL and Chinese language mishap

This is Bao Jiemei. This girl is funny. And helped me with my ingrown toenail fiasco this week! Those things hurt! But she is an expert and stuffed cotton in it. Thank goodness! 
It has been another great week at the MTC. Lot's of ups and downs as usual. One cool thing that happened was John Kerry's (Secretary of State) special assistant Shawn Casey came to the MTC on Thursday and for some reason they picked our district to get to meet him. He was really nice and surprisingly spiritual. We showed him some of our language learning resources and he was really impressed. He told us all we could come work for him when we get back haha ;) He also gave us some really great advice. He said to always be open to who God puts into our paths and to just open our mouths and talk to as many people as we can. He isn't Mormon btw but he has the OYM (open your mouth) idea down!

Something kind of sad that happened this week is that two people from our zone went home. I'm praying for both of them though and I really wish them peace and happiness! Even if it is an inspired decision, it still makes me rather sad. 

Oh! I also got called as the Zone Sister Trainging Leader yesterday. I have been the STL for less than 24 hours and boy has it taught me a lot. I'm really excited because mostly it just gives me the opportunity to know all the sisters in our zone better. Every night I get to visit them and check in on them. The sisters who just came last Wednesday are especially sweet because they actually need me and have so many questions. It feels good to get to serve!

Me on my Sunday Walk
So a lot of you have been asking how learning Chinese is coming along. I think that I'm probaably about where I'm supposed to be after being in the MTC for 7 weeks. Teaching is getting easier and I learn new things every single day. BUT. I still am not even close to being fluent! And I've had to accept that that is ok, that everything is going to happen in the Lord's timing, and that need+faith=miracles. I've heard a couple different people say that in the England Manchester Mission, the Mission President sometimes gives Chinese speaking sisters English speaking trainers/companions. And that has been stressing me out lately! Because I want to use Chinese and use it a lot! But I've come to the conclusion recently that if that is the Lord's plan for me that I will just pray to be able to find a way to use Chinese at least once a day. But I will find out all about that in just 2 weeks! Yippie! I'm so so excited to get into the field. We will get our specific travel plans sometime this week. Can't wait! We also got our character name tags. I will attach a picture. We aren't allowed to wear them at the MTC so the staff can know our names but I'm so excited to wear it in the field! :)

My new name tag! Woot! I'm so excited to wear it!!!
I thought I would share a funny Chinese experience I had a couple weeks ago. Just to preface, the word for "injure" (physically or emotionally) and "kill" are really similar in Chinese. So Sister Larsen and I were teaching our investigator Xiao Ming about the Atonement. It was going really well and I was really feeling the Spirit! I was trying to explain to him that the Atonement isn't just for our sins, it is also for when things happen in our lives that are completely out of our control. So I said, "Sometimes we hurt others and others will hurt us. God understands this and that is why He gave us the Atonement." But instead I said, "Sometimes we kill others and others kill us. God understands. That's why we have the Atonement!" Needless to say, Xiao Ming was really surprised about this little known Mormon doctrine! ;) He started laughing and then I finally realized what I had said because earlier Sister Larsen and I had been reading the story of Ammon in the Book of Mormon in Chinese and had read the work "kill" a lot. So I started laughing too and then was able to clarify and apologize! The Spirit was still there and actually it felt like a bonding moment with Xiao Ming. 

While this was really funny, and has been brought up by others many times since then (I probably will never live that one down), I learned something really valuable about speaking a new language. I need to never be scared to talk! Because I know that I will say many things wrong, but because this is the Lord's work, He can take my bad Chinese and still allow other people to hear the message. Whether that means making it funny to an investigator or literally an occurrence of the Gift of Tongues, He will make it okay. So I really need to fear about learning Chinese. God called me and the "laborer is worthy of his hire." As long as I'm working hard, everything will happen according to God's plan! 

So apparently the PBS show will be airing the second week of December. We were told our mission president's might let us watch it! I think that would be cool.

Sister Larsen and I "foot popping"
My beautiful companions!
My companion and her twin sister who is leaving tomorrow for California 
Sister Miller. She is leaving for Taiwan tomorrow! Ah! I will miss her.
This is the wonderful Han Jiemei. She is amazing!

1-Sister Larsen and I "foot popping".
2-my beautiful companions!
4-This is Bao Jiemei. This girl is funny. And helped me with my ingrown toenail fiasco this week! Those things hurt! But she is an expert and stuffed cotton in it. Thank goodness! 
5-My companion and her twin sister who is leaving tomorrow for California
6-Me on the Sunday walk
7-This is the wonderful Han Jiemei. She is amazing!

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