Monday, September 30, 2013

Ni Hao wo de jiating!

We got a lovely message from Sister Fernley again this week. She seems to be happy and healthy and doing well and enjoying her training at the MTC. Here it is:

Ni Hao wo de jiating! (Hello my family!)

Another week at the MTC and it keeps getting more and more real that we will be leaving here soon. This last Sunday was our last sacrament meeting with the other districts in our branch. They are all leaving for their missions next Tuesday. Currently at the MTC there are two Mandarin zones so they might be combining us in the next couple of weeks. Our branch president hasn't heard anything yet so if it doesn't happen our district will be the only district in our branch, which will be really weird. We will just have to see what happens. 

This week has been a little out of the ordinary. Like I said last week my companion and a lot of other sisters got picked to sing in the missionary choir for the Relief Society broadcast. So we ended up doing a lot of splits. There weren't very many of us who didn't have the opportunity to sing so we just tried to stick together when we could. I was a little disappointed I didn't get to participate, especially after the fact because I heard how amazing it was. But I figure that there are a lot more sisters that would be a lot more heartbroken than I if they didn't get to sing, so I'm okay with it. Those of us who stayed at the MTC (the sisters singing were gone all day Saturday) didn't get to watch the broadcast. Apparently we get to watch it during Priesthood session on Saturday.

Over the past couple of weeks, and being separated from my companion a lot this week I have been realizing how grateful and blessed I feel to have Sister Grigg as my companion. It has been a feeling we have both expressed several times lately. We have just been seeing new sisters come in and have companionship issues and the other sisters in our district have a hard time getting along. We had one of our first companionship inventories where we expressed some things that made us feel bad or awkward or annoyed, but it was never anything lasting. Just an in the moment problem. After that we haven't had any issues (and that wasn't even a big one). We had another inventory yesterday and pretty much just talked because we had no issues or problems to work out. I'm go glad I have been able to realize how blessed I am in this aspect of MTC life. I feel like I appreciate my companion a lot more and that because we don't have any issues we can work together a lot better and feel the Spirit a lot more often. I know I will probably have a hard time with companions in the field, but I'm glad I have such an awesome one now. We are pretty much complete opposites, but we get a long so well. She is a super outgoing, sporty girl...and well I'm not. Haha.

After I wrote you on Monday we had our first Skype TRC. We have TRC every week where we teach members a lesson on a specific topic in Chinese. Most of them have served Chinese speaking missions and are going to BYU. They just volunteer here to feel the spirit and help the missionaries. Now we have started using Skype and talking to members in Taiwan or China in authentic Chinese. Last week was pretty rough because we thought it was two twenty minute lessons, but it was only one forty minute lesson. It turned out alright and the sister we were teaching was really nice. She spoke really good English too, which was a perk if we didn't understand her. Maybe it was a crutch too, I don't know, we still spoke mostly Chinese.

I'm trying to think what else was special this week. It was a great week! I've been studying a lot about Christ's teachings lately. We committed an investigator to baptism a few weeks ago and he said he didn't really know what Christ's teachings were exactly. I realized I didn't know specifically enough either. So I've been spending most of my personal study in 3 Nephi when Christ comes to the Americas and it is SO GOOD! I've read it before, but not with the intent of teaching its content. There is so much He teaches in that 16 chapter segment of the Book of Mormon and it is all about becoming better people and disciples of Him. 

We also had mission conference yesterday because it was fast Sunday. Basically its just like stake conference except all the missionaries attend. One thing that was said was each of us is special and no one can take our place. I started thinking about that a lot more and realized that we are all unique and our "spot" on this Earth is special. There isn't another person that could take our place here and do the same things or have the same opportunities as we do. I realized that I want to make my spot count. I want to make it count for all that I can and not let it go to waste. We have a precious opportunity to be here and to have the opportunities we have as members of the Church and I want to make the most out of it. I think that has been a big part of my focus lately, making the most that I can out of every opportunity I have and giving everything I have to this work and to my Lord and God. 

On an off subject I met one of Dad's students a few weeks ago. I just kept forgetting to mention it. His name was Jared Cordon (I think) apparently he has a twin and they both had you for a teacher. I was playing sand volleyball during gym time one day and ended up being the only sister in one of the games. (All of the mandarin and Cantonese missionaries have gym at the same time.) He is in a different zone but is going Cantonese speaking to Hong Kong. He heard my last name and asked if I was related to a teacher and it was you dad! It's kind of funny all the people that you run into here.

Also could you let me know how Lizzie is doing if you find out? I've been praying for her and sincerely hope that she is doing better. If you could let me know in an MTC delivery so I don't have to wait another week (if you know) that would be awesome!

We also met our new teacher a couple of days ago. One of our teachers is getting married this week and is moving up to Kaysville so he won't be teaching here anymore. It's really sad because he is an awesome teacher and is always so encouraging, but our new teacher seems really fun as well. I'll let you know how that goes next week.

I was so glad to hear that Jemma is going so well and that she still loves preschool and her other fun activities. Her pictures were great! They were so silly! Every time I read about her prayers or her talking about me it makes me a little teary, because I love her so much. Tell her I'm so glad to have her as my sister! And that I hope she has the best time in school and at her classes this week. I think of her, and you all, so often. Have a great week! And enjoy General Conference! 

Love you all! Until next week!

With all my love,

Sister Fernley

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