Here's what she had to say:
I don't even know where to start for this week! The days are so long and so packed, but the weeks go by so fast that its hard to remember everything that has gone on. I feel like this week has been a lot better for me. I have come to realize my purpose as a missionary and know that if I do my best and work hard the Lord will be happy with my efforts and will help make up the rest. My Chinese is still not very good, but I definitely know more than when I entered the MTC. Most of the missionaries in my district either have Chinese family members, or have been to China so they know more than I do, but I think it is really good for me because I am able to ask a lot of questions. They probably get sick of me, but I am learning a lot. I feel like it has helped me become so much more humble and be satisfied with my own progress rather than comparing it to others.
Earlier in the week a bunch of us from my district had to go get blood drawn for the required blood tests in order to get our visas. And as no suprise they couldn't find a vein on me that would give them enough blood. They ended up having to use a syringe and basically suck the blood out of my vein. The nurses decided they would put a bunch of bandaids on us so we could freak the elders out. When the elders went in for their turn they told them they were still in training to scare them. It was really funny, because a few were actually nervous. The women who worked at the health clinic told me they have actually had to threaten missionaries with reassignment if they wouldn't get their blood drawn. We also had to go get chest x-rays done the next day. That was interesting and a first for me. Anyway I think we have most of our medical work done now and hopefully we get our visas alright. I haven't heard of any Taiwan missionaries having issues with their visas so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Because the new fall semester is starting our district got two new teachers this week. I like them well enough, but Brother Nightengale was so kind and good at bringing the spirit. I think one of our teachers is new, he just got off of his mission, and I think hes still getting in the swing of things and how best to teach us. One told us that when we get to Taiwan we need to be prepared for honesty. He said they will tell you if you have a big nose or acne. One man actually gave his companion some herbal remedies because he had acne so bad. He told us to grow a thick skin and remember that they aren't trying to be offensive, they are just honest. One thing that he said that I love was that we do need to teach to our investigators needs and questions (that is what PMG is all about), but we also need to keep in mind what they REALLY need. Many people may not know it or recognize it, but what we all really need is this gospel and Christ in our lives.
I've so many great experiences and insights that I don't even know where to start. That is what is so great about the MTC, you always have talks or devotionals that are so inspiring. One thing my old teacher had been focusing on was preparing us to become missionaries. So I have asked myself, "What can I do or change so that when I step off of the plane in eighteen months I will be a better person and changed for the better? I want to serve my mission so that I will be proud of the way I have served and know that the Lord is pleased with me. I don't want to waste a minute, and want to make the best of every moment. I am just so grateful to be a part of this great work and cna't wait to see what the Lord can do.
Becausewas fast it was a little different. Every means of getting food is closed for the day and we have a lot of study time and meetings which help keep our minds off of being hungry. We had sacrament meeting around two and I felt all day that I needed to get up and bare my testimony, but I was really hesitant to because it had to be in Chinese. But I did it! And I'm so glad I did. It was really simple and my Chinese was probably really bad, but I know I needed to do it and that the Spirit was pushing me to get up.
This was earlier in the week but it was such an interesting experience. We had devotionalnight and Niel L. Anderson talked to us about love and sacrifice. He said," We sacrifice for the things we love, and we love the things we sacrifice." It was a really good talk and it was one of many talks that helped me realize I was not alone and what my focus should be on my mission. Anyway we were asked to stay after the devotional because there was a rain and lightining storm outside. We sang hymns for a while until they let us go. The lightning had stopped, but it was still raining hard. We had to walk back to the MTC from the marriot center and got drenched in the process.
The rest has been just the normal routine. It gets pretty mundane after a few days. We get up, get ready, go to the classroom, wait to eat, then back to the classroom. This cycle happens several times a day, but our district has gotten so close in the last week and a half. We all laugh and joke together because I think if we didn't we would all go insane. We actually had our new teacher make us go out in the hallway and do wall sits for a few minutes because we were all falling asleep in class. The food here isn't bad, but its starting to get old. I feel like we are always in the cafeteria. But at least we have enough food to eat. Another thing I think is so funny here is the other sisters and their clothes! I was worried I had packed too much, but I have nothing compared to the other sisters!
I'm so glad to hear everything is going well back home. I loved Jemma's picture and notes! I sent her a letter today, so keep an eye out for that. Also Happy Birthday Nicole! Sorry I forgot that in my last email. From what I hear it wasn't fantastic, sorry about that, But it sounds like Jemma was so great and really cute for it. I think its awesome that she wanted to pay for everything with her own money!
I love you all so much! I'm so glad I have a family that supports me in my efforts!
With all my love,