Tuesday, November 15, 2011

MTC Letter #3 - November 15th, 2011

Okay... so this week hasn't felt very eventful, but I'll do my best to make this an exciting email. Once a week, we do service projects here, aka just clean little things around the MTC. Sister Winters and I always joke about how hard it is and how much of a pain it is (sarcastically, because we always get the easiest jobs ever). For example, our list of duties we have had to do includes rinsing off chemical gloves, emptying heavy mop buckets, folding rags (by which I mean, we had to make a stack of twenty rags and then fold them in half), and lemon-oiling doors. When the custodian guy told us to do that, Sister Witners accidentally diva-ishly asked, "*All* the doors??" Ha, such a chore. We even got lemon oil on our cargo and sweat pants, respectively.

We tought in the TRC for the first time this week, which is where people come in to talk to you about gospel stuff so you can practice your language. It went okay. Our first session went well and then in the second session, the people wanted us to talk about the Plan of Salvation. We got about halfway through the lesson, before we had to tell them that we didn't know any more vocabulary to teach the rest of the lesson. Sister Fan, my Taiwanese MTC teacher who I adore, was watching us on the little TV things, and I asked her if she laughed at all while we were talking and she was like, "No.." and I said, "A little bit?" And she said, "Okay, yeah, a little bit." And then later she told us that sometimes she laughs a lot when she watches us. So flattering. Also, I asked her to give us example of something that Chinese people think is funny and after thinking about it, she told us that Chinese people always think it is really funny to watch white people try and speak Chinese. Great.

Okay, so one cool thing I realized about being a missionary is that my missionary purpose and the doctrine of Christ are the same thing (inviting others to come unto Christ, repent, accept baptism, receiving Holy Ghost and enduring to the end). And I also realized that what I am doing as a missionary is essentially the same thing that Christ would be doing if He were on the earth, albeit to a lesser degree. It's so cool to think about. I'm grateful that God trusts us with His work and lets us participate in it. Also, another cool thing I've realized since being here is how much God wants to help us and my dependence on Him. Like, before my mission, if I took a test, then I know I can study for it and I am physically capable of taking the test. I might pray for help, but it's something I can sort of do on my own and I sometimes feel bad for asking for God's help with things. But since coming on a mission, I've realized how much God wants to help us and that we strengthen our relationship with Him and show trsut in faith in Him when we recognize ourd ependce on Him and rely on and ask for His help. Also, it shows humility by acknowledging that youc an't do everything on your own. I've realized this more with missionary work, because like I said, I am physically able to take a test on my own, but I absolutely cannot do missionary work without God's help. And the biggest reason for that is because I and the epople I teach HAVE to have His spirit for conversion to happen and He is the one who grants His spirit to be with us. (Of course we have to be worthy and stuff, but you know what I am saying.) I'm also coming to realize that you can learn so much more and learn better when you have the spirit with you.

Chinese is still like the hardest language ever, but I really love it. Sometimes I feel like my mouth hurts from trying so hard to get the tons right (dramatic, I know). I sometimes can't imagine ever actually being able to speak it, but I'm also trying hard not to think like that and I'm trying to have faith that I'll be able to learn it. Also, drowsy allll the time. What do you do when you get tired or drowsy that helps you stay awake? Oh, one reason I know I am drowsy is because one of our new roommates sleeps on the top bunk of my bunk, and everytime she gets up in the middle of the night to go to the bathrooom, she is sooo loud and the metal ladder always slams against the metal bed frame, which obvs always wakes me up. Love it so much. The other day the elders asked us how we get up to the top bunk, and said, "Do you use the heater to get up?" And we were like, "Uh, we obviously use the ladders." And they were like, "You have ladders in your rooms?!" So funny that the elders don't have ladders for their bunks.

I still love Sister Winters and we still crack each other up all the time. Love that she laughs at all my jokes and I think she is super funny, too. I would probably die without her. Already have separation anxiety when I have to go on splits on not be with her.

Thanks, everyone who wrote me letters this week!! Love you all so much and will try to respond to everyone today!!

Loooove,

Natalie

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