The Dear and the Beloved,
Missy Happy (late) Birthday! The big 12! I got the age right this time. Tina is 14 and Melissa is 12. I hope mom made that cake she always makes and it was fun! I sang you happy birthday and hope you felt it in your heart when I did! xoxo
ps thanks for the love box fam!
Did you hear a bird chirp when Tori walked at graduation? That was me cheering. xoxo
Holla at yo Sista Sista because I will be sleeping in a Taiwanese bed in one week. I have seen the same walls, pictures, flowers, desk, bubble life for 8 weeks. And you know what I'm not even tired of it. I love the MTC. It's a place of its own. It has a tree that even smells like cream soda. This is a fact and brother you will smell this tree when you get here. It's a wild place. People hide things in "Narnia holes" and they love to mix powerade with milk. Crazy things like that. Also brother, people are expecting you. They are calling you the "chosen one" and want you to carry on the traditions they have formed so I hope you are really excited. They want to email you but I'm weary because I know you'd be an awesome leader and I don't know if I want you to be a leader of their traditions.
This week was the strangest most strange week to be had at the MTC. Lets just give you the highlights shall we:
-Mother was sly and went to TRC. Her Chinese student taught her the gospel in Chinese. How neat is that. And of course she brought candy for all the missionaries that taught her. Mother, you will always be my mother. It was a weird feeling to see ya mom. I really feel how my life right now is this mission and I love it. I love that the one thing I'm focusing on is learning how to bring others to Christ by teaching them the gospel. Christ is number one. It was so nice to see you mommy.
-Disease has spread all throughout the MTC. During devotionals you will hear echoing coughs. It got really bad this week for the Mandarins and the Koreans. The Koreans were really spreading all sorts of stuff. There was mono, pneumonia, the flu, and the worst the common cold. The Mandarins had the flu and the common cold. A sister had to be quarantined at the Sick Bay (yes that is a real place) because she had the flu. Both of my companions got really sick and so it was just a weird week. I had to stay with Sister G in the dorms and the other day Sister G and Sister C stayed at the dorms and I went on splitys with the Elders. That was the funniest thing. It was me and 3 Elders so we were the largest companionship in the MTC for a day. It was fun to have such a small class too. I've got the common cold so I have frog voice in the morning and it's making my zhongwen sound weird, but I'm getting over it. I'm glad we all got sick last week and not the week we are leaving. Tender mercy right there in action. Gao Zhang lao (Elder Ko, mom he taught you. We have an on going joke that we are cousins) is so funny. He reminds me of you Alex. He was freaking out that everyone was sick and shouting "just look at everyones eyes! They all have bags! It's the bags of sickness!" And the thing is is he's right! So some ricola lemon and mint drops or fruit breezes would be AWESOME. Shishi
-I saw Vicky Chen and her mam at the temple! Vicky got back Saturday and she was giving tips. I am beyond excited. I love these people already. I feel like they are my people. I might be so Asian when I get back. Time to embrace these roots. Family, I am telling you God has some big stuff in store for his Asian children. Was it President Kimball that said some sort of dedicatory pray at a tree in China? What was that? if you find that can you send it to me? xoxo. My branch President (who Alex will meet) just got back from China and he keeps telling us that China will open in our life time and I think I believe this. Get ready to move over there with mom and dad. Jk, but really. I'm really humbled to be learning this language and to be a missionary right now.
-My companions and I got to meet with the people that are working on developing and expand and planning in the MTC and they asked us on our opinions on things. I told them bonnebell glitter in the bathroom would be a nice addition (get the joke? Napoleon Dynamite?). No actually I told them what I liked and the improvements that could happen so that was pretty fun.
- They changed my schedule so my pday is Monday now and everything is just cray cray different. I feel like I have had the most exciting MTC experience that could ever be had. I had hugs from the President Nally's wife, chats in their office, I am in the MTC training video, was on the pros and cons panel, biggest companionship, the hall with the Koreans, the funnest district, learning mandarin, eating so many cookies, and Elder Scott coming. Man it's the good life.
-Here is the most exciting part of life. I got my travel plans and my name tag! My name is Bai not Bu. They gave me the name Bai the first week and I changed it to Bu at the MTC but I guess I didn't change, but that is fine. What's in a name? Right. But here is the plan! So we are leaving Tuesday morning at 7:30! Hitting up that Cafe Rio at 9 in the a.m. at the ol' SLC. And we are flying to L.A (brother your place) and then it's a straight flight to Taiwan! We will land in Taichung and then meet President Bishop and take a 3 hour bus down to Taibei. Oh man. What LOVE! I can't wait for this! Oh and Taibei has a tradition. The first night they make you Dan Jonse it up. So they make you stand on a box and preach. I'm up for it!
- The field is white and the field is open! The field is open and we love to play kickball against the Koreans and the Thai missionaries
- I love Sister Chang. She is the biggest blessing in my life right now. Honest truth it was reaching a point in my companionship with Sis G that was just about to make me explode. Patience I know, but Sister Change is the biggest blessing because like I said we connect and we can just talk. She is so strong and such a joy. She is a total Aussie too. She loves tim tams and I love her.
-Let me declare some honesty right now. Now that my MTC time is coming to an end let me tell you how it has been. The first three weeks were so rough. I look back on them now and the contrast of what I felt before and what I feel now is immense. To be honest I woke up everyday and had to convince myself to stay at the MTC and to not go home and then at night I had to do the same thing all over again. I put my all into everyday, but I did so with the biggest weight on my shoulder. I didn't know if I made the right choice to come out and I was doubting my decision, but I was forging forward with faith hoping that it was the right thing to do. It was like this. It was like walking upstream everyday and fighting against the biggest current. I didn't know what was at the head of the river but I just kept moving forward. I was using all my spiritual strength to move ahead. Through going through it all I learned to rely on my Savior. We always rely on the Savior and rely on His Atonement. What does that even mean? How do I teach that to someone? Well I believe you can only really teach it once you have felt it. And I have felt it. I have felt the power and the joy of repentance along with the strength of his grace. I thought how did I use the strength of the atonement and I studied how others did it in the scriptures too. I decided the main things it takes is 1. humility 2. desire 3. reliance and 4. recognizing. You need to recognize that you can not do things alone and then humble yourself and do all you can and then say "okay listen up I'm trying my hardest and I'm giving all I got and now I need you. Now I need you to help me get through this day and be what you need me to be because I can't do it. i really really can't do it myself" Then you rely on the Lord and you ACCEPT his help you move forward knowing you can do it now because you have the Lord on your side. I hope you're all well and I hope you never forget you have Christ to rely on. I could not do this mission without Him. I Know it so much. The weight has lifted, but I know I'm about to go to Taiwan and it's going to slam down on me again and again but I'm not the only one lifting the mantle. Jacob 5. The Lord labors with his laborers in the vineyard. This work is true. I testify Christ IS COMING. he will come and he will conquer Satan. Satan is the worst. The gospel will not be taken again. What joy! There is joy in the gospel. xoxo Brother I can't wait for you to join this work. It's rough I won't lie, but just know everything you will do at the MTC I have done. Everything you have felt Christ has felt and more. xoxo
Family this is my life and I love it.
TEAM JESUS <---really!
I will email you Monday before I go and let you know when I can call you and all!
And I love you all.
Have a fantastic week,
|"Me with my travel plans xoxoxo"|
|All the Mandarin Sisters before they left|
|Found Sister Tessa Montrose!|
|New companion Sister Chang|
|This one goes on the plaque!|
|Found Kitty Lam's son!|
|Silly Sister Burr|
|Elder Ko, the "cousin"|