Write Me

Sister Burr
Taiwan Taichung Mission
#498-11 Wuquan Road, North District
Taichung City, 40446, Taiwan
Republic of China

amanda.burr@myldsmail.net
taiwantaichungmission.blogspot.tw

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

There's sickness spreading like the fire President Monson lit


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,
xoxox
Sister Bai

"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"


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Happy Tragedy of Life Pt.2

To the family of whom I ADORE,
Hello it is me, your missionary daughter who leaves this country in 2 weeks. My stomach is freaking out about this.

xoxoxoxo to the end of time and eternity because we can and it's one of the most wonderful blessings.
Whoa! whoa man, time out. Lets talk about your week really quick. Tori and Mom graduated. My brother is now 19. Missy is turning 12. Spring is really blooming. School is almost out. How wonderful! Yay for all of this! I wish that I was a little angel on your shoulder and could see all that was happening. How fantastic! Know I love you all!

Tori: Thanks for the divaness sissy! The best part is it came with a little bag and pin! Haha, I'm dying about it and so are the sisters on my floor. They all want to know how it goes and Sister Chao thought it wouldn't work.  You da best. And thanks for pimping my pod. I am so happy you found the Pocohantas one you little hunter of all things! Ps by the time you read this you should be done with finals right!? Oh sissy! You will look like a gliding graduate when you walk Friday.
Mom: The cutest outfit! Thank you for the dress and the cardy. Everyone loved the outfit and I told them you picked it out. You're hip mom you're hip! I'll send you the pictures of it! It fits great. I Think of you all the time. Mommy I know there is a Fung in Taiwan just waiting for me to teach her. I think of your strength often! Good luck with graduation and ROFLs and LoLz about that UVU thing that everyone left.
Let me update you on the life of Sister Burr. So a happy tragedy occured. The older generation has left and I'm like this  :(  but also this  >_<(//)  because they are headed off to Taiwan! I will really miss sister Valeria Chao and the older girls. I got really close with them and they have been here my whole MTC stay and now they are gone! I almost feel like a chicken with its head cut off without them. I saw them off at 4 am because we had to make a companionship with a girl that doesn't leave till Wednesday. My heart feels like it's going to explode. I love them all so much and I love everyone here. It's so easy to love everyone (even the annoying ones) because we are all working on the same thing together trying to further this work and it creates a wonder bond like hikers hiking on a trail.You go at different paces but you are all trying to reach the peak and all have a special hiking bond. I miss the outdoors. I ACHE for the outdoors. Oye! I can't wait till the field is opened.
Elder Scott: Don't mind this but Elder Scott came to talk to us last week! An angel of angels. He gave us an Apostalic blessing. He really emphasized that our calls were not coincidence and we are going where we need to go. Alex, get ready to have a wave of love hit you during devotionals. I do know Taiwan is where I need to be and I know that I will feel that more strongly when I get there. I testify sweet family that he is an apostle and that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. How lucky are we too have a prophet to follow.
Oh and BYU men's chorus sang at Sunday devotional!

MTC Star: So guess who is in the video that all new MTC teachers have to watch. My district and this Sister! Yes. And today at 4 they are doing a MTC focus group they wanted my companionship to be in. I think it's because of the ethnic diversity. Or they saw my dazzling diamond smile and fell in love. idk.
Companionships: So I forgot if I told you this but I started out as a tricompanionship but Sister Choy was moved up because she was advanced. Then it was Sister Graham and I for 7 weeks. Now I got a new companion and she is the biggest blessing and the most amazing person. We connect. It's so nice to  connect with a companion. Sister Graham and I don't quite connect, but I love and care for her and we are a good companionship. The new comp is Sister Chang. She is an Aussie so she is sweet as and heaps good and not daggy and stuff (Aussie slang. YOLO).  She is a convert and now she wants to spread the good word. She is the only one in the family and she reminds me of you mommy. xoxo. It's a different dynamic teaching with 3 now and not 2 but I like it. she speaks madarin pretty fluently so she is a lot of help. she is with me because she wanted to learn more gospel terms. I love her so much and she shares her Tim Tams.
Ask me why I love everyone? Becasue I have a whole lot of love to give! (cred to Macy). Really though, I love all of the people I have met. There are amazing people here. One of my favorties is a sweetie who runs with me and we have the greatest talks.

People: Mommy, I ran into a  Brendon Bennet. He is in my zone and said he met you at Uncle Wesley and Ruth's. Wesley's granddaughter is on my floor! I forget her first name but she has two older brothers. Sometimes I hear someone calling  Sister Burr and it's her not me and we get mixed up. This usually occurs in the bathroom. Also I ran into Kitty Lam's son, I'll send a picture AND Tessa Montrose AND Bruce! I saw Bruce and Will at TRC. It was so nice.
TRC: Wo hen ai TRC. Mommy, come to TRC Saturday mornings so I can teach you but don't really because I don't want to shame you with my Chinese. Shame upon the ancestors. I'm trying to draw on their power. Guess who I taught at TRC. ETHER TAM? Dao gao! I love teaching at TRC 1. because they help you with words 2. it's so nice to talk gospel with some sweet people who gave up their time to help out a lowly mandarin missionary.
I LOVE MANDARIN! I simply love this language and just want to study it so hard. It's so beautiful and wonderful how you can break apart words and find meanings through knowing the characters.

I'm leaving: Hold up. Is this real life? Am I going to live in Taiwan in two weeks? YES YES YES. But more importantly, I am going to be able to teach the sweeties of Christ. I can't wait for this. God's Asian children are ready and he loves them so much. That is why he made so many of them. I feel a little distracted but very content. I'm getting a little comfortable but trying not too. I love to just study the language and PMG but mostly the Book of Mormom. I didn't know how much my love and testimony of that book can grow. I was so blind to the truths in it before. It's a goldmine!
Well this is my second to last email from the Empty Sea!
I'm doing so well and just so excited about this work.
God Speed!
Love Sister Burr

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

" My name is Sister Burr. I am married to this work, and haha ah it treats me like a queen"

Beloved Beloveds,

Sorry this will be shorter.

A 'tousand blessin's on you all! My heart is overflowing with love right now. Thank you so much for the  birthday wishes and all the good sweet things that you did for me. I am far too overly blessed. xoxoxoxo

Now: How is ceramics class going? Did you finish my pots? Melissa took on the task not dad? Tori graduates! Alex's Mission call! Mom graduates! Wow the life is moving on. Also I can't print pictures at the MTC so maybe (dad) can you print the pictures that you sent me? I love them so much. I was born into a family of royal joys. Thank you for the yoga book and treats! My zone loved them and I'm planning on leading the elders and sisters in a yoga routine mixed with my old dance warm ups. I'm so excited. If I don't do school the semester I get back I'll get registered to teach yoga. Dad is my picture board by my shrine? I love that. So glad the St. G conference went well. LOL at Alex's mission story

Birthday: Now I was hoping that President Nally would send me a birthday dearelder, but no luck. No fear though! Because my comp has 1000 cousins and comes from the largest family and they could populate a town, she has uncles that know the Nally's (the MTC president) so he invited us into his office for a little chat and hug and handshake. What a joy. Thank you so much for all you did for me. I wish that I could send you things. I feel too spoiled. I was queen for the day so I kept doing the sign language sign for it (I sit by the missionaries learning sign language sometimes so I can pick it up). I had a crown from Burger King that a missionary found and a ribbon that once said birthday boy but blessed be they changed it to birthday girl! (I'll send pictures if I can find a picture thing). I was sung to and my companion was an angel and had the hall throw a little surprise party! I went to brush my teeth (the diamond is still intact. NO FEAR) and when I got back to my dark room There was a yell and confetti everywhere! xoxo! We left the confetti for a couple days. Thank you again. xoxo

Family love: I am so blessed to be in this family. Let me share a story. So I was in line to get some ice cream (oh p.s. don't worry. I'm still a triple F  (fierce, fit and fabulous) everyone is worried about gaining weight at the MTC but it's like whatevs and I still got my headstand and my backbend) and this sister came up to me. She knows Aunt Janet and told me the things Janet and grandma and grandpa did for her. She felt like family right there on the spot (p.s. aunt Janet if you read this can you send me her email? I just want to wish her luck I think you know who she is!). I come from a family of service and I see it in my parents and all. Thank you for your examples!

3 weeks 2 pdays stircrazy: Valeria leaves in a week! I'll miss her because we have a lot of fun together and It's just so nice to talk to her. she was a  genius and wrote down recipes!

Devotionals: The devotional Sunday was so neat! Greg Droubay spoke and he campaigns for the church. The Lord is hastening his work quicker than we know. Isn't it great to think that everything we have God gave us for a reason. Even twitter, instagram, and the ol' FB. These can be tools to further the Lord's work if you use them that way! Also, the most firecracker of a woman spoke in Relief Society. She served 4 months in Taiwan some 50 years ago. She was what having the spirit is. She was joyous and spoke truth and just oozed out love! I'm so thankful that I'm here 9 weeks! I get to see 18 devotionals! How lucky! And I realize I have so much to learn each day.

Alex Surprises: So the highlight of my week was seeing that brother of mine! Let me tell you a tale of a Sunday afternoon walk: Sister Graham and I go off to the temple. suddenly her brother appears! Oh the joy! Oh that I were an angel! It was so sweet to see. Sibling love is good love. So is family. There is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name xoxo. I thought oh sweet man I wish I could see Alex. He had been on my mind because he is about to join this work! He'll be in the same Zone in my MTC. I gave the presidency a heads up. Anyways I'm thinking this then BAM! My brothers face which is my face but boy version. I died. Alex it was so good to see you. I'm so proud of the man you are. From Ke$ha to MacMore. xoxo The sweetest blessing. It was funny though I saw him and then I thought okay now back to work. My life is a mission right now and sometimes it really hits me and I can hardly comprehend it. It's a very strange feeling

I get 4 new roomies so 6 girls to a room! this is the third group of girls that have lived with us. Exciting!

Okay have a Christ filled day!
I love you all
Never Shrink!
xoxoxoxo
Sister Manny

Birthday Sister
 
Where are they going?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

WEEK 6?!

Fambambly,

A warm nice hello and loves to you all. First fact that we need to recognize is the fact that I'm starting my 6th week! Down with 5 and 4 more left. This makes me feel like this o_o and a little like this (!!!!!!!!!!!!!). YOUR DAUGHTER IS A REAL MISSIONARY. They tell you time goes by fast on your mission and I think it's something you can't understand until you experience it. I also think it goes faster if you have goals and you know what you want to get done because it better measures your progress. I've learned the importance of goals. I've always been a goal setter and a planner. I love me a good planner and a nice mapped out schedule. I'm definitely in the right place for that. I always hit the enter key! I always get so exciting and start typing like a crazy person. My heart melted at LEAST 20 times this week. Reasons why: 1) That BABY! MEGGIE and DOXEY! You angel parents you have created the most beautiful full dark haired child! The pictures were darling (thanks Grandma and Tori). I showed them to my district and to anyone who would look. Congratulations to the new parents. Don't be too worried! There was so much family advice in conference did you catch it all? 2) The flowers have blossomed at the MTC! It's the Garden of Eden MTC style. Tulips, blossoms, lavender, daffodils, alll sorts of botanical beauties have appeared! Heavenly Mother had a say when picking the colors of the flowers I'm sure.  I was going to take pictures but sadly the snow decided to come. 3) One of my dear dear friends Sarah Mansfield leaves tomorrow and it was a real tender mercy to find here. She's going to Australia and I've been looking for her since she got to the MTC 10 days  ago. I'd walk around the cafeteria asking where the Australians sit and scouting the devotionals but no luck. Finally I was doing Monday service last week (this is  one of my favorite things. Nothing brings joy like cleaning and service. I mean it. I miss doing the dishes and I love when we vacuum on p-days. Side story: We were mopping the staircase in the gym so they were really wet and the missionaries had gym time so they were running around on them. I thought it'd be funny to act like I had authority so whenever someone was walking on the stairs I'd tell them they needed to hold on to the railing with both hands as they walked up. the funny thing is they did it! Missionaries are so obedient.) and there I saw here playing volleyball and I learned she was on my floor! There are two different bathrooms and so you don't really see everyone. What a dreamy tender mercy. It's so nice to see her.

I've seen a lot of friends here and it has been really great! Here is the thing about being a mandarin missionary: You are in the MTC 9 weeks so you see a lot of people come and go. Many of the people I came in with are going this week, which makes we feel a little antsy. It's a weird feeling to be in the same little space for such a long time. Even the sky doesn't look as big. I feel like I'm in a snow globe, but a snow globe that is helping me be a better missionary each day if I apply myself.  and everyone loves to ask you how you read and if Mandarin is hard. Well here's the thing, I don't read characters. That mainly happens out in the field. I'm just learning how to speak and yeah mandarin is hard, but so is any other language and learning any new thing. You just need to put the time and effort into it. And sadly I slacked this week o_o. I am at a point where my companion and I can teach what we want to teach and we're comfortable. That was the problem. We got comfortable and didn't make goals so we weren't progressing. It's like teaching a lesson too. You need to have an end goal in mind so you know what you need to do in order to do it. It's like life too. We know what we want. ETERNAL LIFE WITH OUR VERY VERY LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER. So what are we doing to reach that goal? (This is me being a missionary)

I got to run around the temple with Sister Chao the other day. It was a real dream. I really miss open space. My mind wonders to Moab CONSTANTLY. This is really the first time I've started to miss things and it's Moab and Arches. Brother hit those up for me before you go will ya? I just can't wait for the day the field opens! It was a tender mercy that we got to run around the temple. I feel like God is blessing me abundantly and I'm afraid I'll take his blessings for granted so I've been trying to recognize Him a lot more. I challenge you all to do that. You will be so surprised at how loved you are.

Alex. Brother, your call. I'm so excited for you. This is the best work you can be doing. It's the most stretching and effort consuming thing I've done in my life so far but it is so wonderful. It will be a foundation for your life. NOT the best 2 years, but a time that you will build on. I love you so much and I'm so proud. Everyone is so proud of you! xoxoxo!

Conference! Family how was it? I know how it went down. You had 7 layer dip and you made friendship bracelets and loved life and the words of our LIVING PROPHET! Our Latter-day Moses or Noah! How blessed and loved our we by our Heavenly Father. Dearelder me and tell me some of your favorite thoughts. I eat that stuff up these days. I love it! Conference is like the MTC equivalent to Christmas. It felt like a holiday, but the best kind. We didn't have classes and we just got to focus on the teachings of God's inspired men! I watched it in the gym and with Sister Chao (I <3 Sister Chao) and my district. It was great to hear about so many talks concerning missionary work and sitting in a room full of missionaries. But remember what Neil A. Anderson was saying? All can be missionaries! You don't need a badge, put a badge on your heart! I think it's good for us to think about what gives us hope and what is it about the gospel that makes you follow the teachings? Really think about this so if someone asks you why you do what you do you can answer them. For me it's love. God is my father. He loves me and I love Him. Simple as that. And I follow this gospel to show my love for Him. xoxoxox  forever up to heaven through actions and prayers!
Also, did you catch the theme of family, obedience, and following ALL the commandments (Elder Perry was PURE authority when he spoke. Did you feel it?). It kills me to think about how families are failing. How lucky are we to know how to have stronger more loving families. We really are blessed. Also, Elder Ballard touched on Priesthood. I get really emotional when I think of the priesthood because I love it so much and KNOW it's God's power so graciously given to us today through worthy men. Moses 6:7 says the priesthood we have today is the same God used to create worlds! Universes! Brother and Daddy how blessed am I to know worthy Priesthood holders. If i had a wish id be for men to see how women see them in respect to the priesthood. For me I hold you in the highest respect. xoxo all around.
Okay and lastly Elder Holland. Mark 9: 23-24. This is one of my all time favorite New Testament stories. Oh how I love it! When you read it you can  just feel the plea of the father to help him believe. He wants it so much and he wants to use that faith. I love it because I've been there. I remember believing something of the gospel but just asking God to help me believe the things I did not. It's all about faith and desire. Remember what Brother Ellis said, " Don't lose sight of what you know, because of the things you don't know". If there are things you don't know just desire to know and bare testimony of it " a testimony is to be found in the BEARING of it" - Elder Bednar. Elder Packer said, " To speak out is the test of your faith". I love those quotes.

Well both of my investigators are preparing to be baptized, but I honestly don't feel super excited about it because I don't think they fully understand it. Teaching is going well. Love the district. The comp is good too. We have gotten a lot closer and we are becoming a team.

xoxoxo
loves to alll
Sister Burr

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"I love learning about small culture"

Subject quote:
JOY IN THE DISTRICT! I'll shout it till my heart stops because it is so true. I find pure joy in these young elders that I'm with. I'm a sucker for a good laugh and they keep them coming. ESPECIALLY Elder Bean (mom this is your student Brandon Bean). The other day in class we were learning grammar and it turned into Taiwan culture 101. My teacher told us that when the people in Taiwan greet each other they say, "chi bao le ma?" Which basically says have you eaten? and that's kind of how they say "what's up?" So we were discussing this and then Elder Bean who is this 18 year old young lad who will be a young man in due time clasps his hands together and says, " oh I love learning about small culture." We all kind of looked at him and just started laughing because with the context  it sounded like he was calling Taiwan culture small culture because Asians are so tiny! But he was saying he likes learning a little bit about the Taiwanese culture. Funny right? Yeah. Pure pure sweet joy from these young saps.

Daddy you asked about my district. I love them so much. There are two elders going to San Fran mandarin speaking. Sister Graham and I are the only sisters. And then there is a tri-companionship and they are going to Taichung. The district get distracted easily but I think we are the closest in our zone already. There's lots of love and I think it's because we are so small we are able to get to know each other well. There is also much mischief going on. One Elder has been scolded for flirting (my companion has too. No surprise there and I say that with love), they have been scolded because  as a joke they were voting for the new District Leader. That probably wasn't the best and it was in good fun but they had a good talking to from the Branch President. The greatest mischief is the secret combination they have created. I didn't take part of this but they turned my innocence into their sign!  Now think of me and think of the way I love to put my hand under my chin when I want to be cute or when I just talk. Well they took that and turned it into the sign for their secret combination! As I said all in good fun. They are good Elders. The secret combination is basically for four square. Which I have been queen of for about 7 rounds once, but I think it's because they go easy on the sisters. We ban together when we play four square and try to get everyone not in our district out. I usually set them up. It's good. Joy and love.

HOW WAS EASTER? What a joy. I kept with tradition and drank out of the hallow bunny. I hope you all did too! I made Sis. G do it too. We are growing closer which is nice. God is really teaching me patience and I'm so thankful for that. I know that he knows what I need and what we all need. He is very aware of us and he places us in situations for our maximum growth and development and he does not leave us alone. What a joy this spring weather is! I love me some good rain and sun and there has been plenty of that. I in fact got my first sunburn of the year! I was studying outside for two hours and didn't move. The burn is gone now. I heal quick, but I sent a picture! Easter was fantastic, but first let me say I got 4 new roommates and the MTC is very crowded now. Word on the street is 1000 new missionaries are coming in tomorrow and 10 new Mandarin speakers! WOW Can you believe I've been here a month! Yikes and hooray for the knowledge I've gained! I've been a missionary for a month and  I thought of what I've learned. I felt worried for a quick second because I thought I hadn't learned much, but I have. I appreciate and understand the gospel more than ever. I think my growing  appreciation is one of the greatest things because it's fueling my desire to teach and help others so much more than before. How lucky are we to know what we know. Mom and Dad if you can get a Preach my Gospel get it and read it with the family. It's SO good! It teaches doctrine so clearly and simply. This Gospel is straight forward and that is what I love about it. It holds simple truths that once we understand we build on and we understand so much more. How lovely. I can't wait for the new mandarin speakers because I can't wait to help someone and take her under my wing. A sister did that for me and I'm forever grateful. I only hope I can be that for someone  else. Oh and apparently Rain Tree is going to hold missionaries and they are building a cafeteria there. wow this work. How exciting! Family just think what God has in store! There are so many sister missionaries it's amazing. We fill up about more than half  of the  gym for relief society. I think someone said there are 40% girls here or something. I don't know if that's true but if it is huzzah! How wonderful are the 18 and 19 year old sweeties that decided to serve when the call was extended last October. That's so amazing of them. The work is moving forward.

Now Easter, was an MTC dream. First off we had sacrament with the whole MTC and it was one of the largest (5 sacrament tables, over 3000 missionaries) eva and one of the sweetest. I had never felt such understanding and gratitude for my Savior. He's the reason I'm able to be a missionary and to have the strength to do this. It's not me. It's Him and I know it. Bishop Gerald Causse of the Presiding Bishopric spoke of Christ and it was wonderful. He really helped us understand that through Christ is salvation and as missionaries we hold the salvation of others in our hands. Step it up right! And then it was really neat. We had fast and testimony meeting as a branch and I just had to bare testimony. I was going to then Bishop Causse walked in because he was just checking out the testimony meetings! How cool! So I got up and bore my testimony IN MANDARIN. Yes. It's true. And it was sweet because my vocabulary is so small it was so easy to speak the simple truths of ma heart. And that day my heart was soo full towards my savoir. Then Sheri Dew talked at night. WHAT A WOMAN. Someone needs to snatch her up. She hit hard on relying on Christ. She also said you know you're a successful missionary if you love the Lord more than anything when you come back than whatn you loved before. That rings true for all of us. We need to love God more than anything.

NOW ALEX YOUR CALL DEARELDER ME WITH THE INFO OF YOUR CALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you are all doing well. How was Spring Break? The fun birthdays of April are coming up! Wow mom and Tori graduating! Tell me more via dearelders. Those are best. Love you so.

xoxoxoxo
Don't forget to pray every night and day and see the tender merices in life. TENDER MERCIES!

Bu Jie mei