Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 23, 2012


Great souls have wills; 
feeble ones have only wishes

Moral: Do something great, 
don’t just dream about it.  

Dear Family,

This week has been fantastic!  Ha ha- missionary life is about the same every week, but we do have some funny things that happen occasionally... mostly because having so many elders in one place is bound to get a little strange sometimes.  Some random highlights of the week:  Wednesday we had an awesome title of liberty-themed workshop, so today my district is making a title of liberty.  They talked about how without a clear purpose it is hard to find motivation to do things.  If you are stranded in the ocean in a rowboat without
direction or an island in sight it might get a little tiring to keep rowing, but as soon as you can see where you are going it becomes much easier.  I think we all can relate to this.  We decided it would be fun to make one on our P-day to remind us of why we are studying so hard and working to become great missionaries.

Another crazy thing that happened was on our way to lunch, Bai Jei Mei (Sister B.) and I got stopped by a man who wanted us to say something in Mandarin to be on some commercial in the Netherlands... unfortunately he asked us if there were any girls who had been there longer.  We decided the older generation girls deserved to be on TV... and they can speak much better than we can.  It was cool anyway.

Our district is fantastic and we have a lot of fun times together.  The most recent random joke going around is Li Zhonglao (Elder R.) likes bananas and they always draw little faces on them.  So whenever we happen to have an extra banana or something we draw a face on it... give it a name and leave it on someones desk.  Yep... weird!  ha ha but these are the things that keep us entertained during class.... without these distractions crazy things happen... for example yesterday we are trying to teach a lesson to wu laoshi (Brother W.), our zone resource teacher.  For some reason he likes to complicate the sisters lessons and the little twist he threw into the story of our investigator changed our entire lesson, so when we started with this great analogy for the other story he gave us he just started laughing.  He then apologized after like 5 min of he and the other elders giggling and said we could have the other story that fit our original lesson.  So... this same day I was SUPER tired and couldn't focus and we still had to teach our investigator Mrs. Huang.  (The thing is she is our teacher and she was our first investigator Zhang Lin.)  When I got up to the door I said a very enthusiastic "Ni Hao Zhang Lin!"  It was so sincere and such a complete mistake that our teacher... who is always serious, broke character and started laughing so hard.  Needless to say, it took us about 5 min to recover... We were all laughing so hard.  Luckily the Elders went over on their lessons so we were just stopping by to tell her hi and reschedule.  It was so terrible though.   The things I do when I'm tired... Ha ha it is all good though and I'm not nearly as tired today.

Elder Andrew Crookston shook my hand for the last time today.  He looks great and told to me to tell all the family hi!  He is headed out today at 4:30 for Guatamala where he will be in the MTC for a few more weeks.  It has been really fun to see so many family and friends here!  I also said goodbye to Elder Craig Tongish last week if I forgot to say that.  He is great and always has a big smile on his face.  They will both be amazing missionaries!

 We have been preparing all week to say goodbye to our older generation.  It is going to be so sad!  I am so excited for them all, but I'm not quite sure I am ready for 1. the responsibility of being the Older Generation and the example... and 2. to say goodbye to my brother.  We have been able to spend much more time together and his companion and mine are the greatest for always letting us sit by each other and making efforts to sit by us versus some of the other people they are closer to.  They are great!  Let the W. know that they raised two great sons!  They will truly be amazing missionaries.  I am always impressed by their confidence and desires to learn.  They are both obedient and genuinely kind.  As sisters in the MTC we really appreciate when the elders are respectful to us and respectful of their call as missionaries.  Both of the W.  are very respectful... they are still only 18, but I have been proud of them and many of the other young elders that step up to their call.  They are examples to me.

This week, like usual, I have continued to learn how much we each need to rely on the Lord.  I am proud... not in the way everyone would immediately guess, but as my mom can attest, I like to do things on my own.  I don't like people to take care of me when I'm sick, stressed, or overwhelmed.  I appreciate people's kindness, but I like to be able to do things on my own. However, I cannot learn Chinese in 12 weeks on my own.  Just saying it sounds ridiculous!  The thing I have found in the MTC is that the Lord will make miracles happen.  If he wants us to preach his gospel in Chinese, he will help each of us learn.  The problem is we have to get to the point where we are able to say "I need help.  I cannot do this on my own."  This is my goal and if I put this much in, will you help the output be this?  I know it sounds crazy but if I try and learn 10 new words a day... will you help me remember them and know how to use them effectively?"  This is just one of the smaller goals I have been trying to accomplish, but I know with the Lord's help, I can do this and learn how to effectively teach all of the lessons in PMG in a language that I can barely speak.  I wish people could just come here and see how quickly the missionaries learn these languages.  It is unbelievable!

I know that if the Lord can help his 19-21 year old missionaries accomplish these miracles, he can help any of us overcome any trial.  It is true that we are prayed for, sacrificed for, supported - probably more than anyone else on earth, but I also know that the Lord loves each of his children.  The main reason we can accomplish all we do is because he cares for EACH one of his children.  He wants us to be better at the language, know the gospel more, and learn how to teach because he wants us to have the ability to teach more of his children.  He cares about each person we will come in contact with and I only hope each of us missionaries can leave a little light with each one we speak with!


Sister Sara Gummow (Wen Jie mei)  

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