God will help those who help themselves.Hey Family!
Sorry I didn't have time to write before 2 :( We ended up going to the temple and having lunch so it changed our schedule a bit. Two of our Elders are headed to France and Montreal this week, so we have been trying to spend time with them today on their last P-day in the MTC. It is going to be a sad last week in the MTC with only 4 of us left. We truly have become a little family and I am so glad that I was put in the district I was. I know the Lord definitely has a hand in organizing our districts and I feel so blessed every day.
This week has been great. It seems like ever since we had our little break through we have been planning and teaching so much better. My teachers even made the comment to my leaders how much my language has improved. I can attribute it to none other than the quickening power of the spirit. I have actually physically been able to feel it strengthening me. Remember how my setting apart said that it would be like I had the gift of tongues because I would be able to listen. I have seen that multiple times over the past few weeks. It is a strange sensation, but when there is something I NEED to hear to help them it is almost like there is a tunnel between us. Somehow I understand them perfectly and I know my Chinese is not good enough for that. Especially because they are speaking quickly and expressing feelings of their heart. It has been amazing!
Something else I just started this week is I have designated two SYL days a week where I only speak Chinese all day (unless there is some class thing we need to do in English). My days are on Monday and Thursday. I know I could use some extra help on those days for sure. Yesterday went really well and I helped my whole district SYL more because they will usually respond back to me in Chinese as well. It was a neat experience though I know there is Soooo much more I still need to learn. I can bear my testimony with confidence in Mandarin and that makes a huge difference!
Thanksgiving in the MTC was also great. Probably the only one I will spend with an apostle. Elder Holland came and spoke to us. He and his wife and family gave our devotional. They told us all that they adopted us for that day. It was very sweet. I was so touched by all of their testimonies and love of the gospel. I must admit... not the best food ever on that day, but I was definitely giving lots of thanks. Sorry I don't have a ton of pictures to send home... the excitement of taking pictures of all the same people I am always with is not quite there, so we don't take pictures quite as much anymore. We do have some fun ones of us on Thanksgiving night. We all got popcorn and were able to watch 17 miracles. It was really fun and a good change of pace. I must admit I love teaching so much now that it is hard for me to give up my teaching days for P-day and Holiday's, but I also realize that sometimes I am a bit of an extremist... ha ha I really am so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission! I realize more and more everyday how special this opportunity is and how much I needed to change and become more like Christ. I know this experience isn't just for me though and that is why I am so excited to be heading to Taiwan in 2 weeks!!
It is so fun to hear about the missionaries there. It's pretty funny Elder Gummow already crashed on his bike... ha ha I am sure he will be fine though. I am so glad he is doing so great already and it sounds like the language is coming! I also said goodbye to Sister Braithwaite this week. That was a little sad, but she's been here for 14 weeks so I must admit I am so excited for her!! She is going to be an amazing missionary. Thank you so much for the Thanksgiving package and tell Sister Boren a huge thank you for the package with the primary stuff in it. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but it was so great! We were all laughing at the pictures and stuff and it truly brightened my week. We have the best ward ever is all I can say! I actually still don't know where Mikayla is going on her mission so pass on the info! ha ha I am so excited for all these girls going on missions. They are going to be soooo great! All of us in the MTC are getting excited for them to come.
Another fun fact of the MTC- they have adorable Christmas lights everywhere!!! It is so fun to walk around after dark and see all the lights they put up. They have decorations in most of the buildings. It is getting everyone very excited for Christmas. Christmas songs are also pretty much all that is being sung. We only get to sing them for a few months, so everyone gets really excited about singing new songs. It is kind of funny, but I love it. Another fun fact... sacrament meeting has 2 surprise talks from missionaries every week. They give us a topic and we all have to prepare and they call 2 random people in our branch every week. I still haven't been called, so for 10 ish weeks I have had to prepare talks every week! ha ha, but since we are constantly studying the gospel it's not a big deal... other than the fact I have to say it in Chinese... no big deal ^_^ ha ha I get a little bit terrified, but it's kind of fun. This week is fast Sunday though so I don't have to worry about that. Well I'm out of time! I love you all so much and am so grateful for your prayers, letters, and love! Bry -your letter made me especially happy!!! You are the greatest sister! Good luck in JR high crazy girl ;)
LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Wen Jiemei (Sister Sara Gummow)