Learning is a treasure
that follows its wise owner everywhere
Week 7 of the MTC.. ha ha well I would have to agree with the missionaries that say the MTC gets better with time. First few weeks took some adjusting, but every week I have been here I have gained a new appreciation for something, not to mention how much I am learning and how fast I am learning it. It is so great! I got to do a bit of revamping goals this week and I feel like it is about the time my language will start progressing at a much faster rate. Mom you are the greatest. I know I have needed your extra sacrifice to help me keep up the enthusiasm and strength to learn all the time. I feel so greatly blessed by all the love and support I have received. Tell the Stotts "hi" from Kaytlyn Davies btw! She is their cousin who I am currently living with. She gets to be our companion for a week. She is a solo sister and it's in between times when she will have a new generation come in. There aren't very many Thai speaking missionaries apparently... but it is fun to be moved around a bit. For 2 weeks Bai Jei Mei and I were all alone in our room, but now they are doing some renovations and checks so we got a few hours warning that we were going to pack up and move rooms. Ha ha, it made the week a bit interesting. We also found out a few days later that we won't actually be staying in our rooms. We will be moving back up in 2 weeks so they can do the same check to the floor we are already on. It is kind of fun though - change of scenery and pace from everything else. There were 4 sisters in the room we moved into. They all leave this week except for Sister Davies who gets to be with us the rest of the time! We are stoked. :)
So besides the rooms changing not too much has changed this week. We have been pretty lonely in our hallway without any new Mandarin speakers. We did get some new Korean speakers to mix things up and are very excited for the new sisters to come in. There are 4 in this new group! There are 25 missionaries total and like 1/2 are going to Taipei. I am definitely missing my brother, but it has been so inspiring to hear about him and the others in the mission Field. I have been requested to ask for a few extra copies of his blog and updates about the other elders (mom they all LOVE you!). I shared them with the other districts and it has definitely brightened all of our days. Hearing from them makes our MTC experience have more meaning. We will actually be out serving soon and it will be amazing! It is also great for the teachers. I don't think they hear about their elders very often. His teacher, Brother Anderson, was so excited when I told him I had heard from him. I told him I would bring the letters and pictures tomorrow so he could read it as well. It is so great to hear about all the changes going on with missionary work. The Lord is truly hastening his work. We all feel strongly like China is on the verge of opening. I know this is why he called me to Taiwan to learn Mandarin Chinese. I want to help the Chinese people and I will continue to serve them long after I get home. There are a few families in China I know I have to bring the gospel to. I am grateful I will be able to share the message with them in Chinese. So question to the world... and my mom... I have been hearing some crazy rumors about people getting their mission calls saying that they will serve in Taiwan until China opens... I feel like this can't be real, but I keep hearing it! Does anyone know if this is true? If it is, that means China is a lot closer than I originally thought. Either way we should all be preparing to share the gospel in anyway we can. I have been so impressed at our home stake and it's emphasis on missionary work. We are so blessed by the members!!!
The MTC has taught me so much about the gospel and about my own conversion. I think this is the greatest lesson they try and teach us here. They want us to find the simple truths of the gospel, how it has helped our lives, and ask ourselves why would anyone give up so much for something? I may not know all the answers, but I have felt the spirit bearing testimony to the truths of the gospel over and over. There is so much power in God's words. I hope everyone can feel this power. It is not large or loud... it is a simple quiet thought or feeling, but something that makes the joy of eating your favorite food or playing your favorite sport seem small in comparison. I understand why missionaries are so happy all the time. It's not just because they are always on display. The more you feel the spirit in your life, the more you are able to feel God's love, and the more you want to share this love and joy with the world. I have never been in an environment so focused on other people and the spirit in all I do. It is AMAZING. Any girl even contemplating going on a mission should know this. It is so hard, but the spirit you feel here, the things you learn, and the lives I know we will change make all the sacrifices worth it. The Lord truly needs his missionaries!
Family!!! I love you so much. I can't believe how much the Lord is blessing you all already. Your strength is amazing! I could not be more grateful. Dad your wise words are always just what I need to hear. I hope your test went well!!! Mom, thank you for your constant care. You are so thoughtful and send me the best updates on friends, missionaries, and everything else I could possibly think of. Daniel, I hope the teenage years aren't tearing you up to much. They are hard for a reason, but if you stay close to your brother, Jesus Christ and you Heavenly Father, you will make it through and learn so much from the experiences! Bryanna, keep up your bright smile and joy in life - ok? I think the next few years can be the best in your life if you decide to make them that way. You always have me as a cheerleader. I honestly think you both are the coolest siblings ever!!! Matt... if you read this email :) I love serving a mission with you! You are a great example to me and I miss you, but like Alma says I am glad you and I are still serving the Lord. Our reunion will be the most joyous thing ever! Aimee and Ben, thank you! You are both supportive and I miss you both. Send me pics of your cute puppy soon K? Everyone really enjoyed the bread you gave me. I shared it around and everyone was grateful. You are the greatest sister ever!!!
Well time is up so I better get going, but I love you all and I will keep working hard. Press forward!!!
Wen Jie Mei (Sister Sara Gummow)