Faith of our Fathers, Living Still

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The District

The District

“We will be true to thee ’till death!” -From the song we sang in choir practice this week.

I guess the MTC isn’t really the “real deal” when it comes to missionary work, but it’s still cool to wear my black nametag every day with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints written in Chinese characters. I’m happy to be part of such a huge group of missionaries all around the world, as well as continuing a legacy of missionary work in my family. The insights I gain throughout this mission and the people that I help will affect me spiritually, emotionally, and physically for the rest of my life. How cool is that? I love sharing the valuable knowledge and spirit the gospel of Jesus Christ brings.

As far as the MTC goes, this week was really normal. Teaching tons of lessons to our teachers posing as investigators, going to devotionals, doing service, laughing at literally everything since that’ll happen to ya when you’re stuck in a tiny classroom with 8 elders and 2 other sisters for hours every day.

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The Good

  • Last week we got to welcome some new mandarin missionaries in our zone, most of them going to Taizhong, Taiwan. They’re all so fun! And speaking of new people, in our room we found out that another sister will be joining us today, taking Sister Gasinski’s old bed. She’ll be speaking mandarin, they think she’s going to be a third companion to Sister Bernhardt and Sister Richards (my roommates who are in the other Mandarin-speaking zone.) Apparently she’s from Britain going to Hong Kong which is SUPER COOL but we haven’t met her yet so I’m not exactly sure. So I’ll have to update you all next week!
  • On Monday our district got to help bring new senior missionary couples into the MTC. And get this: they had me and my companions do separate stations so I got to be COMPLETELY SEPARATED from my companions. It was so weird haha! But kind of cool. My companions are super cool but it was fun to be alone helping senior couples with a bunch of elders for a bit. The couple would drive up, we’d take out their luggage that they would need for the MTC and then we would show them to their rooms. There was one couple going to West Virginia or something that had put like none of their clothes in luggage so we had to sag under tons of shirts and suit coats on hangers as we helped them.

Later in the day I got to accompany an Elder Thompson going to Idaho in the official Senior Missionary Welcome thingy after lunch. He sang and I played the piano. It was like the orientation thing I had when I first came into the MTC, where the MTC presidency is introduced and they tell you some other stuff (I honestly do not remember at all what they told us haha). When I had it on my first day, there was a huge group of 800 missionaries in this auditorium. So it was fun to perform for a smaller group of maybe 15 to 20 senior couples.

  • I’ve been working on memorizing an account of Joseph Smith’s first vision in mandarin this week. It’s pretty fun! I’ve been working on memorizing the characters too and it’s been pretty successful. Luckily I learned about stroke order in Chinese 1 but I can still ask my teachers if I have any questions.
  • A thing everyone does at the MTC is get T-shirts with their mission on it. And I got mine today after I ordered it last week, yay! Took some pictures with it so y’all can see.
  • So our first ever teacher, Ou Yang lao shi, now is not our teacher anymore because our class didn’t work with his schedule now that BYU has started up. So we have our new teacher, ye lao shi. Sometimes she terrifies me but I think my Chinese will really develop with her around. She speaks really quickly with a mainland China accent so that will be great. One of the last stories Ou Yang lao shi told us was about how he got his MTC teacher job. Apparently he was originally working in the cafeteria with 3 of his friends and they all decided to apply to be teachers. He was the only one that got the job and so wheneverh he goes to the cafeteria he has to see his friends still workin’ there. Haha!
Taiwan shirt

Taiwan shirt

The Funny/The Weird/The Stupid

  • One morning I was on on an exchange with one of my STLs for exercise time. We were playing beach volleyball with some of the elders in my zone and district. There was a funny point when Elder Rhoton from my district, who’s really tall and rather scary in volleyball, was just sitting in the middle of our court building a sand castle and he didn’t even notice when the other side served. There was a beautiful moment when the ball soared over to our side and it hit Elder Rhoton squarely on the top of the head. As the ball bounced off into oblivion, someone else on my team managed to hit it and gave it to someone else who spiked it into the other team’s side and WE got the point. What a beautiful moment in zone volleyball history.
  • Here’s an experience from last week that I forgot to talk about. For service, we set up and put down chairs for devotional. After we have all the chairs put away, we have to remove this gigantic tarp from the floor as it covers the gym hard wood. Two groups of missionaries line up on opposite sides to pull the tarp into the middle to fold it up. (It’s kind of interesting because you can’t see behind you and as a sister it’s interesting to run backwards with the air from the tarp billowing around.) Before my side of the room had started to pull the tarp, one of the janitors warned us about a fold in the tarp we could trip over. Me, not thinking it was near me, decided to just go for it. I totally tripped over the fold in the tarp. Totally biffed it going backwards. Luckily, however, (and Sister Patchell who saw it attests that it was very cool), I did this cool roll/somersault thing and was back on my feet like nothing had happened. I guess the gym/exercise time every morning is really helping my agility.
  • Elder Anderson in my district is a really funny artist. He likes to draw detailed/morbid stuff. The elders in my district have taken to writing little notes on the napkins of their trays for the cafeteria dishwashers to see at the end of dinner, and Elder Anderson will draw these weird little drawings on some of them. I wish I could know what the dishwashers think of them haha. I’ll have to try and take a picture of one of the napkins sometime. Anyways, they sign all the letters Love, Elder Doyle (another elder in my district) because he apparently knows some of the cafeteria workers.
  • One night at dinner some of the elders in my district decided to challenge one of the other elders in my zone to eat an entire tortilla whole. The first attempt he couldn’t do it. He had to spit it out because the tortilla just took every bit of moisture out of his mouth. But then he TRIED AGAIN and just stuffed this whole wheat tortilla into his mouth. He sat there with it in his mouth for a really long time haha. He tried to get enough of it down so he could drink some water through it. And he just sat there for a really long time trying to get it down. There were many points where we thought he wouldn’t be able to do it, but, little by little, he had that whole tortilla in his stomach. Welp, I guess this is the only kind of thing that’s fun for me when the only humor you have is a bunch of elders who just got out of high school.

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CHINESE CHARACTER OF THE WEEK

I’ll pick a character I’ve learned from Joseph Smith’s first vision in Chinese. I really like 落, or luo, which means to fall or drop. I remember it because it almost looks like a bunch of leaves, like when they fall down from the trees in autumn.

Welp, I guess that’s about it! Have a great week! I love you all!?????????????????? AND LOOK AT THESE EMOJIS ON GMAIL HAHA MY DAY IS MADE

-Anne (孫姐妹) (Sister Watson)

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