Not today, adversity. Not today.

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Haha sorry everyone about the stupid title for my email this week but that’s honestly how I feel this week has gone! Everything is going good in the MTC’s Zone 2 and me, my companions, our district, all the sisters, and everyone else have been working hard to enjoy and thrive during our MTC experience. Lots of stuff has kind of clicked for me this week, especially being able to have a good attitude even when tons of hard stuff has been going on. The hardest was on Saturday I got a sore throat and it’s only gotten worse from then…in general I’ve got one of the worst colds I’ve had in a long time and from Sunday-Tuesday my voice was totally gone but IT’S STILL GREAT! It’s pretty funny to see how many curveballs us sisters get sent but it’s even cooler to see how despite everything we are all still here, we are all still happy and we are all still serving!

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The Good

  • The highlight of my week was probably this Sunday when I accompanied an Elder Glenn going to the England Leeds mission during MTC devotional. He sang “Be Still My Soul.” We had been practicing a couple times throughout the week and it was such a cool experience! It was even crazier because the speaker for the night was Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This was crazy because normally church leaders only speak on Tuesdays and this would be our 3rd apostle speaking to us since we came to the MTC! Me and my companions were sitting up front and center (next to the piano) so as they started playing the apostle-coming-to-speak-for-devotional video my hands started trembling and I got all sweaty.  As the MTC president announced that the devotional was being broadcast to Colombia, Peru, the Philippines, and a couple other MTCs in other countries I was about ready to die. but then, sure enough, the time came for Elder Glenn and I to perform and we ended up doing a great job! I found out later that apparently they have never had a solo musical number for an apostle speaking at the MTC before. Crazy right?
  • Also on Sunday me and my companions were called as Sister Training Leaders (or STLs)! This basically means that we interview all the other sisters in our zone to make sure they’re doing good. We also have a CELL PHONE! Haha. They never call us because they’ll always call the zone leaders before they call us but it’s still interesting to have and to try to keep track of. We actually did get 1 call on it on Monday from the front desk asking us to bring one of our sisters there. Pretty funny. Also most of the features on the phone are locked, but we can still get to the calculator. We can also take pictures on the phone so we took a selfie, although the photo gallery is also…locked. Haha. I wonder what goodies lie in that little photo gallery from STLs past.
  • As part of being Sister Training Leader’s we’ll get to get out of class tonight from 8-9 to help orient the NEW MANDARIN-SSIONARIES we will be getting today! I remember when the zone leaders and STLs did that for me on my first day. Basically we’ll be telling them some of the rules/procedures, give them tips, get to know them, and give them a tour of the MTC! I will have to tell you all how it went next week. ?
  • Of course, the fact that we’re getting new missionaries means that the group that came in three weeks before us is now GONE. Yes, they left on Tuesday morning at 4:45 AM and we woke up to see them off. And of course, that means that my district and all the other mandarin-ssionaires that got here the same day as me are now the OLDEST. We are now supposed to be the people everyone else looks up to here…man haha! Well we’ll try our best!
  • On Sunday night after devotional we watched 3 new segments of the Meet the Mormons documentary that came out. The first one was about an Italian lady living in Las Vegas. The second was a man living with his wife and kid in a small town in Utah (it was giving me serious home vibes. Good ol’ rural Utah.) The third one was this random Japanese music group called bless4. It was hilarious haha! Their music/music videos/choreography was one of the most Japanese things I’ve ever seen. My entire district was laughing about it so hard afterwards. We love all the different Asian cultures!! Haha. In the movie they also sang “I Am a Child of God” in Japanese which was pretty cool for me because I know it because of mom. Just so you know, I was thinking of you then, mom ? hope you’re proud of your lil’ missionary even though she’s going to Taiwan and not Japan.
  • On Monday our district hosted the senior missionary couples again. This time me and my companions were assigned to walk around the parking lot. Some couples who are from Utah and serving in Utah (so they therefore only come to the MTC during the day) parked there and I got to escort them to the bookstore. It was fun for me because I knew where they were all from haha.
  • On Saturday we had our last in-person TRC (you know, where we teach members who speak Chinese in the area) and it was pretty cool because we ended up teaching the same 2 people we taught the first time we did TRC and they both commented on how much our Chinese has improved! You don’t really realize how much you’ve actually learned until you have an experience like that.
  • On Monday night we had our first Skype TRC (which is basically the same as regular TRC) but, y’know, since it was skype, we got to talk to members who were actually IN Taiwan. It was so cool. Of course, when I say “we got to” I actually only mean the rest of my district because our teacher had me sit out because my voice was gone. My companions killed it though. I was sitting just reading the Book of Mormon in Chinese next to Elder Doyle and elder Hooker so I got to listen in the closest to their skype experience. It was so cool and there it really hit me how we’ve actually been learning so much Chinese and we’ll be able to communicate with the people of Taiwan in 3 weeks! Yay!
  • Finally, last night, Tuesday night, we had ANOTHER apostle come speak for devotional! Yes, Elder Cook came to speak to us. That makes it the 4th apostle that’s come to speak to us since we came to the MTC. we are so blessed.

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The Funny/The Weird/The Stupid

  • (Don’t tell my zone I’m telling you guys about this…shhhhh) so our zone has this STL tradition that started a few months/about a year ago. it’s the tradition of the SKIRT! Basically, it’s a really ugly blue-and-white-striped skirt that gets passed down from STL to STL. The point is, you wear it, and if you can get an elder to compliment you on it without phishing for it you can sign the inside of the skirt. Me and all my companions will probably wear it at some point now
  • So since Elder Balmforth is from Massachusetts he doesn’t really get all the packages/mail some of the Utah people get but he asked his mom any way to send him a random package and it ended up being really hilarious. He asked his mom to see what she could get away with sending through the postal service in terms of perishable food items. In a letter the other week, she told him ‘I sent you the stuff but I wouldn’t recommend eating it once it gets there’ haha. And this week he got the package and it turned out that she sent him  two roast meal TV dinners. haha it was disgusting. She also sent him some funny surgeon hat-thingys which are actually pretty funny. I’m attaching a picture with Elders Woodward, Balmforth, Anderson and Rhoton wearing them and they look absolutely. ridiculous.

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  • Just lemme go off about zone beach volleyball for a second. it’s literally one of the most entertaining things we do here in the MTC. We all just have so much fun and have all these funny little phrases that we say. Here’s some examples:

“xi sheng ni de shen ti!” (Sacrifice your body)

“mei you ci bei” (no mercy)

“ni ke yi” (you can)

“They’re new, give them another serve” (even if they’ve been here for weeks)

 “give that jie mei (sister) another serve”

 “The net: our common enemy” (said super seriously while pointing at the net)

 “SERVICE!!!” (said extremely flamboyantly)

“WHERE WERE YOU?!!” (said like a distraught old grandma from the south)

 and then a whole other slew of things about “loving the game”:

“LOVE THE GAME”

“HE LOVES THE GAME”

“LOVE IT”

“LOVE THAT”

“OH HE DIDN’T LOVE THE GAME”

“YOU DIDN’T LOVE IT ENOUGH”

it gets pretty intense. It honestly gets me cracking up every time.

  • The past STLs that left on Tuesday gave us two GIGANTIC boxes chock full of food and candy and chocolate and literally everything. The only thing lacking here at the MTC are good, fresh vegetables. Man I miss vegetables.

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CHINESE CHARACTER OF THE WEEK

This week i’m doing a combination! 奇蹟 qi ji, which means ‘miracle’. This week has been full of miracles! Mostly It’s just cool to see how successful you can be as a missionary even when different physical challenges are wearing you down on all fronts. Honestly that’s how it’s been for all the sisters in our zone…things with teeth, colds, fainting, not feeling well, lots of emotional problems from everyone too…ugh it’s hard but we have resolve! WE’RE NOT LEAVING!The show goes on! Despite all of our physical challenges we have not only gotten through this week, but we have THRIVED. Me and my companions have learned to work together so well and we are doing well in all of our fake investigator lessons with ye lao shi and wen lao shi.

 

I LOVE YOU ALL!

 

-Anne Watson 孫姐妹

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