Howdy everyone, today’s email is titled Groundhog Day because when I thought about what’s really happened this week I’ve realized that in a sense there’s been nothing truly exceptional about this week. Just another week of tryna figure out this whole MTC thing and thinking about Taiwan, teaching lessons, laughing, stressing, the daily cycle. Over and over again. And again. Haha.
But I do still have some stories to share, so hold your horses!
- My Chinese is coming along super well. I am still nervous to go to Taiwan and I know I would not be able to survive there without a trainer but it’s coming. Our fake investigator lessons with one of our teachers have been progressing along super well. We’ve gotten so far that we’ve committed her persona to get baptized this Saturday so we’re preparing her for that. Just makes me more excited to go out to the field!
- One of my favorite study activities is reading through my study copy of the Book of Mormon. It has Chinese characters, pin yin (or romanized mandarin) and English in three columns on every page. I try to read it in characters and look at the pin yin for ones I don’t recognize. I could do this for hours and every time I read I recognize more and more characters.
- Also we found out this week that there’s going to be a Provo MTC missionary choir at General Conference! What a unique opportunity! I’m still deciding whether I want to do the choir or not but for all my friends, whether missionary or not, you might see some people you know on the screen when you’re watching a session next month!?
- Oh and as a follow up from my email from last week: y’know how I’ve been sick? I’ve been getting better. Slowly. It’s good but on Thursday one of the branch presidency’s wives made me promise to go to the doctor. The MTC doctor tested me for strep but luckily the test came out negative, but then he sent me to the BYU Health Center to get some extra-strength Sudafed and some really strong cough medicine to take at night. It’s helped a ton and I’m at about 98%, hoping to get to 100% soon!
- We also got our all-character name tags this week! We’re technically not supposed to wear them at the MTC but…eh they’re fun! We call them “swag tags” because wearing one as a mandarin missionary is normally an unspoken way of saying “hey I’ve been here forever and I’m ready to head out there.”
The Funny/The Weird/The Stupid
- I’m not sure I’ve talked about this yet, but my zone has this weird obsession with….spoons. Yes, spoons. Those things you eat soup with. When I first got here to the MTC, one of the older districts showed me this tissue box full of spoons they’d hoarded from the MTC cafeteria. Apparently the MTC has a huge problem with people stealing their metal spoons and about a week after we got here they sent everyone a notice saying “We have about 800 spoons missing from the cafeteria and we would really like them back please.” Even though our zone isn’t really huge on stealing real cafeteria spoons anymore (although the tissue box still resides on a shelf in one of our classrooms), some people have a really silly, annoying, funny game where they go around trying to stick spoons in belt loops and other little nooks without people noticing. I found one in my pocket once. It’s gotten quite ridiculous, actually. The biggest perpetrator is this redhead named Elder Low. Little did he know on Sunday during our temple walk that someone had managed to stick a pen in the loop on the back of his shirt. Elder Kleine in my district hates the game the most and breaks any plastic spoons he finds. But I’ve attached a picture of when I managed to put a bendt metal spoon in his shirt loop and take a picture of it without him noticing haha.
- This week my elders have been really obsessed with spicy foods. One of them (I think it was Elder Rhoton or Elder Balmforth) bought a bag of the extra hot Cheetos and they were binging on it during study time one day. Somehow they’ve also gotten a hold of all these really spicy little peppers and challenge each other to eat them all the time. Who even knows why… haha.
- Oh and then on Monday morning our district hosted the new senior missionary couples…again. They never have the same district do it this often so it was pretty fun. Basically we are directing them all where to go for orientation/check-in stuff. It’s funny because lots of them don’t really want help and say “I know where I’m going” but then they’ll go off in the wrong direction and we have to chase them down.
CHINESE CHARACTER OF THE WEEK
智 this is zhi, one of the characters in 智慧 or zhi hui which means wisdom. A variation is 知道 or zhi dao, which is to know. It’s really handy, plus wisdom is something we’re always working towards, right? I strive for the wisdom as a missionary to know what to say to best help people. I strive for wisdom in the decisions I make every day. What are you doing right now to develop wisdom?
Love you all!
-Anne Watson 孫姐妹