This week is my LAST official P-day in the MTC! I never thought this day would come. It’s been a really fun week though and our last few days will be really fun too, although for me it’s been going really slow now that we have our travel plans.
Here are some stats to sum up my MTC experience:
- 2 months
- 1/9th of my entire mission
- 2 different residences lived in
- 2 companions
- 8 crazy, sweet, hard-working, hilarious elders in our district (plus some others scattered throughout our zone)
- 3 weeks of being STLs
- working with 2 different sets zone leaders during our stint as STLs (elders Covert/Miller and elders Gibson/Nethercott)
- working with the 7 sisters younger than us in the zone
- 3 different Mandarin teachers
- 5 trips to the BYU health center
- 2 colds/bouts of sickness
- 2 “Christmases” (the 25th of every month in the Provo MTC is Christmas–the other Mandarin zone takes it a lot more seriously than ours–they have a gift exchange and a cardboard Christmas tree and everything. Our zone just sings Christmas songs. Elder Anderson does not support it and calls those of us who enjoy it “agents of chaos” haha)
- 4 apostles have come to speak to us
- a million morning sack breakfasts and MTC mystery meat meals
- a million times reciting 你的目的 (your purpose – ni de mu di) and other memorized scriptures/Joseph smith’s first vision
- like 14 to 16 devotionals attended
- 8 or 9ish general conference choir practices
- 1 opportunity to be in the MTC General Conference choir! Yes your’e going to see me in general conference in the Saturday Afternoon session. ? It’s a pretty cool opportunity to be representing the other missionaries around the world, my family, my ward at home, and the church in general. I’m doing high soprano which has been fun.
But in general even though I can say stuff about the stuff that’s happened at the MTC, it’s actually pretty hard to describe how this experience has been. You can only put so much of it into emails. It’s been fun, it’s been horrible, I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve absolutely hated it. Every day’s kind of a roller coaster of emotions just because of what we have to deal with every day, but I doubt it will be any different in Taiwan. I’ve definitely been stretched to my limits many times, have wanted to just walk out and go home. But I’m glad I stuck it out and I know I will continue to throughout my entire mission. I think most of us always say our lives are going great on the outside, but on the inside we’re always falling a part, hanging on by a couple threads. But what I’ve learned is that, at any given time, God only needs a couple threads to work with to help us become better people. Through all the turmoil of adjusting to missionary life God has been able to shape me into a more solid, happy, hard-working person.
But yes, soooo much has happened this week so this might be pretty long. Just skim through at your own pleasure ?
- I did another intense leg workout, like a million lunges and some other stuff. I am going to have rock solid legs when I get back, especially due to all the biking in Taiwan. In general I am so happy to be exercising most every day. I won’t get to do that since our routine is getting messed up this week (as we’re leaving) but it’s great. I have a lot more endurance than before the mish.
- General Conference choir! We’ve had a ton of practices and they can be a pain since most of them are at 7:15 in the morning and it’s so hard to be dress-rehearsal ready then. I’ve had to wake up at 6:00 instead of 6:30 the past couple o days. Since I’ve been used to the normal, relaxed, gigantic MTC choir it’s been strange having the directors go crazy on us to get us ready to sing at a real General Conference session. It’ll be fun to go up to Salt Lake/Temple Square which I obviously wasn’t planning on doing for 18 months.
- On Thursday we got our FLIGHT PLANS! I’m so grateful that our process of leaving to Taiwan has been so smooth, especially after all the blogs I read from a couple years ago/last year where people weren’t able to get their visas for a long time. But yeah there’s 23 of us in our travel group to Taipei, 4 sisters and 19 elders. I’m so happy that all of the elders in my district are headed to Taipei with me. Haha we’re going to have a crazy travel group! Headed to San Francisco on Tuesday morning, and then to Taiwan from there. It’s sad because Sister Patchell is leaving on Monday morning to go to Australia so we’ll have to say good bye to her early. Yesterday, actually, was Sister Patchell’s last day with one of our teachers since she won’t be here on Friday and won’t be teaching us until Monday. So our district got a picture with her! Which is good because none of our district pictures from the Sunday temple walk turned out.
The Funny/The Weird/The Stupid
- Update: My zone has kind of moved past spoons at this point. Now it’s EYEBALLS. As in googly eyes. Some of the elders (I think Elder Covert and Elder Miller are behind it) are putting googly eyes on literally everything. People’s desks, the drinking fountain, even Merlene, the building care lady’s, door (haha I saw it on there and it reminded me of Harry Potter 7 where Umbridge sticks Mad Eye Moody’s eye on her door.) I’ll send some pictures of the eye antics.
- From the title of my email you might be able to tell that the MTC is kind of having a problem with furry creatures, spiky creatures, and everything in between. There have been a bunch of rumors going around that the bats aren’t a problem any more and that they’ll start moving sisters back into 17M. We don’t think they’ll make us move since we’ll be leaving next week but the sisters younger than us in our zone might have to.
Other than that though we’ve heard elders talking about rats in their residences and I’m glad we haven’t seen anything in ours. Ew. Gross.
And the mouses. Our teacher ye lao shi doesn’t even like us leaving food wrappers in our garbage can in our room because we’re *technically* not supposed to be eating food in the classrooms. One day she told us in English about how it would attract rats…and mouses. It’s just an example of how ye lao shi is just so adorable, it’s really a representation of her personality. She’s rather strict with us and pretends to be hard on us sometimes but she’s really sweet. I love her really good but sometimes questionable English haha. Rats. And Mouses.
- And…..for the story you’ve all been waiting for! SCORPIONS! Yes, there are scorpions at the MTC. We walked into study time after exercise time one day and Elder Hooker starting talking to us about how, during exercise time, he had found a SCORPION in his shoe! He had been on a split with Elders Anderson and Woodward and as they were walking to the gym, he said “oh, my toe just went numb!” So he pulled off his shoe and out came a scorpion. So they went really quickly to the MTC health center to make sure he wasn’t gonna die. He ended up being fine but the nurse encouraged him to put the now-dead scorpion in tape so he could keep it as a memoriam. I have a picture of Elder Hooker proudly holding his scorpion. The scariest part is that he said he keeps his shoes under the bed so the scorpion may have crawled in them there….NO THANK YOU HAHA.
CHINESE CHARACTER OF THE WEEK
All right so I got these characters off of google translate so I’m not even sure if they’re the right characters or tones but a word we learned recently is 努力 or nu li and it kind of translates to “trying power” or “trying harder” or “doing your best.” That sort of thing. So I think this has been a representation of what I’ve been trying to do my last week in the MTC. Because of being STLs plus being in the General Conference choir, our schedule has been packed and sometimes it’s hard to manage everything, but we’re always doing our best! We always nu li. What can you be doing this week to work your very hardest?
Anne Watson 孫姐妹