Thanks so much for your e-mail Mom – and Dad and Nathanael for your letters! I love hearing everything that's going on at home. I wish I could respond to everything in detail. Keep it coming, that way I won't have to spend forever catching up when I get back!! I love reading your letters!
The Temple was great today! I love being able to go each week. Until it gets cold, we get to go on a temple walk on Sundays too!!!
We hang out with our older district (the Hong Kong missionaries that have been here longer) all the time, but they leave for Hong Kong on Monday!!! :( It's freaking us out a bit, what are we going to do without them?!!!
I have to tell you I was super confused when you said there wouldn't be mail on Monday, I asked Sister M., our Branch President's wife, and she told me that it was Columbus Day!! We really do live in a bubble here! Speaking of which, what's up with cantaloupe? There are signs in the cafeteria saying that the cantaloupe they have is from California and fine to eat, which means actually it's not fine!!! If you think of it once in awhile, I would love to hear some news updates, especially if there is any major happening in the world!!!
I forgot last week, I counted 23 Scripture Mastery verses during General Conference!!!!
Ok so language story ready? The word for children is yih (falling) leuih (rising) and concerns is yih (falling) leuih (level). Can you see the problem? We were teaching our investigator (our teacher pretending to be a 17 year old girl) about prayer and I asked if she had any "concerns" (but I actually said children!!) My companion, Sister N., seeing the look on T's face thought maybe we had asked an intrusive question and tried to save the situation by saying "that's ok we all have our own private "concerns." Ooops!!! That's ok the word for "to live" is jyuh (low) and the word for "pig" is jyu (high). So the elders were promising an investigator that if he prayed, God would bless his life, but actually said, "God will bless your pigs! " Oh man, it's a really good thing we're not in Hong Kong yet!!! But the language is coming. We've kind of plateaued, so we're trying to knock ourselves out of it. We've made a goal to SYL (speak your language) more and it's working!!! We also have a new "investigator." There is an Elder going to Taiwan, who is from Hong Kong so he speaks perfect Cantonese and Mandarin. They offered to let him leave early, but he decided to stay for the full 12 weeks and help the other missionaries. He agreed to pretend to be an investigator for us. We met with him yesterday, and it was great! It's so cool to be able to talk to a native!!! It was still rough, I have a hard time understanding the language, but we taught him to pray, and the spirit was there! So we were communicating something!
We went to the Teaching Resource Center (TRC) for the first time on Saturday. Volunteers (usually RMs) come in and we get to teach them. While at BYU I had gone a few times as a volunteer for sign language, so it was really weird to be on the other side of the spectrum! It went well, since we didn't know who we would be teaching we couldn't prepare a very specific lesson which was perfect because we got to rely completely on the Spirit. I brought in my word notebook with me and had it open to some of the words I thought I would need, but I ended up not using it at all!! It is crazy how fast we are learning this language, but I always have to remind myself to thank Heavenly Father and to keep asking for His help. It makes all the difference when I am relying on the Lord to help me learn the language.
So I want to tell you a bit about our practice investigators. "Sorren" is played by our teacher Brother C., and we have a lot of fun teaching him. He asks lots of questions, but also jokes and makes us laugh. It definitely helps the lessons feel more personable. Last week we taught him to pray, it was incredible! We had just talked about prayer in our class the day before so my companions and I knew how important the lesson was. We all wanted him to feel the Spirit through prayer and also to feel God's love for him. That really motivated our lesson and made me want to really listen to his concerns and try and understand even though I couldn't always understand the words he was saying. I know that the actual person sitting in front of us is a Return Missionary (RM) and knows everything we're teaching, but I've learned that no matter how many times we've heard it, we can always learn from the message of the gospel!!
Ahhhh! times up!!!
I love you sooooo much!!!!