Monday May 3, 2010
I hope you have all been waiting anxiously to know when my p-day is. If you haven't, don't tell me...but now you know it's Monday, so you can expect to hear from me every Monday afternoon for the next eleven weeks.
Boy, you guys would not believe what an awesome place the MTC is. The Spirit is so strong it's almost tangible. I'm learning a ton in such a short time. And I want all of you to know that I know this is not because I'm good at learning Chinese. The Lord said His yoke is easy and His burden light. You know why that's the case? It's not because you're lifting a lighter burden, but because the Lord is doing most of the lifting. We do all we can and He takes care of all the rest. I know that to be true--if any of you ever feel like you're facing an impossible task, like I did at first, turn to the Lord in humility and He will lead you by the hand through your trials.
Anyway, I am really loving the MTC. I'm just sitting here at a computer waiting for my laundry to be done. My first companion is Elder Neil Boyer, or Ye Zhanglao. In the last week, we've grown to be fairly good friends; I know the Lord will help us get even closer as we do His work. He's really good at Chinese--he had 3 years in high school and lived in China for a month. Actually, our whole district is the---ahem---"advanced" district, i.e. the ones who have had some Chinese experience. I and my one year felt a little out of place the first day, but we're all pretty much beginners in church language. In only three days, our teachers, Sister Tanner and Brother Hodges, taught us how to pray, bear our testimonies, and recite our missionary purpose in Chinese. That's what I meant when I said the Lord had to be helping me.
The food's pretty good here too. It's a step above cafeteria food, but still not home cooked. It's all I can eat, though. And don't worry, I'm eating fruits and salads and all of that as well. We have all kinds of stuff--chicken cordon bleu, fish n' chips, Teriyaki Stix rice bowls, and--just for Dillon--as much Captain Crunch or Marshmallow Mayteys as we want to go with or in place of our hot breakfast.
Today we went to the Provo Temple, and that was a really awesome experience. We get to go every p-day at around 9:00. Then we went back to the residence hall and took a power nap, which felt glorious. :) As for my Sunday, it was really spiritual; we had lots of meetings, but they were all so worth it. We had mission (stake) conference for two hours, Fast and Testimony meeting for one hour, then an evening fireside. After the fireside we got to watch the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration movie. Like I said, the whole day was a great spiritual feast.
Anyway, my red timer is telling me to hurry and wrap things up. I love all of you and I want to hear what's going on there! I miss you, but I know that I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do, and therefore I'm not feeling homesick. Keep me up to date on what's going on.
Love you all very much!
or Ruan Zhanglao (Zhanglao means Elder)